Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Share Stories  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |  Get Gridlock:    Twitter |    Facebook  |     RSS   |  phone Alerts

Constitution Goes Two-Way

The District has changed the traffic pattern on Constitution Avenue NE so that the flow is now two ways even during the morning rush, but not everyone seems to have gotten the word. Here's a letter I got on Monday.

Dr. Gridlock:

There was a shouting match outside my house on Constitution Avenue NE this morning because the city has not provided adequate direction about when the change from one-way to two-way traffic will occur. A solo driver in the eastbound lane came up against a block of traffic that was traveling west in that same eastbound lane, and neither side was prepared to give way. Finally, the lone eastbound driver was allowed to proceed, but westbound cars immediately re-filled the lane behind him.

There's going to be more than a shouting match if the city doesn't do a better job of handling the change in traffic pattern.

Elaine Goheen

The District, which made the switch after doing a traffic study and listening to residents' concerns in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, says it has been advising inbound commuters about the change for several weeks by using electronic message boards. The "One Way" and "Do Not Enter" signs have been removed and there are new pavement markings.

"This is really about protecting neighborhoods and making them friendlier for multiple modes of transportation versus the road simply serving as a commuting corridor," Emeka Moneme, director of the District Department of Transportation, said in a statement.

People who live on Capitol Hill have been complaining for a long time that commuters traveled too fast and with too little regard for neighborhood safety. The two-way plan developed in an effort to restore Constitution as a neighborhood street rather than a commuter artery, but DDOT says it's going to monitor the changes and analyze the impact.

Another step toward restoring a neighborhood feel to a commuter route will come this summer when the District cranks down the northern 200 feet of the Frederick Douglass Bridge. That elevated portion of South Capitol Street will be lowered down to ground level, near the new Nationals stadium, and there will be a new intersection with Potomac Avenue. The Douglass Bridge will be shut down during July and August while that work is underway.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 26, 2007; 7:43 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: In Search of Vacation Routes
Next: More Forums Set on Virginia Transportation


They don't station some sort of traffic control officials out there for the first few days to direct the traffic? They just rely on signs? I suppose that should be astonishing, but then, it's DC.

We see the same problem on Canal Road on holidays when the road is two-way but the regular commuters assume it's one-way, especially on holidays that are generally ignored by the business community (King Day, Veterans Day). DC relies too much on a lot of tiny signs.

Posted by: Rich | June 26, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This reminds me of what DDOT did at the Connecticut and Cathedral intersection back in April. Cathedral carries a lot of rush hour traffic to/from Rock Creek Parkway. Most of this traffic is coming from the east off the parkway and turning right onto Connecticut, and vice versa in the morning. There used to be a sign there saying that the left lane was left/through/right and the right lane was right turn only during PM rush hour only. No indication of what the proper lane use was during other hours.

Now the traffic signal here has a third phase in addition to the green phase for Connecticut and the green phase for Cathedral...southbound Connecticut has a green and green left turn arrow, and westbound Cathedral has a red and a green right turn arrow. This third phase does not exist during PM rush hour (in fact turns from southbound Connecticut onto Cathedral are banned during these hours).

So back in April, DDOT replaces the aformentioned sign with one indicating that the left lane is left turn only, and the right lane is a through/right turn lane. I saw the work crew replacing the sign, and later that day I was driving up Cathedral and wanted to go straight. So I diligently followed the new sign and got into the right lane. Boy was that a mistake...when the right turn arrow came on and I didn't start to turn right from that right lane, I had about 5 cars continuously honking at me until I got the green and went through. Not only that, but during rush hour, people were still turning left out of two lanes, meaning someone who actually obeys the sign and tries to go straight from the right lane could broadside someone turning right from the left lane! After several calls to DDOT, they ripped the sign out 3 weeks later and replaced it with one indicating that the left lane is through and left, and the right lane is right turn only. Much less horn honking, but old habits die hard...people still turn right out of both lanes during rush hour!

