DC Gets $8 Million in Federal Grants to Improve Transportation and Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the District of Columbia more than $8 million in grants to fund four projects in the city, including the revitalization of Kennedy Street, NW. The funding will also allow DC to move forward with planning for improved bicycle and pedestrian access near rail stations; implement a program to manage curbside parking in busy commercial areas; and improve infrastructure for construction of the America Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial near the US Capitol.

The Kennedy Street Revitalization Project will receive $1 million from the Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program (TCSP) to transform the public realm of the commercial corridor. The funds, matched by local monies, will upgrade streetscape facilities including streetlights, sidewalks, and street trees and landscaping. It will also support low-cost, high-impact safety improvements at key nodes. That includes the signalized intersection of Missouri Avenue/Kansas Avenue & Kennedy Street; and the non-signalized intersection of Missouri Avenue/1st Street and Jefferson Street.

The District was also awarded more than $6 million to complete infrastructure improvements for the Closing of C Street, SW from 2nd Street to Washington Avenue, to facilitate construction of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. The approved location for the memorial is a triangular-shaped site bounded by 2nd Street, SW on the west, Washington Avenue on the east, and the I-395 tunnel portals on the south, necessitating the closure of C Street, SW between Washington Ave and 2nd Street. The infrastructure improvements include utility work, signage, lighting, pavement markings, reconfiguration of the roadway, and improving pedestrian facilities. The project will result in improved traffic flow, an increase in pedestrian and bicycle safety, and improved security at the nearby Rayburn Office Building.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will use a $1.09 million grant to implement a multimodal, dynamic parking pricing pilot program in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area of downtown DC. The program will include a reservation system for commercial vehicle parking to manage metered curb-side spaces in congested areas. It will encourage freight travel at off-peak times and enable tour bus operators to find parking, as well as use parking revenues to support transit services.

Finally, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) was awarded $160,000 to identify opportunities for promoting housing and employment development close to rail by providing walk or bike access to and from the stations using a complete streets approach. The project will seek to moderate demand pressures on the transportation system and improve efficiency by encouraging rail ridership in the reverse-peak direction on trains that currently have plenty of seats, or by selling the same seat twice in the peak travel direction (where one group of commuters alights at a mixed-use suburban location providing space for new commuters traveling further in the peak direction). The final product of the project will be an inventory of up to 25 rail stations with high promise for housing and employment development, and an accompanying list of high-impact transportation capital projects to improve access to these stations that could be quickly implemented should funding become available from the public or private sectors.

A complete state-by-state list of the FY12 discretionary grants awarded by the US DOT is available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary/2012grantdata.cfm.

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