An advisory neighborhood commission in Northwest Washington has asked the city's Department of Public Works to prohibit left turns from southbound lanes of Wisconsin Avenue onto streets from Upton Street to Woodley Road during morning rush hour to reduce commuter traffic through the community.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C, which represents Cleveland Park, Cathedral Heights, McLean Gardens and Woodley Park, approved the traffic request last week.
"The plan is designed to reduce the infiltration of commuter traffic on neighborhood streets," said Charles Warr, chairman of the ANC's transportation committee. "We've been working on the plan for about a year."
The ANC has received "chronic complaints" for many years from residents complaining that commuter traffic is clogging side streets in areas such as Cleveland Park, Warr said.
George Schoene, chief of the city's Bureau of Traffic Services, said, "With any proposal like this we'll look at it and meet with the neighbors and the city officials and we try to come up with a plan that is pleasing to everyone." Warr said the proposal was mailed to Schoene last week.
ANC 3C has asked the ANC to the north, which represents North Cleveland Park and Forest Hills, to adopt a similar plan to prohibit left turns from southbound Wisconsin Avenue during morning rush hour. "Our plan really won't do a whole lot of good if commuters can turn left farther north," Warr said.
Frank Hammill, chairman of the North Cleveland Park ANC, said he would encourage the adoption. "I, too, am concerned about the fact that Montgomery County is growing by leaps and bounds and many of those Marylanders work in the inner city," Hammill said. "That means they're going to have to go through Ward 3 to get to and from work . . . . Many of these Maryland cars are penetrating our neighborhoods to avoid traffic jams."
Two years ago the city implemented minor safety changes along Reno Road, another major commuter route in that community, in response to citizen complaints.
The ANC proposal would prohibit left turns between 7 and 9 a.m. weekdays from southbound Wisconsin Avenue onto Upton, Quebec, Porter, Ordway, Newark, Macomb and Lowell streets, and Norton Place and Woodley Road NW. Metro buses would be permitted to turn left only onto Porter Street and Woodley Road.
The plan also would make 37th Street between Quebec and Porter streets one-way northbound at all times, and would prohibit left turns from southbound 37th Street onto Quebec Street between 7 and 9 a.m. weekdays.
School buses serving the Hearst, Sidwell Friends, National Cathedral and John Eaton schools would be exempt from the restrictions.