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K Street Transitway

K Street Reconstruction and Revitalization - model of revitalization street view with streetcar

The K Street Transitway is an exciting project that will reconfigure one of the District's major east-west corridors, K Street, NW, with vast improvements to benefit bus riders, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT)'s goal is to efficiently accommodate multimodal travel and an exclusive transitway within the existing street right of way, as well as to incorporate streetscape and design enhancements through the heart of downtown.

Project History

The current infrastructure of K Street reflects outdated transportation needs and operations. The corridor's service lanes are an inefficient use of right of way that lead to severe traffic congestion and encourage parking and loading conflicts. The corridor's geometry and typical traffic congestion result in significant vehicle-pedestrian conflicts and pedestrian safety issues. In addition, the buses on K Street, currently operating in mixed traffic, travel at slow speeds and have difficulty maintaining schedules because of the traffic congestion and common parking violations.

In 2009, DDOT completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) of various alternatives. Following the release of the Draft EA and a public comment period, DDOT identified Alternative 2, the Two-Lane Transitway, as the Preferred Alternative. Alternative 2 would provide an exclusive two-way, two-lane median transitway between 20th Street and 12th Street. Alternative 2 would also include two 10-foot general purpose travel lanes and one 12-foot travel/off-peak parking lane in each direction on K Street between 20th Street and 12th Street. Subsequently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FHWA determined that the Preferred Alternative/Alternative 2, "will not have a significant impact on the natural, human or built environment."

Project Area and Description

The Transitway will feature a two-way dedicated busway running in the center of K Street from 12th Street NW to 21st Street NW. The new design eliminates service lanes along K Street and places medians in the center of the roadway to protect the busway. The new medians will feature bus stops, lighting, landscaping, and pedestrian amenities. Much of the streetscape will be improved with new bioretention, landscaping, and pedestrian amenities, including Vision Zero safety improvements.

Goals and Benefits

The purpose of the project is to reconfigure the K Street, NW, corridor to make more efficient and effective use of the right of way for multimodal travel.

Benefits of the project include:

  • Improved speed and reliability for bus passengers in downtown and throughout the District
  • More efficient vehicular operations
  • Safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists