Locals, including members of the D.C. business community, are encouraging supporters of late-night weekend trains to contact the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which is holding a hearing and open house on its proposals at its headquarters Thursday.
The open house is scheduled for noon to 9 p.m. at 600 5th St. NW, while the hearing set for 12:30 to 10 p.m.
WMATA is considering four plans to adjust its operating hours in an effort to better maintain Metro’s infrastructure. According to the transit authority, the plans include:
(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.
Advocates for restaurants and stores downtown and in Adams Morgan are blasting a Metro proposal to permanently cut its evening operating hours for train service, warning that the plan could have a dire effect on local businesses.
Officials with the Downtown and Adams Morgan Partnership business improvement districts said in statements yesterday that axing hours would leave workers and visitors without a major mode of transportation to and from their neighborhoods late at night on weekends.
The plan, which Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld proposed this week, calls for the system’s closure at 10 p.m. on Sundays and midnight on other days, indefinitely, in an effort to better maintain Metro’s infrastructure. Before SafeTrack repairs in June brought midnight closures every day, trains ran until 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
About two dozen young men and few other people converged on Dupont Circle this afternoon to vent their frustration over Metro’s delays and safety, demanding the privatization of the transit system.
Angered by Metro’s slow service and what they said are the system’s “hazardous” conditions, the demonstrators stood in a line near the Dupont station’s north entrance yelling, “Metro’s a loser! We took an Uber!”
Metro, which is undergoing a massive effort to rehabilitate its aging rail system, is “always a long delay,” the demonstrators chanted to the tune of “Tomorrow” from “Annie.”
The protesters also expressed their frustration by waving a collection of handmade signs that said, “Metro=Hazard Privatize Now,” “Can’t PokeGo Metro Slow,” “The Metro is More Lit Than My Mixtape” and “Bro, do you even Metro?”
When a Borderstan reporter asked one demonstrator for a comment, he declined.
“We can’t talk,” he said dismissively. “We’re protesting.”
The young man and his fellow demonstrators disbanded soon after.
(Updated at 9:40 a.m. Friday) Community leaders in Logan Circle are urging the city to remove a shelter that covers a Metro bus stop on 14th Street NW.
The commissioners of ANC 2F voted last night to ask DDOT and WMATA to remove the shelter over the stop at 1336 14th St. NW, which is in front of the forthcoming Jinya Ramen Bar.
A group of community members and a representative from Jinya first came before the ANC’s Community Development Committee to request the removal of the covered bus shelter, according to commissioner Kevin Deeley.
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 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.
— Unsuck DC Metro (@unsuckdcmetro) August 14, 2015
A woman was spotted climbing onto the tracks at the Dupont Circle Metro station, reported local transportation blogger Unsuck DC Metro earlier this morning.
In a series of photographs sent to Unsuck DC Metro by a user identified as “William,” a woman can be seen climbing down onto the tracks and posing for a photo.
WMATA spokeswoman Sherri Ly said that, while the agency wasn’t aware of that specific incident, it wasn’t particularly surprised that it occurred.
“It’s not necessarily uncommon,” Ly said.
“We’ve had this happen numerous times in a week,” Ly added. “Sometimes, people drop their cell phones or their wallets. It’s so important to them that they will go down onto the tracks to retrieve whatever it is. It does happen more frequently than the public may realize.”
Image via Unsuck DC Metro
(Updated at 5:08 p.m.) Golden Triangle BID would like to change the Farragut West Metro station’s name.
The business improvement district last night asked Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B to consider urging WMATA to add “White House” to the station’s title.
Ted Jutras, Golden Triangle BID’s planning manager, laid out the organization’s case at the meeting.
“With the silver line extension coming to Dulles and a lot of the tourist traffic coming in, Farragut West will be the most convenient first stop for the White House,” Jutras explained. “From a neighborhood standpoint, increased foot traffic in the area would help the businesses on our side of the White House.”
Jutras added that adding the words “White House” to the Farragut West Metro station may also prevent photo-seeking tourists from traveling all the way to Metro Center in search of the iconic residence and therefore prevent congestion.
Jutras said the district would like to submit the suggestion in time for WMATA to consider it during the agency’s upcoming station name and map revision period.
Leona Agouridis, executive director of Golden Triangle BID, is working on a draft of a letter to WMATA urging the agency to change the station’s name, added Jutras.
Commissioner Mike Feldstein, 2B-01, then said he’d like to remind the room that it was the commission, not the BID, that suggested adding “White House” to the station’s name.
“Golden Triangle came to us and asked to change the name of that station to Golden Triangle,” Feldstein said. “We argued the name should be changed to the White House.”
Other commissioners followed with concerns.
“I’m actually not sure if it is closer [to the White House] than McPherson Square,” said Commissioner Daniel Warwick, 2B-02. “And if you just add it to Farragut West, maybe people on the Red Line would go to Metro Center and then transfer to Farragut West.”
“With regard to Farragut North, for exactly that reason, we would support if Metro wanted to add ‘White House’ to Farragut North as well,” responded Jutras.
“As I listen to this, I’m struck by the confusion that this would cause,” said Commissioner Abigail Nichols, 2B-05. Nichols added that, if Farragut North and Farragut West would include the words “White House,” why wouldn’t McPherson Square due to its closer proximity to the White House?
“As McPherson is not within the Golden Triangle BID, we’re not taking a stance on McPherson,” responded Jutras. “The resolution as it’s put forward is for Farragut West. The BID would also fully support adding White House to the name Farragut North.”
