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Mayor Bowser Chooses New Design for Connecticut Avenue NW, Repurposing Reversible Rush-Hour Lanes with New Protected Bike Lanes

Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Permanent Removal of the Reversible Lane System Increases Roadway Safety for Pedestrians and Advances District’s Sustainability Goals

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced the selection of a preferred redesign concept for Connecticut Avenue NW that removes the reversible rush hour lanes and adds one-way, protected bicycle lanes on the east and west sides of the roadway.

“After considering several options, it was clear that this design best meets the needs of our city and moves us closer to a greener DC, a safer DC, and a DC that is less reliant on cars,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re going to continue working closely with the community to update our infrastructure so that it is not only safer, but better aligned with the ways people are moving around our city and the future of transportation in DC.”

The preferred “Concept C” comes out of the Connecticut Avenue Reversible Operations and Safety Study. When the reversible lanes were in operation before the pandemic, 1,500 crashes were reported over a three-year review period. It was estimated that eliminating the reversible lanes would decrease crashes there by about 17 percent. The addition of protected bicycle lanes also helps to reduce the speed of vehicular traffic, reducing crash severity and making the area safer for pedestrians.

Concept C had broad support in the community, with multiple Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) passing resolutions in support of the plan, including ANC 3C, ANC 3E, ANC 3F, and ANC 3/4G.

“Today’s announcement that DDOT will be pursuing a reengineered Connecticut Avenue—including a protected bike lane—is Vision Zero in action,” said Ward 3 Councilmember and Chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment Mary Cheh. “This decision marks a critical step in making the corridor a safer place for everyone, but, more importantly, it demonstrates the type of bold infrastructure planning that is needed across the District.”

“After two years of extensive stakeholder engagement and review of design options, we are very pleased in having the Mayor’s support with choosing Concept C,” said Acting DDOT Director Everett Lott. “This choice represents a true compromise in mitigating both the traffic and parking impacts within the corridor.”

The Connecticut Avenue NW Reversible Lane Operations and Safety Study was initiated in December 2019. DDOT held approximately 40 stakeholder and agency meetings as well as an extensive public comment period. The selection of this design supports moveDC sustainability and mobility goals by expanding the bicycle and pedestrian network to ensure a safe, connected, and more equitable infrastructure for all users.

Completion of final design is expected to take 18 months.

For more information about the project, please visit: ddot.dc.gov/page/connecticut-avenue-nw-reversible-lane-safety-and-operations-study.