And holidays...I really like the especially obscure ones like Emancipation Day. I was definitely one of the only people in the area that realized I didn't have to move my car off the rush hour lanes of Connecticut that day! Likewise, rush hour drivers habitually followed the 2/4 rush hour lane pattern even though it was not in effect (I bet many of them were cursing me out for leaving my car parked there..oh well). While it may seem like commuters get screwed on days like that, there is one advantage the commuters zone permit enforcement.

Posted by: Woodley Park | June 26, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I commute this way every day. The signage warning commuters prior to the switch to 2-way traffic was very poor (but on par for DC). There was one electric sign at 8th St. NE warning "Traffic Change June 23rd". That's it.

A note to Capitol Hill residents. It's not the commuters fault that the Capitol Police department has gotten anal with the traffic flow through their jurisdiction. Traffic used to flow through here just fine. Where are we supposed to commute, if not on your precious Constitution Ave.? It's very difficult to go East/West in that part of town.

Posted by: Commuter | June 26, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

What about posting a sign on Constitution Avenue that says "New Traffic Pattern: 2-way traffic at all times". Post this about once every 4 blocks or so, and leave the signs up till September.

Posted by: MRS-MAN | June 26, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Re: Commuter

You have a number of choices:

*New York Ave
*H St
*Constitution Ave. (single lane)
*East Capitol Street (single lane)
*Pennsylvania Ave
*I-295 to I-395 and a number of downtown exits. (This is my personal recommendation. The posted speed limit on aforementioned streets is 25 miles per hour. Please observe it, all stop signs and traffic lights. I'd like to keep my children alive and healthy.)

Posted by: Capitol Hill Resident | June 26, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Capitol Hill Resident, Is the community concerned about any of this Constitution Avenue commuter traffic spilling over onto other residential streets?
I ask because I remember last year's traffic experiment on Military Road west of Rock Creek Park had some unintended consequences for the neighborhood. When the District reduced the travel lanes from two to one, stalled commuters started bailing out onto the local streets. This year, the city switched back to two lanes in the rush hour direction.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | June 26, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"And holidays...I really like the especially obscure ones like Emancipation Day. I was definitely one of the only people in the area that realized I didn't have to move my car off the rush hour lanes of Connecticut that day!"

I laugh on the day after Thanksgiving. People think it's a holiday and they park on roads like Constitution Avenue and are shocked when they get ticketed or towed. It's not a holiday, even if nobody outside the retail industry works that day.

Posted by: Rich | June 26, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

RE: Capitol Hill resident

Let's go down the list you presented.

You have a number of choices:

*New York Ave
you're joking, right?

*H St
you're joking, right?

*Constitution Ave. (single lane)
my personal choice

*East Capitol Street (single lane)
you're joking, right? Why don't you include C street? Or better yet, NC Ave? Also jokes.

*Pennsylvania Ave
you're joking, right? How do I go I-295 South to Penn Ave. West? Don't tell me Howard St.

*I-295 to I-395 and a number of downtown exits.
you're joking, right? How do I go I-295 South to I-395? Don't tell me Howard St.

And, I go the speed limit on Constitution. I want my commuting toddler to arrive safe and healthy at his daycare, thank you very much.

Posted by: Commuter | June 26, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

To Commuter - from 295 S to 395 - take the Suitland Pkwy exit from 295 S. Stay in the right lane (don't merge as if you are getting on Suitland Pkwy) and get right back on 295, this time going north. The exit for 395 will be just ahead.

Posted by: arlington | June 26, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

To arlington:

Let me get this straight. Instead of exiting 295 at East Capitol, I am supposed to add 4+ miles to my commute every day so I my presence doesn't piss off the folks in Capitol Hill? Give me a break. Where do you think all the South Capitol commuters are going to go this summer? The 11th Street bridge.

Posted by: Commuter | June 26, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

For everyone who moved onto Constitution Avenue before it became a major commuter route, please speak up. For everyone else, unless you are blind, Constitution is a major thoroughfare. You knew it when you moved in, and you should be prepared for the consequences, both good and bad.
This is an issue all across the area that people move onto major streets, or near sources of noise, and are just appalled to find out that they moved onto a major street, or near a loud place such as a stadium or airport!

