(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) A Metrobus driver had an unspecified “medical emergency” before crashing the vehicle downtown this morning, according to a preliminary report from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The bus wound up on part of a median near 12th Street and New York Avenue NW about 9 a.m., according to D.C. Fire and EMS. The driver was traveling on the D4 route, which goes between Ivy City and Franklin Square, WMATA spokesman Richard Jordan said.
Paramedics brought the bus operator to a local hospital, but did not need to treat any passengers for injuries, Jordan said. The driver had serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Oscar Mendez said.
No other vehicles were involved in the incident, Jordan said, contradicting an earlier report from D.C. Fire and EMS.
Traffic is flowing through the area despite the crash.
Buses are scheduled to stop running on the 93 route beginning Sunday, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The 93 route travels from Adams Morgan to Congress Heights, running on U Street and Florida Avenue NW as it traverses the District. Most of its journey follows the paths of the 90 and 92 routes, which are slated to receive more early morning and late evening buses.
The route ended “due to low ridership,” according to WMATA.
Have you heard? The pope is coming, and with his visit comes road closures, transit changes and extra security across the District. But will it be the end of the world? Pope-alypse? Pope-mageddon? Probably not.
Residents across the Borderstan coverage area will likely feel the effects of Pope Francis’ visit on Wednesday, when the pope will hold mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Dupont Circle after parading around the White House.
Here’s our big infodump-y list of what to expect from the Pope’s visit:
Where Pope Francis Will Be
- Pope Francis will meet with President Obama Wednesday morning, which will be followed by a parade around the White House along Constitution Avenue NW and 15th and 17th streets NW
- The pope’s motorcade will then go from the White House to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle at 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW, where he will hold a midday prayer with U.S. bishops.
- He will then head to Catholic University to hold mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- LGBT Catholics will gather outside of the Human Rights Campaign offices at 17th Street NW and Rhode Island Avenue NW to greet the pope as his motorcade passes en route to the cathedral
Where Pope Francis Will Not Be
Those looking to avoid the pope and road closures altogether should stay north of O Street NW. Places to avoid include Massachusetts Avenue near the Naval Observatory on Tuesday night, Farragut Square, Dupont, Catholic University and Brookland on Wednesday and the U.S. Capitol and downtown on Thursday.
- Rhode Island Avenue NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 17th Street NW will be closed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday
- Several roads around the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle will close intermittently between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. including:
– M Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 17th Street NW
– Connecticut Avenue NW between 18th Street NW and Desales Street NW
– 17th Street NW between M and N streets NW
- Parking will be prohibited between midnight and 3 p.m. Wednesday in a one-block radius from the Cathedral including:
– Rhode Island Avenue NW between 17th Street NW and Connecticut Avenue NW
– M Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and the BB&T bank halfway down the block
- Parking will be limited from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. Thursday between 11th and 12th streets NW and between K and O streets NW
- Service on all lines will be increased during the midday and evenings. Metro does not have the capacity to increase service during rush hours and expects trains to be very crowded at those times
- Bicycles and large coolers will not be allowed on Metro trains Wednesday or Thursday
- Bags, packages and containers may be searched at Metro stations
- There is no scheduled track work on any lines during the Pope’s visit
- Updated information will be made available online
- 37, D1, D3, H1 and S1 buses will not operate on Wednesday or Thursday
Several bus routes have been shortened from due to road closures along their routes. Those bus lines are:
- 42 and 43 will only operate between Mt. Pleasant and 9th Street NW and F Street NW from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Thursday
- N2 and N4 will only operate between Friendship Heights and the National Cathedral at 34th Street NW and Garfield Street NW from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday.
- N3 and N6 will only operate between Friendship Heights and Dupont Circle from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday
- S2 and S4 will only operate between Silver Spring and McPherson Square from 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday
- The Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn and Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square lines will run every 15 minutes starting at noon on Wednesday and lasting until Thursday evening
- D.C. Public Schools will all be open for the entirety of the Pope’s visit. School officials warn that road closures and crowds may affect transportation to and from school and said parents can contact the Parent Resource Center at 202-576-5000 for transportation-related questions during the Pope’s visit.
Several charter schools will be closed on Wednesday, including:
- All Carlos Rosario International Charter School locations
- All Center City Public Charter School locations
- E.L. Hayned Public Charter School
- All KIPP D.C. locations
Places to Celebrate
- Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle will hold a pope-themed rooftop party Tuesday night with foods from Pope Francis’ native Argentina. Tickets are $25
- Rumors Bar and Grill has a special pope sandwich on their menu this week
- Posto restaurant on 14th Street NW will offer a tasting menu of Roman dishes in honor of the pope’s visit
- Here’s a list of pope drink specials popping up across town
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.
How long is your wait for the S2 or S4 on 16th Street NW? Residents in the area have been sharing their concerns about the long waits and how full the Metrobuses are (or are not) as they bypass bus stops during their morning commutes.
