Dear PoP – “What the F*** is going on at 14th and Park/Kenyon, NW?”

“Dear PoP,

If this situation doesn’t call for an F-bomb, I don’t know what does.

I tried to get to the DCUSA parking garage entrance on Park Road, but the road has been reconfigured in such a way that you cannot go straight across 14th Street on Park Road. I tried to ask the peach of a traffic cop about it, and she screeched at me “I don’t KNOW!”.

So I went around the block, down 13th, and up Kenyon. Again, this beacon of sweetness and light traffic cop forced me away from the turn I wanted to make.

It looks like the situation on Park Road, where you’re forced to turn right up 14th Street, is permanent. It’s the way the islands were placed. I think that in the absence of psychotic public servants, it’s possible to go from Kenyon to Park. Though it also looked possible that they are installing islands to prevent that turn/jog. And of course, one is able to turn right onto Park if one is southbound on 14th street.

I wouldn’t have to waste the PoP community’s time if there were any signage, or if the traffic cops were more inclined to help and less inclined to abuse. Any insight into the new traffic pattern would be appreciated.”

Could this be right – you can’t continue going straight onto Park road from Park road? It def. looks that way. Anyone know why this would be the case?

107 Comment

  • As far as I can tell in my experience, this is sadly true. I’ve gotten screwed by it a couple of times–I’ve had to go around the block, down to Columbia and back up 15th to Irving, or score an illegal u-turn on 14th to go back south to turn right onto Park. I guess I need to cut over to 14th Street earlier when I’m headed south. It’s really annoying, and I have no idea why it was deemed necessary.

  • Don’t you mean “Park & 14th”, not “14th & Park”? I forget: does that make you a local or not? 🙂

    so, in defense of the “peach of a traffic cop”, she’s been standing out there in the 100+ degree heat, amid the traffic fumes, excessive honking, and the shouts, taunts and verbally explosive frustrations of the drivers who made the mistake of trying to actually use the roads at this intersection.

    please try to be patient with the human beings who are also at the mercy of this mess through no fault of their own.

    But I agree totally with all your frustrations. It’s a holy mess around there, even at 5:30am when I’m driving on 14th to get to the gym.

    • Cops HATE being asked for directions.

      • yes. One tried to start a fight with me when I asked for directions.

        “Whaddya you go to college or sumthin’?” was his response to my query. This barely 5 and a half foot cop then started to get in my face and had to be held back by two other cops.

  • I think all the traffic pattern changes need to be given time. The streetscape project will soon be done and people will learn to compensate and take new routes given the changes. The initial change is always jarring but people will adjust and it may even make sense in a months time when we see the bigger picture and how traffic is moving in the area.

  • perhaps because street design is not all about moving you and your car – which is the least efficient mode of transportation in terms of sq footage – as quickly as possible. The park/14th redesign is ped/bike optimized, as it should be for a neighborhood with sub 50 pct car ownership.

    • I generally agree with this comment, but more to the point, I do believe that as a driver you can still turn left from that intersection and continue on park. That little curb they’ve built is designed to slow cars down as they make a left jog to continue on park, which should reduce the threat to the huge number of pedestrians and bikes in the area.

      Regarding the traffic cops: give them a break. They work harder than anyone else in the DC gov’t and have one of the most thankless jobs in the world

    • saf

      Well, it’s also LOUSY design for buses, and there are a LOT of buses through there.

    • It sucks for bicyclists and pedestrians, too. Confused drivers, lights that last too long so pedestrians cross illegally, obstacles in the road way, all convene where every one is distracted and congestion abounds. There are going to be some ghost bikes planted around here, I fear.

    • Yup. This city has insane traffic, and deliberately adding to it will only make things WORSE for bikers and pedestrians. “Optimizing for pedestrians and bikers” at the expense of car traffic in this case is missing the point.

  • I was in this same situation last night, and it was the first time I had ever *driven* to DCUSA. So, where the car is in the top picture, i just made a little swerve to the left and I was in the parking garage off of Park.

    Now, legit? Maybe not, but it seemed the only logical way. And the police car in front of me didn’t seem to care. But if a traffic cop would have been present, maybe a tad more difficult.

