Sherman Circle to lose one lane in three-week pilot

The D.C. Department of Transportation intends to remove one travel lane from Sherman Circle NW to improve safety at the Petworth roundabout. (Brian Kapur/The Current/August 2017)

Sherman Circle NW will lose one travel lane for the next three weeks, a change that will allow the D.C. Department of Transportation to study the effects of such a traffic pattern.

The agency has proposed permanently eliminating one of the Petworth roundabout’s two travel lanes in an effort to reduce vehicle speeds and make it easier for pedestrians to cross. A similar pilot closure at nearby Grant Circle NW resulted in major traffic delays, prompting the Transportation Department to back off a similar proposal at that location.

Although officials said previously that such an experiment wouldn’t be necessary at Sherman Circle because it sees less traffic volume, some residents had raised concerns about implementing a permanent change without enough information.

The department will begin the experiment on Monday, blocking a lane using orange traffic barrels starting late Sunday night, according to a release. The agency asks motorists to expect “moderate” delays. Sherman Circle NW is located at the intersection of Kansas and Illinois avenues and 7th and Crittenden streets.