Alley Palooza 3 locations (Photo via District Department of Transportation)

Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation have announced eight Capitol Hill-area alleys scheduled for repairs during this summer’s “AlleyPalooza 3.”

The campaign to mend alleys across the District starts today. DDOT hopes to repair eight alleys in each of the District’s eight wards by July.

Eight Hill-area alleys were improved in September during the second AlleyPalooza. The alleys identified for service this year include lanes near:

  • 112 14th St. SE
  • 1201 C St. NE
  • 121 12th St. NE
  • 1302 H St. NE
  • 1301 C St. NE
  • 809 5th St. NE
  • 324 16th St. SE
  • 1419 D St. SE

Residents can track the agency’s progress online.

Photo via District Department of Transportation


AlleyPalooza II alley locations (Image via District Department of Transportation)

A campaign to mend alleys in the Capitol Hill area and other parts of D.C. is back for another round of repairs.

“AlleyPalooza II,” which Mayor Muriel Bowser launched today, is intended to bring improvements to alleys in each of the District’s eight wards. In the first AlleyPalooza, the District Department of Transportation fixed eight alleys in Ward 6 this summer.

The Capitol Hill-area roadways targeted in AlleyPalooza II include alleys near:

  • 625 3rd St. NE.
  • 642 Acker Place NE.
  • 217 5th St. NE.
  • 1015 D St. NE.
  • 1116 C St. NE.
  • 209 10th St. NE.
  • 1364 South Carolina Ave. SE.

AlleyPalooza II is scheduled to end by Nov. 6. Locals can follow the progress of repairs online.

“Residents expect their roads and alleys to be safe and reliable – and the District is ready to deliver,” Bowser said in a statement. “After a successful first AlleyPalooza, we are doubling down on our efforts with a second campaign to ensure District alleys reflect the quality of our neighborhoods and remain a dependable part of our infrastructure.”

Image via District Department of Transportation


Massachusetts Avenue NW (Photo via Google Maps)Massachusetts Avenue NW near I-395 will be off limits to car drivers for several hours this weekend due to construction work on the Capitol Crossing development.

Numerous partial and full street closures are scheduled for Massachusetts Avenue and H Street NW between 2nd and 4th streets for the duration of August, including this weekend, according to the D.C. Department of Transportation. The construction will bring:

  • Full street closures on Massachusetts Avenue between 2nd and 4th streets from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Full street closures on Massachusetts Avenue between 2nd and 4th streets, and H Street between Massachusetts Avenue and 4th Street, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to midnight.
  • Occasional weekday single and double-lane closures on Massachusetts Avenue and H Street from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any other closures in the area this month will be announced as they occur, DDOT spokeswoman Michelle Phipps-Evans said.

DDOT and Property Group Partners are working on the installation of a high-voltage electric line, as part of the Capitol Crossing development over I-395.

The development’s first building at 200 Massachusetts Ave. is expected to be finished in 2017. Construction on Capitol Crossing’s four other buildings is slated to conclude in 2019.

Photo via Google Maps


Morning Rundown

NoMa Water Tower

Former Coast Guard Headquarters in Southwest for Sale — Real estate brokerage DTZ is looking for buyers for the Coast Guard’s former headquarters at Buzzard Point, near the future location of a D.C. United soccer stadium. [Washington Business Journal]

Cyclist Gets Ticket After Collision Near Capitol — D.C. resident Emily Estus tells Roll Call about how she received a speeding ticket in April when she collided with a car near the U.S. Capitol while riding her bicycle. [Roll Call]

DDOT Kicks Off ‘Vision Zero’ Initiative on H Street NE — About 10 District Department of Transportation staffers surveyed people on the H Street corridor yesterday about what it’s like for locals to move around D.C. The outreach is part of DDOT’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which is intended to make transportation in the District safer. [Washington City Paper]


AlleyPalooza alley locations (Image via District Department of Transportation)

Mayor Muriel Bowser has launched another “Palooza” campaign to repair roadways in the Capitol Hill area and other parts of D.C.

As part of its first-ever “AlleyPalooza,” the District Department of Transportation will mend alleys in each of the District’s eight wards, Bowser announced today. AlleyPalooza follows “Potholepalooza,” which the mayor began in March to fix potholes.

The Ward 6 roadways targeted in AlleyPalooza include alleys near:

  • 514 E St. SE
  • 200 12th St. SE
  • 222 17th Place NE
  • 1612 D St. NE
  • 525 13th St. NE
  • 1312 F St. NE

The program is set to be completed in mid-September, and will cost taxpayers about $3.7 million. Residents can track the progress of alley repairs online.

“We want our roads to be safe and reliable,” Bowser said in a statement. “AlleyPalooza shows our commitment to making that happen.”

Image via District Department of Transportation


Louisiana AvenueCommunity leaders on Capitol Hill are urging D.C. and federal officials to install protected bicycle lanes that would connect cycle tracks near Union Station and the U.S. Capitol.