Posted by: bystander | June 26, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The commuter traffic on Constitution Avenue is one of the consequences of opposing and killing the planned DC freeways.

Also, Capitol Hill residents were instrumental in killing what would have been a significant rememdy to the problem -the Barney Circle Connector. Now the traffic that should have been a highway is on Capitol Hill streets.

And I'll bet some of them still think they "won".

The traffic has to go SOMEwhere. Remember that the next time you feel like opposing a highway.

Posted by: CEEAF | June 26, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight:

The urbanists moved into the city because they hate the "sprawl" suburbs, with their "Mc Mansions", "soulless strip malls", roads, and HOV's among other reasons.

NOW they hate the city because of traffic and noise.


Posted by: CEEAF | June 26, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I decided to have a look for myself since I had to drop a co-worker off in Capitol Hill this evening. Coming over the Whitney Young (East Capitol Street) Bridge, there were maybe 2 or 3 electronic message boards warning of the upcoming Douglas Bridge closure. Nothing in terms of signage until you get to the intersection of North Carolina Ave and Constitution Avenue. There you have an electronic message sign flashing "New Traffic Pattern, Const. Ave. 2-Way At All Times, Be Alert!!". Then there is a tiny white sign which is barely legible and shows (Arrow pointing towards you),(Arrow pointing straight ahead),"P" on one line and then "At all times starting 6/23/07" on the bottom line. Thats it!

I can sort of see what the problem is...after you pass those two signs, pretty much nothing is different. Sure, the yellow line is double solid throughout, but the old broken double yellow line almost looked like a double solid yellow line since the gaps between the solid parts of the line were way too small (according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). In the opposite direction, the one way signs and do not enter signs were gone. So it seems as if the biggest change is that there are less signs now than there were, and motorists are supposed to know something is different based on what isn't there anymore instead of what is there now. The fact that there is very little oncoming traffic (since everyone is used to taking a different route) doesn't help matters either.

If I were head traffic engineer I would have designed a transition period of a couple of weeks where Constitution was one way, but only one lane was open. Then once drivers got used to only using one lane, I would open the other lane to eastbound traffic. How to do this? have cops place cones in the eastbound lane at every intersection. Do this half an hour before the one way used to go into effect, and remove it within half an hour after, just like on Rock Creek Parkway. Eastbound drivers won't be missing anything, since they never had access to the roadway, and westbound drivers could theoretically use two lanes, but would have to merge into one at every intersection. Hopefully they would eventually get the hint. Several more electronic message boards saying something to the effect of "Use 1 lane at all times", or "Use Right Lane Only", or more straight to the point "Do Not Use Left Lane" would certainly be helpful. Some police controlling traffic would work wonders as well.

Posted by: Woodley Park | June 26, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I used to live on Constitution Ave., and for the life of me I can't imagine what the problem was with the one-way Constitution Ave. in mornings. Could someone explain this for me?

So if Constitution Ave is going to be two-way all day, does that mean Independence Ave will be too? Why not? Or is there some reason why Constitution/Indpendence should always be three lanes eastbound, one lane westbound?

I agree with CEEAF about killing the Barney Circle ramps -- even though I arrived after it was decided, I always felt that Capitol Hill was the big loser in that decision, since it meant that all the traffic would now come across surface roads instead of heading straight to I-395.

And to 'Capitol Hill Resident' and 'arlington', have you lost your mind? The South Capitol St. bridge will be closed all summer, and the 11th St bridge is already at capacity. You're now suggesting that the 11th St bridge handle all of the South Capitol traffic _and_ half the East Capitol traffic on top of its normal load???

Sometimes I think that a few Capitol Hill activists are the worst sort of NIMBYites -- not just uninterested in the greater good, but actually delighting in ways to make everyone else's lives miserable.

