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Fixing Problem at Conn. Ave. Bridge

Several readers have been asking about a situation at the Klingle Bridge reconstruction area on Connecticut Avenue, and the District's Transportation Department had some news about this major commuter route.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
A warning note to motorists traveling southbound on Connecticut Avenue near the Klingle Bridge project:
DDOT has rerouted several southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue just south of Klingle bridge. The city put up electronic lane markers above the street, which is helpful, but some motorists aren't seeing the traffic signals for the Kennedy-Warren apartment complex or the entrance for the National Zoo, which are at street level.

This past weekend, I noticed several cars zoom through the intersection and a couple more drivers slam on their brakes to stop at the red lights between Devonshire and the pedestrian crossing for the zoo.
Dan Crowe
Cleveland Park

DDOT plans to relocate the hanging lights so there is less confusion, says Erik Linden, a department spokesman. "We received feedback from residents and commuters that there was some confusion. We will relocate the northbound and southbound lane signals away from the traffic signals in order to increase safety, information and traffic flow. We expected the change to wrap by Thursday or Friday."

By Robert Thomson  |  November 14, 2006; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Construction  
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The construction lane lights also don't seem to switch back at the same timing as the lane switch does at night -- It's supposed to go to two lanes in either direction (by the construction) at 6:30, and the construction arrows stay at 3 lanes north and one lane south until at least 6:45. Driving south on Connecticut last night, I saw five near-accidents in this area.

Posted by: alexva | November 14, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly enough, on Friday night, I was driving home from work in Dupont headed to Chevy Chase, and because the arrows are so green, I drove right through the light closest to the bridge. The only reason I noticed it at all was due to a car coming out of the parking lot with whom I almost had a collision.

There was a police car in the next lane over headed south. I pulled over figuring that he would turn around and snag an easy ticket, but he just kept right on driving.

I travel that road every day, and I know that light is there, but was distracted by the (almost too) bright green arrows over my lane. I'm glad someone is going to do something about it, before someone gets hurt.

Posted by: Thom | November 14, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

This is a very dangerous intersection for pedestrians.

People are running the light going southbound on Connecticut all the time!!! It happened last night on my way home and again this morning on my way to work. People in my building have almost been hit. And these cars are going full speed, 25 to 35 mph.

IMHO, the problem is only partially the overhead lights. It's the fact that the stoplight is on the sidewalk and not overhead. With the two west lanes closed for the construction, it's hard to see the light.

Here's what I suggest:
1. Make the stoplight more visible.
2. Put a warning sign that there is a stoplight ahead.
3. Paint the street itself warning that stoplight is ahead and paint a big white strip to show drivers where to stop.

Posted by: James | November 15, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

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