There was a lengthy discussion at Monday's ANC 6D meeting about the intersection of 4th & M Streets, which has been the scene of three car accidents involving pedestrians in the past year. Some of the ANC commissioners met with DDOT officials to discuss pedestrian safety and as a result, some changes are on the way. Here is an excerpt from an email DDOT Director Gabe Klein sent to a local list-serv today on the issue:
The "complete street" plan Klein is referring to is a plan spearheaded by Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells and the Capitol Riverfront BID, which was presented to the community in March. In the interim, two resolutions passed unanimously by the ANC related to the intersection - one would direct DDOT to remove five parking spaces on the south side of M Street between the entrance to Tiber Island (430 M Street) and the intersection of 4th & M. The reason for removing the parking spaces was motorists can't see the "Right Turn Only" sign when approaching 4th Street and will give them time to get in the right lane before making a right onto 4th Street off of M Street. The second resolution would direct MPD to have officers patrol the intersection for two hours a day every day for a week to observe traffic violations. In addition, it was revealed by Naomi Mitchell from Wells' office that the council member will help the ANC get their desired traffic study of the M Street corridor, which the ANC has been requesting for years since a lot of development has been occurring (or are in the planning books) for the corridor without a comprehensive plan for dealing with traffic on M Street (from the 14th Street Bridge to the 11th Street Bridge).We are still pursuing the “complete street” plan on M Street and would like to move beyond concept and to design. There has been back and forth on whether to have shared bus/bike lanes and other questions. I am asking Jamie Henson for a complete run down. After the accidents, I talked to US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood personally about the concept, and he wholeheartedly supports it. In addition, we made safety improvements in the area including eliminating right turns on red at key intersections.