Kittelson led a planning effort focused on improving the livability of the Far Northeast (FNE) neighborhood of Washington, DC. Like many communities in the District impacted by arterial roadways, the FNE neighborhood experienced a variety of safety problems and quality of life issues caused by vehicular speeding, aggressive driving, deficient infrastructure, and multimodal conflicts. The FNE is undergoing a significant transformation, especially with the three Great Streets Projects, two Streetcar Corridors, and more than 15 million square feet of mixed-use development planned for the next several years. By the end of 2012, private developers had invested $1.5 billion on more than 2 million square feet of office, residential, hotel and retail space. In light of this significant investment and projected growth, an assessment of auto, bicyclist, and pedestrian traffic operations was required to manage congestion and mitigate potential conflicts between multimodal users of the neighborhood.
Kittelson identified, prioritized, and developed concept plans for a range of projects to better connect neighborhoods to transit, build a more complete bicycle network, calm neighborhood traffic on collector streets, reduce cut-through traffic on local streets, and enhance pedestrian crossing safety at intersections. Our team engaged with the surrounding community extensively, which led to the creation of a Solutions Toolbox to help residents learn and identify the types of interventions. We also created a prioritization matrix with livability factors that identified high-value pedestrian generators for use in ranking needs. We then completed final design documents for 49th St NE. Our design had several treatments and improvements, including raised intersections, raised crosswalks, curb extensions, new ADA compliant ramps, and sidewalks, splitter and pedestrian refuge islands, shared lane markings (i.e., sharrows), bike lanes, bike boxes, and parking edge lines.
Connecting Washington DC’s Far Northeast Neighborhood Through Walking, Biking, and Transit
Kittelson’s design for multimodal improvements ultimately led to enhanced quality of life for the community. The study outlined many ways to connect the neighborhoods to transit and make walking and biking viable transportation options. The study won the 2012 National Capital Area APA Harold Foster Award for Distinction in Community Outreach and Engagement.