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It took 7+ years for this DC neighborhood to get a 4-way stop sign approved

These Petworth neighbors' experience offers insight into the struggle to make streets safer.

WASHINGTON — Petworth neighbors will finally get a 4-way stop sign at 5th and Webster Streets NW after years of lobbying the city.

That DC intersection currently has a 2-way stop sign, unlike many of the other intersections in this area, and neighbors say there are weekly crashes and daily near misses.

“We've almost been hit - my son and I - several times," neighbor and former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kim Varzi said.

She worries about the kids walking to the playground at the corner and heading to school and folks heading to church.

“The traffic moves fast this way [down 5th St.]," neighbor Linda Green said. "The traffic coming from Webster Street, only hesitate when they stop here, they don't stop pulling up at the stop sign. And nine times out of 10 there's gonna be an accident.”

Linda Green has lived in a house at the corner of that intersection for decades -- and says the problem has grown worse in the last 5 years.

Neighbors say there were not one -- not two -- but at least three crashes at this corner in the last month.

Thankfully, they said everyone was okay.

But, what they said is not okay is how long it's taken for something to be done.

“I've called 311. I've sent emails and nothing seems to happen," Green said.

Justin Dalia volunteered to help get the stop signs added after noticing how dangerous the intersection was.

“We walked actually door to door, collected signatures to do the report for the safety to try and get a four way stop sign here," he said. "This was back in 2015. And it took almost two years for them to respond back, DDOT. And it was just a very quick, you know, we looked at it, we didn't really see anything.”

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He said DDOT kept saying they needed more data and had finally said in 2020 they'd do a study, and still neighbors hadn't heard a resolution.

“The community is the data," Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George said.

She's been pushing DDOT to take action here.

“It's going to be on us if an accident crash happens here, and we don't do something to control this traffic situation right now," the councilmember said.

WUSA 9 reached out to DDOT Friday morning, and that afternoon, the team received this response from DDOT's Director, Everett Lott:

"DDOT’s commitment to providing safe streets across all of the District’s eight wards requires ongoing evaluation which takes into account changes to traffic flow, volume, and safety. After reviewing the intersection’s most recent crash data from 2021, DDOT determined a four-way stop will increase safety at the Petworth intersection, and is currently in the planning stage of implementing the traffic control measure."

“I love the District of Columbia. I was born in Washington DC. I was raised right around here in the Petworth neighborhood. So I've been here a long time," Green said. "I'd just like to see them do something to help save our babies.”

DDOT said they're currently in the planning stage of putting in that 4-way stop sign.

They also sent a study for context that says 4-way stops do not always increase safety for a variety of reasons, like too many in one area making people less likely to follow them.

You can read the rest of the information here.


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