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Dear PoPville – Lane change needed for Northbound 12th Street, NW @ Mass Ave


“Dear PoPville,

I travel northbound on 12th ST NW daily to get home, and have noticed an issue on this route that can be easily resolved.

Northbound 12th ST NW, at the intersection of Mass Ave NW has 3 lanes.
The left lane is a left-turn only
The middle lane is left-turn or straight
The right lane is right turn only

The majority of traffic turns left at this intersection, and the rest of the traffic goes straight. Essentially no traffic turns right (reason discussed below). Because of this, the center lane is highly congested, and through-traffic often times cheats into the right lane to continue straight on 12TH ST through the intersection.

My suggestion is to change the intersection to the following:
The left lane is left-turn only (no change)
The middle lane is left-turn only
The right lane is right turn or straight

The right lane in its current state (right turn only) is a wasted lane. As shown in the attached diagram, traffic has no use for a right turn here. Any northbound traffic will make a right at L ST NW 150 ft earlier to access Mass Ave, without the need to backtrack (the case if traffic were to make the right at Mass Ave). Additionally, no businesses are accessed by a right turn at this intersection, as Burke Park lines the right-hand side of Mass Ave.

In conclusion modifying the traffic flow through this intersection by re-servicing the lanes will improve throughput and relieve congestion, without any negative impact to any businesses, commuters, or street users. There is no downside to this change.”

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