Traffic and Parking Getting Back to Normal, Sadly

GM took the above photo in the middle of the day, back in April. It’s of M St., and there was hardly a soul (or a car) around. While DC’s Coronavirus-positive numbers are still alarmingly high, you wouldn’t necessarily know it based on the car traffic that has returned.

The Post reported that even by early June, traffic in the DC area was already back to 80% of the pre-pandemic levels.  Based upon GM’s own observations, it’s above that now in Georgetown.

When the shutdown was at its height, the streets were empty, both of traveling cars and parked cars. GM’s own block was rarely more than a third full of parked cars. That is not the case any more. It is back to the “normal” where by 9:00 most mornings, Maryland and Virginia cars take up the spaces that were empty around 7:00.

As for traffic, it still seems below normal, although not as much as in the spring. For instance, 34th St. isn’t backing up during evening rush like it used to, but it’s starting to back up somewhat. M St. is starting to fill up in a way it wasn’t a few months ago. What has been your observations?

And all of this is, of course, a lost opportunity. The disease is still here. The only way restaurants will survive is taking street space. And crowded sidewalks will return if we don’t do something about it. But the city’s approach towards taking space from drivers and giving back to people has been absolutely anemic. We could have used this shock to completely rethink how we use our roads, but the Mayor has (predictably) done absolutely nothing along those lines.

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