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Florida Avenue NE safety improvements begin

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They follow the April death of a beloved D.C. bike advocate

Activists carry banner demanding safe roads at memorial for Dave Salovesh (April 21, 2019)
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Workers have started construction on interim street design changes at the Northeast intersection near where in April a driver fatally struck well-known bike advocate Dave Salovesh. The work is part of larger improvements long planned for a lengthy stretch of Florida Avenue NE, a major thoroughfare by Union Market and the H Street NE corridor.

At issue is the intersection of Florida Avenue, 12th and K streets, and Montello Avenue NE. “The intersection will be modified to eliminate the channelized right turn lane onto K Street [NE] and consolidate the two separate crosswalks on the west side of 12th Street into a single crosswalk,” the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) says in a recent release. “The small concrete island will be removed from K Street and a curb extension will be installed on the north-west corner of the intersection of 12th Street and K Street to create a more typical intersection configuration.” DDOT conducted a public meeting on the project last Thursday.

DDOT says it intends to have a new crosswalk installed on the west side of 12th Street NE by July 1, 2019, after new pavement and new signals have been put in. “During construction, the two K Street [NE] crosswalks on the west side of 12th Street will be temporarily closed and pedestrian traffic will be detoured to the K Street crosswalk on the east side of 12th Street,” DDOT continues in its release. Protected bike lanes on Florida Avenue NE are planned for later this summer. The goal is to reduce driver speeds and improve safety along the avenue.

“Following activation of the new configuration, DDOT will monitor and adjust the operation based on field observations and community feedback,” the agency explains. The project falls under the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative launched by Mayor Muriel Bowser back in 2015.