Losing a Crosswalk at 18th and U St, NW?

I wonder if this is just temporary? It is the north side of U St, NW just east of 18th Street in Adams Morgan. If the crosswalk is permanently removed – does that make sense?

38 Comment

  • Doubtful that it’s going away permanently. This poor resolution rendering of the intersection shows that a crosswalk is planned there:


    • The image in your link is for existing conditions, and not what it will look like when finished.

    • The photo above shows the old crosswalk. A new one will be painted from the pedestrian island shown in the photo to the closest point north and west of the island to the sidewalk, just north of the alley entrance. A ramp needs to be built before this can be done.

      • My apologies. I copy and pasted the wrong link. It appears that image of the proposed streetscape is mysteriously broken on the website. Typical.

  • That intersection is currently a huge mess. And when all the construction is done, it wouldn’t surprise me if the end result is worse for peds, cyclists, and motorists than it was before. I realize these are very busy and complicated intersections, but DDOT has shown their incompetence in the total clusterf**k over in Columbia Heights around 14th, Irving, and Park. I don’t have a lot of hope that 18th and U will be much better when it’s done.

    • And the contsruction project itself has been an utter disaster for over a year now. Why DDOT is such a bunch of bufoons, I have no idea, but somebody there needs to learn some common sense.

    • Nightmare on both East & West one-ways and on 14th itself at DCUSA.

    • 14th between Park and Monroe is crazy, who makes these decisions?

    • minus 10! Do you guys even remember what this intersection looked like before this construction? There were 3 traffic islands, no marked lanes, and no way to cross U Street before Florida. I am ecstatic about this construction. I noticed on new years that they began sketching out a straight crosswalk from the south side of U to the opposite corner. Also, my understanding is the crosswalk in question is not disappearing, but will be going at different angle to make it shorter and safer for pedestrians to cross.

      This intersection was a complete disaster before, with unsafe/out of the way crossings for pedestrians, cars often running lights and going the wrong way through traffic islands. Sure, there are growing pains, but I am extremely excited for this finished project.

      (No, I have no connection to DDOT. I’m just a neighbor. You can see my house in pic#2)

    • My favorite example of this in CH is at 14th and park, where pedestrians trying to cross 14th street get a walk signal that puts them directly in the path of cars that simultaneously get a green arrow to turn right from park onto northbound 14th street. Has anyone been killed yet?

    • Actually the intersection has been complete for a few weeks now, except for the activation of the new traffic signals.

  • The whole street is a damn disgrace. I could make it look better by smoothing it over with a blowtorch, a shovel and a rolling pin.

  • My whole thing is, why does it take them so long to “improve” a street? It took them like 15 years to complete Benning road and it’s not much better. I agree with an earlier poster about the Columbia Heights gridlock…

    • The project is scheduled for 448 days with a target completion of May 2012. This is a total reconstruction of the roadway and sidewalks with replacement of existing utilities, including the water main and high pressure gas lines. Not an easy project. Due in part to the fact that no major work has been done for decades.

  • When you think that the Empire State Building was built in 1 year and 45 days, we should have a mag-lev train to Baltimore in the time its taken them to work on 18th Street.

  • Amazing incompetence. As part of the same project, at 18th and Q they took what was an OK intersection and have created a terrible drainage scenario where now really large puddles of water form with any rain event. Of course any e-mails I sent to the council member and DDOT have been unanswered; contractor should fix it.

  • That whole intersection has been terrible. Everyday seems to bring a new traffic pattern. I’m surprised there have not been more incidents. The worst was when they allowed parking in the driving lane heading toward 18th street on Florida in front of Chocolat. Our shocks are taking a beating from this apparent “street improvement.”

  • I take this route to work and I agree it seems like a new traffic pattern everyday with poor signage and markings to direct drivers. Even when things are marked, the majority of drivers seem to be making up their own rules anyway. What a mess.

  • I don’t understand why they haven’t had better temporary directions up at the intersection. If you are going to dramatically change traffic and pedestrian patterns, you should have to put up signs explaining those temporary changes. I walk past this intersection everyday and have seen little to no signage that helps guide cars or people through the mess.

  • I didn’t realize we had so many engineers and city planners who are PoP commenters. It’s a complicated construction project. They’re rebuilding the entire street. It’s going to take a while but it’s much needed.

    Columbia Heights looks great and the project has done wonders for the neighborhood. Same with the H Street rebuild. Yeah 18th is a cluster right now but it’s going to look great when it’s done.

      • Gotta wonder!

        I still shake my head in disbelief every time I go through the redesigned New York Avenue/Florida Avenue intersection.

        • seriously. that redesigned circle/intersection/deathtrap is horrible. i drove it yesterday and nearly got into an accident because some tool decided that it was far more important for him to get in front of me than to follow traffic laws.

        • Exactly. What genius thought it was a good idea to make all eastbound traffic turn right and circle the back of a Wendy’s drive-thru just to continue on Florida Avenue?

        • Hands down, that’s the worst, most poorly thought out intersections in the city. It’s a huge mess all the time, and traffic backs up for blocks. I’m not an engineer or a city planner, but I’m also not the moron who is to blame for all these bad ideas.

  • I would love to know what the complainers think should happen, and what they think the process IS for improving a street. That’s not snark, I really do wonder why so much of the general public seems to think every construction project is a terribly managed, botched program that does nothing to improve the physical condition.

    Here’s my professional take on it, having worked on the design of several streetscape renovation projects (not in DC). If this were a typical quick fix “mill and overlay” job, where they grind off the top 2 inches of asphalt and lay down a new smooth surface, then yes, we should expect it to be done relatively quickly (however even then you have to deal with manhole covers, concrete bus pads, repainting the road markings, etc…).

    But in a project like this where they are moving the curb means they need to replace the full 2-foot depth of the roadway, relocate all the drain inlets and pipes, and if they take this chance to upgrade any of the other utilities while the road is torn up (you know, to make it more efficient and not have to rip up the street more than once) it takes incredible coordination with independent utility companies and city agencies. Concrete itself takes 4 weeks to cure, just sitting there, before it reaches full strength. Drive a truck on that before then and you’ve just defeated the entire purpose of the reconstruction. And this doesn’t even mention aligning the project timeline with available funding. This is all technical, political, and very complicated. So I’m wondering what do the complainers think SHOULD be the process?

    tl,dr; it takes time, people, and the road can’t be in perfect drivable shape throughout every step of the process.

  • hopefully they’re reworking that crosswalk, as that weird angle is confusing for everyone and I myself have had a few too many near misses. way too much going on, but maybe a barnes dance could simplify the pedestrian situation?

  • Don’t worry a classic case of D.C.’s here is a sh#$y intersection, here is how we can make it sh#$ier…

  • This is where that SAIS woman was run over by the drunk MD bitch

  • When they were working this project 18th between swann and t, they closed off one of my alley exists, and swann at 18th forcing me to go backwards down swan and into Hew Hampshire traffic street to get to work….where is the common sense? I know its a complicated project, but common sense is easy!

    • uhh, it makes perfect sense to temporarily close an intersection if they are going to be doing work on that intersection. Swann temporarily becomes a cul-de-sac and everyone enters and exits via New Hampshire. Why is that NOT common sense?

      • becuase there was no signage that made it legal to go backwards on a one way street? ohhhh I forgot traffic laws don’t apply in DC!

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