Saturday, January 09, 2010

K Street Redesign: And the Winner Is...


The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has chosen a plan for remaking K Street downtown into a two-lane center transit way with loading zones, to streamline the lobbying corridor between Washington Circle and Mount Vernon Square. Throughout the fall, DDOT held a series of public meetings to allow interested parties to provide comments regarding the project. DDOT considered two build options to address infrastructure, safety, congestion and access problems in the busy K St corridor. The K St Redesign is estimated to cost $139 million, which DDOT hopes to cover entirely with federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) funds.

The winning design includes two center bus/transit lanes, which might allow taxis at limited hours, separated from the general purpose lanes by a median. During rush hour there would be three general purpose lanes and during regular hours the curb lanes might be used for loading and parking. In this alternative, commuter buses would stop in the curb lanes to pick up passengers traveling to the MD and VA suburbs. As for cars and pedestrians, the plan would include 200 on-street parking spaces during off-peak hours as well as on-street loading in off-peak hours, and provide a shared lane for bikes with autos and a shared lane with parking in off-peak hours.

TIGER fund recipients will be announced in February.

Washington DC real estate development news

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who are we kidding, let's get trolleys in that bad boy. It'll also be messenger express lanes.

Que said...

So the bus lanes wont have left turns as depicted in the photo that will cause problems for some of the bus routes especially the 80

Anonymous said...

Why no mention of streetcars in the plan? Please tell me DC hasn't given up on those...

Anonymous said...

So people waiting for buses will have to stand on a median as cars zoom by less than 24" away? This will be such a dangerous change.

Pedestrians crossing SIX lanes and vulnerable bus-waiters will be killed.

Eric on Jan 11, 2010, 4:26:00 PM said...

To last anonymous comment:

Buses already pick up people from the same type of median on K St (your comment shows you aren't familiar with K St as it is now). They're big, and since cars don't drive on the median, safe. Pedestrians will be crossing 8 lanes (the image is missing a general purpose lane in each direction). However, this is the EXACT SAME number as now. Cars already have to drive slowly because this is already a heavily-used pedestrian area. Cars won't be able to go any quicker once this is implemented, however it will help public transit immensely.

As for streetcars, it will be easy enough to put in tracks in the public transit lanes after this project is finished.

Eric on Jan 11, 2010, 4:32:00 PM said...

K Street on Google Maps

As you can see in this link from Google Maps, K Street already has pedestrian medians where buses pick up passengers. As you can also see, this is a 10 lane road already, counting each median as 1 lane, and each parking lane in the service road as 1 lane.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Street cars???? Why do people like them? There are unsightly power lines above (on most) and they are limited to the tracks.

Anonymous said...

yeah, like portland's unsightly wires. DDOT's streetcar FAQ also mentions portions will not have wire

portland: http://blog.oregonlive.com/business_impact/2008/08/large_Portland%20STreet%20car.JPG

They also appear to have more capacity than busses

monkeyrotica on Jan 14, 2010, 8:09:00 AM said...

People who wouldn't take a bus will take a streetcar because it's a fixed route. You can't get lost on one. Cities like them because they last longer than busses. They're less likely to break down and have lower maintenance costs. They're not as flexible as busses, but there are certain transit corridors that will always have congestion. K Street is one of them. And the way it usually works is that dedicated bus lanes serve as placeholders for streetcar rails.

Anonymous said...

This has to speed up car traffic. The bus lanes now won't be blocking traffic, so it won't be quite as much stop and go, and changing lanes.

This section of K Street needs on-street parking. Those spaces are really important to the ground floor commercial businesses, and to folks who need to make a short stop.

I'm sick of the idea that we need to spend a couple hundred million to satisfy the folks who think they're too good for buses.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be the most ignorant waste of money and effort to date. Let's see, all pedestrians will now have to cross over traffic lanes to get to the busstop and cross traffic to get to the buildings, the buses in the center lane will also have to cross over the moving lanes to make a right or left turn! Am I missing something? There will still wn't be any handicapped parking, buses will still travel in the thoroughfare lanes, this does not create any additional on street parking or revenue, it costs HOW MANY millions of dollars? ... Are you people really this ignorant? OR is there some back door contract that we don't have knowlegde of? What are you people thinking? This is almost as stupid as tearing down the Whitehurst Freeway and putting an additional 35,000 cars on M Street through Georgetown. And by the way how many MILLIONS we spent on those worthless studies? Who are you people?

Anonymous said...

You have to understand what goes on at DDOT. There are a few select firms that get work at DDOT. Whenever there is federal funding, those Engineering firms are the only ones who get the project and only certain contractors get to do the work. All those people need to be exposed. I should know as I have worked on a couple of DDOT projects on the A/E side.

 

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