It wasn\’t long ago that if you were heading west on Montana Avenue from New York Avenue that the traffic flow seemed somewhat smooth. Finding yourself caught at the light on 18th Street wasn\’t nearly as painful as it is now. The natural flow of traffic allows the traffic wanting to make the right turn to move effortlessly. The traffic continuing westbound typically waited patiently for the right-turn only traffic to clear. However, once it cleared this area, you can move safely to the right of the left-turning traffic and proceed. But what led to the reversal of this seemingly natural flow? Was there a traffic study that indicated a change was warranted to alleviate a traffic jam? Was there a pressing safety issue? Or was it a self-serving traffic sign change?
Self-Serving Traffic Sign Change?
If you\’re not familiar with this area, feel free to move on to the next article. However, if you use the right-hand turn at 18th and Montana Avenue to access several major streets like Evarts, Franklin, or Rhode Island Avenue then keep reading. Think back and ask yourself how many times did the traffic on Montana Avenue back up all the way to New York Avenue? Or how many times did people resort to aggressive driving not to be stuck at the light for several light changes? A simple change of which lane was changed to turn-only has made a big difference in the traffic pattern at this signal. But why the change?
It wasn\’t until I decided to take the left-hand turn did I discover a possible motive; Ddot!
Did Ddot change the flow of traffic at this already busy intersection to serve its own needs? If so, then that would be contrary to its Mission to \”…Enhance the quality of life for District residents\”. I don\’t know but The DC Voice has reached out through Ddot\’s \”Ask the Director\” for an answer. We will keep you posted on the reply and gladly share Ddot\’s explanation for this change.