Archive for the ‘Bus service’ category

DDOT DC Circulator Meeting Tomorrow at Frank D Reeves Municipal Center

April 28, 2014

65The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is in the midst of holding six Pop-Up Meetings to solicit feedback from current and future riders on the DC Circulator bus system. Residents who would like to see changes or new routes to the Circulator system should consider attending one of the remaining Pop-Up Meetings to provide feedback on the current system as well as future routes and extensions. The feedback from the meetings will be incorporated into the 2014 DC Circulator Transit Development Plan Update.

Back in February, when readers of this blog were asked if they would like to see an expansion of Circulator service to include the lower Georgia Avenue corridor, there was an overwhelming response in support of such an expansion. Due to this, I introduced a resolution in support of expanding the Circulator to serve the Georgia Avenue corridor at the March 2014 meeting of ANC 1A. This resolution passed unanimously. The DDOT Pop-Up Meetings on the Circulator system would be an excellent occasion to continue community advocacy to serve the corridor.

According to the DDOT announcement on the Pop-Up Meetings, a survey to gather feedback opened on April 22 on the DC Circulator website at and is a another way to express support for service to Georgia Avenue/Petworth. Each participant is entered to win a $50 SmarTrip card with a winner randomly selected after the survey closes on May 9, 2014.

Below are the dates, times and locations of the remaining meetings where residents can stop by the DC Circulator table to provide feedback. The same information is available at all meetings.

  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
    Frank D Reeves Municipal Center
    2000 14th Street NW
  • Thursday, May 1, 2014 — 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
    Anacostia Metro Station
    1101 Howard Road SE
  • Saturday, May 3, 2014 — 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    M Street & Wisconsin Ave NW

Getting to the Meetings

Be sure to check out to learn about transportation options for getting to the workshops.

Can’t Make a Meeting?

For those unable to attend a Pop-Up Meeting or who wish to submit comments at a later date please forward comments to Circe Torruellas at or call 202-671-2847. You may also submit comments by clicking on the contact us link located on the DC Circulator website at

Would You Like to See the DC Circulator in the Neighborhood (& If So, Where)?

February 26, 2014

Yesterday, a member of the community brought to my attention an interesting post on Greater Greater Washington where the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) for Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle have voted to ask the National Park Service and the city to consider a DC Circulator route from the Lincoln Memorial, through Dupont Circle, to U Street. I know that often when engaging the Georgia Avenue community on transit options, the Circulator comes up in the form of a question, such as: “Why don’t we have the Circulator over here?” It was suggested to me that maybe a route connecting Dupont Circle and the Georgia Avenue Metro would be a good idea. So, let’s see how that could work. Below is a map of the current Circulator routes.

Circulator map

I would think that a new route, to be viable, would need to enhance the transit options that are already here AND improve service. Currently, there is no way to get from the Georgia Avenue Metro to Dupont Circle (or even Faragut North) that does not include at least one transfer and some backtracking. This suggests that a Circulator route might enhance existing service. It would definitely cut down on travel time. But, what would it look like? Below is an attempt to map out a possible route, which due to one way streets and sharp corners, seemed to make sense to include Upshur as part of the route.

Possible Dupont Petworth route 2

So the questions to the community become:

  1. Would you like to see a Circulator route in the neighborhood?;
  2. Do you like the proposed route above, or do you have a different route you’d like to see?; and,
  3. What would you like Circulator to connect you to?

If there is overwhelming support for the Circulator in our area and a particular route, I’d be happy to introduce this at the ANC for support.

2nd Phase of Public Meetings for the North-South Corridor Planning Begin Today

February 18, 2014

North South study second phaseDDOT’s second series of public meetings related to their North-South Corridor Planning Study begins today. The meeting for our area will be at Banneker Recreation Center tomorrow, with presentations at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is in the middle of a planning study to examine opportunities for public transportation improvements in the North-South corridor through DC. Over the next year, DDOT will be working in collaboration with the community, area businesses, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate above-ground, high quality transit service.

The study area is focused on a 9-mile, North-South corridor that connects the Takoma/Silver Spring area to the Buzzard Point/Southwest Waterfront area. The study area extends east to west from about 16th Street on the west to approximately one-quarter mile east of Georgia Avenue.

Meetings will be open house style with two opportunities for residents to hear an overview presentation. Each meeting will cover the same information, so feel free to attend any of the meetings that fit into your schedule.

The scheduled meeting locations and times are:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014; 3:30pm-8:00pm. Presentation at 4:00pm and 7:00pm
DCRA- 2nd Floor Community Room – 1100 4th St SW

Wednesday, February 19, 2014; 3:30pm-8:00pm. Presentation at 4:00pm and 7:00pm
Banneker Recreation Center – 2500 Georgia Ave NW

Thursday, February 20, 2014; 3:30pm-8:00pm. Presentation at 4:00pm and 7:00pm
Emery Recreation Center – 5701 Georgia Ave NW

Wednesday, February 19, 2014; 10:00am-12:00pm.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library- 901 G St NW

Click here for a recap of Public Meeting Series #1.

DDOT’s Second Round of North-South Corridor Planning Study Meetings Scheduled for February

January 22, 2014
DDOT's North-South Corridor map.