The two-way cycle track ANC 6C formally requested last night would be on Louisiana Avenue, between Columbus Circle NE and Constitution Avenue NW. The bike lanes are intended to bridge the Pennsylvania Avenue NW bike lanes with the 1st Street NE cycle track that is under construction, helping link bike lanes that stretch across the District.

“Right now, it’s a dangerous stretch of roadway for cyclists,” said Joe McCann, a former ANC 6C transportation committee chairman, who is helping lead the commission’s push for the cycle track.

The District Department of Transportation last year identified the cycle track as a second tier priority in the “Multimodal Long-Range Transportation Plan” it released last year. The cycle track, which would be almost a half-mile long, would cost $900,000 to complete, according to DDOT.

To build the bike lanes, DDOT would need the approval of the Architect of the Capitol. Louisiana Avenue NE between Columbus Circle and North Capitol Street NE has three lanes for congressional staffer parking, one of which needs to go to support the cycle track, the ANC wrote in a letter it approved last night to DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo and Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers.

A DDOT spokeswoman didn’t have an immediate comment. A representative of the Architect of the Capitol wasn’t immediately available to comment.


Streetcar worker (Photo via Twitter/DDOT)Today the District Department of Transportation launched a public safety awareness campaign to remind residents of the potential dangers of adding the DC Streetcar to the traffic of H Street NE, as the city inches the public transit project toward an official launch.

DC Streetcar’s Twitter account shows a street team member on H Street NE this morning, and moving forward DDOT says it plans to continue the practice at key locations on a biweekly basis on Wednesdays during rush hour.

So how concerned are you about safety issues that might arise around the streetcar’s implementation? As always, please take your suggestions down to the comments.


Morning Rundown

Woodward & Lothrop warehouse at 1st and M streets NE

Box Full of Bees Mistakenly Delivered to Near Northeast Resident — An 11th Street NE resident arrived home one day last week to find a package of hundreds of bees buzzing on her porch. The parcel was apparently destined for Southeast, not Northeast. One local beekeeper tends to hives of more than 50,000 bees in Kingman Park. [Washington City Paper]

Man Arrested for Homicide Last Year on 18th Street NE — A 24-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Jamie Washington, 31. A pedestrian found Washington bleeding in an alley near 18th Street and Benning Road NE on Nov. 28, as Hill Now reported. [WUSA 9]

Hidden History of Union Station — The restoration of Union Station is uncovering historic details, like a presidential suite where the commander-in-chief could wait for his train. [WAMU]

Traffic Lights to Be Retimed — DDOT will tweak the timing of traffic signals at 650 intersections across the city. [DCist]


Pothole at Half and I streets SEPotholes on and around Capitol Hill could disappear this week as part of a D.C. campaign to repair damaged roads.

The District will launch “Potholepalooza” tomorrow, describing the initiative as a 48-hour “war on potholes.” City workers will “aggressively” mend potholed streets throughout D.C. during the campaign, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office announced.

Dozens of potholes in Ward 6 need the attention of city workers, according to the District Department of Transportation’s pothole repair website. Residents can report potholes online or by calling 311.

DDOT tries to repair a pothole within three business days of receiving a report about one, the website says. The agency has filled almost 7,300 potholes in the past two weeks, according to the mayor’s office.


H Street streetcarA D.C. organization that advocates for public transit is trying to drum up support for the H Street streetcar after a District transportation official said he may axe the project.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is urging locals to send emails to Mayor Muriel Bowser asking that she “do everything she can to make our H Street/Benning streetcar investment work.”

Leif Dormsjo, the head of the District Department of Transportation, said Friday he would scrap the project if additional reviews uncover “fatal flaws.”

CSG wants to ensure the safety of the line but was disappointed to hear streetcars might not come to H Street after years of work by the District, the coalition’s managing director, Alex Posorske, said.

“We want to be sure we’re doing what we can to look out for the mobility needs of D.C. residents,” he said.

D.C. residents can express their frustration in an email to Bowser sent through the organization’s website.

“I believe that the streetcar can be a prominent part of a larger transit investment strategy — with the right modes selected for the right corridors,” the email says. “Streetcars attract investment, new residents and visitors and provide a smooth and attractive transit mode.”

Hundreds of people have sent that message so far, Posorske said.

In a Hill Now poll on whether to kill the streetcar, 65 percent of respondents as of this afternoon said they think the District should carry on with the project. Scott Magnuson, owner of The Argonaut and head of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, echoed that view.

But some people have had enough. Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates wrote today that the project was “a bad idea” and “boondoggle” that needs to be stopped right away.

“If you live near or around H Street, you know the situation is actually laughable,” he wrote.

2 Comment

H Street Streetcar

The head of the District Department of Transportation made jaws drop Friday when he said he would kill the H Street streetcar project if additional reviews reveal “fatal flaws.”

Leif Dormsjo said he prefers to keep the project on track, but won’t “ask for money from the citizens of this jurisdiction, nor from this council, for something I can’t manage.”

Here’s how some Facebook users reacted to the news on Hill Now’s page:

Jeff Davenport: There are test cars running up and down that line successfully all the time. This project is at the brink of success. Abandoning it now sounds like people with a hidden agenda want to kill it. We need a comprehensive public transport system in the city that gets you everywhere and works for everyone. Streetcars have to be a part of that system.

Diane Kohn: I want my money back.

Daniel Herman: This project needs to continue. We need to make progress not keep progress from happening.

Mona Evans Butterfield:Waste of money. It is so annoying to see those empty cars driving up and down wasting time.

What do you want the city to do? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.


H Street streetcar(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) As empty streetcars glide back and forth on H Street, scrapping the entire project is not out of the question.

The head of the District Department of Transportation will abandon the H Street streetcar project if additional reviews reveal “fatal flaws,” he said at a D.C. Council hearing this afternoon.

“You need to have the facts on your side and make a business case for what you’re doing,” DDOT Acting Director Leif Dormsjo said. “I’m not going to ask for money from the citizens of this jurisdiction, nor from this council, for something I can’t manage. That is the threshold test that’s going on as we speak.”

Dormsjo said his preference is for the streetcar project to succeed.

“My bias is toward delivering transportation solutions and services that make this city a better place,” he said.

Ideally, Dormsjo would like the H Street/Benning Road tracks to be the “starter line” of an extended system, he said.

“It’s certainly not the optimal streetcar facility that you would want if you were going to open up a facility fro point A to point B,” he said. “It wouldn’t logically be the endgame.”

Additionally, he said the cause of a “flash fire” atop a streetcar on Feb. 21 is still under investigation.

The overall safety and success of the system is being evaluated now by the Federal Transit Administration, American Public Transportation Association and State Safety Oversight Office within the D.C. fire department.

Dormsjo told Council members he would have a better idea of next steps for the streetcar project before budget preparations next month.

The future of the streetcar must be determined by “the facts on the ground,” he said.


Pothole map (Image via NBC Washington)A new map by NBC Washington shows how quickly the District Department of Transportation repairs potholes.

While the data shows that most potholes in Ward 6 are repaired within days of being reported, craters in a few areas remained for longer.

A pothole on 3rd Street SW south of A Street SW went unfixed for more than 180 days, the map shows.

On Capitol Hill and in Hill East, sites of potholes with repair times of 31 to 180 days included 8th and A streets SE, South Carolina Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets SE and 14th Street SE, south of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

The numbers are pulled from a database of 311 calls for potholes from July 1, 2012 until last week, NBC said.

DDOT aims to fix nearly 40,000 potholes this year, with an official goal to fix them within 72 hours of when they are reported.

DDOT’s Reginald Arno told NBC they plan to tackle “395, 295, 695 first. And then we’ll go look at the New York Avenues, the Massachusetts Avenues, and then we go to the side streets from there.”

The full map is available on NBC Washington’s website.

Image via NBC Washington


D.C. Streetcar (Photo via DDOT)Locals will have to wait longer to ride the streetcar.

Leif Dormsjo, acting director of the District Department of Transportation, said this afternoon that the department won’t set “arbitrary deadlines” for project milestones and the launch of service.

Mayor Vincent Gray said earlier this month that passenger service would begin the week of Jan. 19.

Here’s the statement DDOT released:

“Passenger safety is the number one priority for public transportation in the District of Columbia. Further, given the need to achieve safety certification, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will not set arbitrary deadlines for the independent State Safety Office (SSO) to complete their regulatory compliance review. The Bowser Administration will work to launch the H Street line of DC Streetcar as part of our effort to expand the District’s transportation infrastructure and will put this long-delayed line on track. DDOT will continue to work with the independent SSO to ensure that Streetcar meets – and exceeds – all safety specifications before setting an official date to begin passenger service.”

DDOT and the State Safety Oversight Office have struggled over safety documentation, The Washington Post reported. The oversight office has accused DDOT of filing misleading documentation.

Photo via DDOT


Eastern Market (Photo via Flicrk/NCinDC)

A plan seems to be inching along to improve parking near Eastern Market on weekends.

District Department of Transportation representatives will speak at a community meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) about ideas to fix the weekend parking clog, reviving discussions that have gone on since at least 2011.

Fixing parking problems at Eastern Market — an area that, unlike much of the District, is less crowded on weekdays but inundated on weekends — has long been a priority for ANC 6B, transportation committee chair Kirsten Oldenburg said. The commission pushed for expanding performance-based parking, which allows the city to charge higher costs during times of peak demand. Such systems are already in place around Nationals Park and on the H Street Corridor.

However, DDOT failed to act on an expansion of performance-based parking, even as District Council members joined in support for the plan, Oldenburg said. The department told ANC 6B they could not expand the performance parking plan without additional review.

“It was a very frustrating process for all of us,” she said.

Still, Oldenburg said she looks forward to hearing what DDOT has to say and to start working toward a solution.

“[The meeting] will begin plans for the coming months,” she said.

The meeting will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. in room 314 of the Hill Center, at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The DDOT representatives expected to speak tomorrow night declined to discuss the presentation they’ll give.

Photo via NCinDC/Flickr


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