ANC supports traffic signal at H and 19th streets NW

Media Credit: Donna Armstrong | Contributing Photo Editor

James Harnett, a junior and an ANC commissioner, said students and local residents have brought concerns about the safety of the intersection to his attention.

Updated: March 11, 2019 at 3:16 p.m.

A local governing group passed a resolution aiming to combat a local traffic issue Tuesday night.

The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission convened Tuesday just a week and a half after its last meeting, which had been postponed because of inclement weather. At the last meeting, commissioners supported a restaurant license for Duke’s Grocery to open in the 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. complex and greenlighted a plan to revamp Francis Field.

Traffic signal at H and 19th streets NW
Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution urging the District Department of Transportation to add a traffic signal to the intersection of H and 19th streets NW.

The resolution notes that many pedestrians have been hit by cars that “refuse” to slow down as they head toward the E Street Expressway and Pennsylvania Avenue.

James Harnett, a junior and an ANC commissioner, said students and local residents have brought concerns about the safety of the intersection to his attention.

“It is quite dangerous for people, especially at rush hour, as many cars are accelerating by,” Harnett said. “It’s tough to decide when to step in the middle of all of that.”

Commissioner Patrick Kennedy said the intersection has presented a “long-standing safety issue” that puts pedestrians at risk.

“I remember when I was a student, I used to cross there all the time going to Thurston, and I was still new to the District at the time, and I was so scared to step out into the roadway in front of the speeding Virginia drivers,” Kennedy said.

He added that DDOT had previously voiced concerns over the proposed signal’s proximity to another traffic signal on Pennsylvania Avenue. Kennedy said those concerns are not “particularly legitimate” because officials had installed a traffic signal at a nearby intersection that posed a similar issue.

“It’s clearly a question of whether they’re going to prioritize pedestrian safety or whether they are going to continue to compromise it in favor of commuter flow,” Kennedy said. “I hope for our sake, they prioritize safety.”

Right Care, Right Now partners with Lyft
Commissioners also heard a presentation from Robert Holman, the medical director of D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, about the Right Care, Right Now initiative.

Right Care, Right Now – which was launched last April – connects 911 callers suffering from less serious, non-threatening conditions and injuries with primary care providers in their area for same-day medical care. The program provides Medicaid and D.C. HealthCare Alliance beneficiaries with free transportation to their clinics.

In an effort to conserve hospital funding and resources and limit patient wait times, Right Care, Right Now diverts less serious, less urgent transportation requests through the ride-sharing service Lyft instead of ambulances. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis by a nurse who speaks directly to the caller, Holman said.

Holman said the average wait time for a Lyft is 13 minutes, and the average time span between the initial placement of a call and the patient’s delivery at a hospital is 37 minutes.

About 70 percent of 911 calls result from non-life-threatening issues, directing about 500 calls each day to Right Care, Right Now, Holman said.

2033 K St. NW construction
Commissioners also discussed an after-hours construction permit request for the Quadrangle Development Corporation project at 2033 K St. NW but decided not to take action.

The work will include glass replacement on six floors, balcony removal, a renovated lobby, HVAC upgrades and parking garage restorations. When completed, the property will also boast a first-floor arcade and fitness center, project managers said.

GW is the main tenant of the building. The building houses several University offices, like the Office of Risk Management and Insurance and the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, project managers said.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
A previous version of this post incorrectly reported that city officials are currently installing a crosswalk at the intersection of H and 19th streets. We regret this error.

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