— New Columbia Heights (@newcolumbiahts) June 26, 2015
A Metro bus on the 54 line filled with smoke and was evacuated earlier this morning, say D.C. Fire and EMS officials.
Firefighters were first notified of a report of smoke coming from a bus at the intersection of 14th and Girard streets NW before 10:37 a.m. this morning.
When firefighters arrived, officials say the bus was already parked and evacuated.
New Columbia Heights blogger Andrew Wiseman wrote earlier today that he was on the 54 bus when it filled with “noxious fumes.”
“It was a bit hard to breathe and everyone around me started coughing,” wrote Wiseman. “We couldn’t see any smoke, and only some of us smelled it, but everyone was coughing. It smelled kind of like gasoline, but much more unpleasant and irritating.”
One person was taken from the scene to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries “due to another incident not related to first report,” said D.C. Fire and EMS Public Affairs Specialist Oscar Méndez.
Metro announced last week that it will add nine new southbound “short trips” during morning rush hour in attempt to reduce overcrowding on the S-line buses. The crowded buses have caused problems for residents who board along 16th Street NW.
According to Metro, the additional buses will start service on 16th Street NW at Harvard Street NW, making all S2 stops on 16th Street to H Street NW. At H Street, the buses will turn left and go west to 14th Street NW.
The change came after ANC 2B-04 Commissioner Kishan Putta organized a series of meetings with residents, commuters and Metro employees and planners.
“My biggest issue is that I can stand waiting for the bus for 30 minutes during rush hour and 10 buses — I have counted, not an exaggeration — come by and do not stop. Even if the bus isn’t full because the bus drivers do not make people move towards the back of the bus,” one local resident told Putta.
Another resident experienced frustration after several buses passed and she waited in the cold with her infant.
“The most frustrating is that by the time the bus reaches K Street NW, it is almost empty,” the resident said, explaining the overcrowded situation during rush hour commutes.
At the last meeting, Metro proposed three possible plans to attendees, who voted on their preferred plan. More residents and commuters were in favor of increasing the frequency of buses over increasing the area covered.
Because the buses will start service at Harvard Street NW, passengers at bus stops south of Mount Pleasant should find it easier to find room to board, Metro says.
In December, Metro extended the hours of MetroExtra service on 16th Street to provide additional capacity during the late-evening hours, between 7 and 9:30 pm.
Metro’s Director of Bus Planning Jim Hamre and five additional Metro employees joined ANC 2B Commissioners Noah Smith and Kishan Putta, and a handful of local residents on Wednesday night to present potential solutions to the overcrowding on 16th Street buses.
Wednesday night’s meeting was the second meeting Metro attended to work with local residents on the bus-crowding problem. Hamre presented three options to attendees, all of which include additional short trips between 7:35 and 9:15 am on weekdays.
“We need something short-term until we can come up with some long-term solutions,” said Hamre, who also mentioned that adding buses will be a part of the long-term solutions due to the District’s population shift and recent boom in development.
According to Hamre, Metro sees a 3:1 commuter pattern ratio, meaning most commuters travel on the same days and during the same hours, compared commuters in other cities.
Below are the proposed options, as presented on Wednesday night.
Metro’s Proposed Plans
- Extra short trips every 15 minutes from U Street NW to H Street NW.
- Bus layover at U and 15th Streets NW.
- Annual additional cost: $130,000.
- Requires two additional morning peak buses.
- Extra short trips every 15 minutes from V Street and 14th Streets NW to H Street NW.
- Bus layover at 15th and V Streets NW.
- Annual additional cost: $130,000.
- Requires two additional morning peak buses.
- Will not cover any additional stops than covered in 1A.
- Extra short trips every 20 minutes from Euclid Street to 16th and K Streets NW
- Bus layover at Euclid and 16th Streets NW.
- Requires two additional morning peak buses (going to a 15-minute frequency would cost $195,000 and require three additional morning peak buses).
