Thursday, August 4, 2011

DC Circulator Meeting - Live Blog

Hey Neighbors....

6:11 pm: I'm sitting here next to Brenda Richardson from Councilmember Barry office and Daniel Conner from Councilmember Wells office.  There are 4 other community members here.

6:20 pm: DDOT presentation is starting.  About 10 community members in attendance. The presentation is here.

6:22 pm:  Limited number of buses.  There are only 6 buses available for this route, so it needs to be less than 55 minutes long.  The stops will be limited to 3 to 4 stops per mile.

6:26 pm:  DDOT is presenting the recommended expansion through 2020.  They will reevaluate and update it every 2 years.

6:30 pm: DDOT is calling the new route Skyland to Potomac Ave Metro Expansion.  It will run from  Potomac Ave Metro Station through Barracks Row.  Across the 11th Street Bridge.  Up Good Hope Marketplace.

6:31 pm: Daniel Conner from Councilmember Tommy Wells' office is stating that the expansion of Circulator East of the River is a priority to Councilmember Wells.  Brenda Richardson from Councilmember Barry's office is expressing that Councilmember Barry would like to see the route go to Congress Heights.

6:34 pm: Community member is concerned project won't go forward with CM Wells no longer as Chair of the Public Works and Transportation Committee.  DDOT stated that it will still go forward.  Daniel states that CM Wells is still on the committee.

6:36 pm:  Community member is concerned that the route terminates at Skyland.  DDOT is explaining rationale for route.  They needed to shorten the route and they heard comment from Ward 7.   This route would serve Wards 7 & 8.

6:39 pm: Community member states that terminating at Skyland cuts Ward 8 out.

6:41 pm:  I just asked who are we connecting to what.  DDOT made a decision to only run services that connect to other Circulator routes.

6:45 pm: Comissioner Robin Marlin is giving history of the Ward 7 Ad Hoc Circulator Taskforce.  They presented a route that connects shopping nodes in Wards 7 and 8.  She also corrected him that it's Good Hope Marketplace and not Skyland.  She reemphasizes my point of who are we moving where.  DDOT is pointing out lines in the plan to provide additional and more connections.  They are trying to get a route out of the gate that is going to move people.

6:49 pm: Mr. James Bunn just stated that community doesn't trust the city.  His probably could live with this route, but knows that if six buses become available they won't come East of the River.

6:51 pm: Community member who lives along Good Hope Road believes that the route would serve the northern part of ward 8.

6:51 pm:  Public Testimony is starting.

6:54 pm: I gave testimony....

6:56 pm:  Ms. Linda (missed last name) is concerned about 144 buses a day on the Good Hope Road is too much.  She said I (Veronica) was being too nice when I asked who are we moving where.  She believes this is an effort to re-segregate the bus system.  These routes are intended to serve a few people who don't want to use regular buses.  This bus line mimics several other bus routes.  Why can't the funding be used to improve the metro bus system?

7:02 pm: Martha Parker lives in Ward 8 and rides public transportation.  She states that she has plenty of bus options to get downtown and other locations.  The Circulator is a nice bus, but they have buses all day and all night.  It seems like a waste of money.

7:11 pm:  Discussing next steps and where we go from here.

7:03 pm: Mary Buckley supports the Circulator route.  She does wish there were less commuter buses on Good Hope Road.

7:06 pm: Gentleman is concerned with traffic on Good Hope Road.  DDOT and WMATA need to work together to provide connectivity.  He thinks the community on Alabama Ave (Hillcrest) would be better served.

7:10 pm: Chris Jerry supports a Circulator East of the River, however, he does not support the current alignment.  He thinks that it should go to Metro stations in Ward 8.  He thinks its more important that this is done properly.  The current route duplications the 92.  We shouldn't have any route that duplicates and existing WMATA route.

7:11 pm: Next steps.  The public record is open until August 9, 2011.  You can call or email. (202) 673-1736.  DDOT will take all comments into consideration. The service for East of the River will begin on October 3, 2011.  That's the plan.

7:15 pm:  DDOT will host community meeting in early Fall 2011 to discuss how the route is working.

7:16 pm: Meeting is over.

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