Summary of Dupont Circle ANC 2B
Transportation & Public Infrastructure (TPI) Committee Meeting
Sept. 25, 2019, 7 p.m., Dupont Resource Center, 9 Dupont Circle NW
Discussion Regarding Improvements to H and I Streets NW Permanent Dedicated Bus Lanes— DDOT Notice of Intent #19-004-TDD: http://bit.ly/2BHIBusPriority
TPI Committee Chair Randy Downs reported that the DC Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) is planning to make the pilot study of dedicated bus lanes on H and I Streets NW permanent, effective November 12, 2019. DDOT has been conducting a pilot study of the dedicated H and I Street NW bus lanes that officially ended on Sept. 2, 2019. The I Street dedicated bus lane starts at 13th Street NW and ends at Pennsylvania Avenue NW; the H Street dedicated bus lane stretches from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 14th Street NW.
- Effective Nov. 12, 2019, DDOT intends to extend the effective hours of the bus lanes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday to reduce confusion about when the red-painted bus lanes are in effect. During those periods, parking will not be permitted.
- To meet the critical loading and freight needs of businesses that will be impacted by the bus lanes, DDOT also intends to create loading zones on the opposite side of the street of the bus lanes (south curb of I Street and north curb of H Street).
DDOT is soliciting written comments on its intent to implement these plans (comments due November 4, 2019).
TPI Committee discussion:
- Committee members unanimously applauded DDOT’s decision to make the dedicated bus lanes and loading zones on H and I Streets NW permanent, regarding the core elements of the plan as a major step towards facilitating improvements in mass transit.
- Committee members suggested that DDOT consider improvements to the signage and marking used for the bus lanes to make them more easily understandable.
- Committee members suggested that DDOT undertake a public education campaign regarding interpreting whatever signage it eventually adopts.
- Committee members suggested that DDOT continue to monitor the corridor with an eye to creating additional loading zones as warranted.
It was agreed that the TPI Committee would prepare a resolution for the ANC’s consideration that regarding DDOT’s plans to make the dedicated bus lanes on H and I Streets NW permanent.
Past action by ANC 2B on the matter: H Street and I Street NW Summer 2019 Bus Lanes Pilot Project (DDOT)
Discussion Regarding WMATA’s Proposed Changes to Metrobus Route 42, 43, L1, and L2 http://bit.ly/Metrobus4243L1L2Changes
The TPI Committee discussed changes proposed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to Metrobus routes 42, 43, L1, and L2. This discussion was based on an 18-page document that TPI Chair Downs handed out at the meeting: namely, an October 2019 WMATA document entitled “Metrobus Service Evaluation Study: Mount Pleasant Line: 41, 43; Connecticut Avenue Line: L1, L2: Technical Memorandum #3, Service Plan Recommendations” (https://www.wmata.com/service/bus/upload/Final-Service-Recommendations.pdf).
- Routes 42, 43—Mt. Pleasant Line. For
Metrobus routes 42, 43, WMATA is proposing to convert some route 42 trips to
route 43 trips (43s go under Dupont Circle, thus bypassing the Dupont Circle
Metrorail station). During most off-peak periods, WMATA would operate every other
trip as a route 43 and would extend some route 43 trips to Gallery Place. WMATA has is also proposing to eliminate the
last late-night roundtrip bus on route 42.
