The Transportation working group has been looking at mass transit options as well as individual forms of transportation, such as biking, walking, and driving, in its analysis of the current state of transportation in the neighborhood.
Note that this is our DRAFT BASELINE REPORT. Please leave your constructive comments, questions, and ideas for the neighborhood in the comments section below.
The neighborhood now called Adams Morgan began to be urbanized in the late 19th century as public transportation started to make the area more accessible to the already settled areas of Washington City. Distance from the center and the rise in elevation had until then limited development in the area to large estates. With the coming of electric streetcars in 1892, the neighborhood’s first housing boom took off. The history of Adams Morgan has been closely linked with transportation concerns ever since. In 2006, a comprehensive report on Adams Morgan’s transportation problems was done as part of the preparation for the eventual 18th Street Streetscape project. Many of the recommendations of that report regarding 18th Street were either implemented or were discarded after careful study. However, the problems identified outside of the immediate streetscape area largely still exist and that study served as a baseline for the transportation working group’s report which covered mass transit and more individual forms of transportation: private cars, bicycles, and walking.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides most of the mass transit for Adams Morgan through its Metro bus and subway system. In addition to the Metro system, Adams Morgan is served by: the Circulator bus system that is the product of a public/private partnership between the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT); DC Surface Transit, Inc.; and, the various Business Improvement Districts in DC. Overall, the working group concluded that Adams Morgan is well served by DC’s mass transit systems although improvements would be useful in some areas.
The 2006 report made clear that the increasing number of cars coming into Adams Morgan is more than the street network can absorb resulting in insufficient parking spaces for residents and visitors. Too many cars entering Adams Morgan with nowhere to park has the potential to create a safety problem with traffic jams and congestion that reduce the ability of emergency vehicles to move quickly. In Adams Morgan there has been a very limited adoption of traffic calming strategies compared to some other DC neighborhoods. Parking meters already exist in most of the commercial areas of Adams Morgan, however, the time that the meters are in use as well as the cost could be adjusted based on demand to further ease congestion. The use of peak-load pricing (also known as performance parking) has begun to be implemented in DC and might be a useful option for Adams Morgan.
Bicycles are an important – and growing – mode of transportation in Adams Morgan and across DC. The working group felt that Adams Morgan is well-served by the Capital Bikeshare program, which has five stations in the neighborhood and another close by.
Adams Morgan, with its close in-town location, is an area that generally has a very good layout for pedestrian travel. Since walking was the basic neighborhood mode of travel when Adams Morgan was first developed, all of the streets of the area were designed to have sidewalks, and over the years any new work has been generally well-planned with respect to pedestrian travel, and mostly well maintained.