Posted by: Andrew | June 27, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Being a commuter for 20 years coming across Captitol Hill, I have tried every route imaginable. All the others beside Constitution add 15 minutes and more miles to my commute. My job does not allow flexibility so I am forced to drive in prime rush hour traffic.

And am I correct, that most streets in the District, go through neighborhoods? So Capitol Hill residents say not in our neighborhood.

Since their voice is so powerful, maybe they can lobby my employer for telecommuting for me? That would definitely keep me off their street.

Posted by: Commuter 5 | June 27, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Constitution was 2-way during rush hour since at least 1965. I would venture to say that most of those I see walking on the hill were not living there 40 plus years ago. They knew what they were buying. It is a nightmare for commuters. Call DC Transportation at 202-671-1598 to complain.

Posted by: Commuter | June 27, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Constitution was 2-way during rush hour since at least 1965. I would venture to say that most of those I see walking on the hill were not living there 40 plus years ago. They knew what they were buying. It is a nightmare for commuters. Call DC Transportation at 202-671-1598 to complain.

Posted by: Commuter | June 27, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

There most definitely is not appropriate signage. Today I saw several large electronic signs, but they were all facing opposite to incoming traffic! So they were helpful to alert people who now can use the two way option, but not to all the confused motorists who have been making the street one way for years and years. I tried to read the sign by looking back over my shoulder, but that's not exactly a safe situation.
I understand the DC government though... who is going to complain about the change? MD residents. DC residents are delighted and therefore so is their Mayor.

Posted by: lynnezey | June 28, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Smells like class warfare...

If you can afford to live in Capital Hill -- then you likely don't NEED to commute. But for us that have to trek into DC from our middle-class neighborhoods like Bowie, we are not allowed to be on your streets.

I'll be forced to squirrel through your back streets to get downtown - so I can't wait until even A St gets all backed up!

Posted by: West-Bound? | June 28, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"If you can afford to live in Capital Hill -- then you likely don't NEED to commute. But for us that have to trek into DC from our middle-class neighborhoods like Bowie, we are not allowed to be on your streets."

The myopic snobs in Capitol Hill and DC apologists in general - including the DC "government" - couldn't give a rat's patooey about the difficulties encountered by commuters at the hands of DC's "transportation engineers".

They WANT to make driving into DC as difficult as possible because they want to force everyone from the suburbs to crowd onto Metro trains. Ever see/hear the "Take Metro!" slogans? It's the official DC "government" policy. That's why DC is the most driver-unfriendly city in the US.

And they want to be a state? Yeah, right.

Posted by: CEEAF | June 28, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I take metro out of respect for the citizens of the District. If you don't want to, that's fine, but don't complain that DC does not have a bit of respect for you.

New York is the most driver unfriendly city in the country, and it is about to sock it to car commuters even more.

Posted by: bkp | June 28, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse


I take Metro whenever it makes sense, not out of some misguided "sense of respect".

As for the driver unfriendliness of DC, I stand by my word. In fact, I'll go one step further and call it official DC policy. And trust me. You don't want to even try holding up New York as a worse example of driver unfriendliness than DC.

I know of no other US city, including New York, that unilaterally decided that ALL of its regional highway traffic belonged in the suburbs. DC essentially did that when they set a national precedent and cancelled all of its planned highways and transferred the money to Metro, WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN FUNDED. It took an act of Congress to permit it. See if you don't believe me.

I know of no other US city, including New York, that places revenue-generating speed cameras on commuter routes then has its mayor stand up and say "what's wrong with the cameras bringing in revenue?" as did former mayor Tony Williams.

I know of no other US city, including New York, whose Representative to Congress turned down Federal highway funds (to build the Barney Circle Connector) and declared in a news conference "we don't want to do anything that would make it easier for people to bring cars into our city" as did Eleanor Holmes Norton.

I know of no other US city, including New York, that has officially refused to build publicy-owned parking ("municipal parking")facilties in its principal commercial areas.

