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NoMa BID, DDOT Publish Needs Assessment of North Capitol St. Between R St. and Massachusetts Ave
Study Offers Recommendations for Making Mile-Long Corridor Safer and More Hospitable for Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Drivers
By: NoMa Business Improvement District
To begin addressing these challenges, last summer the NoMa Business Improvement District (NoMa BID), in partnership with District Department of Transportation (DDOT), worked with local residents and other community stakeholders to produce a study of the corridor from R Street down to Massachusetts Avenue. Now available to the public, the North Capitol Street Needs Assessment provides a list of recommended improvements that would make the mile-long corridor a safer and more hospitable place for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
"North Capitol Street should be a point of pride for the nation's capital, a grand avenue for all users," said Robin-Eve Jasper, President of the NoMa BID. "There have been previous studies that touched on different aspects of this section of North Capitol Street, and this project builds on those recommendations. Significantly, however, this study is the first to consider this important corridor holistically and provide a comprehensive 'road map' for improvements."
The project team began the study process with a public-participation effort involving three well-attended stakeholder meetings and an online public-engagement tool that garnered more than 350 responses. The feedback from the meetings and the engagement tool helped to clarify priorities for possible changes to the North Capitol Street corridor. Overwhelmingly, respondents said that pedestrian safety must be improved.
Traffic counts and a transportation evaluation and analysis of the corridor were completed by engineering firm RK&K and sustainability consultant Nspiregreen. This data allowed the project team to understand the corridor's existing conditions, near-term fixes, major infrastructural challenges, and longer-term studies that need to be completed to define how to make the corridor function better. Taking what they learned, the project team was able to produce the North Capitol Street Needs Assessment (https://www.nomabid.org/
"These recommendations are extremely helpful as we work to make one of the District's busiest corridors safer and easier to travel for all users of the roadway," said Jeff Marootian, DDOT Director. "Working with our key stakeholders, like the NoMa BID, to collect feedback from the community helps us better understand how we can make practical improvements to achieve Mayor Bowser's Vision Zero and multimodal goals for the District."
The study is organized into three main chapters. The first two summarize the project, its goals, and its context, including prior studies of the area by DDOT and other District agencies and organizations, and the existing conditions documented on the corridor. The third chapter lays out recommendations for action organized by priority, type, and location along North Capitol Street.
One of the study's most important recommendations is for DDOT to conduct a streetscape study of the corridor — a critical step in bringing North Capitol Street into the 21st century. A streetscape study would address public needs and the appearance of the sidewalk, street furnishings, plantings, and lighting. The streetscape study will allow DDOT to reevaluate the full design of the street to potentially make big changes that will improve pedestrian safety.
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NoMa is a vibrant, growing neighborhood in Washington, D.C., nestled among Union Station, the U.S. Capitol, Shaw, Union Market, and the H Street NE corridor. Already, NoMa has more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, and almost 40 percent of NoMa's office space is home to private sector tenants, including major media, technology, and think tank organizations. Each day, more than 100,000 people are out and about in NoMa's commercial core. Through a public-private partnership with the D.C. government, the neighborhood is getting great new parks and public spaces—an important development, as NoMa now contains almost 5,400 new apartments, and more than 54,000 people work here each day. NoMa is also the District's most connected neighborhood, with a Walk Score of 94, stellar cycling infrastructure, unparalleled rail options, two Metro stops, and vehicular access to major highways. The NoMa BID organizes and sponsors dozens of free community events each year and also maintains a free outdoor WiFi network. For more information about NoMa, visit the NoMa BID website (https://nomabid.org) and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter (@NoMaBID) and Instagram (@noma.bid), and like us on Facebook.
Braulio Agnese, Communications Director