Here is an update on our Slow Streets proposal. Join us at our virtual civic association meeting on June, 23, 2020 7-8 PM to learn more.
What are Slow Streets again?
Check out our last post for more details but, as a quick reminder, Mayor Bowser’s Slow Streets program is a way to encourage residents to walk, run, bike, or roll while maintaining the recommended 6-foot physical distance. They are meant to encourage recreation to promote physical and mental health and to provide connections to essential business and jobs. Slow Streets are marked as “Local Access Only,” with a 15 MPH speed limit.
The city has clarified the following points about its Slow Streets policy:
- Parking will not be affected.
- Residents, emergency vehicles, deliveries, and trash collection will continue to have access as normal.
- The city has stated it will not seek to ticket or otherwise target enforcement toward those who use the corridors.
- The policy makes no mention of adjusting traffic patterns, such as one-way conversions.
- Slow Streets will be in place for the duration of the public health emergency.
Why LeDroit Park?
Our neighborhood’s sidewalks are narrower than 6 feet – the recommended margin for social distancing – and vehicle traffic volumes are returning to normal levels, making it increasingly unsafe to travel by foot in the street.
In addition, residents throughout the city need outdoor activities this summer since many facilities are closed or at reduced capacity. LeDroit Park’s Heritage Trail, titled “Worthy Ambition,” and its abundance of historic architecture make it a great location for a self-guided walking tour.
The LeDroit Slow Streets plan meets DDOT’s criteria for prioritization because it would:
- Serve as a first-mile/last-mile connection to the Shaw/Howard Metro station, Metrobus routes along Florida Ave, and essential businesses in the Shaw, LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale neighborhoods;
- Encourage recreation by providing safe access to the LeDroit Park Heritage Trail and the Park at LeDroit; and
- Calm traffic on east-west streets that are currently observed to host speeding vehicles and cut-through traffic.
Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey and shared their ideas. Of the 29 LeDroit Park residents who responded:
- 86% experience difficulty maintaining 6 ft. distance while walking in the neighborhood
- 93% witness vehicles speeding through local streets sometimes or often
- 93% like or love the concept of LeDroit Slow Streets
Many of you shared your great ideas through the survey or via email. Thank you! Ideas included:
- Including more east-west streets to the north, like Oakdale and V Streets.
- Keeping T street open to through-traffic, since it is a more popular through-route. This is a tough one, but we also don’t want to undermine the idea of Slow Streets by including streets where drivers are not likely to respect the local access rules, since those rules depend on self-enforcement.
- Including the 6th-U-Bohrer loop at the West end of the neighborhood, which makes sense particularly if T is kept out of the plan.
- Suggestions around signage, speed bumps, and other traffic calming and enforcement measures, which we will keep front of mind when the proposal is accepted and moves towards implementation.
Based on that community feedback, the proposal has been refined to the following map:
Through-traffic routes still include 2nd, 4th and 5th. With this update, T street is now kept as an east-west through-traffic route. This plan provides plenty of options to move through the neighborhood, while reserving as many streets as possible for resident-only vehicle use.
One last theme was a suggestion to coordinate with our immediate neighbors, particularly in Bloomingdale. We’d love to! We hope this proposal is accepted and becomes a first step for our neighbors to build on.
Join us on June 23rd, 2020 for our virtual civic association meeting. If approved, we will send the proposal to our ANC (1B) and copy the appropriate agencies and elected officials. Look to this space for updates as the proposal moves towards fruition.