I know of no other US city, including New York, that deliberately makes driving tough by setting camera traps, closing streets (Klingle Road comes to mind), refusing to properly maintain highways, refusing to complete unfinished highways, etc., and makes an official policy of telling people to take transit into town or stay out if they don't like it. And the idea of someone saying they would comply with such a policy "out of respect for the citizens of New York" is simply unimaginable.

Have I made my point yet? If not, I can cite other examples.

"New York is the most driver unfriendly city in the country, and it is about to sock it to car commuters even more"

Oh really? With what? Speed cameras?

To tell you the truth, I can side with New York if they do. At least New York's transit does indeed provide a viable alternative to driving. DC's does not, all pretensions to the contrary.

And I would hardly call a city with the second-largest highway network in the country a "most driver unfriendly city".

I would, however, call the city that CANCELLED more lane-miles of highway than ANY other city in the country (I'll give you one guess which city did that) "the most driver unfriendly city in the country".

I can cite more examples if you need me to. Just let me know.

Thanks for making my day.

Posted by: CEEAF | June 28, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

You should have seen Constitution Ave. this morning. It's a Friday in the summertime, right before a traditional vacation week for many, and Constitution Ave. is backed up all the way onto North Carolina Ave. I bailed and drove down A street (along with a bunch of other MD commuters).

What a joke. Did DC DOT do any traffic counting and study the situation? I don't ever remember driving over traffic counters on this road.

It is funny though. Every day more and more electronic signs show up. There's one at the West end of the Whitney Young bridge now.

Posted by: MD Commuter | June 29, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

MD Commuter et al who thinks this was an awful idea: I cannot agree more. Great observation about this morning. Lite volume coming in on US-50 (I bailed at 704 because I heared of the wreck in Cheverly, and took that to Eastern Ave, then Burroughs Ave). I was first introduced to this rude awakening yesterday morning, so I decided to proceed southbound to my alternate route, only to find that the South Capitol Street bridge will be closed ALL SUMMER! Thanks D.C. for adding more hell to an already hellacious commute.

Save for the USCP knuckleheads (who are only doing what they are told to do) and their checkpoints, Constitution Ave was the saving grace for savvy MD commuters coming in from PG county and points north and east. Now, it's gone. And to the Capitol Hill residents who wanted two-way traffic, now you'll, like us, will be dealing with longer rush hours, because there are NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVES!!!!! Congratulations! And please don't try to educate MD commuters on our options. I've been commuting to this flippin' concrete jungle for over 15 years, and am well aware of my options (other than Consitution Ave), and they all stink!

Actually, I do think it was perfect timing for this change. People expecting to see less volume for the vacation season (including the moronic DDOT officials who made this decision) will be stunned by a bogged down Constitution Ave and bail out traffic on the various numbered and lettered streets. Then maybe someone will realize what a boneheaded decision this was. I have kids, and understand residents concerns about speed and safety. But like someone in this thread articulated so well, buyer beware. You all knew what you were getting into (moving into and living in a city, let alone the nation's capital), and if you didn't, your real estate agent was not doing his or her job. The reality is, Constitution Ave has been and will continue to be a major commuting thoroughfare, and this will serve only to create more strife amongst commuters and residents alike.

Posted by: MD Commuter 2 | June 29, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I, too, stuck on Constitution Ave.this morning since it was a Friday with many people off for the holiday. Not only ws Constitution Ave backed up but so were all the numbered and lettered ball-out streets. Now the whole area -- not just Constitution Ave. -- is a bottleneck.

Posted by: Commuter | June 29, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I, too, stuck on Constitution Ave.this morning since it was a Friday with many people off for the holiday. Not only ws Constitution Ave backed up but so were all the numbered and lettered ball-out streets. Now the whole area -- not just Constitution Ave. -- is a bottleneck.

Posted by: Commuter | June 29, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I honestly have to say, I think this is single-handedly one of the dumbest things I've ever seen DDOT do traffic engineering wise.

