District Department of Transportation

Livability Program

Livability refers to the quality of life as experienced by the people who live, work, and recreate in a community. In a transportation context, livability refers to improvements in public space that increase safety and access for all users of the transportation system.

Livability study areas include several District neighborhoods and are conducted with a system-wide perspective to evaluate traffic safety and recommend improvements.

Recommendations for intersections and streets are developed to provide solutions that do not shift the problem to adjacent blocks or intersections. Livability studies include robust public outreach, with the goal to ensure residents support each recommendation. Livability studies also align with Mayor Bowser’s Vision Zero Initiative, which has an objective to reach zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of the District’s transportation system by 2024.

Livability study areas are determined based on the Area Elements of the District of Columbia’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as the overall transportation network of the District.

Each livability study concludes with a list of recommendations, which can include safer pedestrian crossings, more accessible bus stops, geometric adjustments that support intersection safety, enhanced green spaces, signage for better driver information, and speed controls in sensitive areas.

Each livability study is informed by the unique needs of the neighborhoods that make up the study area, and the approach of each study is shaped by these needs. Past studies have put special focus on certain types of improvements, such as green infrastructure, access to parks and public space, and anticipating changes to land use or demographics.

DDOT has evaluated the livability studies that have not yet been completed, and ranked them in order of priority. DDOT’s goal is to complete two livability studies each year. DDOT prioritized the remaining livability studies using a number of factors, including crash data and demographic data.

For more information on DDOT’s Livability Program, please contact Ted Van Houten, Transportation Planner, (202) 671-4580, theodore.vanhouten@dc.gov

Livability Studies Completed

Livability Study Year Completed
Rock Creek West II 2011
Far Northeast 2011
Far Southeast II 2011
Mid City East 2014
Brookland-Edgewood 2015
Rock Creek East II 2016
Far Southeast III 2017
Rock Creek Far West 2019
Rock Creek East I 2019
Near Northwest III Ongoing 2020-2021

Livability Zones