Making the U St. corridor, incl. lower Adams Morgan, safer for all 

There is a significant need to improve safety on the U Street corridor, the intersections of U Street at 16th Street and 18th and the adjacent 16th Street NW project. 

Streets are unsafe and uncomfortable to navigate, especially as a pedestrian, sidewalks are narrow, and wide travel lanes encourage speeding.   

I introduced an amendment to the FY25 budget, which was accepted and became part of the approved budget, that addresses traffic safety concerns in the DDOT high-injury network by shifting the U Street Streetscape project to a reconstituted Safety & Mobility subproject.  

This will put a stronger focus on traffic safety and transit operations – something that is sorely needed in this corridor – and does not eliminate the project. The U Street Streetscape between 14th and 18th Streets NW is a legacy project that was initiated 12 years ago and was not designed to meet our current moment. This change reflects the D.C. Department of Transportation’s updated approach. 

The goal is a project that is more efficiently focused on the highest community needs: widening sidewalks and fixing intersections.  

There have sometimes been tensions between the Council and DDOT on corridor projects like this, but I want to assure my colleagues that I have every confidence the agency will continue forward with the work on U Street. I want to thank Acting Director Kershbaum and her team for working with me as we put this amendment together. 

This amendment also addresses a related, nearby project – the 16th Street NW project, for a comprehensive and coordinated solution to traffic safety needs in the area.  

Four-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars is allocated to revisit and improve the 16th Street NW project, in particular the dangerous reversible lane operations, the parking and travel lane configuration, and overall pedestrian safety. Unfortunately, in just the last few months there have been two pedestrian fatalities on 16th, in wards 1 and 4. The fact that we need to revisit 16th only a few years after a major project is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking to avoid on U Street. 


In addition, my amendment added two new civil engineer positions within the DDOT Traffic Safety team, which has recently been reorganized to focus on the high-injury network. This will not just support the U Street project but will benefit safety projects across the District by helping projects get finalized and built faster.  

My budget amendment also allocated capital funds in FY27 and FY28 to support public space needs that were unfunded in the Mayor’s proposed budget, and which should be connected to adjacent transportation needs and projects.  

The Park Morton and Bruce Monroe future park sites both have new street grids being built out and I want to make sure our new parks on both sites are tied with traffic calming on those new streets.  

The Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant work is tied to Department of Public Works-owned spaces like Columbia Heights Civic Plaza but is part of a larger streetscape overhaul for both neighborhoods.  


“The Council has gone through yet another budget process while the commission has sat on its hands.”
Yes, this was a difficult year. And we were handed a difficult budget. I’m proud of the work this Council has done to make an unpalatable budget better.

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