Lets just say for a minute that they absolutely needed to do this because there were serious problems with Constitution being one-way during morning rush hour...why did they do this just before the Douglas Bridge is about to be closed? If they insisted on making this change a permanent change, they should have told Capitol Hill residents to deal with the traffic for 2 more months until the Douglas Bridge re-opens.

But I too will echo the sentiment of others that this was a change motivated by purely selfish motivations of a select few. If DC decided not to build their freeways they should be making the absolute most efficient use of their surface streets, which means extra inbound lanes in the morning and extra outbound lanes in the afternoon. Is the high volume of one-way traffic really THAT BAD that Capitol Hill residents can't deal with it for 10 hours a week?? I mean, there's 158 other hours during the week when the street is 2-way and traffic moves relatively slowly. At least in my neck of the woods, people aren't exactly "out and about" at 8 AM where they are really going to be impacted by this.

I live on Connecticut Avenue which has an extremely high volume of commuter traffic. Yes, cars drive fast sometimes. Yes, its a minor irritation to have to move my car off the street by 7AM. But I'm perfectly willing to put up with it because its only a couple of hours a day and I'd rather that the cars be moving (which they generally do) then there being a whole wall of cars stopping and going (and likely honking their horns often as people seem to do a lot in heavy traffic here).

I wouldn't be surprised if DDOT announces that Independence is becomming two-way as well. I've seen the Capitol Hill Transportation Plan (sorry, I don't have a link), and one of the elements of that plan was de-emphesizing Constitution Avenue, C Street NE, and Independence Avenue as commuter routes. Because the commuters will just vanish into thin air upon crossing the Anacostia and re-appear at the Capitol....

By the way, what is up with these checkpoints around the Capitol? Do they actually stop cars during rush hour? On weekends I see plenty of cops closely watching traffic (and usually they make bus drivers slow down, exchange a thumbs up, and then wave them through), but never seen anyone actually stopped.

Posted by: Woodley Park | June 29, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Yup - the Capitol Hill Plan calls for Independence Ave to go 2-way as well. I find it hilarious to believe. The goal of the plan was to improve pedestrian safety and return Constitution Ave to a more neighborhood feel. Frankly, I'd like to know the statistics of how many pedestrians are injured per year -- and then compare it to how many will be hurt from commuters bailing onto the numbered streets.

Another thing -- the bottleneck that used to be at Constitution Ave and Maryland Ave (White area) is now moved to North Carolina and C St (Black area). Think
that didn't have something to do with it??

Posted by: West-Bound? | June 29, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Well at least the functional equivalent of the Barney Circle Connector is in the long term plans...reconstruction of the 11th Street Bridge initial plans include the connections from the bridge to 295 north and 295 south to the bridge.

I'm not sure if this will help anyone, but a few times I've used the following route from 295 across town: take the East Capitol Street exit from 295, cross the bridge and follow the road onto C Street NE, make a left onto 17th St. NE, then a right onto Potomac Avenue SE, a right onto Eye Street SE (at 13th Street, bear right), and that dumps you into the Southeast Freeway at 3rd Street SE. Potomac Avenue between 17th and Eye Street crosses Pennsylvania Avenue so that is an option as well. I have no idea how good or bad this route is during morning rush hour though. (The reverse works nicely too...take the freeway to 6th Street exit, right on 7th, left on M, left on 11th, right on K, fork left onto Potomac Avenue, then left onto 19th at the very end of Potomac, right onto Independence to the bridge).

Posted by: Woodley Park | June 29, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Woodley Park. Nice to see a DC resident agree that this was a stupid idea. And by the way, I did a little research, and Capitol Hill residents vigorously pushed for (and the study supported) Independence going to two-way at all times as well. Can you imagine? I think they are waiting to see how the Constitution debacle pans out. That's why I think, while I vehemently oppose the decision on its merits, this was the perfect time to launch this insanity. DDOT will be flooded with so many complaints from people inconvenienced by the change (not just by commuters, and not just by MD residents) at time a time when they would have least expected complaints about gridlock. They'll probably try to point the finger at the Douglass Bridge closing as the reason for the congestion, but we have two good days worth of data this week, and let's see how next Monday and Tuesday shake out (prior to the scheduled closure of the Douglass Bridge). Then there's September when school is back in session. Hopefully by then, God willing, I'll be able to secure suitable employment closer to my MD residence, and it will be a moot point, at least for me. I foresee the backups extending back to RFK Stadium and perhaps even further with an accident or two, and there will be MORE accidents. The existing streets in the area will not be able to handle the volume, period, and the major alternate routes are already oversaturated.

