Institute of Peace Asks D.C. to Move Constitution Avenue

The traffic on Constitution Avenue is creating a buzz at the nearby United States Institute of Peace, and not in a good way.

News4 learned that the institute is requesting a section of the roadway be moved about 150 feet farther away from the building to “reduce noise and vibration.”

According to documents listed in the District Department of Transportation’s Transportation Improvement Program, a proposal is on the table to shift Constitution Avenue NW, between 23rd Street and the outbound Roosevelt Bridge.

But, DDOT is cautioning, this discussion is still in a very preliminary stage.

"The agreements with respect to who, if and what is going to happen remain to be determined," DDOT spokesperson Monica Hernandez told News4.

In addition to DDOT, the federal government is involved in the process and would have to complete an environmental assessment of the project before anything happens.

The Institute of Peace says in the near future it anticipates building out more undeveloped space on its property and expects many more visitors to the building.

"We have been advised to anticipate 500,000 or more visitors a year, who will enter through the designated public entrance on Constitution Avenue," says David Early with the Institute of Peace.

In addition to giving a greater buffer to the Institute, documents say moving the road would provide better access to a little-known national landmark called Braddock's Rock. This is a landmark that is said to date back to the French and Indian War.

Where and how Constitution Avenue could move up, over or around still isn’t known.

Some who work nearby seemed shocked that the road would be picked up and moved from its current location.

"I think I'd rather have my money spent elsewhere," said Larry Zafke, who works around the corner from the Institute of Peace. "There's enough disruption and traffic around here as it is, I don't know why we would cause any more."

"Everything is already built. So why do you have to move the road away," asked commuter Emmy Smith.

Follow Adam Tuss on Twitter at @AdamTuss

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