Earlier this month we wrote about a meeting DDOT was holding about the future of the Monroe Street Bridge. We attended the meeting and learned that the bulk of the project will be repairs to the substructure which has cracks and exposed re-bar in the columns, and the replacement of the superstructure which will extend the life of the bridge for another 75 years. A few days after the meeting DDOT launched this website for the project which includes an option to submit feedback.
The project will be conducted in two Phases, Phase One will be construction and repairs to the north side and Phase Two will cover the south side. It is hard to look at the rendering of the new bridge and not notice that it will be vastly different than the current colorful (if worn and rusty) one. When asked about the new fencing the DDOT representatives described it as “state of the art”, “very modern and…very good looking”. They added that the fence will appear invisible and will stay clean looking. Notably, the fence must adhere to WMATA requirements about height and depth. When questioned by the Brookland Bridge about the lack of neighborhood character, DDOT suggested that there may be a chance to add a sculpture or some other artistic element, but that there are no plans to alter the current design to do so. This prompted us to ask if the purpose of the meeting was to inform the community or to gather feedback. The representatives said it was just to convey the decisions that have been already been made. They added that instead of gathering community feedback they relied on the Office of Planning to articulate the communities needs.
The DDOT representatives expressed that they looked at several options but given constraints like schedule and budget, this is most practical design. Further, this project is on a “fast track” because of the degraded condition of the bridge. As a result, several of the meeting attendees requested copies of the studies and analysis done to arrive at this design. DDOT promised to post that information on the project website, but we have not seen it posted yet.
Another topic of lively discussion was why the project is not going to unify the Met Branch Trail since this would seem like the opportune time to do so. Currently the trail ends at the Franklin Street bridge, and riders must then bike down 8th Street NE and then the Trail picks back up at Monroe Street NE. The DDOT representatives explained that unifying the trail would require a tunnel under the bridge, and that there is not enough space to do feasibly and that the cost would be too high. However, there will be dedicated bike lines on the bridge and a new traffic signal at the intersection of 8th and Monroe that should help bikers navigate their way across Monroe Street NE.
In addition to the bridge re-build, the project includes sidewalk improvements along 8th Street between Monroe and Lawrence NE, and on Monroe between 8th and 9th Streets, NE. Also, overhead lines will be placed under ground from 7th – 9th Streets on Monroe Street NE. At least this will improve the aesthetic of that limited area.
Quite frankly, we walked away disappointed with the design, it just feels soulless. For readers unaware, the bridge was painted in 2001 by area residents, as a memorial to area youth who have passed away.
We will let you know when we learn of anything significant.
We thought readers who use and live along Monroe Street NE would be interested in the notice from DDOT below regarding an upcoming DDOT roadway improvement project. According to the notice, the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and roadway on Monroe Street NE between 12th Street, NE and 16th Street, NE will be spruced up. The project is starting on Thursday April 21st and will continue Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm till complete, so look out for delays and lane closures then.
Back in January we wrote about the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study. DDOT will host the second public workshop of this study on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The purpose of this workshop is to present preliminary concepts that enhance multimodal connectivity, mobility, and safety in the area and gain community feedback.
DDOT is undertaking the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study to identify improvements along the east-west connections in Wards 1 and 5, address safety concerns, optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor. DDOT will work with members of the community and key stakeholders to evaluate and develop a range of physical and operational improvements. The Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study is a key project in the 2-Year Action Plan for MoveDC, the District of Columbia’s multimodal long-range transportation plan.
The meeting will be Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 6 pm to 8 pm with the presentation at 6:30 pm. It will be at the Chavez Prep Middle School Gymnasium, at 770 Kenyon Street NW. For more information on the study checkout the website here.
A few weeks ago we wrote about DDOT’s Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study Public Workshop. If you missed it and would like to provide your thoughts on short- and long-term transportation needs for the DC Crosstown Corridor (the east-west connections along Wards 1 and 5), check out this interactive map. On the map you can add suggested improvements, like biking, pedestrian and public spaces. The purpose of the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study is to identify improvements that will optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor.
Thanks to neighbor Caroline for passing along info about a Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study Public Workshop hosted by DC’s Department of Transportation. The meeting will gather information from the public on needed transportation improvements. From the meeting notice:
DDOT will host a public workshop to kick off the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study to provide an overview of the project, present existing conditions and data, share key issues, and gather community feedback.
DDOT is undertaking the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study to identify improvements along the east-west connections along Wards 1 and 5, address safety concerns, optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor. DDOT will work with members of the community and key stakeholders to evaluate and develop a range of physical and operational improvements.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 2 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at nearby Trinity University’s Main Hall, O’Connor Auditorium at 125 Michigan Avenue NE.
DC’s Department of Transportation will be conducting a Livability Study in Brookland and Edgewood. Here is your chance to get involved and give feedback of things like bus stops, intersection safety, increased green spaces, improvements to signage, etc. During the study period, there will be three public meetings and social media outreach to gather community feedback. The kickoff meeting for the study will be on Thursday, April 9th from 6:00-8:00 at Trinity Washington University’s Main Hall, O’Connor Auditorium, 125 Michigan Avenue, NE. For more information, check out the study’s website.
