From a WAMU story today.
On a weekday last June, DDOT witnessed 14 illegal U-turns between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Ave., Sebastian said. Last Tuesday — after the zebra installation — a DDOT team during the same four-hour window on the same block saw no U-turns.
“These initial results are promising,” Sebastian said.
It is unclear how long DDOT’s pilot program will last, but Sebastian said the agency plans on expanding the zebras along Pennsylvania Avenue NW where illegal U-turns have become a very dangerous problem. In 2012, of fourteen car-bike crashes on the avenue in downtown D.C., nine involved illegal U-turns.
But there is anecdotal evidence that zero is not the total number since installation.
The zebras are not designed to stop vehicles cold. In fact, they are built to allow emergency vehicles to cross them. Their soft edges are easy on both bicycle and car tires. The zebras are supposed to act as a deterrent to augment ticket enforcement by the Metropolitan Police Department.
Since Jan. 1 police have issued more than 700 tickets to illegal U-turners on Pennsylvania Ave. between 3rd and 15th Streets NW, according to an MPD spokeswoman.
"No amount of zebras — five-inch high zebras — is going to stop a car, a taxi, an SUV that wants to drive over these things. It's a first step in the process of eliminating U-turns along with enforcement, education and with maybe more barriers spaced closer together,” said Sebastian. “We wanted to start with a conservative approach on the spacing before we spent a lot more time and money and effort on adding additional barriers.”
To cyclists like Wetzel, DDOT can start making changes now. “I think if they were closer together it would be harder to drive just straight through them.”