When put to a vote, the resolution failed 1-6-0.
Chairman and Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, summed up his thoughts before moving on to another resolution.
“I don’t think we have a lot of angst with the idea of changing names,” Smith said. “We’re not married to Farragut West by any means. But I personally would suggest a more comprehensive plan.”
Photo via Flickr.com/Matt’ Johnson
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.
In response to residents’ complaints regarding waiting sustained amounts of time for an S2 or S4 bus on 16th Street NW, ANC 2B04 Commissioner Kishan Putta organized a neighborhood meeting for January 28 at the DC Jewish Community Center.
The routes on the 16th Street bus line have the highest ridership in DC, and many commuters are seeing buses pass, due to overcrowding.
Joining Putta at the meeting was Director of Bus Planning for WMATA Jim Hamre, ANC 2B09 Commissioner Noah Smith and about 30 residents. David Erion and Ann Chisholm of WMATA and Steve Strauss of DDOT were also in attendance.
Following the meeting, Putta authored an article in Greater Greater Washington, detailing the discussion’s results.
In the article, Putta writes:
One possibility discussed with Hamre during the meeting is a rush hour route focused 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. My ANC colleague Noah Smith proposed inquiring about space in nearby neighborhoods.
Putta told Borderstan that Hamre will present some of WMATA’s proposed options to remedy the situation to the public by the week of February 22.
“We deeply appreciate how much Metro and DDOT care about helping our community,” Putta said to Borderstan. “They have been receptive and willing to discuss short-term solutions – and proposed another public meeting soon to present their options. As soon as we get the details for that meeting, we will announce them widely so that we get as much community input as possible. And Metro welcomed that opportunity — we really appreciate that.”
Putta, who is also a resident on 16th Street, will reach out to residents as soon as the next meeting is confirmed.
Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.
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 DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
Based on the Metro track work schedule, you could assume one of two things: if you are a pessimist, you would easily conclude that Metro decided to put its best foot forward for the throngs of tourist that escalefted, came to an abrupt stop at the top of the escalator and failed to tell their children not to sit on the floor in front of a Metro car door.
A less cynical commuter would argue that a Metro facing greater volumes of passengers wanted to quickly move those riders in and out of the system, rather than mire them in track work delays. But whether your illegal Metro beverage is half-full or half-empty, here’s the truth: if you rely on Metro, it’s going to be a very long, very slow and inconvenient summer.
Huffington Post brings a litany of unwelcome news:
- The Red Line will continue to experience track work, with buses replacing trains.
- Labor Day weekend is likely to be a hot mess, with the Yellow Line out of commission over the Potomac River bridge.
- Orange and Blue Lines will enjoy the dysfunction later in the fall.
But never fear, Metro points us to “free shuttle buses” and their trusty website with update alerts. Since I would prefer to have a free Metro ride when the system experiences a failure of epic proportions, or at least an apology instead of an excuse, pardon me for not applauding Metro’s free backup system.
Then again, perhaps the bar is low enough that simply having a back up plan, or plans that are being executed according to a schedule, can be considered a Metro win?
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
The law states you can take still photographs on WMATA Metro cars and at stations, so long as you do not have a tripod, special lighting, a film crew, etc. It seems clear the rule is set up to discourage amateur movie shoots or a flash mob runway show near the tunnels. But as TBD notes, plenty of people are getting grief for taking pictures in the stations or of trains while observing the letter of the law.
WMATA says it’s totally legal (except at Pentagon) so snap away! The number of complaints in the piece seem to indicate that more than a few WMATA employees may be unaware of the legality of photography; hopefully the attention this piece drew will lead to formal or informal training of said employees. For those that like to stir the pot, I challenge you to (without a tripod!) take photos this week in Metro stations. If you get any grief, tell me when, where and what was said. Post the pics in the Flickr pool and we’ll even pick a winner for a lovely prize!
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By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com
Oh, Metrobus. Despite innovations for mobile apps that should help you plan your trip, the buses still seem to run on their own schedule, which is carefully designed to thwart you on your most crunched-for-time mornings. Singer-songwriter Rene Moffatt lives in Mount Pleasant, and his experience with the 42 bus inspired a song and accompanying music video.
The Washington Post brings you the lyrics, link to video and more info about his debut album. I’ll admit to finding it pretty catchy, in a Jack Johnson kind of way.
If you’ve experienced anything similar to the full buses, out of service buses and loud cellphone talkers described in the song, you’ve probably also wanted a drink (along with your iPod) to ease the pain of the journey. Well, now you can (we do not condone breaking WMATA law on drinking on the bus).
The video was supported by Think Local First DC and they in turn have helped your 42 drinking dreams come true! Stop in to hear the song and try out a ‘Route 42’ signature cocktail for $4.20 at Tryst or the Diner; a ‘Route 42′ cupcake at Hello Cupcake; a ‘Route 42’ latte at Yola and a ridiculous-sounding Route 42 dessert at Flying Fish. The specials run through March 4.
The 42 Cocktail
What’s in a 42 cocktail, you ask? We got the scoop from Think Local First DC:
Tryst on 18th Street NW: 42 Bus Sparkler: (highball, over ice) ½ oz Sobieski, ½ oz Aperol, splash honey syrup, top with cava and dash grapefruit bitters, garnish lemon twist.
The Diner on 18th Street NW: 42 Toddy: (bar mug) 1½ oz Jim Beam, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp lemon juice, top with chamomile/lavender tea, garnish with a thin lemon wheel.