- 15th Street NW becomes one lane north of W Street, potentially causing delays if street is blocked.
- Would not cover stops at Lafayette Square and McPherson Square that are covered in Option 1.
Residents at the meeting took a straw poll — more residents were in favor of increasing the frequency of buses than increasing the area covered (as described in Option 2).
“Residents may be in disagreement about one option, but there is total agreement that we want to see one of these in place,” said ANC 2B-09 Commissioner Noah Smith.
Hamre said he and his employees will take the response from the meeting back to headquarters and begin to work on implementing the change. He expects the changes could take place as early as mid-March.
Putta and Smith will work with local residents to conjure up additional support from residents in the form of a letter to send to Metro, as well.
Metro might just offer a solution to the bus problem many residents are experiencing for the S2 and S4 buses on 16th Street NW.
Following up on complaints and a community meeting organized by ANC 2B04 Commissioner Kishan Putta, Metro will hold a meeting for the community next Wednesday, February 20 at The Chastleton Ballroom (1701 16th Street NW).
The purpose of the meeting will be for Metro to present its proposed solutions to the bus back-up to the public.
The routes on the 16th Street bus line have the highest ridership in DC, and many commuters are seeing buses pass by them due to overcrowding.
One possibility Metro previously discussed is a rush hour route that focuses on the morning problem strip: Columbia Road to downtown DC. But one obstacle is layover space — a bus route requires a location for the bus drivers to park, pause, and get ready for an on-time departure.
Wednesday’s meeting will begin at 7 pm and is open to the public.
It’s a good thing warm weather is coming to the District this weekend, because many commuters will be without their pants. Yes, you heard correctly. People are going pants-less.
Sunday is the annual No Pants Subway Ride, a tradition that was originally started by Improv Everywhere.
For those interested in showing a little leg, the DC group (organized by Capitol Improv) will meet at Hancock Park, right outside the L’Enfant Metro station, at 2 pm on January 13. The nearest intersection is 7th and C Street SW.
After an exciting Metro ride, an after party will take place in the neighborhood at Cobalt (1639 R Street NW) for a 21+ crowd.
Show what you got, Borderstan. And please – make sure you wear some underwear (layering pairs is a safe bet).
Hurricane Sandy is closing in on DC, and the city is preparing itself for the worst. As of this evening, the Federal Government, the DC Government and all Metro service has been suspended for Monday, October 29, in anticipation of the storm. According to a statement from Mayor Gray’s office, Metro service will only be restored when it is safe to do so. Following the storm, Metro personnel will need to perform a comprehensive damage assessment, including inspections of track, bridges, aerial structures, stations and facilities.
The weather and transportation closures will make it especially hard for commuters to get to work Monday morning, with bad road conditions expected. Additionally, Capital Bikeshare announced that it will be closing temporarily starting at 1 am Monday morning. According to an email alert, the system will reopen when weather conditions allow.
Streetsweeping has been suspended through Wednesday. There is no parking enforcement tomorrow. In addition, the DC Department of Transportation has generators in place at major intersections. If power is disrupted, traffic signals will continue to work, and DDOT traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic where necessary.
All throughout the weekend, DC residents and employees were busy preparing for Hurricane Sandy. The city’s grocery stores were wiped clear of bottled water and other essentials, and the city placed sandbags in areas where flooding could be problematic. In this year’s past storms, flooding has been a problem in the Borderstan area.
According to The Washington Post, DC is expected to experience 4-7″ of rain and a long period of sustained winds above 35 mph, with peak gusts of more than 60 mph from Hurricane Sandy.
According to WTOP, several locations in DC have opened as shelters ahead of Hurricane Sandy, including:
- Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue NE
- Bald Eagle Recreation Center, 100 Joliet Street SW
- Emery Recreation Center, 5701 Georgia Avenue NW
- Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW
- Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Deenwood Community Center, 1350 49th Street NE
For information on closings, delays and weather, check WTOP’s website for the latest listings.
