Traffic Light Work in Dupont Circle Means Delays Tuesday

DDOT: Concerted effort to make Dupont Circle, "one of the most challenging intersections in the world," more pedestrian-friendly

By Joshua Axelrod and Derrick Ward
|  Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013  |  Updated 1:28 PM EDT
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Traffic lights at Dupont Circle will be on flash mode from 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Tuesday while crews upgrade the signal system.

Derrick Ward

Traffic lights at Dupont Circle will be on flash mode from 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Tuesday while crews upgrade the signal system.

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Dupont Circle has always been a traffic nightmare, but Tuesday the delays might be worse than usual.

The District Department of Transportation is warning that the traffic lights at Dupont Circle will be on flash mode from 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Tuesday while crews upgrade the signal system.

Traffic control officers help direct the flow of traffic during the process.

DDOT Chief Traffic Engineer James Cheeks said the plan is part of a concerted effort to make Dupont Circle -- which he called "one of the most challenging intersections in the world" -- more pedestrian-friendly.

Those familiar with Dupoint Circle know that traffic moves on an inner ring and an outer ring. But often, traffic is moving on one and stopped on the other, leaving pedestrians stranded in the middle on a thin sliver of sidewalk.

DDOT workers on Tuesday are watching pedestrians' timing and will resycnhorize the traffic lights.

"Basically we're re-timing and tweaking the traffic signal in order to provide additional pedestrian timing in Dupont Circle," Cheeks said. "....We're trying to balance it, but we're definitely pedestrian-friendly, so we're going to see if we can get pedestrians to cross in one complete shot."

Anyone planning on driving through the Dupont Circle area Tuesday morning and afternoon should strongly consider alternative routes.

Officials are expecting traffic delays on Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire avenues. Traffic lights should be functioning normally again by evening rush hour Tuesday.

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