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Adams Morgan ANC Backs 16th Street Bus Lanes

by Andrew Ramonas December 3, 2015 at 10:35 am 4 Comments

S2 bus(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Public transit improvement plans to bring bus-only lanes to 16th Street NW have received a significant boost.

Community leaders in Adams Morgan last night endorsed a proposal that would add temporary bus lanes to the road in an effort to fight the overcrowding and erratic service that often plague the S1, S2, S4 and S9 lines.

ANC 1C commissioners last night voted 6-1 in support of a resolution that encourages the District Department of Transportation to operate the special lanes from Arkansas Avenue to H Street NW during the morning and evening rush hours.

DDOT is studying plans that would let buses and cars share 16th Street as they do now, create bus lanes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays or have rush-hour bus-only areas from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays.

“I think [bus service] is an absolutely important part of our life as a city,” said ANC 1C chairman Billy Simpson, who voted in support of the commission’s resolution.

In addition to the lanes, the legislation also called on DDOT to implement systems that would allow bus riders to pay their fares before boarding and would optimize traffic lights for buses in an attempt to make commuting smoother for passengers, among other recommendations.

JonMarc Buffa, who was the only ANC 1C member to vote against the resolution, tried to encourage his fellow commissioners to endorse a plan that would have asked DDOT to focus on off-board payment, traffic light optimization and other service improvement proposals, but not bus lanes. Beekman Place condo owners at 16th and Belmont streets NW and Buffa, whose district includes the area, in October urged DDOT not to remove lanes for normal car traffic, expressing concern for locals who aren’t bus commuters.

“It’s been clear that DDOT is in love with bus lanes,” Buffa said. “It’s the equivalent of their great white whale. They are Ahab.”

The agency is expected to complete its study of transit fixes and alternatives by January.

Comments (4)

  1. What they just need to do is simply remove all street parking on 16th Street at all hours of the day. It’s a main thoroughfare, day and night. Even when it’s restricted during rush hour, people still park there, meaning traffic is frequently slowed as lanes are forced to merge in order to get around parked cars. That would relieve a lot of the congestion.

  2. Great idea AsAMother. One car left on 16th St. causes huge delays. But dedicated bus lanes would be great for the thousands of commuters that use 16th St. And yes, it’s in the thousands, unlike the few Beekman residents that ‘might’ use 16th St to drive to work. Sorry @jonmarcbuffa. Maybe you should listen to your peers. You’re well out numbered for a reason.

  3. “It’s been clear that DDOT is in love with bus lanes,” said the man of a transit agency that has zero bus lanes they actively enforce.

    Over half of the people on 16th St during rush hour travel by bus. Why don’t they have half the space?

  4. No one ever properly calls it “Restore the bus lanes on 16th” because it implies they were a failure when we had them. They were.

    There are too many buses trying to use 16th- divert some of the express buses off 16th. And get that damn Circulator extension to U Street to take a lot of passengers off the 16th Street routes.

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