The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) hosted three public meetings on June 9, 10, and 12, 2014, which were located in the central, north, and south subareas of the study area, respectively. The purpose of the meetings was to report on what we have heard from the community to-date, present analysis for potential streetcar alternative routes, and provide an overview of the next steps in the process. The meetings were the third and final series of public meetings for the North-South Corridor Planning Study.
For the purposes of locating meetings, DDOT defined the subareas as:
- North: Takoma/Silver Spring to Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro Station area
- Central: Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro Station area to Downtown
- South: Downtown to the SW Waterfront/Buzzard Point area
Results: Here’s What We Heard from You
The comments we received were collected, categorized, and analyzed. Key themes emerged through our analysis of the public comments from both our meetings and local media sources. Click here to see a slideshow summarizing the comments we received.
The presentation provided a brief overview of the process for the North-South Corridor Planning Study, analysis of current issues in the corridor, the four potential streetcar alternative routes, comparative analysis of the alternatives, and the next steps. The presentation also included a brief question and answer session.
This station provided a map of the priority 22-mile streetcar system and as well as its connection to moveDC, the District’s multimodal long-range transportation plan.
The North-South corridor is 9-miles of a priority 22-mile streetcar system. The 22-mile streetcar system map displayed the other routes and where they are in the development process (planning, environmental, or construction).
The moveDC draft plan board displayed the interaction of the current and planned network of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, streets, and transit networks in the District. The proposed 22-mile streetcar system and its relation to existing and future transit options were included in the transit network.
Station A: North-South Planning Study
The purpose of this station was to show the process used in the planning study to get from all feasible streets for high capacity transit to four possible streetcar alternative routes.
The Process and Schedule board displayed below explained the Phase 1: Planning Study and how all of the information gained from this planning study will feed into the Phase 2: Environmental Study. The Environmental Study will be a more detailed analysis consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act.
The “What We’ve Heard” board summarized the big picture comments that we heard at public meeting series #1 and #2. This board included questions we asked the public at the June meetings.
The Initial Conceptual Alignments board shows all feasible streets that were under consideration within the study area at the beginning of the study. This map was displayed at public meeting series #1 in November 2013.
The Conceptual Alignments by Analysis Zone board displayed streets where it is possible to operate a streetcar in the North-South study area based on preliminary analysis. At public meeting series #2 in February 2014, the public was asked to rank the alignments in order of preference.
The final board at this station was the Four Alternative Route Maps board. This displayed the proposed streetcar routes that will be studied in more detail in the Phase 2: Environmental Study. The public was asked to provide both preference and specific feedback via notes posted on the board.
Station B: Identifying the Problem
Station B identified some of the current problems in the corridor related to public transportation.
The Bus Performance Highlights board was an overview some of the current challenges and opportunities related to ridership growth, bus delays, and capacity issues.
The Transit Conditions Today board identified specific locations in the corridor such as bus travel speeds, ridership, and high passenger boarding.
The Bus Performance Factors board was a more detailed and technical version of the Transit Conditions board. The purpose of this board was to show how traffic congestion, passenger boardings, traffic signals, and time spent by buses at bus stops combine to affect overall bus travel speeds and reliability.
Station C: Building a Better Transit Network
This station provided an overview of the four alternatives and the street layouts that are possible for each.
For each alternative, a board displayed the possible street layouts for streetcar operations. Each shows a color-coded map and the related cross sections that are currently in testing for each route. The maps and cross sections also show where it was feasible to do dedicated lanes in each alternative. In addition, the street layouts showed possibilities for streetcar in a center lane versus an outside lane.
The Four Alternatives with Quick Stats board displayed the proposed streetcar alternatives with information from the analysis about estimated time it would take to travel from end-to-end, approximate cost per mile, number of streetcar vehicles needed to operate for each, and estimated number of potential riders.
Station D: Operations and Analysis
Station D displayed preliminary analysis on the four proposed streetcar routes.
The Traffic Diversion board showed how traffic on Study Area streets could be affected if an existing travel lane on Georgia Avenue NW would be removed to accommodate a dedicated lane for streetcar use.
The Ridership Analysis board presented the effects of different operating conditions that could be in place in the Study Area, and showed the results for each alignment alternative of ridership and travel time analyses that were conducted. These analyses provided estimates of ridership and travel time for each alternative based a variety of different assumptions, or “sensitivities,” such as running a streetcar every 5 minutes versus every 10 minutes or having a dedicated lane for streetcar operation. Also presented on this board were additional factors that the team will test in later planning phases.
The Trade-Offs board displayed the advantages and disadvantages of different curb-to-curb cross sections, including:
- Shared Curb,
- Shared Center,
- Dedicated Curb, and
- Dedicated Median.
The public was asked to discuss what was important to them in relation to these street layouts.