Yet Another Accident at Dangerous Kansas and Quincy Intersection over the Weekend


“Dear PoPville,

There was another bad accident at the intersection of Kansas Ave & Quincy St this morning. Police, Ambulance and Fire are on the scene. There was a toddler in one of the cars and a man was taken away on a stretcher. In the picture, you can see the man carrying the toddler away from the scene.

This is one of the most dangerous intersections in the District yet despite repeated concerns by neighbors for over two years, DOT refuses to make this a four-way stop. Vehicular accidents withstanding, pedestrians are nearly run over every day.

This is the only intersection along Kansas Ave between Georgia Ave & Spring Rd without a stop sign.”


“There was actually a second accident that day. Unbelievable. A man T-boned/sideswiped another car in middle of intersection. The biggest thing we learned though was that MPD has a policy not to file an accident report of no injuries or if a tow truck is not dispatched. DOT has repeatedly refused to put in a stop sign because they said that we didn’t meet the “accident threshold” for the intersection. This despite the fact we’ve seen at least 9 accidents in 2015 alone. DOT only had a record of like 3. Now we know why… MPD hasn’t been filing reports on the fender benders. Crazy. “

34 Comment

  • There’s one of these kind of intersections on 11th street, too: a single two way stop in the middle of a long stretch of four-way stops and/or traffic lights. It’s really dangerous too. I don’t understand the logic of these things. I can’t imagine it improves traffic throughput much, if at all.

    • Yes, it’s 11th and Girard, and there are lots of accidents and close calls there as well. Many drivers on 11th stop or slow down anyway as they expect it to be a four-way. This causes the pedestrians and cars crossing on Girard to get the impression that they can go, which only makes things more dangerous as a car coming the other direction on 11th might not slow down at all.

    • Eh – not really the same. I’ve lived by there for years. Fairmont is the only 4 way stop between W and Lamont on 11th so it’s a pretty long stretch. I’ve never seen someone run the stop sign crossing 11th, but I do see people stop on 11th unneccessarily all the time thinking it’s a stop sign. More annoying for me (as a driver) than dangerous.

  • I get the impression (from Petworth Yahoogroup discussions about traffic on Grant Circle and Sherman Circle) that DDOT places a REALLY low priority on pedestrian safety. How discouraging.

  • MPD doesn’t report lots and lots of incidents–crime, primarily–this is how you keep your crime rates lower. My bike was stolen 2 years ago and the officer refused to file a report.

    • That’s how you get upwardly mobile people to buy in old neighborhoods, raise property prices, and increase the tax base. It’s a long con. It’s working pretty well for CoHi, Petworth, etc.

      • I don’t think MPD is juking the stats (as West_Egg puts it) for those reasons — more to make their own numbers look good.

        • And why do you think they want to “make their numbers look good?”
          It’s because politicians pressure the PD bosses to “make the numbers look good” by any means necessary. We all know how this merry-go-round works.

    • west_egg

      According to my research this is referred to as “juking the stats.”

  • Drew Schneider wrote a piece about this on Petworth News. It’s definitely frustrating to hear that this intersection still doesn’t have a 4-way stop essentially because a) MPD isn’t filing accident reports and b) not enough people have been hurt/killed to convince DDOT that it’s necessary. I know that’s a fairly cynical reading of the situation but I think if you’re already counting injuries and death than maybe you’re too late to fixing the problem. I mean, what’s the benefit of *not* having a 4-way stop at that intersection?

    • “I mean, what’s the benefit of *not* having a 4-way stop at that intersection?” DDOT probably says it’s beneficial for traffic flow.

      • it’s one of the many reasons DDOT gives for not putting a stop sign there, but doesn’t make any sense b/c all of the intersections surrounding that one are either 4-way stops or have a stop light, so there isn’t really any traffic “flow” to impede- everyone is already stopping at the end of every other block! and i also don’t see why the chance of being able to increase your speed for a 2-block stretch is somehow more important than cyclist, pedestrian, and driver safety. i’ve almost been hit in the kansas ave crosswalk too many times to count, and the visibility for everyone makes it even more challenging, as kansas is on an angle to quincy AND on a hill.

        • west_egg

          Drew’s piece links to a GGW post from a week or two ago that goes more in-depth into the reasoning. Another of DDOT’s reasons is concern that if they put up a stop sign, people might ignore it. They’re basically grasping at straws.

  • DDOT will probably need 5 years to study these intersections #VisionZero

  • DDOT has a crowdsourced Vision Zero safety map for residents to mark dangerous locations. Everyone should fill it out.

    • That helps only if DDOT actually acts on it. Everything I’ve been reading about these particular Petworth trouble spots suggests that despite YEARS of engagement with DDOT — not just from individual residents, but from multiple ANC reps — it’s hard to get positive changes made.