- Committee members discussed WMATA’s recommendations regarding changes to Metrobus routes 42, 43 at great length. They questioned whether the proposed changes would result in service improvements for bus riders over the current schedule, in particular, residents who rely exclusively on the bus to get to work, seniors, people with disabilities, and riders traveling with infants and small children. Committee members noted that converting Metrobus route 42 trips to route 43 trips between Gallery Place/Metro Center and Mt. Pleasant during non-rush-hour periods would mean fewer route 42 buses stopping at the Dupont Circle Metrorail station. Dupont Circle is the hub for transfers not only to the Metro but also to multiple other bus routes (D2; D6, N2, N4, G2, L1, L2). Whatever savings in transit time between Gallery Place and Mt. Pleasant that might be achieved by routing buses under Dupont Circle would be offset for route 42 riders by the reduced number of buses, entailing as much as 30-minute waits for those boarding the bus between S and N Streets, N.W. The elimination of the last late-night roundtrip bus on route 42 was seen as a reduction in bus service for DC residents who rely on it. Committee members were generally of the view that several of WMATA’s proposals seemed to be reducing service and convenience on a heavily used line rather than encouraging the use of public transit.
- Routes L1 and L2—Connecticut Avenue Line. For Metrobus routes L1, L2, WMATA recommended five service changes, including bus stop consolidation and discontinuing route L1 in the Potomac Park area.
- Committee members expressed concerns that WMATA’s proposed changes Metrobus routes L1, L2 would reduce service on this line, as well. Several expressed the view that Connecticut Avenue NW is already underserved and inconsistently served by Metrobuses. Committee members recommended that WMATA extend bus service on these routes, including restoring the Kennedy Center terminus for the Metrobus route L2.
It was agreed that the TPI Committee would prepare a resolution for the ANC’s consideration that incorporated the key points made by committee members regarding WMATA’s proposed Metrobus routes 42, 43, L1, and L2.
A public hearing to discuss proposed changes to Metrobus routes will be held by WMATA on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at the Metro Headquarters Building beginning at 4:30 p.m. (https://wmata.com/service/bus/upload/B19-03-SOGO-2019-Notice_English-FINAL-1.PDF).
Residents can submit written comments to WMATA at https://www.wmata.com/service/bus/learn-more-about-mt-pleasant-connecticut-ave-lines.cfm
Past actions by ANC 2B on these matters:
DDOT’s Final Report for the 20th/21st/22nd Street NW Protected Bike Lanes
TPI Committee Chair Downs reported that after reviewing all of the public comments received and the ANC 2A and 2B resolutions, as well as the safety and operational considerations of the three alternatives, DDOT has selected a recommended hybrid alternative for the protected bike lanes. In ANC 2A (Foggy Bottom), the north-south protected bike lane will be built on 21st St., NW. In ANC 2B (Dupont Circle), DDOT ratified ANC 2B’s request for putting the protected bike lane on 20th St. NW.
Other Items Raised by Committee Members
Dupont Circle Sunday Farmers’ Market: Some Committee members raised various concerns related to the operation of the farmers’ market (e.g., overcrowding, dogs in the market where food is sold, booths on sidewalks between Q St. NW and Massachusetts Ave., NW). Members agreed to meet informally with market personnel to discuss these matters.
Bike and Scooter “Micromobility” Corral at 20th and Q Streets NW. DDOT has been installing on-street micromobility corrals to provide a parking area for e-scooters, bikes, mopeds, and other dockless vehicles, some of which are now being strewn on the sidewalks. Each corral can accommodate six bicycles and six scooters. It was noted that the newly installed micromobility corral at 20th and Q Streets is sometimes not utilized, perhaps because people do not know what the corrals are for. A suggestion was made to improve the signage.
16th Street NW Bus Lane Project Parking Restrictions. As part of the 16th Street NW Bus Lane project to be implemented in 2020, DDOT plans to extend rush hour parking restrictions on both sides of 16th Street during peak a.m. and p.m. rush periods from Scott Circle to U Street.
TPI Chair Downs and TPI Committee member Susan Volman reported that they have connected with DDOT to gain additional data and rationale underlying DDOT’s decision about rush hour parking restrictions.
DDOT is scheduled to complete the 100% design plans at the end of 2019 and implementation will start in 2020. Past actions by ANC on the matter: “DDOT’s 16th Street NW Bus Lanes Project,” “DDOT’s 16th Street NW Transit Priority Planning Study.”