  • Yes, the new traffic pattern is designed to force a right turn on to 14th St. when headed West on Park Rd. from the 1300 block. Kenyon will be the only way to go West onto Park Rd. from the 1300 Block. Yes, we’ve asked DDOT for signage and other means to begin alerting drivers and community to the new changes. Yes, the traffic pattern changes are documentment in both the CH/Mt. Traffic Study and the Columbia Heights Public Realm Plan. The goal of the change is to improve traffic flow, but not speed on 14th St..

    W Jordan

    • Seems like the result is to shove a lot of traffic onto Kenyon, or Newton. If you can make a case for this, you ought to explain it to the rest of us.

    • This is what I was prepared to suggest the answer would be. For most of the planning that was the basis for what we now see in this area of Columbia Heights, revert back to 2002 ideas that were hatched when the whole space around DCUSA was a bunch of vacant lots. I’m no expert on urban design or traffic patterns, so I pass no judgment on it (OK, I kinda do), but I know that there was community input into this, much of which may not seem to make a lot of sense, depending on your POV, in 2010.

  • I did notice this yesterday and drove on just shaking my head at the weird decision. I guess I wasn’t shocked because I’ve had several occasions to sit in the mess of a new traffic pattern over at New York Ave & Florida Ave NE….that truly makes no sense to me and traffic is worse than ever with that new configuration.

    What’s up with all of the changes that don’t seem to be working…is there a new ‘Traffic Pattern Czar’ in the city?

  • DCUSA complex is the biggest cluster-fuck in the entire world, even for a pedestrian.

  • Judging by the drawings on Sheet 4 and 8 here (pdf), Park is going to be one way east bound on the east side of 14th. Eastbound traffic west of 14th on Park will be forced to turn right at 14th. Presumably this is because eastbound traffic on Kenyon passes through the intersection straight onto Park, and they don’t want to add an additional signal to allow through traffic on Park.

    It actually should work pretty well once they finish, and they’re in the home stretch.

    • This doesn’t make any sense. Park Rd is westbound only if you’re west of 14th. And if you can take a right onto 14th when you’re westbound on Park, east of 14th, then Park can’t be eastbound only east of 14th.

    • I think you have your directions reversed. Keyon is one-way westbound (towards the park).

      • saf

        Kenyon St stops at 14th and re-starts at Mt Pleasant St. At 14th, traffic on Kenyon St gets dumped onto Park Rd.

        Park Rd is now 2 way from the Park to Mt Pleasant St, one way westbound from Mt Pleasant St to 14th St, and 2 way from 14th St east.

    • Yeah, if you replace your “wests” with “easts” (and vice-versa) then I think you’ve got it right.

      And, Park is *already* one-way westbound on the west side of 14th.

    • Yeah, I flipped every single East and West. Sorry about that.

    • Wow. That PDF is hard to read. No wonder the intersection is such a mess. Font is in light blue?

  • I need a schematic of the intersection. I can see requiring a Right off of Park onto 14th. That intersections in a 5 points that never worked well for any of the roads. But it’s such a mess now. Anyone know where DDOT has shared a picture of this peach of an intersection?

  • Agree with William Jordan that better signs are needed, but I was able to cross 14th this morning around 8:20am from Kenyon to Park. It was not clear that I could legally do so, but the car in front of me did so I followed. No traffic cop out there; perhaps that was the difference.

  • I’m all in favor of pedestrian and cyclist-oriented design when it comes to roads, but not being able to go straight on Park Road just seems stupid. Not only that, but it will be HARDER for pedestrians to cross now since cars forced to turn right will do the usual right on red thing and not stop all the way, whereas if they were going straight they’d have to stop.

    Another reason this is an illogical change is that Kenyon is primarily a residential street, where Park Road has the Giant, drycleaners, and Sticky Fingers. What if shoppers want to go from Giant to Target? the more commercial thoroughfare will go nowhere, while the residential street will get busier with a larger number of cross-town trips. And all the illegal u-turns people will make on 14th will only add to the fun…

    • They’ll go left on Park out of the Tivoli garage, right on 13th, and use Kenyon to cross 14th. Not ideal, I agree. People unfamiliar with the neighborhood won’t know to do this.

