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Get Ready to Dance Columbia Heights!!

by Prince Of Petworth June 15, 2017 at 9:30 am 20 Comments


Photo from 14th and Irving St, NW by DDOT

And by dance of course I mean cross the street in new (and hopefully safer) way.

From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will activate the District’s newest “Barnes Dance” traffic signal operation at approximately 11:00 am Thursday, June 15, at the intersection of 14th Street and Irving Street, NW, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Also known as a “pedestrian scramble,” a Barnes Dance intersection allows pedestrians to cross diagonally while vehicles on all sides of the intersection are stopped. The new traffic signal timing features an all-red pedestrian-only phase and “No Turn on Red” restrictions designed to improve operations and create a safer intersection for all users.

“A Barnes Dance signal operation can be an effective solution for intersections where pedestrians outnumber vehicles,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. “This new signal operation also supports our efforts to achieve Vision Zero, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s initiative to reach zero fatalities and serious injuries in our transportation system by 2024.”

The intersection at 14th and Irving Street NW was selected for a Barnes Dance because of the high volume of pedestrian traffic. Approximately 3,500 pedestrians use the intersection during the busiest hour of the afternoon rush compared to approximately 1,500 vehicles.

When this imbalance occurs, a shift in the signal operation can reduce conflicts caused by turning vehicles and pedestrians as they attempt to cross the street during their designated “Pedestrian Walk” signal phase.

During the first few days of implementation, DDOT Traffic Control Officers will be on site to direct traffic.Special signs in both Spanish and English will be posted. Additionally, DDOT staff will distribute informational cards to advise users of the new traffic operation at the intersection.

Pedestrians, drivers and cyclists are urged to follow their designated signals within the time allowed.

Pedestrians are expected to cross only when the pedestrian signal indicates a walk signal.
Drivers must obey the signals as right turns on red signals are not allowed at any time. They are advised to drive at the posted speed limit and to not block the box.
Cyclists may proceed on a walk signal, but they must yield right of way to all pedestrians in the intersection.

DDOT urges users of the corridor to be mindful of the changes and to be alert at all times.

The following graphic explains how the new Barnes Dance will work.”

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