Monday, September 17, 2012

M Street SE-SW Transportation Study - Public Meeting #3

Thursday, September 14, 2012 was the third and reportedly final meeting regarding the M Street Southeast / Southwest Transportation Study. Sponsored by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the purpose of the meeting was to show the public major alternatives and metrics used to to recreate the streetscape on M Street and selected adjacent streets in that area in the near term and over the next 20 to 30 years.

According to the meeting documentation, the M Street corridor, a roughly 1.7-square-mile area along M Street SE/SW, and the Southwest waterfront from 12th Street, SE to 14th Street, SW and from the Southwest / Southeast Freeway south to the Anacostia River / Washington Channel, will experience a dramatic increase in the residential and commercial population.

Upon initial review, it appears that each alternative appears problematic.  Of the three alternatives presented, only alternative two included provisions for a cycletrack located on M Street.  The other alternatives appeared to replace the cycletrack with a combination of parking or an enhanced transit lane, moving bicycle access to adjacent streets. DCBAC will continue to assess the proposal and formally provide suggestions for improvement. Please let us know what you think by leaving your comments.

The DDOT three proposed alternatives are as follows:

Alternative 1: M Street "Main Street. This alternative includes improved connections to transit (curb side Streetcar, express bus, and other 'premium transit services' which appears to include stops for Metrobus and the DC Circulator; two vehicular lanes each way; and increased connectivity and utilization of parallel streets to better facilitate traffic flow. This would include the enhancement of Eye Street to include lanes or sharrows to improve bicycle travel. This alternative does not include on-street parking. 

Alternative 2: "Balanced Linkages". This alternative focuses on bicyclist and pedestrian movements on M Street. On the edges of the street, cycle tracks are included; on-street parking; and two shared travel lanes that are not transit specific.  Transit would be moved to parallel roads (Streetcar to the north of M Street on Eye Street at least east of 4th Street SW and the DC Circulator to south of M street using several adjacent streets). This alternative contains two widths, one with parking on both sides and one with parking only on the north side. 

Alternative 3: M Street "Mobility Arterial". The third alternative includes a shared lane for Streetcar and other transit services on the curb side of M Street; improved pedestrian access; aggressive traffic calming on parallel streets; and an increase focus on moving vehicular traffic through the area. This alternative does not include cycletracks.

 DDOT requests comments about the presented alternatives. You can email comments to or fax this form to (202) 671-0617. Comments must be submitted by 5pm, Monday, October 1, 2012.  As always. DCBAC is interested in your thoughts and suggestions.  Please leave your comments below so that we can review and incorporate them into our comments that will be submitted to DDOT.