The 2021 East Capitol Street Safety and Mobility Project will provide upgrades to intersections and streets to improve safety and access for all users of East Capitol Street, including the Benning Road intersection, the Central Avenue intersection, the Benning Stoddert Recreation Center, and the Maryland border at Southern Avenue. The total length of this segment of East Capitol Street from Burns Street at its west terminus to Southern Avenue at its east terminus is about 2.1 miles. Key improvements include:
- over four miles of designated bike lanes including one mile of protected bike lanes,
- floating bus stops offset from the curb,
- curb extensions to enhance visibility,
- enhanced traffic signal timing for vehicles and pedestrians,
- high-visibility crosswalks,
- HAWK (High-Intensity Activated crosswalk) beacons,
- full time designated parking, and
- safer geometric reconfigurations of intersections.
This project builds on DDOT’s collaborative processes with communities, government agencies, and stakeholders, which started with the 2011 Far Northeast Livability Study and continued with the 2013 East Capitol Street’s Pedestrian Safety Study. These studies included collection of safety data, evaluation of existing conditions, and development of conceptual recommendations. This segment of East Capitol Street accounted for the fifth highest pedestrian and bicyclist fatality rate of all arterial roads from 2010 to 2014, and therefore was prioritized for safety improvements in the Mayor’s 2015 Vision Zero Action Plan. The preliminary design of the East Capitol Street Safety and Mobility Project is now in progress.
Key Safety Improvements:
- The East Capitol corridor connects transit riders, drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to schools, businesses, and churches across multiple neighborhoods from northeastern to southeastern sections of the District. The proposed key safety improvements for the corridor include:
- 4+ miles of designated bike lanes, including one mile of protected bike lanes, to provide safer bicycle conditions and reduce vehicular conflicts.
- Floating bus stop islands with bus stops offset from the curb to improve the visibility and reliability of public transit routes.
- Designated parking to provide safe and efficient access for drivers.
- High-visibility pedestrian crosswalks and HAWK (High-Intensity Activated crosswalk) signals to provide drivers with advanced warning that pedestrians are in the right of way.
- Curb extensions to improve the visibility of pedestrians, to shorten the crossing distance, and to provide a safer turning radius for vehicles.
- Enhanced traffic signal timing to reduce traffic delays.
- Intersection reconfiguration of key intersections with improved safety and accessibility.
The proposed improvements for Benning Road include:
- Protected Bike Lanes (PBLs), expanding DDOT’s 20 by 22 commitment to install 20 miles of Protected Bike Lanes at high injury and high crash locations by the year 2022.
- New left turn movements from:
- Westbound East Capitol Street to southbound Benning Road SE: This new left turn will replace the current U-turn movement for all vehicles, including buses, which currently treat the U-turn as a multi-point turn, causing traffic and transit delays.
- Northbound Texas Avenue SE to westbound East Capitol Street
- Enhanced traffic signal timing and configuration to reduce traffic and transit delays.
The proposed improvements for Central Avenue include:
- New right turn movement from eastbound East Capitol Street to southbound Central Avenue SE
- Traffic calming and reconfigured access at the Central Avenue SE slip lane and at the 49th Place NE and Central Avenue NE intersection.
- Proposed sidewalk along the southern curb line of East Capitol Street, which significantly reduces the walking distance for pedestrians.
DDOT anticipates completing the 30 percent engineering design for the East Capitol Street Safety and Mobility Project in 2021.
Finalizing the 30% design plan in 2021, with a 30-day public comment period per § 9–101.06 of the DC Code.