Buzzard Point at 2nd and T Sts. SW (Photo via Google Maps)

Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6 is calling on Mayor Muriel Bowser to reconsider her decision to allow commercial buses serving Union Station to park on Buzzard Point in Southwest.

In an open letter to the mayor published on The Southwester’s website today, Allen said allowing the buses to park on Buzzard Point will place too much of a burden on Southwest residents. The councilman said Bowser should find a different location for the vehicles.

“Adding commercial bus parking to Buzzard Point will undoubtedly create additional pressures within these vibrant residential neighborhoods and negatively impact the community,” Allen said in his letter.

Bowser already has changed the location of the overflow bus parking before.

The group responsible for the restoration and construction at Union Station initially had sought to park the buses at the long-closed Alexander Crummell School in Ivy City, a move that was unpopular with residents of the Northeast community. At the beginning of August, Bowser assured Ivy City residents that their neighborhood would not house the buses, opting instead to park them on Buzzard Point and at other locations around D.C., The Washington Post reported.

But Allen said that moving the buses to Buzzard Point will “overburden” an area that is already home to several large-scale construction projects, including The Wharf.

“Neighborhood streets are already at capacity with construction traffic for the many projects underway,” Allen said, adding that “the combination of heavy commercial traffic seriously impacts pedestrian safety and the quality of life in Southwest.”

Photo via Google Maps


Rescue on 1000 block of 4th Street SW (Photo courtesy of Andrew Roszak)

A construction worker in Southwest was hospitalized after reportedly falling into a hole this afternoon.

Emergency crews responded to the 1000 block of 4th Street SW about 12:45 p.m. after receiving a call about a worker injured after falling into a hole, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Tim Wilson said.

The worker was lifted out of the below-ground site on a stretcher and hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Wilson said.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Roszak


I-395 construction (Photo via 3rd Street Tunnel Project)

The Capitol Crossing development project will bring more road closures around I-395’s 3rd Street Tunnel, beginning this weekend.

Between 2nd and 4th streets NW, Massachusetts Avenue and H Street NW will start to have road and lane closures as early as 8 a.m. Saturday. The construction work is expected to continue for five months.

According to the District Department of Transportation, drivers can expect:

Massachusetts Avenue will be closed at 2nd Street on Saturday, April 11. Detour signs will point motorists around the work zones to use H, I, K and 5th Streets.

During this phase, H Street westbound will no longer connect directly through Massachusetts Avenue. Instead, H Street will continue straight from 2nd Street toward the intersection of 4th and Massachusetts. Motorists traveling to H Street can turn south (left) onto 4th Street and west (right) back onto H Street.

Additionally, work on 3rd Street between E Street and Massachusetts Avenue will also begin during this phase. Drivers can expect lane closures on 3rd Street. Parking will be restricted on 3rd Street for the duration of this work.

Besides Saturday’s closures, there will be continuous closures on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. the next day; Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 7 am to 3 pm; and Saturdays and Sundays, only as needed, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Construction for the mixed-use Capitol Crossing development started in February. The project is expected to affect traffic for four years, after a previous plan was scrapped to shut down part of the freeway to reduce the total work time.

Photo via 3rd Street Tunnel Project


17th Street SE

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Work to make 17th Street SE safer is now expected to be complete in May 2016, after conflicts between multiple city agencies delayed construction.

Planned upgrades to the street, including curb extensions and traffic signal locations, from East Capitol Street to Potomac Avenue SE did not properly account for existing infrastructure like Washington Gas lines, fire hydrants and sewer lines, District Department of Transportation Project Manager Mohamed Dahir said Tuesday night at a community meeting held by ANC 6B commissioner Brian Flahaven.

The work has been a long time coming on the major corridor for cars exiting I-295, resulting in what Flahaven called a “terrible conundrum” for locals.

ANC 6B commissioners first asked for safety improvements to the street in 2011, and DDOT made their final recommendations for the project in Sept. 2012, Flahaven said. The department did design work on the proposal, but the project stretched on, first because an environmental assessment was conducted, and now due to a lack of coordination among city agencies.

