WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A dangerous intersection in DC’s ward four could soon get some safety upgrades from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).
Neighbors have been complaining about the corner of Arkansas and Iowa avenues Northwest for years.
“I live half a block away. I don’t come through this intersection. I avoid it at all costs because I’ve driven past and even witnessed accidents here so many times,” said neighbor Carla Ferris.
In 2022 alone, there have been six crashes at the intersection, documented by Councilmember Janeese Lewis George’s office.
“It’s really hard to cross the street because people move pretty fast here. A lot of times there can be reduced sightlines because of traffic backups,” said neighbor Josh, who didn’t want to give his last name.
DC News Now repeatedly saw cars speed across Arkansas Avenue because drivers couldn’t see around the traffic backup.
“Sometimes they’re doing that when I’m in the crosswalk and they don’t necessarily see the people who are coming because they’re focused on the cross traffic,” said neighbor Sam Baltimore.
At the end of July, DDOT said the intersection didn’t warrant a traffic light or all-way stop. But after a crash in the same place two weeks ago, Lewis George circulated emergency legislation requiring DDOT to fix the intersection.
Monday, she announced the agency will convert the 4600 block of Iowa Avenue to a one-way Southeast bound from Arkansas Avenue to 13th Street. She says that will happen by the end of December after a review period.
“We won’t miss it at all. It’ll be totally fine. Looking forward to making it a safer place to walk and drive and roll,” Baltimore said.
“I’m really happy that they’re finally going to do something about this intersection. It’s great,” Ferris said.
While some are happy about the one-way conversion, others say more needs to be done.
“I don’t think it solves the problem of slowing people down,” Josh said. “Pedestrian island sounds like now maybe they’re talking about making this a little more friendly. I guess it depends on how many they put in and how much it can actually slow people down.”
Lewis George said DDOT will publish a notice of intent to install pedestrian islands at the intersection by the end of January.