DDOT Calls Hine Traffic Analysis “Incorrect and Fundamentally Flawed” – Developer Must Resubmit before Zoning Change

DDOT Calls Hine Traffic Analysis “Incorrect and Fundamentally Flawed” – Developer Must Resubmit before Zoning Change

by Larry Janezich

Yesterday, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) issued its analysis of Stanton Eastbanc’s submitted Traffic Impact Study (TIS), conducted by Symmetra Design, and concluded that the “analysis provided by the Applicant [Stanton Eastbanc] is incorrect and fundamentally flawed.”  The developer must either make changes to the Impact Study or the design and intended uses for the development in order to obtain approval from DDOT.

DDOT said they believe the mistakes in the TIS yields an analysis which is “not reliable” – i.e., that the TIS forwarded to DDOT as part of Stanton-Eastbanc’s zoning application which found the development would have no adverse transportation effects requiring  mitigation cannot be used by the Zoning Commission in its deliberation.   DDOT goes on to say that the assumptions upon which the report was based were either poorly documented or biased in the direction of understating the effect of the development.

Perhaps most significant, the plan for unloading 55 foot trucks on 7th Street was found unacceptable.  This effectively means that an underground loading dock for 55 foot trucks will have to be incorporated into the development, or the planned grocery component of the site will not happen.

The report also takes issue with the parking, saying the amount of parking is twice the amount of the potential available demand, and points to issues regarding parking for the residents of the North Building.  These residents are potentially eligible for Resident Parking Plan (RPP) parking, but, the report notes, the privatization of C Street will make it ineligible for the program.

At this point, SEB may resolve some of DDOT’s concerns by eliminating parking spaces.  Even if they choose to do so, however, this move will not address or resolve all of the concerns DDOT raised regarding the TIS’s systematic low-balling of trips to and from the site.

When properly computed, DDOT states that the developer will have to suggest mitigation for traffic effects on the surrounding neighborhood.  At this point, it is likely that a Zoning Commission hearing will move forward, but without a proper Transportation Impact Study, the Commission will not be able to make a final decision.  Moreover, because the ANC is now placed in the position of approving a Memorandum of Agreement without knowing the full scale of adverse traffic effects, the Zoning Commission may direct the developer back to ANC negotiations if it finds that the more complete study furnished to them requires mitigation.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “DDOT Calls Hine Traffic Analysis “Incorrect and Fundamentally Flawed” – Developer Must Resubmit before Zoning Change

  1. SimonSays

    Are there links to any of the reports in the article?

  2. annie k.

    I’m glad they caught this. if the curb parking spaces maybe more people will commute. there is a metro stop right there and bikes and all that. maybe they could lease a commercial parking operation underneath like they do at skyline towers – you have to buy a spot or lease one from someone.

  3. Gary M. Peterson

    Larry, at the end of the report (top of page13) DDOT gave an out that enables the Zoning Commission to approve the project. However, they ask the Zoning Commission to require a reporting process for three years. They also gave an out on the 55 foot truck issue by saying they have no jurisdiction over the new C Street. This means that the 55 foot trucks could park there to unload. Everything said in the report is meant to cut about 120 parking spaces out of the project without any reduction of the density of the project. I don’t think this is good news for the neighborhood. Gary Peterson

  4. Thom Riehle

    I don’t think that parking 55 foot trucks on C Street (which, remember, is currently gated *outside* the main building)–with no DDOT controls over that private street–sounds like happy days for the neighborhood.

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  6. goldfish

    Is the DOT report available online?

  7. David Healy

    Given the increased unreliability of METRO, and its increasing decrepitude, the notion that this development needs less parking since folk can come by METRO appear specious.

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  9. I don’t think the report is available on line. email me at ljjanezich@hotmail.com if you would like me to forward a copy

  10. anon

    whatever the faults with weekend Metro service, I’m concerned about the parking capacity. More available parking may just encourage more visits by car. More cars, traffic, etc feeding from our streets seems more disruptive to me than than some degree of scarcity, as people would have to plan accordingly if visiting by car. Under the SE freeway should be better promoted as an alternative, as it creates a link between the Eastern Market area and Barracks Row. For those who do not wish to walk the distance, the developer could apply the savings not wasted on excessive parking capacity to operate a modest shuttle on weekends (like Old Town Alexandria) to ferry people back and forth if they do not wish to or are unable to walk.

    And look at the opportunity costs of excessive parking at the DCUSA. It’s expensive to maintain and underutilized, but more importantly it’s unnecessary.

  11. Thom Riehle

    Under the SE Freeway is already the cheapest parking in DC: 75 cents an hour, cheeeep! Spread the word.