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City kicks off $1.9M road safety project in Takoma

A bike lane and new crosswalks are slated for a highly trafficked intersection

A high-visibility crosswalk in the middle of a black-asphalt road. Shutterstock

D.C. officials including Mayor Muriel Bowser and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) head Jeff Marootian on Friday launched $1.9 million worth of traffic safety work focused on a bustling, crash-prone intersection in Takoma. Expected to last until spring 2020, the construction work will change the intersection of 4th Street, Cedar Street, and Blair Road NW, which sees roughly 20,000 drivers a day, according to the mayor’s office.

“Once complete, 4th Street, NW will be converted to a one-way southbound street with a dedicated bike lane and the Blair Road/Cedar Street NW intersection will be reconfigured to minimize vehicle and bicycle-pedestrian conflicts,” a release from Bowser’s office points out. “The project also includes high visibility crosswalks, infrastructure that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, upgraded traffic signals, new parking meters and traffic control devices, and additional stormwater management and landscaping.” The project is part of the District’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024.

The construction work will add new pavement, road medians, and street lights as well. The project was originally announced earlier this summer. A 2014 audit found various problems with the intersection, including “high accident frequency” and “insufficient traffic signage.”

“Construction activities will require intermittent closing of one travel lane on Blair Road and Butternut Street between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays through September 28, 2019,” DDOT explains. “Roadway users should expect short interruption to two-way traffic during placement of concrete and asphalt to fill the trenches.” Contractors will put up signs.