On June 15, 2021, the Eckington Civic Association (“ECA”)sent a letter to DDOT presenting comments on DDOT’s 65% design for the intersection of New York Avenue, Florida Avenue, Eckington Place, and 1st Street (“Dave Thomas Circle”). In the letter, ECA noted our appreciation for the elements of this design that reflect previous input from our members, including the addition of crosswalks, protected bike lanes that cross New York Avenue, new public spaces, and simplified, direct access between Eckington and NoMa.
At the same time, the ECA expressed three outstanding concerns:
- the 65% design fails to address dangerous vehicle speeds and in fact encourages higher vehicle speeds by including new designated turn lanes;
- the project does not adequately advance DDOT’s sustainability goals because it includes no improvement to bus service along Florida Avenue and fails to close gaps in the low-stress bike network; and
- DDOT has not made sufficient commitments for the maintenance of public spaces at the intersection or for the regular closure of Eckington Place NE and First Street NE to accommodate community events.
In many respects, our feedback boils down to a simple point: We would like to see DDOT embrace the fact that this intersection lies at the heart of neighborhoods that are quickly becoming one of the most dense urban areas in the city. We hope that DDOT will take additional steps to make this space look, feel, and operate more like a city plaza and less like a suburban interchange.
These points are described in greater detail in the full letter, which is available here.