D.C. transportation officials plan to dedicate curbsides in five popular areas around the city as 24/7 pick-up and drop-off zones for ride-hailing vehicles like those available via Uber and Lyft as well as for commercial loading, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration said on Friday.
The goal of the zones is to “reduce conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists,” the mayor noted in a statement. The zones are poised be installed at 14th and U streets NW, the National Zoo, and the Wharf, and in Georgetown and NoMA, after a 30-day public comment period. Officials say these locations were selected because of “high demand for curb space.”
The effort is part of the District’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024. Bowser’s team unveiled a recalibration of Vision Zero earlier this week after a spike in traffic deaths in 2018 and criticism from D.C. activists and lawmakers.
Over the past year, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has tested pick-up and drop-off zones in Dupont Circle, along stretches of Connecticut Avenue NW and 18th Street NW bustling with nightlife. Cars that park in or otherwise block the zones are towed.
“Passenger and commercial loading can occur directly at the curb, and out of travel lanes,” explains a release from Bowser’s office. Like those in Dupont Circle, the five new zones will also be operated on a pilot basis. According to DDOT, their specific locations are as follows:
- 14th and U streets NW—west curbside of the 1900 block of 14th Street NW, east curbside of the 2000 block of 14th Street NW
- Smithsonian National Zoo—east curbside of the 2900 block of Connecticut Avenue NW
- The Wharf—south curbside of the 800 block of Maine Avenue SW
- Georgetown—east curbside of the 1200 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW
- NoMa—west curbside of the 1200 block of 6th Street NE
As part of its renewed Vision Zero plan, the District is considering prohibiting right turns on red at 100 “priority” intersections, implementing neighborhood “slow zones” where speeds would be restricted to 20 mph, and creating more protected bike lanes, among other actions.