Here is an excerpt from a press statement on the study from DDOT:
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is kicking-off a six month livability study of the Brookland and Edgewood neighborhoods. DDOT’s livability studies seek to improve daily quality of life by take a big picture look at the street network and by identifying concrete actions to increase safety and improve transportation connectivity and accessibility. The study area boundaries are Michigan Avenue and South Dakota Avenue to the north; 18th Street, NE to the east; Rhode Island Avenue to the south; and Lincoln Road and Franklin Street to the west.
We Want Your Input and Ideas!
During the study period, there will be three public meetings, in addition to a project website, social media, and community outreach efforts to garner feedback from residents and stakeholders. We invite you to participate in the meetings and also share your input and ideas online and with the project team throughout the study.
This may be old news (or not), but just the other day I noticed that there are now enclosed bike lockers that commuters can rent from WMATA. I think it is a pretty cool idea for those who are serious bikers and want more protection for their bicycle than the standard U-lock. The Brookland/CUA Station has 16 lockers.I looked into it and here are the details about locker rental from the WMATA website:
Bicycle lockers safeguard your bicycle by providing protection from theft, vandalism, and inclement weather. The lockers are designed to hold one bicycle each as well as bicycle gear. Metro currently owns and operates about 2,400 bicycle lockers.
Each locker has a unique lock and key. The space inside is approximately: 4′ high x 6′ 5″ deep x 3′ wide at the door and narrows toward the back of the locker. Most standard bicycles will fit inside. Longer bicycles such as tandem bikes or some recumbent bikes will not fit into the lockers.
To rent a locker at one of our stations, send us an email providing your name, address, contact phone number, email address, and station of interest. All locker rentals cost $120 per year, and are subject to availability.
If you have plans to use the Metro this weekend, you should check out this announcement from WMATA. Beginning Friday at 10:00 pm there will be major trackwork done that will require shutting down the Red Line between NoMa and Dupont Circle (meaning Farragut North, Metro Center, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, and Union Station will not have Red Line service). There is also work being done on the Orange Line so that will add to Metro train delays. Free shuttle buses will be available, but in my experience, you are better off finding some other form of transportation because the delays will be really long. This is a real bummer for those who were expecting to ride Metro to check out the Union Market, opening this Saturday.
This is for those of us stuck in town for the labor day weekend. From the WMATA website:
Red Line trains will single track between Rhode Island Avenue and Fort Totten to allow for platform reconstruction. Throughout the weekend, Red Line trains will operate between Shady Grove and Glenmont every 15 minutes in each direction. On Saturday and Sunday, between 9:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., additional trains will operate between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet U stations, providing service an average of every 7-8 minutes between these stations. Red Line customers traveling through the work zone should allow about 10 minutes of additional travel time.
I live close enough to Metro that I can walk, but far enough for a walk to be annoying when I’m in a hurry or there’s bad weather. That’s why I looked at the bus stop just steps from my house with a mixture of hope and suspicion shortly after I moved to Brookland from Virginia. I mean, it was an urban bus, bound to be uncomfortable and dirty, right?
Then one day the issue was forced on me by having to wear a suit and tie to work and facing the prospect of walking to Metro on a 100+ degree day. No. I decided to brave the bus, and I realized then how silly I’d been all along.
Brookland is blessed by Metro buses that are comfortable, always air conditioned, and reasonably clean. Most of the lines criss-crossing the neighborhood debark at either the Brookland-CUA or Rhode Island Avenue metro stops, making just about any corner of Brookland easily accessible to Metrorail and other points. Some important lines are:
The H8 bus corridor, running from Brookland-CUA to Rhode Island Avenue metro stop by way of 12th Street, and which goes as far as Mount Pleasant.
The 80 bus, coming down 12th Street on the north side of the neighborhood, turning on Monroe, down Michigan Avenue and ultimately going to Metro Center and points beyond by way of North Capitol Street.
The G8 bus, coming from Michigan Park down Monroe and debarking at Brookland-CUA metro stop, and also heading downtown by way of Rhode Island Avenue.
The H6 bus, serving most of the 14th Street corridor and stopping at Brookland-CUA.
The E2/E3 buses, serving Brookland’s eastern border along 18th street and heading to the Fort Totten metro stop for connection to the Green and Yellow lines.
What about catching the bus in the nick of time? For Android users, there’s a fantastic app called DC Metro Transit that lists all DC bus lines and informs you when the next one will arrive at your stop. It is accurate down to the minute about 98% of the time, but once in a long while there seems to be a glitch somewhere (probably on WMATA’s end). I don’t know what the equivalent iPhone app is, if you know then please list it in the comments.
So enjoy your buses, Brookland, they’ll take you just about anywhere you need to go from just about anywhere in the neighborhood!
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