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DDOT to Activate New Barnes Dance Traffic Signal Operation Thursday, June 15

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Second pedestrian scramble in the District underscores commitment to Vision Zero


Media Contacts

Terry Owens — (202) 763-8635, [email protected]
Michelle Phipps-Evans — (202) 497-0124, [email protected]

(Washington, DC)–The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will activate the District's newest “Barnes Dance” traffic signal operation at approximately 11 am, Thursday, June 15, at the intersection of 14th Street and Irving Street, NW, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Also known as a "pedestrian scramble," a Barnes Dance intersection allows pedestrians to cross diagonally while vehicles on all sides of the intersection are stopped. The new traffic signal timing features an all-red pedestrian-only phase and "No Turn on Red" restrictions designed to improve operations and create a safer intersection for all users.

"A Barnes Dance signal operation can be an effective solution for intersections where pedestrians outnumber vehicles," said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. "This new signal operation also supports our efforts to achieve Vision Zero, Mayor Muriel Bowser's initiative to reach zero fatalities and serious injuries in our transportation system by 2024."

The intersection of 14th and Irving Street NW was selected for a Barnes Dance because of the high volume of pedestrian traffic. Approximately 3,500 pedestrians use the intersection during the busiest hour of the afternoon rush compared to approximately 1,500 vehicles.

When this imbalance occurs, a shift in the signal operation can reduce conflicts caused by turning vehicles and pedestrians as they attempt to cross the street during their designated "Pedestrian Walk" signal phase.

During the first few days of implementation, DDOT Traffic Control Officers will be on site to direct traffic.Special signs in both Spanish and English will be posted. Additionally, DDOT staff will distribute informational cards to advise users of the new traffic operation at the intersection.

Pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists are urged to follow their designated signals within the time allowed.

  • Pedestrians are expected to cross only when the pedestrian signal indicates a walk signal.
  • Drivers must obey the signals as right turns on red signals are not allowed at any time. They are advised to drive at the posted speed limit and to not block the box.
  • Cyclists may proceed on a walk signal, but they must yield right of way to all pedestrians in the intersection.

DDOT urges users of the corridor to be mindful of the changes and to be alert at all times.

The following graphic explains how the new Barnes Dance will work.  barnes dance

This is the second Barnes Dance signal operations in the District. The first one was installed in Chinatown at 7th and H Street NW in 2010.

For more information about the Barnes Dance, please visit DDOT's website at https://ddot.dc.gov/page/barnes-dance-intersections.

The mission of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment. Follow us on Twitter for transportation-related updates and more; like us on Facebook and visit the website at www.ddot.dc.gov. Visit goDCgo.com for more information on transportation options in the District.