Light Snow Causes Traffic Nightmares, Chaos — Many people spent hours stuck in traffic last night after about 1 1/2 inches of snow fell in D.C., and some say local government agencies seemed unprepared. [Washington Post]
Metro Shifts Bus Service to ‘Light Snow’ Plan — Metrobus is operating on its “light snow” plan today, with all buses running and some planned detours. [WMATA]
Matchbox Begins Expansion on Barracks Row — Barracks Row eatery Matchbox has posted a liquor license placard announcing plans to expand into the former Las Placitas location next door, adding 45 dining seat, 14 bar seats and six patio seats. [PoPville]
More Details on D.C. United Buzzard Point Stadium Plans — D.C. United submitted more detailed plans for its new stadium on Buzzard Point, noting that the stadium will have a “contemporary-industrial” design and 233 bike parking spaces. [SWTLQTC]
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) Police have reopened the 14th Street Bridge and all other road closures related to a suspicious package found on the bridge.
Police shut down multiple roads in Southwest for about an hour due to a suspicious package on the 14th Street Bridge.
All lanes of the 14th Street bridge were closed about 12:20 p.m. in addition to Maine Avenue SW between 12th and 15th Streets SW. The closures came after a suspicious package fell out of a car on the bridge, the Washington Post reported.
Photo via Twitter/ DC Police Traffic
Traffic patterns along Maryland Avenue NE are scheduled to change next week after the street’s newest traffic light officially begins to operate.
The District Department of Transportation is set to fully activate a new signal at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and 10th Street NE on Tuesday, ANC 6A chairman Phil Toomajian told locals on a neighborhood listersev and Facebook. The stoplight currently is flashing to prepare drivers for its full activation.
The signal is the result of “many years” of community members asking the DDOT to improve safety along the road, Toomajian said.
“While the new signal at 10th should allow for much safer crossing there, this change overall should provide for a smoother commute along Maryland Avenue,” he said. “I’ll be monitoring the changes to help ensure that they are successful and don’t have unintended consequences.”
When the signal at 10th Street officially goes into service, the stoplight near the intersection of Maryland Avenue NE and 9th and E streets NE will turn off.
Toomajian called the light near 9th and E streets the “only mistimed light between the Starburst intersection and Stanton Park,” noting that its removal will alleviate frequent stopping on that section of Maryland Avenue.
Photo via Google Maps
Rose’s Luxury Owner on How to Handle the Lines — Rose’s Luxury owner Aaron Silverman explained in an interview with Eater why the popular Barracks Row eatery doesn’t take reservations and offered tips for dealing with the wait. [Eater]
Garrison on Barracks Row Earns Rave Review — After failing to get a table at Rose’s Luxury, Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema went to the new nearby restaurant Garrison and discovered a new destination spot. [Washington Post]
Pope Francis Concludes D.C. Visit Without Major Traffic, Metro Woes — Despite doomsday predictions from some, traffic and Metro actually ran better than most days during the pope’s three-day visit, a Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination spokesman said. [Washington Post]
Capitol Hill Home Brewer Plans to Revive Pre-Prohibition Brewery Next Year — National Capital Brewing Co., which went out of business almost a century ago, is on its way back with high-quality craft beer back for the District, said Michael Webb, who is working to recreate the brewery. [Hill Now]
Washington is already preparing for increased traffic and road closures during Pope Francis’ visit on Sept. 22, but some Hill-area residents will also encounter unrelated road closures over the next few weeks.
September is a popular month in the District for street festivals and races, and with them come closed roads throughout the city. District police have released traffic advisories this weekend for Southwest and Navy Yard, and parts of the H Street corridor will close next weekend for the H Street Festival.
Here is a guide to all the upcoming road closures in the Capitol Hill area, including closures planned for the Pope’s visit:
- On Saturday morning, 2nd Street NE between C and D streets will be closed until noon for scheduled water main repairs, according to a spokesperson with D.C. Water
- Also on Saturday, the Light the Way 5K will take place in the Navy Yard area starting at 9 a.m. No roads will be closed for the race, but D.C. Police are warning drivers that a large number of people will be using sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the area around Nationals Park and the Navy Yard Metro Station.
- On Sunday, roads in Southwest near the National Mall, Tidal Basin and Hains Point will close between about 7 a.m. and about 1:30 p.m. for the Nation’s Triathlon
- The H Street Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19 on H Street NE between 4th and 14th streets NE. Police have not yet announced when roads will be closed, but the festival is expected to run from noon to 7 p.m., and the road will likely be closed before and after the festival for set-up and take-down.
Pope Francis will be in the District Sept. 22-24. Most of the road closures are concentrated near the Pope’s planned stops at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, several churches and Catholic University. Here are the closures in the Capitol:
- Maryland Avenue SW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW will be closed between 3rd and 1st streets SW from 5 p.m. Sept. 23 to 4 p.m. Sept. 24
- All roads within two blocks of the Capitol building will be closed all day Wednesday, Sept. 23.
- Metro trains will operate on usual schedules, with no track work scheduled during the visit.
- Metro is still shifting bus routes around security plans. Information on changes to individual routes will be posted online as it becomes available.
- Information on traffic and public transportation related to the Pope’s visit is available online.
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
The four-way signal is expected to replace two stop signs at Maryland Avenue and 10th Street NE in August, ANC 6A Vice Chairman J. Omar Mahmud told locals at a community meeting. But he said the District Department of Transportation has yet to release an exact date for the light’s installation.
Currently, drivers who approach the intersection on Maryland Avenue only have to stop there if pedestrians are present. Otherwise, drivers only are required to stop at the intersection if they come up to it from 10th Street.
The intersection, which is near a playground, is “unsafe,” Mahmud said.
“We’re happy to hear there’s finally a date set for doing the signal work at 10th and Maryland,” said Mahmud, who is a co-chairman of ANC 6A’s transportation committee.
Photo via Google Maps
Caught on Video — A young man was caught on video entering a home in Near Northeast and leaving with electronics, sunglasses and baby clothes last week, a victim told Hill Now yesterday. This adds to the growing number of instances of area residents video-taping their house and front porch to guard against thefts. [Hill Now]
Police Pushback — The D.C. police union has posted a rebuttal to the May 9 Reveal News article, “DC’s assaulting an officer charge could hide police abuse, critics say.” The original piece was published in tandem by WAMU, The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, and Reveal. [D.C. Police Union]
Marion Park Rider — The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a defense bill with a rider attached that would continue efforts to place a memorial for South Carolina’s Revolutionary War General Francis Marion in Capitol Hill’s Marion Park. [Capitol Hill Corner]
Calls for a Traffic Slowdown — Capitol Hill residents are pleading with the District Department of Transportation to implement safety measures in order to slow down traffic on Maryland Avenue Northeast. The street is close to schools, parks and other public spaces. Last summer librarian Elizabeth Lang was run over and badly injured in a crosswalk by a taxi cab. [WAMU]