D.C. Plans for Street Safety Improvements in Adams Morgan

While residents differ on how to allocate the neighborhood’s street space, many want to see safer infrastructure for pedestrians and people on bikes.

May 26, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Adams Morgan pedestrian zone during COVID-19 pandemic

The Adams Morgan pedestrian zone during COVID-19 pandemic. / Sdkb

Ashley Hopko reports on efforts to bring street safety improvements to Washington, D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, where pandemic-era ‘streateries’ and bike lanes are vying with traffic lanes for space. “Adams Morgan community stakeholders are pushing for road changes that would increase safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, potentially shift bus routes, and limit vehicle access to major thoroughfares in the neighborhood.”

According to Hopko, “To address growing pains in the area, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) began drafting the Columbia Road Bus Priority Plan in 2021. It aims to improve infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and bus commuters by rethinking how street space is utilized by various modes of transit.”

In the article, two local bike commuters criticized the use of ‘sharrows,’ calling for fully segregated bike lanes that would better serve both cyclists and drivers. Advocates also want to see more pedestrian-only segments, such as on 18th Street. “The Adams Morgan Business Improvement District has been pushing for approval to repeat the pilot pedestrian zone program launched in 2020, according to Kristen Barden, the group’s executive director.”

Residents also express concerns about the on-street restaurant patios known as ‘streateries,’ Hopko writes. “Though most community members don’t seem to mind the squeeze caused by streateries, there are safety issues that arise due to narrow roadways and limited visibility caused by pop-up structures.”

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