Citizen concern over Glover Park’s ongoing commercial strip facelift centers largely on the planned addition of a painted median and a reduction in through lanes on Wisconsin Ave. District Department of Transportation officials say the new configuration will improve traffic flow on the avenue, but neighbors worry that it will cause jam-ups and shift frustrated drivers onto already-burdened side streets.
DDOT officials have said that if the median doesn’t work as promised, Wisconsin Ave.’s current lane configuration can be restored. But some opponents have loudly proclaimed that this is incorrect. They argue that because the streetscape project will also widen some sidewalks, the roadway will no longer be able to accommodate six standard lanes.
We went to project manager Paul Hoffman for clarification. Hoffman tells us that the minimum width of a standard lane in the District is 10 feet; six lanes require 60 feet. Where Wisconsin Ave. is currently painted with six lanes—directly above and below Calvert St.—the road is now 64 feet wide. The planned sidewalk widening there will reduce the road’s width to 60 feet above Calvert St. and 59 feet below it. “The existing pattern, without a median, could be restored,” Hoffman writes in an email.
At the other segment of Wisconsin Ave. where the sidewalk will be widened—alongside Holy Rood Cemetery and below—the roadway is only 55 feet wide now, Hoffman writes. It is currently painted with four lanes: two 10-foot lanes in the center of the roadway, and two extra-wide lanes along the curbs that are shared by drivers and parked cars. The planned sidewalk extension next to the cemetery—where pedestrians must now edge past parking meters—would reduce the road’s width by a total of two feet, Hoffman says. After construction, this segment of road could be marked with two 10-foot lanes and two extra-wide lanes, the way it is now.
The streetscape project began last week and is scheduled for completion in September. More information on the project is available at ANC 3B’s website.