ANC6B Rejects DDOT’s Proposed Four Lane SE Boulevard
Will Launch Campaign To Engage Public Officials
by Larry Janezich
On Tuesday night, ANC6B voted unanimously to reject DDOT’s proposed four lane Southeast Boulevard between Barney Circle and 11th Street. The proposal envisioned a broad thoroughfare with parking lots and no connections to the existing street grid other than at its extreme ends. The Commission fears the proposed four lane Boulevard “would become a virtual freeway, creating an unsafe place for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
The ANC’s action – in the form of a letter to DDOT and other public officials – essentially asks DDOT to go back to the drawing board. The Commission indicated tentative support for an alternative two way street fully connected to the surrounding traffic grid with a pedestrian and bicycle bridge to help open up surrounding land for recreational and economic uses. The Commission recommended a cautious approach to the re-design of Barney Circle, suggesting that the design take into consideration the effects of any direct road connection to 11th Street as well as the directing of traffic to arterial streets in a way that protects residential streets from cut through traffic.
The letter was highly critical of any inclusion of a multi-modal parking facility for tour buses and stated the ANC’s belief that the DDOT study suffered from a lack of neighborhood planning and the involvement of other government agencies.
The letter requests a meeting with DDOT to further discuss the proposal. Commissioner Ivan Frishberg articulated the concern of the full ANC, saying “If DDOT continues to prove itself a sporadic public-engager at best, we need to involve other public figures.” To that end, the Commission copied the Mayor and City Council members, as well as other planning and development officials. It was the consensus of the Commission to seek meetings with some of these officials to further press their case.