Fact Sheet on the Maryland Avenue Safety Project

The Maryland Avenue Safety Project will restore a neighborhood street while making the corridor safer for people who walk, bike and drive. Here are the facts.


The Project Was Started by the City 7 Years Ago
The DC Council funded the initial stages of the project as part of the 2009 DDOT Pedestrian Master Plan, which contained a specific goal to make Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC, a safer and more livable street for all who use it.

A Community Street
Maryland Avenue will become a community street – with community plazas, wider medians with grass, brick-covered extensions at the corners, rain gardens, more aesthetic light poles and other features.  It will be the centerpiece of our neighborhood rather than a barrier to be navigated. Imagine walking past rain gardens and grassy medians to community events under tents near 7th or 10th Streets.

Safer for Pedestrians
The project will make Maryland Avenue safer for people walking to nearby libraries, parks, schools, recreation centers and H Street by:

  • Making the roadway one lane each way -- in a “Road Diet” -- so that pedestrians aren’t at risk of being hit by an oncoming car in the far lane even if the car in the near lane has stopped
  • Bumping out curbs so that pedestrians have less distance to traverse when crossing Maryland Avenue
  • Creating wider medians to allow people crossing on foot a “refuge” as they make sure oncoming traffic will stop for them

Safer for Bikes
Maryland Avenue could provide a major link between H Street and points further northeast with downtown, but there currently is no safe way to bike along the road.  Particularly during weekday mornings and evenings, venturing onto Maryland Avenue means getting buzzed by irritated motorists while navigating a series of obstacles and road hazards.

Safer for Cars
Maryland Avenue currently has a higher rate of dangerous crashes than other roads in the City.  Reconfiguring the roadway to be one lane each way – with turn lanes at almost every intersection – means that cars will weave less and speed less. The changes planned for Maryland Avenue are proven transportation strategies used across the country to reduce crashes between cars, and between cars and people.

No Significant Impact on Travel Times
Years of data and analysis show that with the reconfiguration – to one lane each way with left-hand turn lanes – the travel patterns will remain similar.  

Advancing the City’s Transportation Goals
Safety changes to Maryland Avenue are part of two of the City’s major transportation initiatives:

  • Move DC, a multi-modal transportation plan to encourage travel by many modes of transportation, not just cars
  • Vision Zero, a plan to eliminate fatalities and injuries by 2024 in the city’s transportation system

Read more in the project FAQ