The routes on the 16th Street bus line have the highest ridership in the DC.
Kishan Putta, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for District 2B04, has invited residents of the area to a meeting with Jim Hamre, director of Bus Planning for Metro today, January 28, at 7:30 pm at the DC Jewish Community Center (16th & Q Streets NW) to discuss this problem and any other transit issues residents may have (14th Street buses, too).
These are excerpts from emails sent by residents to Putta, whose district includes a swath of 16th Street NW:
“Just this week (Tues, Wed, and today, Thurs), it has taken me 45-50 minutes to get from 16th & V to 14th & I, and anywhere from 4 to 6 buses have passed the stop each morning because they are too crowded to accept any more passengers. (Also, on Tuesday morning, 2 buses that had hardly anyone standing passed us by in the cold). There are usually 15-20 people waiting at V St in the mornings. Thanks again for the chance to provide input to Metro.”
“The bus issue is particularly aggravating for me. The bus stops immediately outside my building and drops me off a block from my office, but it’s completely unusable. S2/S4 buses are often full and do not stop, but a second issue is that during morning rush hour, it seems like the majority of the buses go to McPherson Square, not Federal Triangle, which does me (and I’d suspect many other commuters) little to no good at all.”
“It’s not fair that people who happen to live farther north are able to catch any bus that arrives, while we get passed by bus after bus – some days my commute is 15 minutes, sometime it’s 40 minutes.”
“Apps like NextBus are useless because even if I track buses and time my walk to catch them, they are usually full and won’t stop. I often get frustrated by all the buses that refuse to stop that I will just give up and take a cab.”
“Sometimes the buses are so full that they drop people off, but STILL refuse to take new passengers – it’s a really depressing/frustrating/stressful start to my day.”
“I would note that a big part of the problem is that many buses do, in fact, have room but the drivers do not ask people to move back so it looks like they’re full from up front (nothing is more frustrating than watching a half-empty bus speed by or refuse to open its doors).”
From Michelle Lancaster. Got news for Michelle? Send her an email.
Happy Hour Outdoors Last Night
Seriously, with this weather you should have been sipping drinks al fresco last night. Because it’s Friday and Mother Nature is feeling really lovey, she’s giving you a do-over with the weather this evening. It’s 70 degrees in February — why don’t you just start your happy hour now?
From Tom Hay
More Wine and Shorter Lines on P Street
The Logan Circle Whole Foods in the 1400 block of P Street NW announced that the renovation and expansion of the 10 year old store which we reported on in June is nearly complete. There will be an unveiling of the new mezzanine level cafe on October 1. Check out the store calendar for details on the kickoff which includes entertainment, refreshments and giveaways.
If you’ve been to the store in the last few weeks you may have noticed the expansion of the wine department and addition of a bunch of express checkout lanes along the P Street window wall. While I welcome shorter lines at the grocery store, the new checkout system feels a bit like a DMV queue. Plus it eliminates the window side seating which was great for people watching.
Overall the system is working and I think the changes will be a big hit, especially with football season underway and the holidays quickly approaching.
Tunnel… But No Love
The Washington City Paper Housing Complex Blog reported that construction is set to begin in late October on a gigantic 1,165-room Marriott Marquis at the Northwest corner of 9th and Massachusetts NW.
The saga of building of a large hotel in close proximity to the DC Convention Center has dragged on for years, and while the legal battles have ended, not everyone is happy. The estimated 42-month-long construction is sure to disrupt residents and business owners.
Plans call for the hotel to have several restaurants, cafes and a tunnel under 9th Street. Not good news for cafes and galleries north of the site who had hoped for increased foot traffic. The hotel will also be within the boundaries of the Arts District which is currently undertaking a branding and marketing effort.
Jogger Gets a Lesson in Safe Sex
Interesting Washington Post opinion piece by a female jogger whose run through the portion of Rock Creek Park known as P Street Beach became her introduction to the notorious hookup spot. After finding the area littered with condoms and condom wrappers, the writer contacted various law enforcement agencies for comment. Seems that patrolling of the area is somewhat lax because of jurisdictional issues between US Park Police and DC Police.
Proposed Metrobus Changes Would Create U Street-Dupont Bus Link
From Greater Greater Washington are some details on proposed changes to the 90-92-93 Metrobus lines that run from the Anancostia Station, along U Street NW, through Adams Morgan ending at the Ellington Bridge on Calvert Street. The recommendations by DDOT and WMATA call for the line to instead continue straight on westbound U Street to Florida Avenue NW, then left on Connecticut, continuing south toward Dupont Circle. The proposed change would create a direct bus link from the U Street Corridor to Dupont Circle.
Dcist has more on the September 3 incident in which a Metrobus struck jogger Amanda Mahnke.