DDOT Unveils Plan to Re-Do the Dangerous 11th Street SE/695 East Off-Ramp

Here’s the 11th Street, SE,/695 Off Ramp Intersection from the SW corner of 11th and the 695 On Ramp

DDOT Unveils Plan to Re-Do the Dangerous 11th Street SE/695 East Off-Ramp

by Larry Janezich

Posted December 12, 2020

Last week, DDOT and its HNTB contractor explained its concept for redoing the intersection which has been problematic for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  The occasion was ANC6B’s Transportation Committee, chaired by Commissioner Kirstin Oldenburg. 

A new study of the intersection has resulted in proposed changes to reduce vehicle accidents and improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.  DDOT and HNTB are proposing these changes:

  • Add one more through lane to the off-ramp for access to the Southeast Boulevard
  • Lengthen the right and left off-ramp turn lanes to provide more space for vehicles to wait for the lights at 11th Street
  • Add a two-way protected bike lane from I Street to O Street to replace the current west side bike lane, extending from K Street down 11th Street to connect with the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
  • Add a lighted bike/pedestrian path through Virginia Avenue Park from 9th to 11th Streets, SE
  • Add Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) signaling on 695 East to warn drivers of congestion on the off-ramp

The planning is in its early stages, and pedestrian safety improvements were not part of the presentation.  The projected cost of the project is $6 million.  If funded, construction could occur in 2023 – 2024.

In the ensuing discussion following the presentation, Committee members had concerns:

  • whether the expansion would increase traffic and/or reduce accidents on the ramp
  • safety at the intersections for bikers

Commissioner Corey Holman took DDOT and HNTB to task for failure to consult and communicate with the community.

Chair Oldenburg moved, with a second by Commissioner Holman, that the Committee recommend the full ANC indicate the need for additional information and urge that DDOT meet in January 2021 at the ANC Single Member District level for more discussions. The Committee approved the motion unanimously as did the full ANC at its December 8th meeting.


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4 responses to “DDOT Unveils Plan to Re-Do the Dangerous 11th Street SE/695 East Off-Ramp

  1. Chris

    Glad for any improvements to the off-ramp. Exiting traffic does sometimes back up onto the highway itself. In my experience, left-turning traffic (my usual destination) is often the most backed up – too bad they aren’t recommending a second left-turn lane.

    It’s such a slow-moving, unpredictable and depressing intersection that I’ve taken to exiting at 6th St instead, even though it adds a little time. Would really like to see a proper connection from Southeast Blvd to Barney Circle so those east of 11th St have a better exit option.

  2. Jackie

    I agree with Chris that, at least in my observation, that the left turn lane is where most of the traffic backs up. The light cycle was changed a few years ago to allow a few more cars through, but when I first moved east of here 6 years ago and started using this exit, 2-3 cars got to turn left per cycle, hugely backing up traffic so people would make the left from the middle lane. This traffic plan sounds like it might encourage that type of bad behavior again.

  3. w

    the problems at this intersection entirely stem for a car centric approach that seeks to expedite car traffic at the expense of bikes and pedestrians. The design was flawed from day one and it’s little improved years later. The most obvious improvement would be a turn-only arrow for southbound cars onto the westbound ramp and a responsive pedestrian signal. This intersection isn’t safe for pedestrians even WITH the light in one’s favor

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