Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SW Waterfront to Transform Washington

In the spring issue of the Washington Business Journal's Onsite Magazine (subscribers only), five projects in DC and Rosslyn that will transform the region are profiled - one of which is the Southwest Waterfront. There's nothing really new here for those who have been closely watching what has been discussed about the Southwest Waterfront development, but the article mentions how the buildings will be situated to preserve views of the Washington Channel. From the article:
The master planner, Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, has avoided the mistakes previously made in Southwest by conceiving an urban design at a finer grain than in other parts of the city. According to the plan, the new buildings will be narrow enough to preserve the views from Arena Stage and nearby buildings while allowing for pedestrian access to the water. Parcels within the new development will be no larger than 240 feet by 240 feet, compared with the typical 400-by-325-foot commercial blocks found along K Street NW. “By breaking our site into smaller component blocks, we are increasing the porosity of the design and allowing for significant views out to the water,” says Matthew Steenhoek, development manager of PN Hoffman.
The Hoffman-Madison Marquette Waterfront team submitted their stage one Planned Unit Development application on February 10 to the Zoning Commission and expect to start construction on phase one by the end of 2012.

Rendering courtesy of the Hoffman-Madison Marquette Waterfront team.


Anonymous said...

4th & M was a disaster this morning! Horns honking, drivers not obeying the new left turns signals. I don't understand the logic behind the new traffic pattern. Can someone enlighten us please? Someone?

p.s. I can imagine the Fort McNair traffic nightmare in the evenings.

Anonymous said...

There is this great article I just read:

I believe there was an attack on the Waterfront Metro Station just a few days ago and the Guardian Angels played a major role in getting one of the attackers arrested.

Metro should definitely be giving these people FREE fare rides. What they're doing is helping not only keep people safe, but providing Metro with assistance that they are currently lacking, which is decent, useful, and alert employees. For one thing, those people in those information booths, never seem to care. They're always on the phone chit chatting and never paying attention. They definitely need to take a class in customer service.

PostIt said...

My understanding of the green light traffic pattern:
1. M Street traffic east/west (no left turn arrow in either direction anymore) -- pedestrians cross 4th street East/West
2. Left turn arrow only for 4th street turning left from both directions, while also a right turn arrow for M street west/east bound -- no pedestrian traffic
3. 4th street North/south bound (no left turns) -- pedestrians cross M street North/South
4. Cycle back to step 1.

The benefit (as I see it) is that it frees up E/W thru traffic on M street - they no longer have to wait for M street L turn arrows. Assuming they have sensors for cars, late night traffic is also improved. Here's how: Most late-night traffic on 4th street turns left in either direction. If two cars are arriving North/South and both want to turn left on M, then M street traffic only has to have a red light during Step 2 above, compared to before when they had to wait for two cycles of green lights - one in each direction.

The other improvement is that right-turn traffic from westbound M street to northbound 4th street will not have to wait for their right turn arrow. They also won't have to wait for pedestrians to finish crossing during their green light (as many of us often did).

The only way they could improve this for car traffic would be to have left turns from 4th street yielding on green (during step 3 above). However, it's not clear if this is allowed since I didn't see any sign that said explicitly (a) left turn yield on green or (b) left turn only on green arrow. The red left turn arrow is still lit during step 3, which makes me think (b) is correct. And that's good because (a) would be hazardous for the many pedestrians crossing M Street then. So I would advocate against that.

They also changed the countdown display for pedestrians crossing 4th street so that numbers now appear when the walk sign is on, as opposed to just when the flashing hand is there.

The one drawback I see is that the second left turn lane from northbound 4th street is in limbo. Are you still allowed to turn left from that lane? Not sure how the 70/71 bus is going to make it from the bus stop in the right turn lane to take a left on have to wonder if they coordinated this with MetroBus at all. My guess is no.

Anyone got other points? This was just what I observed in my one experience of crossing the street this morning, so I could be mistaken on some counts...

Sorry for the long post....

Bob Craycraft, Executive Director, Waterfront Gateway Neighborhood Association said...

You are correct about the Guardian Angels. They had followed a group of about 30 young people from Anacostia in on the Green Line. When some of them got out at Waterfront Station, at least one threw an object at one of the Guardian Angels. However, MPD and Metro Transit Police had been alerted and were able to arrest two of the young people, one for assault and the other for curfew violation. The Guardian Angels patrol the Green Line heavily, as well as the Gallery Place and L'Enfant Plaza stations. We need more of them, and they need our support.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, PostIt. Hopefully the learning curve for all of us will be a short one. Although drivers are still taking a right on red at that intersection. Well, nothing's perfect.

wd said...

Interesting how none of the comments are related to the article. There is clearly a desire for people to discuss SW issues... perhaps this site could open up a general post like prince of petworth does?

Anonymous said...

Sort of unrelated but Roti is opening in Le Promendade in April:

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised no one has tried to blame the new traffic light configuration at 4th/M on the black people living in the projects.

SWill said...

PostIt: Thanks for the explanation of the new traffic pattern. I noticed the left turn light on southbound 4th Street on my way to work today.

wd: Good idea. I may start doing that from time to time.

Anonymous @ 2:15: I mentioned Roti's opening in a post back in January.

Bradley said...

i just wanted to let you know that i really enjoy your blog. i constantly check it for updates and information. it's very informative and helpful. keep up the good work!.

wd - good idea about the general post.