Posted by: Commuter 2 | June 29, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

There's dumb and dumber. THIS is dumbest!

Posted by: Michael | June 29, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Bill | June 30, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Bill | June 30, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Bill | June 30, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Ok...this is crazy! IDIOTS! You Hill folks chose to live there...the gridlock is unreal! This will and has caused more accidents. That does not seem like a solution. Slow the traffic a cop that is out having coffee to monitor the speed for the 2 hours that turns into 3 now of solid traffic. Who is out at 7 am in the morning hanging out in their neighborhood? Most folks are going to work. There are congested and fast driving folks from MD to VA to DC. Why do this folks get special attention? It is more then just the constitution traffic. It is that congress needs to fund a transportation project to help with the commute into the district not just move it around to other streets. Change it back...and start to see some day light from where you are.

Posted by: Crofton Chapter | July 1, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

It's confirmed. Moronic experiment, guys. Out of idle curiosity, I attempted to take Constitution Ave this morning. The volume coming in on US-50 and 201 was very light, so I figured I try it. Well, Constitution Ave was backed up well back onto North Carolina Ave. I stayed on North Carolina, to East Capitol Street. It was tolerable, but only because half of the government workforce takes off this week. Wait until a normal commuting day. Someone please end this madness!!!!!

Posted by: Commuter 2 | July 2, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

re: Commuter 2

I couldn't stomach it this morning. I took H street instead. To think, it's a holiday week and the traffic is backed up that far.

Posted by: MD Commuter 1 | July 2, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This week I have seen 5 cars utilizing the east bound lanes of Constitution Avenue during my ride in. That is great justification for changing the flow to two way traffic. Now with the traffic jammed up and crawling in one inbound lane the neighbors along that street can suck additional auto exhaust because the vehicles will remain in their neighborhood longer. This whole change smells.

Posted by: Bill | July 5, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Bill: No kidding. Now that you mention it, I am not sure I recall seeing a single eastbound motorist yesterday.

MD Commuter 1: A taste of the real madness begins on Monday, when folks return from the holiday week, combined with the Douglass Bridge closure. I heard a number of complaints from this morning that SE was a complete mess. All it took was one wreck. Fortunately, I had to be in VA this morning so I took the top side of the Beltway.

Once again, I hate to beat a dead horse, but the volume has been incredibly light this week. And even next week, even though it will be significantly worse, still will not be an accurate barometer to gauge what impact the Constitution move has had. The real test comes in September, when the kids are back in school and the Douglass Bridge does not re-open as planned. And let's face it. Even with it open last week, we have already seen what it has done to the commutes of those who regularly used Constitution.

Posted by: MD Commuter 2 | July 6, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The traffic pattern change to Constitution Ave. makes absolutely NO SENSE!! Is it just me who thinks that mentioning the term "DC rush hour traffic" and "alternative routes to the city" seem to be an oxymoronic statement? Even when it was one-way during the morning rush, it wasn't without it's issues. Instead of speed and traffic light cameras, the city could make a fortune if they would ticket the city's cab drivers for the many moving violations they provide in pursuit of a fare. I'm not a person who like's to use race or class when trying to understand a given issue, but as I commute on Constitution Ave. during the a.m. rush, I don't seem to notice many Hispanics, Asians or Blacks out walking "Spot" with their sandwich bag pooper-scoopers or being Eco-friendly by dawning their space aged bicycle helmuts and peddeling their way around DC.

More things that make you go "hmmm"!!

Posted by: From P.G. & Ticked | July 11, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company