DDOT Eyes Section of MLK Avenue SE for Revitalization

Current conditions near MLK and Milwaukee Pl SE
Image: Google
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will hold a public meeting concerning the revitalization of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Avenue SE in Congress Heights. The meeting will be held at the R.I.S.E Demonstration Center, 2730 MLK Jr. Avenue SE, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, from 6:30p to 8:00p.

This 1.1 mile revitalization project could be the first step in improving the bicycle network in this area: allowing youth to get to schools along MLK Avenue by bike; people to travel to and from the commercial corridor and the current and planned improvements at the St. Elizabeths site; and bike commuters who use MLK to connect to downtown by bike.

The aim of this initial meeting is to gather community comments about the street and present alternative revitalization options. Specifically, the project hopes to comply with elements of the #VisionZero initiative by improving the transportation network, reduce interactions between pedestrians and vehicles, and enhance the corridor's aesthetics with street and sidewalk modifications.

The project corridor is one of the few streets that allow cyclists to connect with the rest of the District from its most southern sections to downtown. The #MoveDC bicycle plan proposed bike lanes for this section of MLK Avenue, from Alabama Avenue south until it meets with South Capitol Street. Those lanes were added in 2015 and travel mostly in a residential section of the corridor, starting just south of 4th Street SE. The area north of Alabama Avenue contains no bike lanes and contains the neighborhood's commercial corridor. The project corridor contains at least 5 schools within two blocks of MLK Avenue.

As more people use bicycling as a transportation alternative, the need for bike lanes on major corridors has also increased. The project corridor contains one 10-dock Capital Bikeshare station located at Alabama and MLK Avenue SE. Two other Bikeshare stations lie outside of the project corridor at Atlantic and South Capitol Streets and near the Congress Heights Metrorail Station. Some residents and those who work near or along the corridor use bike share as the "last mile" connection to the Metrorail Green Line stations at Congress Heights, while some continue to the Anacostia Station or beyond.