From Mary El Pearce. Follow her on Twitter@CupcakesDC and email her at maryelp[At]borderstan.com.
It’s the little things in life that make me happy — flowers blooming, my dog greeting me at the front door when I get home from work, running into the Metro station to find I have one minute until my train arrives. It’s also the little things in life that make me rage with anger — left-side escalator standers, tourists who hold open Metro doors so all 15 of them can get in and perhaps the most serious offense, Seat Hogs.
The Seat Hog takes up two seats during rush hour or events that cause Metro trains to be crowded. This is super inconsiderate not just because people like to sit down, but it also encourages people to crowd doorways — which prevents others from getting on the Metro, which can cause people to have to wait for another train.
Examples of Seat Hoggery
Spreading your legs so no one can squeeze in next to you. You’re not in your office, you’re on public transportation. It’s not supposed to be comfortable. If you need that much room then you should just stand.
Falling asleep across two seats. I’ve fallen asleep on the Metro many times. You really only need one seat, by the window, where you can lean your head and others can utilize the seat next to you with ease.
Using one seat for your bag. You know how in airplanes you have to put your bag on the floor? Consider it the same for the Metro.
Sitting in the outer seat. Common courtesy calls for you to scoot to the inner seat if it’s available. There’s not enough room for someone to climb over you, and most people who sit in the outer seat avert eye contact with those who want to sit down. But I’m getting off at the next stop and I don’t want to make someone else get out so I can get out, you may think, assuming you’re being polite. You’re not being polite. Stand up if your stop is next and you don’t want to sit in the inner seat.
You should know that in any of these cases I will hover over you and stare you down until you acknowledge me.
If you don’t acknowledge me I will say, “May I sit down?” (Seat Hogs always look surprised, as if they have no idea they are occupying two seats. In reality, they’ve been quietly avoiding eye contact so they don’t have to move.)
Only once has this method threatened to be hazardous to my safety (that woman was having a bad day, but how was I supposed to know?), so the odds of successfully claiming the second seat from a Seat Hog have proved to be in my favor. I encourage you to claim your sitting rights as well.
That’s right, the The Washington Post reports that the south entrance escalators will close on February 1 for approximately eight months. The closure has been planned for quite some time and given the number of signs around the southern entrance, it shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.
However, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the north exit! You are closer to Sweetgreen, Kramerbooks and Shophouse. Consider this WMATA’s way of helping you out on your diet by adding some steps to your daily Krispy Kreme. And if all that doesn’t make you feel better, there’s a lovely liquor store near the Q Street exit.
In addition to winning the South Carolina presidential primary on Saturday, Newt Gingrich also recently voiced his opinion on your decision to rent (not own) an apartment (not a home) in a city (not a suburb). He also threw in the Metro and fancy newspapers — leaving out dog parks and bike lanes, but perhaps he’ll hit on those in the future.
In a speech to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) last week, Gingrich pledged his support for the institution of home ownership, The Wall Street Journal reports. At the “Rally for Home Ownership” in South Carolina, Gingrich advocated for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial bill, as well as more lenient tax policies for manufacturers and builders.
Gingrich, who campaigns as a small-government conservative, makes an unlikely bedfellow for a trade group like NAHB, which lobbies for government regulation of the industry. But platform changes like this are not uncommon in a primary season, during which candidates try to appeal to multiple, shifting electorates.
Accordingly, Gingrich used the rally to strike a populist tone and appeal to his suburban base, drawing a harsh comparison between those who value home ownership and those who, in his mind, do not:
“Those who live in [apartments] writing for fancy newspapers in the middle of town after they ride the Metro, who don’t understand that for most Americans [having] their own property… is one of the greatest achievements of their life, and it makes them feel like they are good solid citizens,” Gingrich told the crowd.
