(Washington, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced the release of a report based on community-driven recommendations to improve safety and connectivity for the streets surrounding the Anacostia Metro Station. The report was produced through an interagency collaboration and highlights the use of environmentally sustainable techniques with assistance from the Greening America’s Capitals project.
“The Anacostia Metro Station is a vital transportation hub for thousands of District residents who use the bus or subway each day to go to work, school, home or other destinations,” said Mayor Gray. “The suggestions outlined in the report could enable the station and surrounding streets to accommodate the potential growth in commuter traffic from development projects at the St. Elizabeths campus and Big K site in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.”
Greening America’s Capitals helps develop distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods using innovative green building and infrastructure systems. The project is an initiative of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint federal effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The District was one of five jurisdictions from across the country to be awarded design assistance by the EPA for 2011. The DC Office of Planning (OP), the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) contributed to the report to address safety and environmental issues surrounding the Anacostia Metro Station.
The four arterial roads surrounding the station carry significant amounts of traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists often find it very difficult to get across those streets. Analysis of the site found that the surrounding streets and intersections had poorly marked and maintained crosswalks, incomplete sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and large curb radii allowing vehicles to make turns at high speed. The EPA also found that a significant amount of stormwater runoff channeled through the area to the nearby Anacostia River, both at the surface and in drainage pipes underground, without any kind of water quality treatment.
The Greening America’s Capitals team, along with input from several District agencies and the community, developed several design concepts for the site that could keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe while improving water and air quality. Some of the design concepts include:
- Realigning the roads and crosswalks at the intersection of Howard Road, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Sheridan Road to provide safer, shorter crossings.
- Changing Howard Road from a predominantly automobile-oriented street to one that achieves a better balance between vehicles and pedestrians.
- Closing Shannon Place to prevent illegal vehicular access from Howard Road and turning the cul-de-sac into a pedestrian plaza and park.
- Constructing wetlands near the intersection of Firth Sterling Avenue and Howard Road that would provide ecological and educational value.
- Adding a new bicycle path along Suitland Parkway to provide a regional connection from the Anacostia and Hillside neighborhoods to the Anacostia River.
This report supports the Mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative, designed to help the District to become the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the United States. The Greening America’s Capitals report for the Anacostia Metro station can be found on the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/dced/greencapitals.htm#washington .