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Work on long-planned road redesign in Takoma to begin in mid-August

At the intersection of three streets, the project was first charted several years ago

The legs of two pedestrians and their shadows are seen traversing a zebra crosswalk. Shutterstock

Update, August 5:

Asphalt resurfacing work at the intersection of Blair Road NW, Cedar Street NW, and 4th Street NW, in Takoma, is set to start August 15, triggering months of traffic changes, D.C. transportation officials said Monday. The work is permitted for Mondays through Fridays between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., with at least a travel lane each way to be maintained outside of rush hours. Drivers should expect delays.

A map of the project area with street-grid view, showing Blair Road NW, Cedar Street NW, and 4th Street NW.
Map of the project area
D.C. government

Original post, July 30:

Construction on a longstanding traffic safety project in Takoma will finally kick off in August, according to the city. In a recent release, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) says the project will “reduce conflicts between cars, buses, bicyclists and pedestrians” at the intersection of three busy roads close to the neighborhood’s Metro station: Blair Road NW, Cedar Street NW, and 4th Street NW. The work is expected to be completed by next spring.

4th Street NW will be changed to a one-way, southbound road, while infrastructure where Blair Road NW and Cedar Street NW meet will be updated. The improvements “include reconstructing the pavement, median and sidewalk sections; widening the roadway to provide adequate turning movements for [Metro] buses; upgrading traffic control devices, streetlights and utility lines; and installing new low impact stormwater management facilities and green planting areas,” DDOT adds in the release. The project resulted from a 2014 audit.

The audit analyzed three years of crashes, from 2008 through 2010, and identified five main safety challenges for the intersection: “complex intersection geometry and traffic control,” “significant pedestrian-vehicle conflicts,” “high accident frequency,” “insufficient traffic signage,” and “faded pavement markings.” Twenty-four crashes occurred over that period.

DDOT says the area, located near D.C.’s Northeast border with Maryland, sees many drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists due to the proximity of the Takoma Metro station as well as various residential and commercial properties. The construction work will happen in phases, it notes.

A community meeting about the project is scheduled for August 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Takoma Education Campus. That campus is situated at 7010 Piney Branch Road NW.