Rock Creek ‘livability’ study focuses on safety, transportation in Ward 3

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Rock Creek far West Livability Study area as defined by DDOT. Image: DDOT.DC.gov

The District Department of Transportation recently presented its “Livability Study” for the “Rock Creek Far West,” which consists of the area south of Massachusetts Avenue, east of the Maryland border, north of the Potomac River, west of Glover Archbold Park, and north of Whitehaven Park and Whitehaven Street. A map of the area is available on the project website.    

The entire area is encompassed in Ward 3 though it includes several advisory neighborhood commission areas.

Ted Van Houten, a transportation planner for the Department and manager of the “Rock Creek Far West Livability Study,” said the study is focusing on prioritizing safety, accessibility, and cost effective and sustainable solutions to area transportation issues. 

It is not looking at repairing sidewalks and potholes. Instead, it will produce recommendations to improve bicycle and pedestrian networks, as well as specific issues affecting traffic safety, in a cost effective manner over both a short term — 1-2 year period — and a medium term — 2-5 year period — when some projects requiring capital spending can be considered.

At the presentation, residents were encouraged to share their concerns.  One neighbor specifically expressed worry about the lack of sidewalks on parts of 49th Street, between Garfield and Ashby streets, in the face of speeding cars and poor visibility.

At the meeting the department displayed a map showing the location of area traffic fatalities, another one showing the location of bicycle facilities, a land use map and another one of major roads.

Residents are urged to continue to submit specific areas of concern directly to Van Houten at theodore.vanhouten@dc.gov. or rockcreekfarwest.com.

A handout at the meeting said the department and the project team will provide updates at advisory neighborhood commission and civic association meetings, and via the project’s website as well as other tools. 

Van Houten specifically mentioned that the study will produce draft recommendations at a public workshop on May 18 at Stoddert Elementary School, and will then present an evaluation of final recommendations at a meeting in September. It will also have a tent at Glover Park Day on Saturday, June 1 at Guy Mason Recreation Center.