Work to bring dedicated bus lanes to 16th Street NW and eliminate some of the corridor’s bus stops might not wrap up until 2020 or later, says the District Department of Transportation’s “16th Street NW Transit Priority Planning Study” distributed to locals yesterday.
The report, dated March 2016, came after a series of DDOT meetings with locals and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to discuss ways to speed up bus riders’ commutes on the S1, S2, S4 and S9 lines.
The District Department of Transportation is looking to remove eight bus stops on 16th Street NW in an effort to speed up commutes for public transit users along the corridor.
Megan Kanagy, a DDOT transportation planner, announced yesterday at a community meeting that the agency has recommended the elimination of S1, S2 and S4 stops at:
- Newton Street (southbound and northbound)
- Lamont Street (southbound and northbound)
- V Street (southbound and northbound)
- Q Street (northbound)
- L Street (northbound)
The armed robbery happened between the 1000 and 1100 blocks of 16th Street NW about 11:45 p.m. Sunday.
The victim was walking in the area when three men approached him, authorities said. One of the men then pulled out a handgun. “Give me your s–t,” the man with gun said, according to police.
(Updated at 5 p.m.) The District Department of Transportation is moving ahead with a plan to add bus-only lanes to 16th Street NW in a bid to improve public transit along the corridor.
Megan Kanagy, a DDOT transportation planner, announced last night at a community meeting that the agency is in favor of bringing temporary bus lanes to the road at rush hour in an effort to fight the overcrowding and erratic service that often plague the S1, S2, S4 and S9 lines, according to local blog Greater Greater Washington.
The southbound stop at 16th Street and Riggs Place NW is scheduled to disappear from the S1, S2 and S4 bus routes on Sunday, according to a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announcement made this week. Frequenters of the stop can use the nearby S Street and Corcoran Street stops instead.
WMATA also is slated to add a southbound stop downtown for the “Metro Extra” S9 bus on Sunday. The stop will serve K Street NW at 13th Street NW.
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.
A condominium association and a community leader in Adams Morgan are speaking up against a proposal to create bus-only lanes on 16th Street NW.
Beekman Place condo owners at 16th and Belmont streets NW and ANC 1C commissioner JonMarc Buffa, whose district includes the area, have urged the District Department of Transportation not to remove lanes for normal car traffic. DDOT is studying whether dedicated bus lanes and other changes could help combat the overcrowding and erratic service that often plague the S1, S2 and S4 lines.
“Many of my constituents are forced to travel by car because their jobs are located in areas that are not metro-accessible and so their ability to use 16th St. will be adversely affected,” Buffa wrote. “The consensus of my constituents is to ask DDOT to reject the installation of dedicated bus lanes. This was the most common concern that my constituents raised with me.”
Although the condo owners are against bus lanes, they aren’t anti-public transit, they note in their letter.
The condo owners wrote that they support more bus service and keeping stops at V and 16th streets NW. A plan to eliminate the stops at the intersection is among the bus service changes DDOT is considering.
Many Beekman Place residents “have chosen to live in the District but often have long commutes to jobs where public transportation is simply not an option,” the condo owners wrote. “Though some may argue that installing dedicated bus lanes would bring about a change in behavior and result in more residents using public transportation, this simply isn’t the case as these commuters have no choice but to drive to work based on the location of their jobs.”
DDOT is expected to complete its study of transit fixes and alternatives by January 2016.
This past March, after years of public outcry about slow and off-schedule buses, the District’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) started a lengthy study and community outreach process.
The second-to-last public meeting will take place at The Chastleton (1701 16th Street NW) this Wednesday 6:30-8:00p.m. DDOT will also hold pop-up feedback sessions along 16th Street NW over the next few weeks and will host another feedback meeting before the end of the year followed by a presentation of the preferred alternative in January.
If you ever use the 16th Street buses, drive 16th or just care about improving this vital corridor of the city, please join us on Wednesday.
My wife and I live in the Chastleton, which overlooks 16th Street, and can see the problems daily. When I was an ANC 2B Commissioner, I helped get us more and longer buses, as well as a new rush-hour route. As a member of DDOT’s Citizens Advisory Group, I’ve participated in three public meetings this year and have heard from scores of riders and drivers.
Morning rush hour tends to be the biggest concern for riders I’ve talked to. Riders feel that rush hour has gotten longer and longer. Though it used to end shortly after 9 a.m., they tell me, rush how now extends till 10 a.m. and beyond. They feel that buses, which carry over 50 people each, should be able to travel quicker during rush hour than they currently do and spend less time stopping.
DDOT has spent the spring and summer collecting data and are seeking input into what their final contending alternatives should be. Each alternative will be a combination of infrastructure, traffic, and bus route changes.
Other cities in the U.S. and abroad have implemented time-saving ideas like ride prepayment and backdoor boarding to reduce stoppage times, as well as bus-sensitive traffic lights that stay green longer if they sense a bus approaching. They also have bus-only lanes, an idea that many riders would like to see tried on 16th Street, if only just a pilot test.
From our apartment overlooking 16th Street, I’ve taken hundreds of photos and videos of the traffic problems. I’m no expert and I haven’t collected official data. But these photos and videos, taken recently, show a few things.
Here’s what I’ve found:
Rush hour doesn’t end at 9:30am, which is when the parking restrictions end and drivers can park in the same right lane that buses use most often for pickups and for motion.
Many cars drive in that right lane even though they know they may have to stop for buses.
16th Street is 50 feet wide. Sometimes, that 50 feet gets divided into four or five lanes. Many have suggested that we should have more five-lane sections (especially south of W Street) so cars would have more options, and so buses could be left to have the right lane. Perhaps we could solve the problem by way of an official dedicated bus lane with enforcement done via cameras mounted on the backs of buses. This would ideally allow buses full of passengers to get downtown faster and then be reused.
