1979-1980, the Hillandale Development Corporation won approval to develop the
former Archbold estate, located in the park to the west of 39th St and east of
the present French embassy. While this area was marked on city planning maps
for development, the Hillandale project was controversial because it was a
limited-access, planned urban development (PUD). The Burleith Citizens
Association negotiated (and litigated) with the developers to protect green
space and limit additional traffic flow through Burleith. (The limited access
funnels all Hillandale traffic towards 39th St).
In 2002, at its July 3 meeting, the
ANC endorsed an agreement between Burleith and Hillandale that would allow cars
exiting Hillandale to safely turn left towards S Street provided that
restrictions were placed on cut-through traffic from Reservoir Road.
agreement was at "package deal" that also includes restriction on left turns
from Reservoir Road onto 39th Street and 38th Street. Both communities have
agreed to support both parts of the package. The Department of Transportation in
August started the process to implement the left turn restrictions.
Soon after the July ANC meeting, the DC government started a long-planned
project to replace sidewalks, install streetlight conduits, replace storm
drains, and resurface 39th Street. The planned work had nothing to do with
the Hillandale entrance. However, during the work city engineers grew
alarmed about the narrow width of 39th Street near S Street — a stretch that was
built to be a one-way street. They asked that the community help come up with a
Representatives of Burleith and Hillandale met with officials and worked out a
design that would hopefully continue the features of the present entrance that
discourage cut-through traffic from Reservoir Road (a landscaped barrier to hide
the entrance of Burleith from Reservoir Road, a curved traffic pattern to
discourage speeding on 39th Street, and a distinctive entrance to Burleith to
encourage vehicles to slow down when entering Burleith).
A traffic circle was thought to be an ideal solution, but practically it
turned out that a traffic circle would not fit in the available space. To
accommodate traffic, the outer diameter of a traffic circle would need to be at
least 94 feet, but this is roughly the distance from the east 39th Street curb
to the Hillandale wall; constructing such a circle would probably be
Actual designs of the entrance can be obtained by contacting ANC 2E at 338-7427. Construction will start
about September 9.