Sunday, May 20, 2007

New Wisconsin Signal Draws Ire

In a previous entry, as part of the solution to the discussion about left turns through parts of the Tenley-Friendship neighborhood, DDOT has installed a new traffic signal at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and River Road. Prior to the installation of the signal, traffic could flow eastbound to Wisconsin and proceed south. North and West bound traffic from Wisconsin could access River Road via a left turn signal at Brandywine Street. The installation of the new signal has created a condition where there are 4 signals in the block between Albemarle Street and Brandywine Street (the new one, the ones at the afore mentioned cross streets, and the light controlling access to the Whole Foods parking garage).

Recent posts on the Tenleytown Listserv have expressed concen and reservation about the new traffic patterns:

...since the traffic light went up on Wisconsin Ave to allow for River Rd traffic, Wisconsin is a pain! Just in the past few days, I've seen a tremendous increase in traffic backed up all the way to the Tenley firehouse. It blows my mind that in that one block, there are 3 traffic lights and not synched up. I have been stopped at every single one. I'm not sure how the River Rd traffic is being affected by it, but I can clearly see that it's a very bad thing for Wisconsin. I don't understand why the lights aren't synched up. In fact, I've seen gridlock by the Tenley metro station because the traffic is so slow.


I have seen nothing but a mess of the traffic, and many times Albemarle is blocked by drivers on Wisconsin Ave. The lights are poorly time. But for the life of me, I can't understand why it is there. Within 100 yards there are 4 traffic lights, that borders on idiocy. Now to complicate the mess, people are now trying to turn left on to River Road, leaving one lane of traffic to go out Wisconsin Ave.

and this prophetic post from the testing phase of the signal:

I'm already hearing complaints from Cityline residents regarding how difficult it is to get out the parking garage because of the line of traffic caused by the new blinky yellow. It's only going to get worse when the light begins to fully stop the flow.
This will become even worse on weekends when traffic gets backed up trying to exit BestBuy (from the same alley). Whoever conceived of this light was not thinking about the bigger picture.

What will happen when there are "No Left Turn" signs installed blocking any traffic from going Eastbound from River during rush hour? As it is, there is a significant back-up at River in the mornings.

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