DDOT ANC 3E & ANC 3/4G Reno Rd Safety Meeting
September 19, 2016
Rodney Foxworth, DDOT Community Engagement Supervisor
Leon Anderson, DDOT Traffic Engineer
Emily Dalphy, DDOT Traffic Engineer
Chris Fromboluti 3/4G
Randy Speck ANC 3/4G
Tom Quinn ANC 3E
Sherry Cohen ANC 3E Administrator
Approximately 25 community members
Mr. Foxworth began the meeting stating that in April 2016 there was a community meeting at the corner of Reno/Ingomar/39th to discuss the safety issues regarding that intersection. DDOT has evaluated that intersection, met with representatives from Councilmember Cheh’s office, and added two additional intersections to the scope of the project — Reno/Chevy Chase Pkwy/Fessenden St and Reno/38th St/Harrison St. They would like to add the proposed changes incrementally, monitor the improvements to see if they work and ask for community feedback as the process moves forward.
Ms. Dalphy walked through the proposed improvements. A copy of the presentation can be found at https://anc3e.org/ddot-proposed-reno-rd-safety-improvements/ . She noted that all 3 intersections are un-signalized, difficult for pedestrians to cross and offer limited sight-lines for cars.
Ms. Dalphy stated that while they were looking at the intersection of Reno/39th/Ingomar, they also looked at the intersection of 39th and Jenifer Streets as there has been a few accidents at that intersection with one vehicle crashing into a home. See the proposed improvements on slide 5 of the presentation.
- Residents and Commissioners initially asked for an all-way stop sign at this intersection, but the intersection does not meet the warrants (criteria) for one. In general, an intersection meets the criteria for an all-way stop sign if both roads have a roughly equal volume of traffic; Reno has a much higher volume of cars and the cars on Reno will probably not comply with the 4-way stop.
- DDOT would like to have parking on one side of Jenifer between 39th and Reno. As of now, they are showing parking on the south side of the street but can easily move the parking to the north side if the homeowners desire it.
- DDOT would like to reconstruct the island at the intersection of Reno and Ingomar, initially out of temporary means such as flexi-posts before more permanent measures are installed.
- The proposed updates would require the removal of a large tree and bamboo from the southwest corner of the intersection but it allows DDOT to keep the much larger tree on the northeast corner of the intersection.
- They will add a parking boxes on 39th north of Reno which will narrow the drivers vision and will slow drivers down even if no cars are parked there.
Comments and questions:
- Concerns were expressed about whether making 39th St one-way only north of Reno Rd will overload Jenifer St.
- An attendee noted that 39th and Ingomar are both commuter streets and are used by many bicyclists. He asked if DDOT could try to accommodate bicycles on those streets, and trim back overgrown shrubs and trees. Another attendee asked if DDOT could add a contra-flow bike lane onto 39th Street instead of having parking on both sides of the street.
- An attendee noted that there should be a sign on Jenifer saying “No Access to Wisconsin Ave”
- An attendee asked about adding a “No Left Turn” restriction from Reno onto westbound Jenifer.
- An attendee did not like the one-way on Ingomar by the traffic island as it would make access to Wisconsin Ave difficult. Others liked making it one-way as it would make it easier for children to cross the street on their way to and from school.
The proposed improvements are on slide 10 of the presentation. Additional comments by Ms. Dalphy:
- The light at Fessenden and Reno, backs up southbound traffic on Reno Rd, which then blocks Chevy Chase Pkwy.
- An RRFB is a Pedestrian Crossing sign with flashing lights that are activated when a button is pushed. It does not provide a red light for cars like the HAWK lights on Connecticut and Wisconsin Aves.
- DDOT would like to extend the median to the north-side of Reno and extend a parking box on southbound Reno Rd, north of Chevy Chase Pkwy.
Comments and questions:
- An attendee noted that a homeowner at the intersection has planted a lot of vegetation at the corner of Reno and Chevy Chase Pkwy that blocks visibility.
- A suggestion was offered to make Chevy Chase Pkwy one-way southbound during the morning rush hour. Ms. Dalphy stated that one-way only streets during rush hour are not intuitive to drivers and cause accidents. In the much longer-term, they are considering installing a signal that will operate with the Fessenden St and Reno Rd lights.
- An attendee complained about the lack of coordination of the lights at Fessenden and Reno and the one at Nebraska and Reno. Ms. Dalphy stated that in the short-term DDOT could get their Signal Team out to investigate better synchronization of those lights.
- An attendee asked if DDOT could install a “No Left Turn” sign for southbound Chevy Chase Pkwy onto Reno. Another attendee wondered if they needed to prohibit the right turn from Connecticut Ave onto Chevy Chase Pkwy during the morning rush hour.
Ms. Dalphy noted that this is a very wide intersection because all three streets meet there. The proposed improvements presented are very basic as this intersection is still being evaluated. For now, DDOT proposes adding high visibility crosswalks, parking boxes and a median along Reno Rd to slow down cars north of the intersection.
Comments and questions:
- An attendee noted that there are many problems at 38th/Harrison/Reno. He asked about slowing down traffic and whether speed bumps could be installed along 38th DDOT offered to request targeted enforcement at the intersection.
- An attendee asked if DDOT considered a turn lane or mini-traffic circle in the middle of the intersection of Reno/38th/Harrison.
Many comments were raised regarding targeted traffic enforcement along Reno Rd and/or the installation of speed cameras. DDOT will work with MPD to have this done.
DDOT noted that some of the short term suggestions (trimming vegetation, adding high-visibility crosswalks and parking boxes, etc.) could be implemented right away while longer-term changes (limiting traffic to one-way, eliminating parking) would require DDOT to issue Notices of Intent (NOIs) to the ANCs and would take at least 3-4 months to implement.
Commissioner Fromboluti thanked DDOT and noted that they convinced him that a 4-way stop sign would be problematic at the corner of 39th and Reno. Commissioner Speck noted that there were no objections to making 39th St one-way and asked if DDOT could get that NOI in process as soon as possible. Commissioner Quinn asked if they considered bulbouts and mirrors at the intersection of Reno/38th/Harrison. DDOT will consider bulbouts but they do not install mirrors in public space because of maintenance concerns. Quinn said he believed many of the traffic problems at the Reno/Fessenden and Chevy Chase Parkway intersection are the result of southbound cars along Connecticut Ave trying to cut across to Wisconsin Ave and asked DDOT to consider the larger traffic patterns as most north-south streets are closed and many cars are now using 41st St to head south-bound. Commissioner Quinn also mentioned that DDOT had promised to look into traffic calming on 41st Street when it added the traffic diverters at Military Road and 42nd Street but had never returned to do so.
Mr. Foxworth closed by saying that they will take all of the suggestions offered at the meeting under consideration but any implementation will be guided by safety and engineering requirements.