The Gripe: New turn lane creates unforeseen hazard in Georgetown

June 10, 2013

On D.C. roadways, there is a fine line between “tight squeeze” and “can’t get through.” A new turn lane in Georgetown appears to have tipped the balance toward the latter, creating a difficult situation for drivers.

According to a post by a local driver on the citizen reporting Web site SeeClickFix, a Washington Post partner site, the District recently widened the northbound lane of 35th Street NW at Reservoir Road to install a designated turn lane. As a result, the driver wrote, the southbound lane of 35th Street was narrowed.

This change shouldn’t have been a problem — designated turn lanes are supposed to increase safety and benefit traffic flow — but the driver says that street parking on southbound 35th Street was never removed or adjusted. The parked cars block southbound traffic and force cars to cross the double-yellow line to get by.

“The common sense solution seems to be adjusting the residential parking signs so that no parking is allowed where the road is narrowed. This would remove at most 3-4 spots,” wrote the driver.

A commenter on the complaint noted that the situation also poses a problem for D-line buses heading south.

“If several cars are backed up at the light waiting to go north, the bus cannot fit as the road curves. The bus must wait for multiple cars going north to move. This delays the bus and backs up traffic behind it.”

SeeClickFix directs online complaints to appropriate municipal agencies to take action or respond to the gripes. In this case, the District’s 311 service acknowledged the issue on the site, but a representative did not return calls for comment.

Tell us: Have you experienced difficulty traveling south on 35th Street NW at Reservoir Road since the turn lane was designated? Are there other road hazards or civic issues that officials should know about? Share your experiences in the comments below or log complaints with SeeClickFix at The Gripe.

Related: Arlington drivers concerned about ‘dangerous merge’

Related: Bike lane stops abruptly at Northwest D.C. intersection

The Gripe: You vent. We get answers.

Related: Out-of-state drivers hog parking spots in D.C.’s Zone 6

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