Ideas being considered to improve traffic, safety in Adams Morgan

- Residents in Adams Morgan are seeking ways to improve safety, traffic flow and the quality of life in the D.C. neighborhood.

Back in June, two police officers and a city worker were struck by a vehicle on 18th Street as they helped with traffic control in the area. Court documents reveal the driver sped around a bus that was stopped for a car letting people out.

Since then there has been a renewed interest on how to deal with traffic congestion along 18th Street when many pedestrian are around.

Traffic and parking can get so bad in Adams Morgan that an employee at The Diner restaurant said on Friday and Saturday nights, it can take a half hour or more just to drive a few blocks.

We are told at two neighborhood meetings recently, ideas have been tossed out to improve traffic congestion in the area.

One idea would establish special pull-off parking spots for drivers of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Another idea is creating geofencing as a perimeter around the area.

ANC commissioner Amir Irani is floating the idea of shutting down traffic along 18th Street and making it a pedestrian-only area. But some worry that could affect businesses nearby.

“Me working in the restaurant here, that would be kind of terrible for my deliveries and such,” said one restaurant employee.

But Irani said he has done research and believes a pedestrian-only zone may help and not hurt area retailers by bringing in more customers.

These ideas would have to be looked at by the Department of Transportation, the D.C. Council, Mayor Muriel Bowser and police department.

D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) issued a statement saying she is glad congestion discussions are taking place, but shutting down 18th Street would require the input of a number of agencies to make sure pedestrians are safe and businesses are accessible.

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