  • For those active in that sector of the neighborhood, has Councilmember Nadeau or Todd weighed in on this? it’s at the southern edge of W4, I’m sure there are plenty of W1 residents who use that intersection, too. Seems to be the only way to get anything done is to make a big enough stink at a constituent services level.

    • The traffic patterns in this area are terrible. There’s the Kansas & Quincy intersection, which due to the lack of a stop sign allows drivers to barrel down Kansas, hook left onto southbound 13th without slowing, and then miss the fact that there’s a red light at 13th & Spring and blow right through it. Northbound 13th St drivers do the reverse onto Kansas and almost nail people crossing at Quebec Pl. DDOT’s unresponsiveness is going to get someone killed.

    • CM Todd and his Constituent Services Representative are very aware of our struggles with this intersection. On Saturday, this was CM Todd’s reply to the conversation on our SWP listserv: “Neighbors- I’ve been in contact with the DDOT Director, City Administrator, and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff today, to get resolution regarding this matter. I will have an update on Monday regarding DDOT’s action here.” ANC SMD Reps Galloway and Teustch (and former Rep Tumblin) are/have been involved for many years. I am not personally aware of involvement from CM Nadeau. There is a very long (7 years???) history of requesting a stop sign at this intersection, there has been at least 1 letter of support from ANC 4C, resident petitions, emails/meetings with DDOT, agenda items at the ANC meetings, community resident meetings, traffic calming requests, etc. and DDOT still refuses to install the stop signs.

  • As a pedestrian at this intersection, I frequently do the LONG staredown chicken with drivers coming through. The bare minimum for improvement would be some of the blinking lights for pedestrians (like they’ve installed on Sherman between Spring & Park). It’s also really tough as a driver, because of the angle and slope of Kansas heading westbound on Quincy – you really have to inch pretty far into the intersection to see if there are any cars coming up the hill. Not great.

  • I’m opposed to the 4-way stop. We need some bike routes where you’re not stopping every block, and I’ve never had a problem at that crossing. Kansas is the closest thing (except the Met Branch Trail, but that’s not necessarily helpful) that NE DC has to a route that connects to the downtown bike paths, and it has far too many stop signs already. Is it really necessary to turn every intersection in the city into all-way stops? Wastes gas for drivers and makes biking less appealing. Even worse, I see lots of bikers and drivers alike just ignoring some of the “every block” stops. People don’t even bother touching the brakes. Terrifying.

    Alternatively, can we adopt the Idaho stop law?

    • this is in NW, not NE. glad to hear you haven’t had any close calls at this intersection. i’ve had enough to share with anyone who wants them.

    • This is the argument that keeps getting brought up in favor of the commuters. “Do we really need to slow down traffic for those commuting downtown?” YES. The city’s concern should be for its residents first and foremost. If putting a sign in would protect the neighborhood residents at the minor expense of commuters, so be it.

  • My porch overlooks this stretch of Kansas. The speeds of vehicles going in both directions on Kansas through this intersection is unbelievable. I think cars go just as fast as those on Georgia, and you have kids and pedestrians going back and forth between 14th St and Georgia, to and from Safeway, Raymond Rec, the METRO, etc. It’s a busy pedestrian intersection!

    On top of this, why put stop signs at every other intersection along Kansas and not this one? The result is that drivers clearly compensate for all the other stops and make up for it by flying through this intersection.

  • I avoid this intersection at all costs even when it takes me out of the way. There have been too many near misses.

  • Isn’t it Kansas and varnum? I’ve had soooo many close calls there…almost daily. There are way too many roads meeting in one place for it to be safe. I’ve almost hit cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists and I’ve amost been hit by cars/run over by cars. Everytime I’m there, when I finally decide to go, I hold my breath and hope I made the right decision.

    • Oh..n/m. Yeah Quincy is bad too…I pass there daily as well. I’m always on the lookout for pedestrians and cars that cut in thinking I have a stop sign. However, I still think Kansas and varnum is worse.

  • I agree as a lifelong resident. It is so long over due for another stop sign. These problems have been going on for a long time. Around 1998, I moved here at Petworth as a 10 yrs old going to CAPCS school. I had to cross this intersection to walk to school. And yes cars were flying down Kansas Ave back then. It was so hard to get cars to stop and let you cross the street . I had to wave my hands so they can let me cross. That was 17 years ago and here we are. The pedestrian cross sign doesn’t really help much. This intersection needs a STOP sign badly.

    • Honestly, aside from the massive community outreach and numerous accidents as well as close calls with pedestrian; what more needs to happen. There were two accidents – in one day, people! One day! I’m surprised there isn’t an accident here every day. If someone gets seriously hurt, this is on Bowser, Todd and DDOT.

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