DDOT’s North-South Corridor map.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has scheduled their second round of public meetings to examine opportunities for public transportation improvements in the North-South corridor through DC for February  18th, 19th, & 20th. The meeting in our area will be held at Banneker Recreation Center (2500 Georgia Ave.) on February 19th. Presentation times are set for 4 pm and 7 pm. If you can not make this meeting, all the meetings should be similar so feel free to attend the meetings that fit into your schedule (flyer here).

DDOT held their first round of public North-South Corridor meetings in November 2013 (my review and opinions of those meetings here).

Details from DDOT’s announcement of the meetings:

The study area is focused on a 9-mile, North-South corridor that connects the Takoma/Silver Spring area to the Buzzard Point/Southwest Waterfront area. The study area extends east to west from about 16th Street on the west to approximately one-quarter mile east of Georgia Avenue.

Community involvement and feedback is essential to helping DDOT and other partnering entities plan, build and operate the best streetcar system possible.

For more information about this study please visit North-South Corridor Planning Study ( or contact Jamie Henson at 202-671-1324 or (mailto:Jamie.Henson (at) . To join the project distribution list visit

North South Study part 2 page 2

Thoughts on DDOT’s North-South Corridor Meetings

November 13, 2013
Detail of the Conceptual Alternatives map showing streets in the greater Park View area that are part of the North-South Study (click for full map)

Detail of the Conceptual Alternatives map showing streets in the greater Park View area that are part of the North-South Study (click for full map)

Having attended both the November 4th North-South Corridor meeting and the less formal November 11th presentation during the Georgia Avenue Economic Development Community Task Force (GAEDTF), its time to pull together some of my initial impressions. To begin with, the area under consideration involves a lot of streets, many of which I can’t imagine will be on the table for long. But, in essence, the study area includes the traffic currently handled by three of the top five busiest routes in the District. The overall corridor handles a quarter of the District’s bus ridership, which is over 60,000 bus riders per day.

During the presentations DDOT was fairly clear that they were open to listening from residents on whether the solution to meeting the transportation demands would be streetcars or something else. However, for several years now, streetcars have been the mode of transportation most discussed, and I think it has an advantage over alternative modes at this time. But … it was also clear that this phase of meetings was a very early step in the process and there will be other opportunities for the public to weigh in. The second series of meetings during Phase one are likely to be conducted in January/February 2014 and the third series could be around May/June 2014. Once they are completed, the study will move on to Phase 2: the environmental study.

Planning process graphic

The purpose of the meetings was also to gather community input on which routes were desired, which routes residents didn’t like, and gather concerns so that the study team has more information to work with. Jaime Henson, the chief DDOT presenter, stated that we, the residents, know our neighborhoods and streets far better than the study team ever could, and that was why community input was so essential to the process. They also made it clear that if someone stated they didn’t like one option over another to tell the team why. That was the best way for the study to understand the underlying issues connected to  the corridor.

One thing I found interesting was that many residents in the SW Waterfront and upper Georgia Avenue areas tended to respond to the presentations positively. I would say that the overall vibe in the room at the GAEDTF meeting wasn’t that keen on streetcars — among the comments expressed were an interest in more circulator bus service, concern about overhead wires, concern that a disabled streetcar will snarl traffic, and that there isn’t room on Georgia Avenue for streetcars, buses, parking, and cars.

However, when compared to alternative routes in the area, I don’t see 14th Street, 11th Street, or Sherman Avenue being superior choices to Georgia Avenue. 14th Street, in particular, is usually a congested mess during morning rush hour and much of that has been in response to efforts to slow traffic down in the area around Park Road.

In looking at the comparison above, a streetcar's capacity is 65 riders greater than an articulated bus.

In looking at the comparison above, a streetcar’s capacity is 65 riders greater than an articulated bus.

In comparing modes of transportation with their size and rider capacity, I think it is fairly easy to see why DDOT has been considering streetcars so seriously. An average streetcar can carry 65 more passengers than an articulated bus. In such a comparison, the streetcar is also only 6 ft. longer than the articulated bus. In comparing width, streetcars and buses are roughly the same. However, driving lanes for buses are typically wider than those needed for streetcars because streetcars travel on rails and remain on their tracks, whereas a bus will naturally travel from side to side a bit more within a lane due to its unfettered nature.

Transportation comparison widths

So, the question becomes, if the District’s goal is to improve traffic between Buzzard Point in the South and Takoma Park/Silver Spring in the north, how does the Ward 1 section of the corridor want to participate? Do residents want the plan to include Georgia Avenue, or do they want it to bypass Georgia Avenue? Considering that a streetcar system would increase capacity the most, is the community willing to give anything up to accommodate this service — or do residents merely want to continue to add buses to the existing 70 network?

From my viewpoint, removing metered parking and establishing dedicated streetcar lanes would make a lot of sense. This would be especially true if the improved transportation service decreased visitors needing to drive to the corridor. The dedicated lane would also address the concern that a disabled streetcar would snarl traffic. Of course, an alternative to this would be to keep the metered parking and have streetcars share the road with automobiles. This is similar to the build-out on H Street where streetcars will share lanes with traffic.

All-in-all, there will be a lot for the community to consider. I’m certainly looking forward to the next round of public meetings to learn what insight DDOT gained from the last round of meetings and how that will move the process forward.

The full library of presentation materials used during the community presentations is available here. It’s worth a look to become more familiar with the study parameters and the challenges DDOT is attempting to address.

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