Construction would begin at the end of Feb. 2015 and last through May 2016, according to DDOT’s timeline. This timeline differs from the one most recently released by the department, Flahaven said.

Complicating the project, Dahir said, is separate DC water construction expected along 17th Street in both the northeast and southeast quadrants. Starting in January, DC Water will install a new 20-inch water main along the road, from C Street NE to Potomac Avenue SE. The main will replace an existing 8-inch main that was installed in the 1930s, said Jill McClanahan, DC Water’s construction outreach coordinator. That work is expected to run through April 2016.

Locals asked the two agencies coordinate their plans to take advantage of construction zones already in place and minimize disturbances to residents.

Denise Krepp, an ANC 6B commissioner-elect, asked the agencies to give monthly updates on their construction and to give advance notice if any nighttime construction could occur.

“I realize that there is slippage, I realize that you might have something to work out with other agencies,” she said. “That’s not my problem. I am just making sure that my neighbors and my constituents have the ability to get updated information.”

Pat Taylor, a resident on the 300 block of 17th Street SE, asked officials to consider what would happen to traffic once construction was underway and after the projects were completed. She said measures should be taken now to anticipate more cars going onto side streets, like installing speed bumps.

ANC 6B commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg, who heads the group’s transportation committee, discouraged that notion.

“With this project, you’re going to hopefully change the traffic patterns,” she said. “I’d say it’s premature to start talking about how the traffic is going to spill over onto the side streets and what kind of traffic problems we’re going to have.”

The 17th Street SE project would make a number of changes in both the northeast and southeast quadrants.

North of East Capitol Street to Benning Road NE, the plan is to provide parking on both sides of the street. A shared bike lane will be added to the west side of the street. Additionally, a roundabout is planned for the E Street NE intersection.

South of East Capitol Street, the major change will be to narrow the street to one traffic lane. Parking will be available on the west side of the street, though the east side will become open to parking during Robert F. Kennedy Stadium events. There are also plans for a raised crosswalk on the north side of the D Street SE intersection.

Construction on the streets in both quadrants will include driver feedback signs, new pavement markings, signage and lighting, curb extensions, traffic signal upgrades and resurfacing.

More construction is in the works, DDOT said.

Proposed construction on 19th Street SE from Potomac Avenue SE to Benning Road SE will upgrade pavement markings and add a shared northbound bike lane along part of the road. That could be completed by the end of March 2015, weather-permitting.


Morning Rundown

Capitol Hill Historic District sign

Week Ahead on the Hill — Capitol Hill Corner wraps up notable ANC activity for the week. [Capitol Hill Corner]

Terrorism Exercise at Navy Yard — Last night and this morning D.C. first responders held a “full-scale terrorism exercise” at Navy Yard and several other sites around the District. “This exercise is crucial in ensuring that all of our public-safety personnel are working efficiently and effectively together and with the many local, regional and federal agencies that keep us safe when any emergency happens in our city,” said Mayor Vincent Gray, in a statement. []

ANC 6B Candidates — The Hill Is Home has a recap of ANC 6B candidates. [Hill Is Home]

Two Robbed Near H Street — Two people were robbed at gunpoint on the 1100 block of G Street NE early this morning. The teenage suspects allegedly stole cash and cell phones. Police arrested two people and seized a black plastic BB gun. [Washington Post]

License Apps for H Street Restaurants — Two recently-opened restaurants on the 1300 H Street NE are applying for license, one for a license to open a “summer garden” and the other a liquor license. [PoPville]

WaPo Profiles Navy Yard — The Washington Post profiles the Navy Yard neighborhood, also known as Near Southeast or the Capitol Riverfront, depending on who you’re talking to. “This is the best of all worlds in urban living,” said one resident, a parent of two young children. [Washington Post]

Construction Photos in JDLand — There’s lots of construction activity in the area around Nationals Park, and JDLand has the photos to prove it. Among other notable developments, there is now a news ticker outside the new CBS Radio space at 1015 Half Street. [JDLand]


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