Resolution Asking DDOT to study the intersection of Nebraska

Ave/Van Ness St NW/ 42nd Street, NW

Whereas, the series of intersections created by Van Ness Street NW, Nebraska Avenue NW and 42nd Street NW create a great deal of confusion and danger for pedestrians and motorists alike with a high number of turning movements, through traffic, bicycle traffic, pedestrian traffic;

Whereas, both the 42nd Street and Nebraska Avenue NW and 42nd and Van Ness Street NW

intersections have had numerous vehicle on vehicle and vehicle on pedestrian accidents recently, between the years 2011 and 2013, 18 accidents have occurred at the intersection, the majority during rush hour (78%) and during the week (94%), and most under clear weather (83%), dry surface (72%) and daylit (78%) conditions. This would suggest that the cause of the accidents is due more to the design of the intersection rather than contributing factors such as weather and amount of light. In addition, the vast majority of the accidents occurred with passenger cars (78%), minimizing the factor of disparate vehicles causing the accidents. Of these accidents, 40% resulted in injuries and 12 of the 18 occurred in 2013, a startling jump over the 6 in the previous two years. It is clear to the Commission that the intersection has serious safety issues that need to be addressed;

Whereas, this area will experience a much higher level of traffic as the City Ridge and 4400 Wisconsin developments come online as well as the possibility of the River School development at 4200 Nebraska;

Whereas, the intersection of Van Ness and 42nd has a two-way stop sign that is often confusing for vehicles crossing Van Ness on 42nd resulting in several accidents;

Whereas, in April of 2011 ANC3E passed a resolution which stated the following:

  1. “The 42nd Street corridor abuts or is near National Presbyterian School, Janney Elementary School, American University, IONA Senior Services, Friendship Terrace Retirement Community, and St. Ann’s Academy, among other institutions, each of which is associated with considerable pedestrian activity by members of potentially-vulnerable populations.”
  2. “The 42nd Street corridor has generated numerous complaints about speeding, traffic volume, and motorist disregard for pedestrians.”
  3. “American University intends to move its law school near the 42nd Street corridor, which likely will generate additional traffic there.”

Whereas, Nebraska Avenue’s sidewalks are heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists travelling between Tenley and Ward Circles and a multi-use path is proposed along Nebraska Avenue from Ward Circle to Tenley Circle;

Now therefore be it resolved,

  1. ANC 3E asks that DDOT study the intersections of Nebraska/Van Ness/42nd Street NW and recommend improvements that will improve vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic;
  2. ANC 3E asks that DDOT consider all or some of the following measures when studying these intersections
    1. Analyze intersection signal timing and optimize as detailed in the River School traffic analysis
    2. Remove any parking on Van Ness between Nebraska and 42nd 
    3. Remove any Rush Hour parking signs on Van Ness west of Nebraska
    1. Create a left-hand turn lane eastbound on Van Ness west of Nebraska in order to facilitate through traffic and improve sightlines for vehicles turning left onto Nebraska. The width of the Van Ness is 30 feet, apparently enough to accommodate three lanes
    1. Reduce bump out at northeast intersection of Van Ness and 42nd in order to improve ability of vehicles to make a right turn onto 42nd rather than cutting across directly from Nebraska
    1. Add lefthand turn signal eastbound off of Nebraska to Van Ness
  3. Add bulbouts at the intersection of Nebraska and 42nd, possibly in concert with the proposed multi-use trail, in order to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle safety

The resolution passed by a vote of X – X – X at a properly noticed meeting held on January 13th, 2022 at which a quorum was present (A quorum constituting 3 out of 5 Commissioners), with Commissioners Bender, Cohen, McHugh, Hall, and Quinn in attendance (5 Commissioners present).



By Jonathan Bender, Chairperson