    • Mr. T makes better points than I do below. I bet the residents of Kenyon street are maaad that their street just became the only way to access the DCUSA parking garage from points east. As they should be. Especially when there’s a perfectly good commercial street one block up which SHOULD continue through to the west.

    • I’m still getting used to Park being two-way; I just assumed from the island configuration that it was becoming a one-way street. I hadn’t considered what this would do to traffic crossing 14th on Park, and it seems like a stupid design.

      But honestly, Mr T, if the design stops even one person from parking at the Giant and then driving their car to DCUSA afterwards, then I’ll be happy.

  • If the design is supposed to force a right turn onto 14th, then they screwed up. First, it’s just a dumb idea. Park Road is a continuous street, and it’s unncessarily confusing. And, as several posters have mentioned, they continue across 14th on Park anyway, just jogging around the new island. THIS somehow increases safety for pedestrians? I guarantee you that the new design will lead to the kind of confusion and frustration and lawbreaking that leads to flattened pedestrians.

    As for traffic cops having a difficult job… Don’t care. Doesn’t excuse either sucking at that job, or being abusive to the folks whose taxes pay your salary. Can’t stand the heat? Get out of the intersection.

    • This isn’t really true. Kenyon Street is a through street, Park Road is not. Park Road east of 14th ends three blocks away at New Hampshire Avenue, and it’s a narrow street anyway.

      Kenyon, on the other hand, goes all the way through from the hospital center, and is one way, and is a legitimate cross-town route. It also follows the same general trajectory as Park Road west of 14th, whereas Park Road east of 14th is at a very different trajectory.

      The only thing that will be confusing is for someone who happens to get onto Park Road in that short stretch east of 14th and thinks it will go through because they don’t know better. This will not be tourists, though, I can assure you of that.

      Anyone who’s lived around here for a while has already been using Kenyon->Park as a crosstown route for years. At least before they dug everything up, we’ve been avoiding it until the construction is done. But in the end that won’t be changing.

      • Now that’s what I’m talking about.

      • Hate to pick nits, but “Park Road east of 14th ends three blocks away at New Hampshire Avenue” is not true. It jogs at New Hampshire and continues across Georgia all the way to the old soldier’s home. A minor point maybe, but I gotta stand up for the existence of my block.

    • “As for traffic cops having a difficult job… Don’t care…or being abusive to the folks whose taxes pay your salary.”

      So, open season on ANY public servant, no matter how freakin’ stressful the job is and how many a-holes she has to deal with all day? What if the poster was the 437th person to stick their head out window to yell at her “What the fuck is up with all this bullshit?!” You think *you’d* have the patience to smile sweetly and say, “Why yes, sir, you sure do have an excellent point there! And thank you for that lovely finger gesture and the suggestion that I ‘suck it’. Have a nice day!”

      • Since I am the original letter-writer here, I can assure you that I did not swear at the woman (I had my kid with me, and toddlers repeat the stuff you wish they wouldn’t), or suggest that she suck anything. My exact words were “How do I get to the parking garage over there?” She rushed my window, shrieked at me, and had a few other choice phrases that I didn’t include in my letter. Yet somehow I’m to blame because it’s hot out? Sure.

        How about instead of the most hostile response possible, she say “you have to turn right from 14th southbound”? Are those extra few words going to negatively impact anyone? Yes, no matter how stressful her job, I expect her to NOT yell crudeness at me and my child, and to offer brief helpful answers to questions she’s probably been encountering all day in one form or another. If she can’t handle that level of complexity, well, maybe it’s time to look for a job at DCRA.

        People like that traffic cop make their own lives MORE difficult by being jerks.

        • I’d bet that since she’s directing traffic and all she’s a little too busy to give everyone directions. In addition to what anon says.

          For example while she is standing and you stopped in the middle of a busy intersection jackhammers blaring, she should say, “make this right on to Park rd., make a right on 13th ,then make another right onto Kenyon ride straight through 14th street and the entrance is on the left…”

          Chances are after all that your response would be “What?!?”

