Are bus shelters too "urban" for Chevy Chase?
Chevy Chase, DC not only sits at the edge of DC, it straddles the psychological line between feeling like part of the city and feeling like a suburb. Its name even matches the bordering suburban town, but its older, urban street grid and decent walkability relate more closely to the surrounding DC neighborhoods.
The latest debate: bus shelters. One resident wrote this on the Chevy Chase list:
I just discovered that someone (don't know who) put in a request to have a bus shelter installed in FRONT of my house [on Nebraska Ave]. There is no way I am going to allow this to happen!How "urban" is Chevy Chase? One resident pointed out that Nebraska really isn't just a little residential street, and as another said, "like it or not, we do live in an urban environment." One homeowner who lives near a bus stop explained how installing more soundproof windows had eliminated most bus noise.
Please do NOT make any requests for bus shelters om residential streets in Chevy Chase. It makes the neigborhood feel urban and it's not pretty at all.
To list participants, bus shelters are either an ugly intrusion of an unwelcome urban atmosphere on the leafy community, or a valuable courtesy and convenience. As one wrote, "How would anyone feel with a large unattractive metal bus stand in front of their home? Much drier than I feel waiting for a bus unsheltered in the rain." But another neighbor argued that being sheltered from the elements isn't that important; after all, just to get to the bus stop, a rider ought to be dressed appropriately for the weather.
Clearly, the way people perceive bus shelters has a lot to do with whether they ride the bus. How about a compromise?
The problem could stem from a "one size fits all" attitude toward the design of bus shelters. Maybe side streets in neighborhoods like ours don't need shelters as large or visually disruptive as more dense urban neighborhoods or busier main streets like Connecticut Avenue. Why not a bus stop sign with some sort of built-in modest overhead protection sufficient to cover a couple people? A design that reflects the more suburban character of neighborhoods like Chevy Chase.What do you think? The list owner gave permission for me to quote anonymously, but also asked me to report suggestions back to the community. I'll forward along any comments posted here that would contribute positively to their discussion.
Meanwhile, speaking of Nebraska Avenue, residents' requests to reduce vehicle speeds have borne some fruit. According to the Current (start, continuation), DDOT will add a few median islands and some bulb-outs (but weren't they already planning bulb-outs?), and a wider painted median. At the ANC meeting, some residents disputed the effectiveness of bulb-outs, but engineer Mohammed Khalid held firm in his knowledge that bulb-outs do slow traffic.
How about a bike lane? Residents didn't seem opposed, even when DDOT's Kathleen Penney pointed out that a bike lane would necessitate removing parking from one side of Nebraska. According to former Commissioner Frank Buchholz, that's fine, because "nobody parks there."
- Bikeshare is a gateway to private biking, not competition
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- Metro policy for refunds after delays falls short, riders say
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money
- Prince George's County struggles to get trails right