New Stoplights Improve Pedestrian Accessibility

District Department of Transportation installs lights approved as part of zoning process.

Stoplight
March 07, 2013

New stoplights were installed at the intersection of 22nd and Eye streets, NW, in late February after several years of planning by the District Department of Transportation. Funding for the lights was approved as part of the zoning process for The Avenue, the retail and residential property located at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave.

The intersection, which sees heavy pedestrian traffic due to its location between the Medical Faculty Associates building (2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, with an entrance on 22nd and Eye) and Whole Foods Market (2201 Eye Street, NW), is now controlled by stoplights in all directions. Previously, the intersection was a four-way stop controlled by stop signs.

DDOT completed the underground work necessary for installation of a signal at the intersection in late fall 2012, and erected light pole fixtures in January. Work on the cabinet that controls the lights was completed in early February. The lights flashed in a test mode for about a week and became fully operational last week.

GW has been working and continues to work toward improving pedestrian safety and awareness, said Alicia Knight, senior associate vice president for operations. For example, the university aims to ensure its campus development projects do not impact pedestrian accessibility by implementing traffic control plans.

“Given the tremendous success of The Avenue in serving the university, the area neighborhoods and D.C. as a whole, we’re pleased the D.C. government has finished installation of this light to help ease access for the new pedestrians coming to this area,” Ms. Knight said.

The West End Citizens Association, which has long worked with DDOT on other pedestrian and traffic issues in the area, was also pleased to see the new traffic lights in operation, said Sara Maddux, president of the association and a Foggy Bottom resident.  

“Thank goodness,” she said. “This traffic light will bring safety and order to the intersection at 22nd and Eye Streets.”

It is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians to observe the new signals, Ms. Maddux said. Crossing against the light creates dangerous situations for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

As part of the D.C. Zoning Commission’s approval of the plans to construct The Avenue,

GW and development partner Boston Properties agreed to make a contribution to cover installation of the traffic engineering and construction costs of the signal at 22nd and Eye streets. The need for additional traffic management at this intersection was discussed during the zoning review process for The Avenue.