Thursday, April 26, 2007

River Road Barrier Announcement

Please be advised after much consideration, discussion, research and review with the DDOT staff and technical team, DDOT has decided to forgo the proposed traffic signal at the intersection at Fessenden Street and River Road. As Director of DDOT it is my responsibility to encourage transportation solutions that provide a safe transportation environment while being fiscally responsible to the citizens of the District. I sincerely appreciate the work and dedication of the people who previously developed this particular concept to address the speed and safety concerns of this junction; however, I do not believe it is the best solution for this particular intersection.

The DDOT technical team determined a more cost effective solution to the speed and pedestrian safety issues and DDOT believes the following measures can produce the same results as the traffic signal concept at a significantly reduced cost.

1. Complete the installation of the traffic signal at Wisconsin and River Road which will allow for a signalized left turn onto Wisconsin Avenue.

2. Remove the bushes/shrubs in the public space at the southeast/east corner and the northwest/west corner of River Road and Fessenden to greatly improve sightline visibility for vehicles attempting to make right hand turns from Fessenden onto southeast and northwest bound River Road.

3. Coordinate with MPD to install speed camera(s) on River Road.*

4. Re-stripe the area and include high-visibility crosswalks. Adjust the crosswalks from a diagonal line to a horizontal line shortening the length of roadway crossing for pedestrians. Install new ADA compliant handicap ramps as part of this adjustment.

5. Install signage indicating no left turn during morning rush hours at both Fessenden and Ellicott Streets to discourage through traffic and encourage vehicles to utilize the new traffic signal at Wisconsin and River Road.

6. Install traffic calming speed humps on Ellicott Street to discourage through traffic and encourage vehicles to utilize the new traffic signal at Wisconsin and River Road.

7. Once the above measures are implemented, remove the barrier at Fessenden and River Road.

8. Once these measures have been implemented, DDOT will re-evaluate the area for a 180-day period, at which time, if necessary, further measures may be recommended.

The overall cost to implement these procedures is approximately $140K (* if MPD and DDOT determine it necessary to install two speed cameras, one in each direction on River Road this estimate would increase to $240K). DDOT is working directly with MPD to provide the speed cameras and on-site enforcement once the above measures are in place.

It is my intent to hold a public meeting within the next week to provide further details on the implementation and timeline for these changes. Information will be forthcoming regarding the date and time for this meeting.

DDOT realizes the impact this late change in plan may have on the community and I appreciate your patience through this necessary process.

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