Temporary Power Shut-down Planned for the Traffic Control Signals at Logan Circle

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

From DDOT:

On Thursday, February 23, at approximately 10 am, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily power down the traffic control signals located at Logan Circle in Northwest Washington. The signals will be turned off for several hours to allow technicians to upgrade the traffic control signalization system.

Logan Circle is located at the intersection of 13th Street, P Street, Rhode Island Avenue and Vermont Avenue, NW.

Traffic control officers will be onsite to direct traffic through this area. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians approaching and traveling through the circle are urged to use caution. Travelers may also want to consider alternate routes to avoid delays.

18 Comment

  • Nice. Hopefully, they modify what I consider to be the most pointless light in all of DC – a/k/a the right turn lane onto P st out of the east side of the circle. Or even better, take down the no turn on red sign.

    • I actually wonder what their priorities are. A number of the intersections are pretty obnoxious for pedestrians as well…

      • I hope that they are adjusting the timing to make it easier for pedestrians. The lights rarely give enough time to cross, and the lights must be so confusing for drivers that many run red lights through the circle. 12 seconds to cross four lanes of traffic and a median on the east side of Rhode Island — something needs to be changed.

  • oh this should be good fun. given that a lot of drivers going around the circle have absolutely ZERO clue what they are doing, a lack of traffic lights will probably create even more panic. then again, it’s not like said drivers follow the lights anyway, so maybe this will help things out.

  • They should shut down the traffic lights permanently. Traffic lights on traffic circles just slow traffic down and cause needless confusion. I always run the lights on Logan Circle and it works much better without them.

    • Except that nobody else is expecting you to do that. Yes, traffic circles shouldn’t have lights, but when they do, running them is just asking for an accident.

      • Agreed, running the lights is a bad move. However, you do have a valid point. Especially during non rush hour periods, the majority of the road space is woefully underutilized by cars and pedestrians alike.

        A few months ago there was a problem with the signals and all the signals in the circle were blinking yellow lights for a few hours. This resulted in a very efficient use of the circle, and I don’t remember any horrible accidents.

        I wonder if any incident in history caused the circle to become signalized in the first place, as the circle well predates automobiles, or if adding traffic signals just seemed like the thing to do at one point in history.

    • Exactly. The whole purpose of traffic circles is that they have no lights. People will get used to it.

  • At last we finally get to see, if only for a few hours, how traffic circles are SUPPOSED TO EFFIN’ WORK. Now, if DDOT would only clue into the fact that the world actually won’t spin off its axis if drivers make right turns on red when the intersection is clear of conflicting vehicular and pedestrian traffic, or that there’s this nifty “flash” feature that traffic signals can be set to during off-peak hours, we’d be getting somewhere. Literally.

  • The no-turn-on-red right turns on Logan are completely ridiculous.

    • Without those red lights, how are pedestrians supposed to cross? Rarely see drivers actually yield to pedestrians around here. I live right by the circle, and it’s a nightmare to get to the other side . Cars fly by, few use blinkers, and the lights barely give people enough time to cross the street. Throw in the mix drivers that run the red light, and someone’s going to get hurt.

      • +1 — even with the red lights, drivers blow through them with little to no regard to pedestrians. I’ve had a few close calls – mostly at Vermont, the turn onto southbound 13th, and the turn heading east on P. Without those lights, pedestrians will never be able to cross safely.

      • There should be a “push button to cross” setup there, which only stops traffic when there are pedestrians present.

        Proper traffic circles shouldn’t even need traffic lights. Maybe during the signal outage it will dawn on our great and wise traffic engineers that this is the way they should’ve left it years ago.

        • Or perhaps they should just made the circle car-free.

          Also, do those buttons ever work? Right turns on red without looking for peds, drivers running red lights, drivers flying through alleys, pulling illegal “u”-ees in the middle of the street — I’m going to get run over in this town, I just know it.

          • I’m really amazed at how many people actually buy into this car-free utopia idea. Everyone does realize that nothing like that is ever going to happen in this lifetime, right? The best solutions attempt to strike a balance between the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Obviously, it’s usually one step forward, two steps back with DDOT, but hopefully they are making improvements with every mode of transportation in mind.

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