Gingrich’s comments are interesting in light of where we live — a densely populated downtown neighborhood with lots of renters (yes, lots of condos, too) who use public transportation. And while we may not be solid citizens, our rents are certainly fancy here in Borderstan.
Anyway, welcome to the 2012 presidential election.
Shaw Dog Park: 3 Years and Lots of Improvements
See more photos from Saturday’s Shaw Dog Park celebration on Borderstan’s Facebook Page.
Shaw Dogs hosted a celebration this past Saturday at the Shaw Dog Park on the 1600 block of 11th Street NW to commemorate the third anniversary of the park and the $75,000 in improvements that went into it. The renovations were funded by a grant of ex-Mayor Fenty’s administration, and the improvements include tree boxes, benches, an improved water system and a shade-sail and bench in the “under 25 pounds” dog enclosure.
Off On The Wrong Foot
The candidates for the Ward 2 DC Council race are barely out of the starting gate, and one of them, Fiona Greig — so far the one challenger to incumbent Councilmember Jack Evans — has already encountered her first hurdle. The City Paper‘s Loose Lips column reported that a spreadsheet, inadvertently filed with the Office of Campaign Finance by Greig’s campaign committee, refers to Greig’s co-worker at McKinsey Consulting as a “homosexual”. DCist notes that Greig has issued an apology. The term homosexual is considered by many people in the LGBT community to be a slur — at best, very clinical term.
U Street Will Remain U Street
The months-long debate over shortening Metro station names has come to end — at least for now. WMATA’s goal of limiting station names to 19 characters threatened stations names like U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo U Street. WMATA’S resolution is to have a primary/secondary station name. So, the primary name will be U Street and the secondary name will be African Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo. Now, if they could just limit the escalator outages too.
Bar Stools On The Sidewalk?
Just a few weeks after its opening and already, Pearl Dive Oyster Bar at 1612 14th Street, NW is drawing crowds to what appears to be the latest Logan Circle hot spot. The restaurant has drawn particular notice for its large sidewalk window that swings open to the bar area. It really screams out for some barstools — which, after last week’s ANC 2F meeting, seems to be the plan. Last week, Pearl Dive presented its public space proposal of installing six barstools along the window. That said, Pearl Dive must now work its way through the DC regulatory process, including the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, so it may be spring before you can enjoy wine and oysters curbside.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
As if the earthquake and hurricane were not enough, DC’s first responders are now conducting water rescues around DC due to flooding. WJLA has a list of them and the astounding report that we have had more than SEVEN inches of rain this week. It’s enough rain to cancel the swim portion of The Nation’s triathlon in DC, scheduled for Sunday. Stay dry and don’t bother straightening your hair!
Recap of Fashion’s Night Out
While the rain kept some people away, Fashion’s Night Out soldiered through with some unfashionable ponchos or stylish wellies. Patch has a good recap of the event, which brought people down from Baltimore and beyond. I’ll admit I may be partial to the article, since it features the DC Roller Girls, skates and all. If you have yet to attend FNO or see the roller derby, make a plan to do both soon!
Are Objections to Development Hurting DC’s Economy?
You probably already read the guest post from Stephen Rutgers on the 17th Street and O Street NW development. If he didn’t convince you that Dupont needs more mixed-use developments, consider this piece from Washington City Paper. Lydia DePillis features the argument made by an Arlington-based economist and his recently published piece in the New York Times. Failing to build more developments in opportunity-rich areas, he argues, is chocking economic growth. Good stuff to consider as you review the finer points of the President’s jobs speech from last night.
Connecticut Avenue Median Dedication
Speaking of development projects, the one that created the Connecticut Avenue is celebrating its first major milestone. The stretch between K Street and L Street has been completed, according to the Golden Triangle website. While work will continue up to Dupont Circle, the dedication ceremony is planned for September 15 at 10:30 am Officials attending the ribbon cutting ceremony include Mayor Vincent Gray, Council Chairman Kwame Brown and Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans.
