The Wheeler Road Safety and Access Quick Delivery Project provides immediate safety improvements by using near-term solutions. Following the quick delivery project, DDOT will evaluate the near-term solutions that were installed to determine if they should be made permanent and develop multiple long-term solutions for Wheeler Road through the Wheeler Road Safety Capital Improvement Project (CIP).
What is proposed in the Quick Delivery?
There are many tools that DDOT is using to improve safety and access, including a road diet, pedestrian islands, curb extensions, and automated traffic enforcement. Below is a rendering of one of the safety improvements installed on Wheeler Road as part of the Quick Delivery project.
When did the Quick Delivery project start?
DDOT started community outreach in the fall of 2020 at ANC 8C and 8E meetings. In the spring of 2021, DDOT launched a preference survey to receive community input on which traffic safety tools residents would support for Wheeler Road. DDOT distributed 2,500 door hangers to residents along Wheeler Road.
In October 2021, DDOT presented at an ANC 8C meeting an overview of various safety techniques that could be applied to Wheeler Road and shared the Wheeler Road survey results. Also, in the fall of 2021, DDOT started drafting concept plans based on community feedback and started installing near-term safety improvements along Wheeler Road between Mississippi Avenue SE and Alabama Avenue SE (Phase 1).
Quick Delivery project schedule:
- DDOT conducted community outreach:
- March 7, 2022 – ANC 8E
- March 9, 2022 – ANC 8C
- DDOT developed near-term, temporary plans for safety improvements along Wheeler Road between Mississippi Avenue SE and Southern Avenue SE (Phase 2)
- Summer 2022
- DDOT installed near-term safety improvements between Alabama Avenue SE and Mississippi Avenue SE (Phase 1).
- Fall 2022
- DDOT presented Phase 2 plans at the ANC 8E meeting.
- Summer 2023
- DDOT will install near-term safety improvements along Wheeler Road between Mississippi Avenue SE and Southern Avenue SE (Phase 2).
Wheeler Road Safety Project (Capital Improvement Project (CIP)):
- Started in May 2023
- The capital improvement project evaluates the quick delivery safety improvements for their potential long-term effectiveness and will determine which safety features can be developed into long-term, permanent improvements.
- The CIP will also develop multiple long-term safety improvements for the corridor.
How will the Quick Delivery project improve street safety and access in the near-term?
- Create a consistent two-lane travel lane configuration (one lane in each direction) to reduce crashes and shorten pedestrian crossing distances.
- Install channelized student pick-up and drop-off to improve safety and provide more structure.
- Right turn in/out only at DC Kipp driveway to improve safety (no left turns).
- New crosswalk at DC Kipp with pedestrian island and Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB).
- Concrete pedestrian island at Savannah Street and Upsal Street to provide a safe place to wait to cross.
- Paint and flex post no parking areas at crosswalks to improve visibility.
- Paint and flex post curb extensions to slow vehicles and reduce pedestrian crossing distances.
- Painted parking boxes for better-structure parking and to slow vehicles.
- Paint and a flex post median to narrow the roadway and slow vehicles.
- Dedicated left-turn lanes to reduce rear-end and left-turn crashes.
- Updated traffic signs, including speed limit signs and Stop for Pedestrians in the road signs, to communicate clear traffic laws to drivers.
- Painted murals at curb extension areas define pedestrian-only areas.
- Bus stop relocation/consolidation to improve safety and bus efficiency.
- Commercial loading zone for delivery vehicles.
Will the Quick Delivery improvements affect parking?
No. Parking will be maintained where it is currently needed and utilized.
Will the Quick Delivery improvements make traffic worse?
The near-term safety improvements are designed to improve safety and access with minimal effects on traffic. The traffic analysis recommended that the intersections of Southern Avenue and Alabama Avenue remain the same, and a turn lane is recommended at Mississippi Avenue (northbound) to maintain current traffic operations. Below are graphs that show the approximate current and future vehicle travel times along Wheeler Road from Southern Avenue to Alabama Avenue in the morning and evening rush hours.