          I’m still trying to make sense of this, you stopped your car in a busy clusterf**k of an intersection to ask for directions? That is infinitely worse than tourists who take one step off the metro then open up a map…

          • Because people should be speeding through that intersection rather than carefully making their way, contentious of their surroundings?

            I don’t think that posing a brief question to a uniformed officer in order to clarify how to safely, sanely proceed is in any way out of the question.

            But maybe you’re one of those irrationally angry people who make driving around this city verge on living hell.

        • I bet you’ve spent most of your life in front of a computer, which makes you uniquely positioned to critique people who actually work for a living.

          • I work for a living, and I think the officer’s response was unacceptable. If you can’t do your job with professionalism, there are plenty of unemployed people who can and will.

  • Page 6 of jcm’s PDF link show a schematic of what the intersection is supposed to look like after construction is completed.

  • There was never going to be a good solution.

    For a long time, I’ve been taking Kenyon westbound across 14th from Sherman Ave/Petworth. Even before DCUSA was complete, westbound on Park across 14th took forever. The green signal there lasted about 13 seconds (srsly) and one left-turning car or slow-crossing pedestrian ruined that for the queue of cars that was always there. And it was like that for the simple reason that two westbound streets (Park and Kenyon) have to funnel into one westbound street (Park west of 14th) that is effectively one through lane. If eliminating one feeder were necessary, I probably would have chosen Kenyon instead of the continuous street. But maybe all the Tivoli/Giant traffic — plus Kenyon being to the left of Park in that direction — are the exact reasons why Park goes one way northbound.

  • About two months ago I decided I would not even try to get to DCUSA by car (I live about 1/2 mile south, so I used to walk there a lot anyway). I put air in my bike tires and started riding to DCUSA and the Giant. I am a happier person.

  • Not to go off on a tangent, but the predicted disaster which is Dave Thomas/Wendy’s circle is….

    …a disaster.

    Especially if you’re headed South/East.

  • Page 12 of the 2004 Columbia Heights Plan describes the changes to the traffic patterns.

    14th Street Right-of-Way Design
    Within the ‘core area’, 14th street should be reconfigured to establish
    balanced access for all modes to and around the Metro Station entrances
    and to support traffic patterns which complement the neighborhood’s
    commercial core. The reconfiguration of travel lanes will also provide a
    gradual transition from four travel lanes south of Irving Street to the existing
    two travel lanes north of the Monroe Street.
    14th Street, between Irving Street and the Park/Kenyon intersection, should
    accommodate two 11 foot wide travel lanes in the center, two 14 foot wide
    combined travel-bike lanes at the outside, and on-street parking lanes along
    both sides of the street. This allows the connection of bike lanes to the
    Metro Plazas and on-street parking which reinforces the commercial uses
    along the street and enhances the pedestrian environment. Sidewalks
    must be a minimum 16 feet wide in the ‘core area’ to accommodate a
    relatively generous through-pedestrian zone and a furnishing zone along
    the curb. Door swings, cafe tables, and all utilities, should be held back
    from the 16 foot dimension. Where possible, a 20 foot wide sidewalk is
    recommended which would allow a four foot zone adjacent to the building
    to be used by the businesses to “enliven” their storefronts with tables or
    displays. Setbacks of adjacent properties may be required to provide the
    desired sidewalk widths.
    Each of the intersections along 14th Street, from Monroe Street to Girard
    Street, should be reconfigured with generous curb extensions to enhance
    pedestrian safety and strengthen the public realm. The Transportation
    Study includes additional recommendations for improving pedestrian safety
    such as modifications to traffic signalization.
    • The Monroe Street / 14th Street intersection should be reconfigured
    to provide better and safer access along Monroe across 14th Street.
    • 14th Street from Monroe Street to Park Road should include two
    travel lanes, two dedicated bike lanes, and on-street parking lanes
    on both sides of the street. South-bound at Park Road, the parking
    lane converts to a dedicated right-turn lane.
    • The Kenyon Street / Park Road / 14th Street intersection should be
    reconfigured to improve pedestrian safety. West-bound traffic at
    the Park Road / 14th Street intersection will permit a right-turn only
    northbound onto 14th Street. Kenyon Street will be reduced to two
    travel lanes at 14th Street.
    • North-bound travel on 14th Street at the Park Road / Kenyon Street
    intersection will have a dedicated left-turn lane and one through
    travel lane which extends north to Monroe.
    • The Irving Street / 14th Street intersection is also improved by
    narrowing the roadbed to provide a south-bound left turn lane and
    one through travel lane.