DC Shorts Film Festival Underway
So you missed the first film since the festival officially opened on Thursday. However, you still have a lot of great stuff to see and attend! Consider tonight’s Celebrity Party (not sure who the celebrities will be, but they are going to have food from Matchbox and Cowgirl Creamery, which is reason enough to go even if you hate movies) at Madame Tussaud’s or tomorrow’s Brazilian Carnival. More info about the parties is here. The full list of films can be found here.
Dupont Escalators Out of Service for Up to a Year
I wish that we had all missed this news and it wasn’t happening, but it’s true. The 19th Street entrance (on the south side of Dupont Circle) will be closed for up to a year as Metro works on the escalators servicing that particular access point. As the Washington Examiner points out, the Empire State Building was constructed in less time than this particular repair. Hopefully, this repair will ensure smooth escalator trips with no additional service. A girl can dream!
Arts District Blossoms
The Washington Blade has an interesting piece on the evolution of Logan Circle in contrast to Dupont Circle. Unsurprisingly, they credit Logan’s blossoming with the more ‘friendly’ ANC, which listened to residents who desired more restaurants and retail. Whether you care for the changes or not, it is certainly true that the 14th Street Corridor is remarkably changed from a decade (or even five years) ago. What say you, Borderstan, about the changes?
From Troy Urman. Email him at [email protected].
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has released a draft of the soon-to-be-updated Metrorail map and is seeking public comment. See the new map and take the survey on the WMATA website.
The new map incorporates hints of the Dulles extension, changes to Blue and Yellow service, as well as myriad graphic changes.
This is only a draft for the map, which will surely see changes in coming months. It sill looks like the 35-year-old original, but updated. I think the shortened station names, smaller icons and geographical corrections are vast improvements.
What do you think?
From Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed on Twitter @MichLancaster.
Driver in Fatal Accident Sentenced
What happens when you get drunk, drive your car and hit a pedestrian? Well, in this case, you get a three-year sentence. Chamica Adams’ blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when she hit and killed Julia Bachleitner, an exchange student at Hopkins. Her sentencing was Tuesday, and DCist has a good recap with links. In the ‘consider me offended’ category, the judge told the parents to forgive the driver in order to move on with life, reports NBC Washington.
More Condos on 14th Street, This Time at T Street
I wonder if anyone concerned about more people, cars and noise in their neighborhood protest new condo developments. At 14th and T, a new condo with 126 units is slated for development, reports Washington City Paper. There is a note about retail on the bottom, so expect more discussion about what should and should not go there. Nothing against shoes, but no one needs more comfy shoes. Or fro yo. Or Subway (just this writer’s opinion). Credit also goes to 14th & U for this post, which made me laugh.
Give us stuff! Know something happening that you want to share with people? Want to tell people all about the awesome stuff they missed and only you saw? Well, by all means tell me on Twitter @MichLancaster!
Artist in Plastic in Living Room
Next time you get irritated that your roomate is hogging the living room TV to watch The Bachelor marathon, just be glad they’re not living in plastic in the middle of all your stuff. Phillipa Hughes, founder of the Pink Line Project, can tell you all about that dynamic, as she has artist Agnes Bolt living in a plastic contraption in the middle of her living room.
Washington City Paper has the details on the reasons for the project (examining relationships between artists and the people that buy their art), what’s included in the agreement (morning cheek kisses) and how the heck she goes to the bathroom. It always comes down to that in performance art, people, act like you’ve been here before.
Hoban’s for Creative Happy Hour
You know Irish poets and authors were creative people that may have tippled a few whiskeys while working. If you’re also creative, aspiring to or working in creative, interactive or regular old marketing and also want a pint or a dram, James Hoban’s is your ticket tonight. Details at Creative Connects.
Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.
From Wikipedia: “Dupont Circle is a Washington Metro station in Washington, D.C. on the Red Line that opened for service on January 17, 1977. The station’s north entrance escalators are 188 feet (57 m) long.”
If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.