A D.C. official told more than 200 residents of upper Wisconsin Avenue NW last night that the city had failed to conduct a traffic impact study before it granted building permits for two proposed roads that would abut the northern tip of Glover-Archbold Park. The roads, which most residents oppose, would provide better access to a planned $40 million office-retail park.
The residents also were told at the meeting that project developers did not conduct an environmental impact study because city laws did not require one.
The meeting, between city officials, developers and residents, came less than two weeks after Mayor Marion Barry granted a 30-day suspension of the roads' permits to allow the residents to respond to the plans. City officials said they had not notified residents of the plans because the roads had been proposed on city maps since the 1920s.
"Currently we're conducting a traffic study," said Bernard Gilpin of the Department of Public Works, who discussed the Donohoe Cos. and Holladay Corp.'s plans to build the roads and office complex.
"Whenever you have a project of 400,000 square feet, I think the city has a responsibility to do a traffic study," said resident Susan Wedlan. "You say it's being done right now, but quite frankly it should have been done a long time ago."
The complex is being built on the four-acre site formerly occupied by Johnson's Flower Center in the 4000 block of Wisconsin Avenue and is one of 12 developments planned or being built along northern Wisconsin Avenue.
"In peak traffic hours [the complex] will generate 250 extra auto trips onto Wisconsin Avenue," said Robert Morris, a traffic engineer who conducted a traffic survey for the developers.
One of the roads would run south 350 feet from Van Ness Street, where it would abut the park, and curve west to connect with the second road, a 530-foot Upton Street extension.