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Pennsylvania & Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Improvement Study

Project Overview

The Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Improvement Study proposes to enhance safety at these street intersections for neighborhood pedestrians and transit users of the Potomac Avenue Metrorail Station and the numerous area bus stops. Despite the numerous crosswalk locations, pedestrians traverse the intersection through the grassed median of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The proposed project would remove some of the current conflicting pedestrian crossings and replace them with more direct routes for pedestrians and transit users.

The project was originally proposed in the 2005 Middle Anacostia River Crossings Transportation Study (MAC) as a mid-term improvement for enhancing the transportation network in the Middle Anacostia River region. 


Why Is DDOT Evaluating This Intersection?

  • The Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Potomac Avenue SE, and 14th Street SE intersection has multiple striped crosswalk locations, which creates pedestrian and driver confusion.

  • Current striped crosswalks provide indirect means to cross Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

  • Pedestrians have created a more direct path through the grassed median of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. This path is not striped and not included in the pedestrian signal timing.


Evaluation Criteria

  • Enhance pedestrian safety for residents and multi-modal transit users traveling in and around the Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Potomac Avenue SE, and 14th Street SE intersection.

  • Meet District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan Transportation Planning Elements and Policies investing in pedestrian connections as a means to enhance multi-modal use.

  • Align with Regional and District transportation planning policies to reduce reliance on the automobile through investment at transit centers.

The study was concluded with the completion of the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact in Fall 2017. This document was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in compliance with all applicable environmental laws and Executive Orders, for the reconstruction of the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Potomac Avenue SE and 14th Street SE. The Final EA includes the comments received on the Draft EA and agency responses. The Final EA and the FONSI identify the alternative selected for the project, the Ellipse Park, and the required mitigation measures.

Selected Design: Ellipse Park Street Design

Street Design

  • 3 lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE around ellipse

  • All street approaches controlled by a traffic signal

  • 12 ft. lane widths within ellipse

  • Encourages lower traffic speeds

Park Area and Shape

  • Forms a unique shaped neighborhood park

  • Features a fountain or sculpture element

  • Protected from traffic by green space and trees that border edges

  • Creates approx. 34,300 ft. of public space


Upcoming Construction

  • Pending Funds

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