Some residents are downright angry at what they describe as major traffic backups caused by recent changes to Seminary Road.
Last month the city repaved and re-striped a portion of Seminary Road, changing it from two vehicle travel lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, a center turn lane and two bike lanes. Some construction activity is still underway but people who opposed the project from the outset have wasted no time in decrying what they say is a significant increase in traffic as a result.
“Get rid of these stupid islands, get rid of these bike lanes,” local resident Phil Cefaratti told Tuss. “People on my side are very, very frustrated… we’re basically calling on City Council, especially the mayor, do to something about this.”
Cefaratti echoed other residents who call the result of the changes a “traffic nightmare” and Seminary a “parking lot” during rush hour, saying it now takes up to 20 minutes to go a mile at times.
Seminary Road this morning. Gridlock is bad, but moreover, how will an ambulance get to the hospital? This isn’t safe. @AdamTuss @Marcella_Rob @fox5dc @AlexandriaNow @AlexTimesNews @AlexGazette pic.twitter.com/57UjfYpnnn
— Jill Hoffman (@JHoffman_DC) November 18, 2019
Tuss also interviewed a resident who was happy about the changes, saying it’s a safety improvement. Some took to Twitter after the broadcast to voice similar views.
“I wasn’t listened to” = my opinion wasn’t implemented. I live off Seminary. It’s so much better! Never felt safe walking, running, or biking on it. Driving on it wasn’t that great either.
— Gary Michael (@GMSHOOP) November 20, 2019
The traffic will slowly get better, as it did on King Street when they did the same thing. My child has been hit by a car walking home from TC (thankfully no injuries). Anything this city can do to make it safer would be appreciated.
— Baby Yoda (@202StateofMind) November 20, 2019
City staff told Tuss and previously told the City Council that they expect the daily delays to ease as work concludes and some signal timing changes are implemented.
“While we understand that delays are frustrating, the corridor is still under construction and all of the components that work together to make this project work are not yet complete,” Hillary Orr, deputy director of Transportation and Environmental Services said in a memo. “While there have been some increased queues during the peak half-hour in the morning, we are still generally seeing vehicles able to get through a signal in one cycle.”
Opponents of the changes, meanwhile, are continuing to speak out and have formed a Facebook group to coordinate and gripe. One recent post on the exceedingly active Facebook group says that Mayor Justin Wilson has agreed to watch observe traffic congestion with residents on an as-yet undetermined weekday morning.