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DDOT Launches Project to Improve Safety in High Crash Area of I-395

Thursday, January 7, 2021

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DDOT Launches Project to Improve Safety in High Crash Area of I-395

Pilot Advances Vision Zero Goals, Prioritizes Transportation Safety in the District

(Washington, DC) –Today, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced a six-month pilot project to improve safety on northbound I-395 between Exit 4 (9th Street SW) and Exit 6 (3rd Street Tunnel/C Street). The I-395 Safety Pilot Project is scheduled to begin January 8 and continue through May 2021 with the goal of reducing the number of crashes in the merge area, which has had more than 100 crashes in the past three years.

“Vision Zero requires us to improve safety on all of our roadways, from local neighborhood streets to the highways that residents and visitors use every day,” said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. “The data collected from this pilot project will allow us to evaluate how traffic pattern changes make one of the District’s historically dangerous merging areas safer and easier to navigate.”

The I-395 Safety Pilot Project aims to improve safety in this high-crash area by changing merging patterns at the Maine Avenue and 9th Street SW on-ramps to northbound I-395, and will work as follows:

  • DDOT will reduce the Maine Avenue SW on-ramp to one lane and merge traffic onto I-395 prior to the 9th Street SW on-ramp.
  • At the entrance to 9th Street SW on-ramp, vehicles from 9th Street SW/D Street SW will yield the right-of-way to traffic from 9th Street Expressway.
  • After this merge, vehicles on 9th Street-on-ramp will now have a dedicated lane as they enter the freeway. 

New signage and roadway markings are posted to assist drivers with the new traffic pattern. Drivers are advised to slow down and stay alert while driving through this area.

DDOT will monitor traffic conditions during the six-month pilot period and will make adjustments as needed to finalize the revised merge area design.

This project is part of the District’s Vision Zero initiative, an all hands-on-deck approach to eliminating fatalities and injuries through more effective use of data, education, enforcement and engineering. To learn more, please visit dcvisionzero.com/action-plan.


The District Department of Transportation's mission is to equitably deliver a safe, sustainable, and reliable multimodal transportation network for all residents and visitors of the District of the District of Columbia.

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