    • Those shoulds are killing me! Especially this one,

      “The Monroe Street / 14th Street intersection should be reconfigured
      to provide better and safer access along Monroe across 14th Street.”

      I hope it will be, because right now is deadly. An idiot heading South on 14th, east on Monroe damn near hit me and an old lady in the crosswalk this morning.

  • I abandoned that entire intersection ages ago and now for points west just go north on 13th then west on Upshur which (via a right on Matthewson and left on Blagden) takes you to the Rock Creek parkway. Left on the parkway and right on Tilden gets you to Conn. Ave between Van Ness and Cleveland park.

    Do beware however – newly installed speed bumps on Upshur St. are very high and will ground you out at 5 mph.

    • What?? Where on Upshur Street? That is awful – upshur is a signficant crosstown route. I can’t believe they would do this. The buses and trucks going over those things every day is going to make a noisy street twice as bad.

    • Where are the speed bumps at on Upshur? I just drove the length of it yesterday, and I didn’t see or feel any. Are you talking about Varnum?

  • I’m so glad I moved out of CH a few years ago. The so-called traffic improvements have actually made traffic worse, and DCUSA attracts even more scumbags and miscreants from the neighborhood, causing crime to go up, not down.

    CH = Yuck

  • It’s just sad. I live on Park Road in MtP, I used to go to the Giant 4 blocks from my house. I drive to the Giant for big shops(and loved that it has parking). But now I can’t get home from the Giant without going up and around … I can’t wait until Newton prohibits thru traffic (you know that’s next)… so from now on when I need to shop I’ll just go west of RCPark … that way I can get home the same day at least….

    • +1 to that. I live at 19th and Park — Connecticut Ave feels much closer to me (physically and culturally) than even MtP Street, let alone 14th St.

    • You do know about Harris Teeter on Kalorama Rd. just off 16th st.? (near Meridian Hill park) It’s a great store, nice staff, plenty of parking and easy to get to from Mt.P or CH.

      But I do suspect that this mess of this intersection is going to further isolate Mt. Pleasant from CH.

    • You think closing Newton to thru traffic is going to stop anybody from using the street to cut over to 16th (when they have to make that right from Park to 14th and need to get back south on 16th to Irving for DCUSA) or get over to Mt.P? As a homeowner on that block, I hope you’re right, but as a realist, I know that’s a pipe dream. My poor little street is screwed.

  • That intersection is a traffic nightmare and has been for years as Columbia Heights has become more and more congested with DCUSA and the area’s growth.

    Speaking as both a ped. and a driver who lives in columbia heights,they needed to do something about the signals and the multiple traffic patterns from irving to monroe along 14th. They also need to discourage motorists from using 14th street and park road. I think they may be their whole point. I think this is an excellent way to cut down on the congestion for both peds. and motorists. I know this is not going to be a popular statement. But I think the changes may improve the area. Indeed, its going to be a pain until everyone learns the new routes.

    And, speaking as a DC driver, why would you ever attempt to drive on park and/or 14th right now??

  • Someone with an urban planning degree told me the concept is called Traffic Combing…messing with the traffic pattern so much that you’d rather walk, bus, metro than drive. Let’s see if it will get folks out of their cars. I’m guessing not.

    • I just don’t know how to reconcile my general preference for walking, and my occasional need to buy 25 pounds of kitty litter with a toddler in tow.

      captcha: autocar to

      To where? Not to my neighborhood retail.

      • It’s called a “shopping cart.” They’re not just for old ladies.

        • …they’re also for suckers.

        • shopping cart will buckle w/ 25 lbs of kitty litter. Guess the kid needs a monkey backpack leash.
          I live in the area and prefer not to drive. However, I frequently travel around the area and out of town with a musical instrument so I do need to drive on occasion.

