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Car Free Lane Construction to Begin on Two Washington, D.C., Streets

Tue August 18, 2020 - Northeast Edition

Car Free Lanes are part of DDOT’s Bus Priority Program, Mayor Bowser’s initiative to enhance bus service across all eight wards of the District.
Car Free Lanes are part of DDOT’s Bus Priority Program, Mayor Bowser’s initiative to enhance bus service across all eight wards of the District.

Washington, D.C.'s District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced Aug. 13 that construction of Car Free Lanes on 7th Street NW and M Street SE will begin Aug. 17, weather permitting.

According to DDOT Director Jeff Marootian, the project is part of a year-long effort to improve bus performance and safety throughout the District, thus fulfilling a commitment of D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser's administration.

"These Car Free Lanes will not only increase bus travel speeds and reliability but will also help reinvigorate business and commuter activity in the downtown area," he added.

Car Free Lanes are part of DDOT's Bus Priority Program, Bowser's initiative to enhance bus service across all eight wards of the District.

Beginning Aug. 17, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists should expect the following traffic impacts on 7th Street NW:

  • Removal of all on-street parking on 7th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Massachusetts Avenue NW,
  • Intermittent, alternate lane closures on 7th Street NW in both directions for installation of sidewalk extensions and,
  • Periodic closures of Metrobus zones and commercial loading zones.

Starting on or about Sept. 14, these roadways will be restricted to buses, bicycles, and trucks 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • 7th Street NW (between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW),
  • G Street (between 7th Street NW and 8th Street NW) and,
  • Construction is expected to last approximately 60 days.

Also, around Sept. 14, the M Street SE Car Free Lane portion of the project should begin and will entail:

  • Curbside lanes on M Street SE between 10th Street SE and Half Street SE being closed in both directions intermittently and restricted to only buses and bicycles during the morning and evening rush hours (existing off-peak parking will be restored once the project is complete) and,
  • Construction is expected to take about 30 days.

After the Car Free Lanes are open, the DDOT said the street upgrades in downtown Washington will allow Metro and Circulator DC buses to efficiently operate their routes, supporting improved bus travel times and reliability. Additionally, the 7th Street NW project should improve pedestrian safety with expanded sidewalks for social distancing.

Car Free Lanes will be designated with red curb paint and bicycle sharrow, or shared-lane, markings.

DDOT plans to study the performance of buses and other multimodal traffic in the corridor to assess benefits, impacts, and necessary refinements.

The mission of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment.

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