There are many more proposals DDOT is considering, such as moving or removing certain bus stops, and changing some routes. Please let us know if you have other ideas, and please send questions and comments to [email protected] or tweet @kishanputta, @DDOTDC and use the hashtag #16thStreetBus.
We have talked and advocated for years about improving this corridor. We finally have the opportunity to do so and we appreciate DDOT’s outreach and thoughtful efforts.
We hope you will give us your input and will attend the meeting Wednesday.
A group of four underage suspects approached a person near 16th and Fuller streets NW yesterday around 9:45 p.m. One of the suspects grabbed the victim’s cell phone and the group ran, said police.
The victim was able to call 911 from a work cell phone, leading police to locate and arrest two of the suspected phone thieves shortly thereafter.
Robbery Snatch //16th & Fuller St NW,two arrest //3632
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) September 18, 2015
Police did not give more information about the crime when contacted earlier today, but said that more details would be made available soon.
(Updated at 10:017 a.m.) D.C. Police earlier today evacuated the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center (1529 16th St. NW) on a report that a backpack was found in front of the building.
Police said they received the call for a suspicious package near the 1600 block of 16th Street NW around 8:45 a.m. Officials evacuated the center and blocked off portions of 16th Street NW street to investigate the package.
An all-clear was given by police on the scene around 9:52 a.m.
@DCPoliceTraffic Street Closures Update/1600 blk of Q St NW is clear & all lanes open
— DC Police Traffic (@DCPoliceTraffic) September 18, 2015
Sarah Kirchen was in a water aerobics class when the building was evacuated. “There was never an explanation,” she said. “Some people don’t even have their shoes on.”
Borderstan reporter Sean Meehan contributed to this article.
A woman was seriously injured after a car she was driving flipped over near the intersection of 16th Street and Park Road NW around 9:30 a.m., say D.C. Fire and EMS officials.
Witness Manuel Ramirez says the driver plowed into a lamp post before the car flipped and struck several vehicles, including his.
“I saw the car come flying down the road,” Ramirez said. “She hit a lamp post across the street, and I don’t know if the curb made the car flip, but she hit three cars, and stopped when she hit mine. I usually have my 10 month old son with me, but thank goodness I didn’t today.”
@dcfireems UPDATE: 1 pt transported w/serious but non-life threatening injuries
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) September 2, 2015
Police closed the 1600 block of Park Road NW to clear the scene.
The training session will be held on Sept. 12 from at 9:30 a.m. at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus (3101 16th St NW).
During the session, residents will have the chance to learn how to start and run their own neighborhood watch groups and meet with other neighbors who are interested in local safety.
“This training is for everyone in the community; long-time residents, newcomers, business leaders,” said Nadeau in a press release today. “My dream is for Ward 1 to have the best community engagement in the District, and it starts with building connections block-by-block, complementing the work of our ANCs and community association leaders, and all those who came before us.”
In the press release, Nadeau praised D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s newly reintroduced firearms tip reward program.
The councilmember also called on the MPD not to revive its use of vice squads despite the recent rise in violent crime.
“The practices employed by them, which involves officers pulling up to a location and arresting a group of people, have been retired by MPD, and have been widely criticized,” Nadeau said.
“I cannot support these proposals, and I do not think they help us achieve the long term, sustained outcome we truly want for the District. When violence and drug activity were at their worst, what made the biggest difference was residents partnering with MPD, taking back their blocks and being part of the solution,” she continued.
Photo via Facebook.com/BrianneKNadeau
Community members will be able to weigh in on proposed changes to buses on 16th Street NW at a Citizen Advisory Group meeting tonight.
The meeting, which will be at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St. NW) will run from 6:30-8 p.m. and is open to the public.
The meeting seeks to add community input to the 16th Street NW transit priority planning study, which began in March and looks at the transit conditions along 16th Street between H Street and Arkansas Avenue .
At the first Citizen Advisory Group meeting in May, community members identified the major problems along the street, one of the busiest corridors for bus traffic in the city. Bus bunching, overcrowded buses, buses passing by stops and traffic congestion were all listed as priority problems along the road.
At tonight’s meeting, citizens will have another chance to identify problems with existing services along the street, as well as give input on possible solutions that the planning study authors have floated. These solutions include bus-specific green lights so buses can get ahead of other traffic, tweaking the timing of buses to prevent overcrowding and adding more buses to the line.
The Department of Transportation plans to have a third Citizen Advisory Group meeting in early fall and is slated to complete their study of transit fixes and alternatives by January 2016.
Some Columbia Heights residents may have woken to the sound of sirens early Sunday morning.
D.C. Fire and EMS crews responded to a report of a fire near the 2600 block of Euclid Street NW a little after midnight on Sunday, said spokesman Tim Wilson.
After extending a truck’s ladder to the top of an apartment building, fire crews found the cause of the report: burning food on a stove.
D.C. Fire and EMS crews left after roughly 15 minutes on the scene, Wilson said.
Photos courtesy of a reader
D.C. Police earlier today shut down portions of several streets near Farragut Square to investigate a suspicious package.
As of 3:31 p.m., officers at the scene said there was no danger and reopened the streets
K and L streets NW had been closed between 16th Street NW and Connecticut Avenue NW, said D.C. Police.
A reader tweeted us earlier to say police were telling pedestrians to evacuate from the area.
@borderstan cops at 17th and k expanding perimeter, tells people “it’s not safe” to sit outside Roti restaurant.
— Tomás Dinges (@tomasdinges) July 21, 2015