          Living sans car works almost flawlessly for young, able-bodied people with a cohabitant and no kids. I feel for folks who struggle with the detours, bumps and craters due to construction and heavy snow.

          • Yeah, a shopping cart is a totally awesome solution when the street is chewed up. It also really helps with aggressive drivers in areas where traffic is terminally screwed, when there are people everywhere. It’s even better for those that aren’t fully able-bodied.

            I walk or bike everywhere I can, but sometimes it’s just plain not realistic. Deliberatly screwing traffic in a city where traffic is already screwed is just stupid.

    • it’s worked for me. if i need to go to target, i’m pretty reluctant to drive there now. but then again, if i need to go to target, it’s likely for a bunch of heavy stuff, and now i’ll just go to the one in the burbs on the way home from work. oops, planning.

      i’m a HUGE supporter of metro, walking, and biking. but the concept of DCuSA is incongruous with supporting this – they built a huge ass parking garage so that people could do shopping for lots of stuff at target. and are you really going to take your new flat screen from best buy on the metro ride home?

    • If the planners had that concept in mind, it’s kind of interesting that the city also ponied up $40M for that big underground parking lot AND refused to give any dedicated spaces to Whole Food to lure it as a tenant.

      DC in a nutshell … you think someone could have achieved just one of those things, but no, they did not.

      Big, expensive, partially used parking deck? Check.
      No Whole Foods b/c of stinginess about dedicated parking? Check.
      Clusterfook for traffic w/o deterring drivers? Check.


    • It’s got me driving to the Target in Hyattsville, or the Best Buy in Wheaton.

    • I think they probably meant Traffic Calming

  • I was at this intersection the other night and saw several cars heading west on drive to the left of the median–into oncoming traffic–just to make the left onto 14th. What a mess.

  • We are moving out of Columbia Heights because of the complete disaster that is now 14th street. It was time for us to move, and we just couldn’t take it any more.

    The DC USA complex and associated streets are appalling. The construction seems unending and without vision. I now routinely hit traffic jams only a couple hundred yards from my street, and need to drive out of my way to avoid this mess every time I want to cut across town.

    I hope this area turns out for the best, but I’m afraid it’s turning out to be Bethesda without the conveniences of wide streets. We went for H street because we can actually see what they are trying to do with the road over there.

    • That’s pretty amazing that you say you’re moving out because of construction — right when the construction is wrapping up. LOL!

      • I didn’t mean to imply we’re moving just because of the construction, although I’m sure that’s had some subliminal effect. We’re moving because we think CH is a mess now, and will continue to be a mess when the construction is finished.

        At any rate, I really mean it when I say it turns out for the best– but this latest development indicates otherwise.

  • To me, it almost makes sense to just not have vehicular traffic between Irving and Newton at least until they finish the construction. It’s been an absolute goat rodeo for months. Maybe once the cones and cops are gone things will improve. Maybe.

  • I saw this a couple weeks ago and was just dismayed. I dropped the F-bomb a few times myself about it but I’m over it now. The horrible thing is that it forces me to continue going around the mess on Park to take residential streets permanently. It just creates more traffic. There’s already not enough ways to get across the park.

  • There’s actually been one of those big mobile electronic signs on park rd, before the entrance to giant flashing a message something like “new traffic pattern, no left turns on 14th.” It’s been up for a few days now, although when i walked by it yesterday it was turned to the side. If anyone has tried to make a left on to Park from the Giant parking garage, they’ll know what sign i’m talking about. it’s been obstructing the view for weeks now.

  • On a positive note, this will all end tomorrow, July 9th, when construction is complete… oh right, that was a foolish deadline weeks ago, and now rather than promising August 9th and finishing early, they’ve set themselves up to finish with the incompetency that has plagued this project for months…

  • I recall being dismayed by that right-turn-only off Park Road onto 14th when it was first advertised, some years ago. This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. For those of us who occasionally shop at the Tivoli Giant, and then want to go to our homes in Mount Pleasant, it’s a significant inconvenience.

