Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Wells Supports Prohibiting Commercial Trucks & Buses on C Street, NE

Full Letter sent to DDOT Director Gabe Klein & DDOT Ward 6 Planner Jamie Henson

Excerpted Body of the Letter (click on image to read larger version)

Commercial vehicles using C Street, NE, beginning at 21st Street, are a serious chronic safety, health and quality-of-life issue for C Street residents, students attending Eliot-Hine JHS, youth using the school’s outdoor courts and fields and residents commuting to and from the Stadium/Armory Metrorail station. Not to mention, 'downstream' Capitol Hill residents and open-spaces, such as, Lincoln Park, Eastern Market and Stanton Park.

A majority of these commercial vehicles, especially motor-coaches and mid- and large-sized delivery trucks, use the Capitol Hill neighborhood street grid to either move in and out of downtown or connect between I-295/Kenilworth Ave and I-395/East-west Freeway.

So, the purpose of the above letter, dated August 20, 2009, is to urge the District of Columbia's Department of Transportation (DDOT) to prohibit commercial vehicles (trucks and motor-coaches), with a GVW greater than 1-1/4 tons, from using C Street, NE, between 21st and 6th Streets. This in part, is to begin redirecting commercial traffic from the residential street grid to existing east-west major arterial and commercial routes recommended in the DDOT’s “2004 District of Columbia Motor Carrier Management and Threat Assessment Study”.

Also, as referenced in the above letter, HERE is Tommy Wells' letter to DDOT requesting the reduction of one west-bound C street lane.

Once again, a BIG "thank you!" to Council Member Tommy Wells and his staff for their continuous time, support and attention to our efforts. We are very fortunate to have a representative like CM Wells who, not only embraces the value of a "livable, walkable community", but is in the forefront leading the community and DC government to ensure such a noble cause move towards realization.


Anonymous said...

Would this ban include metro busses? The D-6 runs down C street... It serves people who live between East Capitol and the Benning/H Street Corridor.

Ken said...

No, Metro buses are not included.

It would prohibit commercial trucks >1-1/4 tons Gross vehicle weight (GVW) and motor-coaches (charter buses), such as, Dillon or Martz private bus companies.

Of course, even if DDOT posts such a prohibition, the real difficulty is enforcement (or educating the bus companies) to use alternative routes.


ibc said...

Of course, even if DDOT posts such a prohibition, the real difficulty is enforcement (or educating the bus companies) to use alternative routes.

Do you mean difficult logistically; or just getting MPD to pull over and ticket the violators.

Anyone know what the penalty would be?

Ken said...

Admittedly, I am unsure what DC agency has jurisdiction, but I assume it is MPD, as you mentioned. I say difficulty based on 17th Street, NE & SE. That street has posted vehicle weight restrictions, yet I witness heavy trucks and buses using it daily.

I believe it is a 3 fold pursuit to achieve our intended results:

Education: DDOT working with United Motor-coach Association (and other associations) MPD, DPW (parking tickets) and DMV (parking permits) to inform drivers and businesses of designated DC motor-coach routes; or inversely, prohibited streets/areas/routes, if designated routes have not yet been established.

Enforcement: MPD periodically setting up “check points” on C Street (and 17th Street) to first issue warnings and then citations.

Street Design: C Street and subsequent streets like Constitution Ave, North Carolina Ave and East Capitol St. should have street elements/layout to make it less appealing for commercial trucks and buses to use (though emergency vehicles would obviously have to be considered in the design) For instance, how about a roundabout at 21st and C Street intersection? This would slow all vehicles down to residential speeds, alert motorist they are entering a neighborhood, prohibit large buses and trucks from traversing the curvature/geometry and would probably not impact emergency vehicle access since it is on the 'edge' of the neighborhood street grid.

Just some ideas,


Derrick Trucks said...

Commercial trucks are getting prohibited these days. Safety laws are changed to make the shipping safer.

digger derricks

bucket trucks said...

I think it's great that they are saying that some commercial vehicles are unable to use this road. The weight of the trucks alone cause us to have to repair the roads every couple of years. This may add a little bit of time onto their routes but it will save everyone else money because we wont have to fix the road all of the time