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.
A bus stop on 9th Street NW in Shaw is set to close “until further notice,” starting this week, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Buses traveling the 79 and G8 routes are scheduled to begin skipping the stop near 9th at L streets NW Friday. Construction work in the area has forced WMATA to take the stop out of service.
The next closest stop is on 9th Street NW near N Street NW.
Photo via Google Maps
Metrobus operating normal service on all routes, Feb 16.
— Metrobus Info (@Metrobusinfo) February 16, 2016
The thaw is here and Metro says bus service is back to normal.
As of 4 a.m. Metrobus is operating a regular weekday schedule today, February 9. #wmata
— @wmata (@wmata) February 9, 2016
(Updated at 6:57 a.m. on Tuesday) Metrobuses are slated to run normally today, Metro announced earlier this morning.
The transit agency previously enacted its “moderate snow plan” ahead of today’s expected winter weather. Though wet snow continues to dampen roads across the area, it likely won’t accumulate much, says the Capital Weather Gang.
More infromation from Metro:
UPDATE: All Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess service is operating on a regular weekday schedule today, Tuesday, February 9. There are no weather related issues to report.
Buses will operate on a “light snow plan” on Thursday, meaning that all Metrobus routes will be in service but some lines may have detours.
On 16th Street, all buses will operate on a normal daily schedule.
Information on which lines might be taking detours is available on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s website. (more…)
Metrobus service is slated to get closer to normal tomorrow. But buses still won’t run on some routes.
Only buses on “moderate snow routes” will operate Wednesday.
For U Street, the 90, 92 and 93 buses will operate normally. But the 96 buses will take a detour, and the X3 buses won’t go out.
Metrobus is restricting its service to “severe snow routes” on 16th and U streets NW, among other roads.
On 16th Street, only the S4 buses will have normal service. The S2 bus will take a detour, and the S1 and S9 buses won’t run.
For U Street, the 90, 92 and 93 buses will operate normally. But the 96 and X3 buses are out of service.
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)
(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.
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.
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.