    But that was evident back during the planning stage, and I guess that was okay with the planners.

  • Does anyone know WHEN the construction will be over? It just feels interminable.

  • I seem to get an email every day from our peach of a city councilman (for now), Jim Graham, taking credit for the mess up there over the past many years. I am not sure that f-bomb mess is really something he should be bragging about – even if it really were his work.

    • Jim Graham also takes place for bringing MORE Section 8 housing to Columbia Heights (i.e. Hubbard Place), and we see how well that is working out!

  • It looks like it will also prevent left-hand turns from 14th onto Park, which is a good thing. They’ve been needing to stop left-hand turns from blocking traffic on 14th for a long time.

    The whole design of this are is meant to make the area resident and pedestrian friendly, which means making it more of a hassle for drivers. Sounds like its working exactly as the design was intended to.

  • There are a lot of ways to make something “pedestrian friendly” without turning it into a clusterf**k. And yet, other than building a mini-Berlin Wall across the intersection, this city chose the most chaotic.

    I predict one of two things (or both) will happen:
    1) the Thousand Islands design gets ripped out in 12-14 months as the casualties and complaints mount
    2) 20% more businesses within 2 blocks of this mess fail because patrons come to the realization that although the construction is done, the chaos remains, and they abandon CH as a shopping/dining destination.

  • We drive to Target from the 400 block of Irving all the time and never have any trouble. I have no clue what you all are whining about.

  • Get out of your cars, people. CH is designed to cater to foot traffic, so all of you who want to drive from the Giant to the Target (WTF?) or complain that you can’t zoom through this intersection (which was a cluster even before all the construction — it’s a five way intersection after all) are totally beside the point — it’s *supposed* to be hard to drive through. We’re not in Clarendon, folks.

    Giant is always packed and the Target is one of the most profitable in the franchise **even though** the parking garage is never, ever full. Adapt, improvise, overcome.

    • Adapt, improvise, overcome. Shop in Maryland.

    • I don’t know that this area was designed intentionally to be difficult to drive through, but I agree it is not in Clarendon. It seems like too many people are applying a suburban transit mindset to an urban neighborhood. This is probably a result of the conflicted way in which development was carried out – putting a big box store in a densely-inhabited area, subsidizing an enormous parking garage on the same block as a metro station. This area looks like it was designed to be all things to all people, and that’s not possible.

  • Lets wait until the construction is finished to judge… I work in this area and everyday the traffic pattern changes, but many times it is due to the work that is being done. The work isn’t finished – at least wait until its done to complain.

  • Ugh, I just wonder why they couldn’t have completed the streetscape BEFORE the Target and everything else opened. I can see why you wouldn’t want to do the streetscape while the giant construction was going on, but it seemed like there was almost a year where the buildings looked complete from the outside but the interiors weren’t finished. It’ just such a mess to have all the new condo residents, all the new shops open and now they are doing all the road work, sigh.

  • I think the big losers will be people on Monroe, Holmead, Kenyon and my street, 13th. It’s significantly more difficult and dangerous to turn left out of the Tivoli parking lot, than it is to turn right. But traffic that turns right out of the Tivoli and then discovers, at 14th, that it must turn right, is going to have to circle the block at Monroe, then turn right again at Holmead (and flow back into the Holmead/Park/Tivoli-parking intersection) or continue to 13th.

    I had been hoping that after the construction wraps, some of the thru traffic on 13th would move over to 14th. Sigh.

  • If you havn’t learned how to drive through this city by now then you probably never will…. GO AROUND… I CAN’T find a single reason why i would ever get anywhere close to driving through the park and 14th intersection and I live two blocks away… Believe it or not you have other options… use them…

  • HOLY CRAP! Traffic in the big city sucks! And when they spent millions trying to make a neighborhood more pedestrian friendly, they made traffic patterns worse! SWEET MARY MOTHER OF GOD! And who knew they plan construction projects like eight years in advance?? My goodness.

    So many of you whiners are awfully obnoxious. Columbia Heights will be so wildly better after the improvements that it’s shocking. I respect everyone’s right to drive, but maybe you just ought to not drive on Park anymore.

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