“DDOT did a beautiful job redoing the intersection of Florida/15th/W Sts”


“Dear PoPville,

So DDOT did a beautiful job redoing the intersection of Florida/15th/W Sts. There is better traffic flow and a really nice protected (2-way!) stretch of the bike lane, and it looks great. But is anyone ever going to use these bike racks that are isolated on the traffic island? They’re not next to businesses, houses, or the park. Not clear why anyone would park a bike there except to get it stolen…”

Ed. Note: I’ll also echo kudos for the protected bike lane. And I don’t see why folks wouldn’t use the bike racks – it’s not far from Meridian Hill, houses on 15th and businesses on 14th and U. As to whether or not bikes will get stolen there, that I don’t know.

26 Comment

  • i bike through here daily, and the short bike lane extension makes a huge difference in getting up to columbia heights/petworth and in facilitating peaceful biker/driver coexistence in getting through a crappy intersection. i’m hoping they also extend it up to the north end of meridian hill park.

  • +1 to this post.
    Now if only there would be a proper sidewalk that wasn’t overgrown running along the sound end of the park (along W St.). But I assume that’s park service’s territory and thus will never happen. Not a big deal, but the new street/sidewalks next to it look so nice….

  • Will people ever use the bike racks? Only two ways to find out: (1) ask the blogosphere or (2) wait and see.

    • There are always bikes chained to the street signs on New Hampshire (out of the frame to the right here) so I think bike rakes are a good addition. I also agree with Chris @10:20. I’m glad drivers are happy with the traffic pattern but they need to straighten up the signs and pick up the trash before I proclaim it “beautiful.”

  • It does look great from this angle. My concern is the bike signal at V and 15th. DDOT placed it such that it really, really looks like a left-turn signal for cars if you’re not paying close attention. As someone who lives on V and turns left frequently here, I’m worried that it’s a matter of time before a car mistakenly turns left when the signal turns and careens into a bike.

    There’s a very simple fix, which would be to place the bike signal a foot or two under the traffic signal, as is the normal placement of such signals.

  • I’ve driven through this intersection almost daily and i could not for the life of me figure out what kind of pattern they were trying to create, since it seemed like they would install a piece then tear it up the next week.

    Also one corner/street sign is very clearly sticking out into the traffic lane (not pictured, left side, just north of V) forcing everyone to swerve a bit right before correcting back.

    • Hey Chris – are you talking about the island on the left just north of W? That’s my big problem with the intersection right now.

      It’s nearly impossible to continue up 15th street after W without moving into the bike lane on the right. If the plan is to get rid of that bike lane and have a protected two way stretch on the left as Jwetz suggested, that makes way more sense.

      • Yes…meant North of W….it just seems oddly planned unless they’re trying to force everyone to slow down or as you said they remove the right hand lane for a protected one all the way up

      • That is the plan, so there will be no bike line on the right. It is not clear to me why they put this island in now, however. It only seems to confuse cars and make bikes do a weird zig zag.

        • Florida Resident – that makes sense for the long term but is definitely confusing in the short. Thanks for the response/confirmation of the LT plan.

  • I had the same reaction to the bike racks. It is like someone looked at the final design and then went crazing cramming bike racks in wherever there was space. That said, I’ve already seen bikes locked to most of them, so I guess there was demand.

    They also put four or five new racks on the north sidewalk on W right up against the park retaining wall. It is only a matter of time before someone chains there scooter or bike to them in a way that blocks 3/4ths of the sidewalk. It is clear the designers considered this, as they put the racks all the way against the wall so that only one side of the rack is usable. That said, I’m sure it will happen. To me, these racks are the really head scratcher.

    Also, did any one notice the lights here have the “push to cross” buttons? That seems lame. Why should I have to push to cross? Why doesn’t the car have to push a button to get the light.

    • I’m glad the racks are getting used. I had the same thought that they were in weird place. People who bike park their bikes at or very near their destination. They would not park here for business on 14th and U, as per ed note.

    • The car might have to push a button – weight triggers are common infrastructure where a much-less-used road intersects a very busy street. Timed lights would result in periods where no traffic is moving, so weight triggers are used in such cases.

  • Thank you for the protected bike lane! More please!

  • as someone who has walked/biked and drove through this mess every day for the past year…

    1. Protected bike lane is nice. I don’t think they did a good job on the intersections for turning.

    2. Driving through it is a mess. Lights way too short a signal. Far more confusing now than before and I see cars doing all sorts of strange things.

    3. Walking through it – mostly from FL to NH — is not any better.

    the construction has be a cluster****. And they are not close to being done with the landscaping and what not.

    • Agreed. It’s good for bikes but a mess for everyone else. I’m all for protecting cyclists, but it seem like they could have done that for a lot less time, money, and effort.

    • I drive through here daily as well – and as of this morning it appeared that the right lane at the light on 15th & W isn’t going to be designated a right-turn onto FL/W lane. So cars fill up both lanes, and then have to merge into 1 lane going up 15th along the park. It would make much more sense if they have the right hand lane as right-turn onto FL/W. I hope that’s in the works, and just hasn’t been done yet. I know they just painted the lane lines yesterday.

  • Protected Bike Lanes! Victory! They are the only kind worth having.

    • I respectfully disagree. While a protected bike lane is vastly better than one is that is not I’ll take an unprotected bike lane over none any time.

      • I might agree if there was any kind of enforcement to keep cars out of them. They are used as parking spots and swerving drivers on the regular. Protected lanes are the only thing that can help this since the Police won’t do anything.

  • I had the exact same thought about the bike racks!! Even though they can be useful for people visiting the nearby park, or even the nearby church, it is still such a random place for the bike racks on its own small island.

    Regarding to the redoing of the intersection, I do think it is far better than before. I am withholding judgment until the project is fully finished, as there are a lot of incomplete parts.

  • Too bad it took them almost a year to do.

  • I’ve already seen people use those bike racks the other week. I think people who are going to the park might use them.

  • Glad I bought stock in granite curbing :^0
    I walk through here often and all I can say is, the layout causes me to trip a lot.

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