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McDuffie suggests a Bladensburg Rd MARC or Metro station

DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie tweeted yesterday that he wants the city to look into either a Metro or MARC station at the corner of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road. MARC could work, though streetcar might do more to bring transit-oriented development to the area.


Photo by the author.

That corner is easily the most suburban place west of the Anacostia River in DC, and maybe in the entire District, so it could certainly use a transit investment to help it develop a more urban character. But what sort of transit would make sense?

Metrorail is not a sensible solution, because there's not a Metro line anywhere nearby. WMATA's Brentwood rail yard is very close, so adding a new station at Bladensburg and NY Ave wouldn't require all that much new track construction. But that would result in a 1-station spur of the Red Line, which would have limited usefulness.

A bigger problem is that a new spur would decrease the capacity of the Red Line's existing Silver Spring leg. Operationally it just wouldn't make sense. And even if it did, a new Metro station would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

MARC could be a good solution, because MARC's Penn Line (the best one) does pass by just 1 block north of New York Avenue. An infill station there would be easy to build, and would provide about 60 trains per day. MARC stations are extremely simple, so this is something that could be accomplished relatively easily.

But 60 trains a day isn't actually very many, if your goal is to induce transit-oriented development. The relative simplicity of a MARC station makes it an attractive short-term goal, but in the long term a better solution may be needed.

One mode McDuffie didn't mention, but that maybe should be considered, is streetcar. None of DDOT's proposed streetcar lines pass through here, but the H Street line and the Florida Avenue / 8th Street line are both close. It wouldn't cost very much to add a spur from those lines that goes up West Virginia Avenue and ends at New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, like this:


Potential new streetcar route, using portions of the H Street and 8th Street lines, with a spur up West Virginia Avenue.

Another option for a streetcar spur would be to go up Bladensburg Road itself, breaking off from H Street at the Starburst intersection. That would better serve the Carver Langston neighborhood and National Arboretum, but wouldn't be as good for Ivy City.

A third permutation could spur off of the Rhode Island Avenue streetcar, using Montana Avenue to cut south to New York Avenue. This might be the cheapest streetcar option, but it would also probably be the least useful, since it wouldn't go to many new places.

DC has so many great transit projects in the works that anything will likely be hard to budget. Metro is probably not realistic at all, and a MARC station is the best bet for something soon. But a streetcar on West Virginia Avenue, Bladensburg Road, or Montana Avenue may well be something to shoot for.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a professional transportation planner for the Arlington County Department of Transportation. He has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Colorado, and lives a car-free lifestyle in Northwest Washington. His posts are his own opinions and do not represent the views of his employer in any way. He runs the blog BeyondDC and also contributes to the Washington Post Local Opinions blog. 

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Is there room for a light rail line within the RR property? It could use the same equipment as the street running streetcars, but could bypass the issues of running in mixed traffic.

I'm not a BRT beats streetcars fanatic, but I wonder if we are jumping to quickly to streetcars in mixed traffic - and overlooking that LRT's comparative advantage is in taking advantage of dedicated infrastructure. There may be places where dedicated infrastructure is not possible, and the higher capacity, somewhat higher ridership, and debated independent impact on development, make streetcars clearly preferable to buses (and Col Pike and H street show many of those charecteristics, esp the the volumes that make capacity important) but I don't see those issues here, and I don't see them being discussed. If a MARC station were combined with improved bus service - would the volumes involved overwhelm bus capacity? If not, conversion to streetcars could be deferred to later. If high quality bus service is weaker than street cars in inducing development, its not clear that it beats the combination of such service with a commuter rail station.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 15, 2012 11:51 am • linkreport

My fantasy "DC 2100" file in Google Earth likewise runs a streetcar (or a Circulator, BRT, LRT, etc.) along those very same alignment options of WV Ave and Bladensburg Rd... agree that's one of the more tempting options.

by Bossi on Nov 15, 2012 11:54 am • linkreport

Definitely would prefer a Bladensburg Road streetcar route to a West Virginia Avenue Route. West Virginia Avenue alongside Trinidad is totally residential south of Mount Olivet, but you're right that it would provide connectivity for Ivy City north of there.

Bladensburg north of Mount Olivet has the Arboretum on one side and Mount Olivet Cemetery on the other, so there's not a lot of people to be served there. But, it could help trigger more investment on the blighted commercial strip that sews Trinidad and Carver Langston together.

Both would serve the new Walmart-based commercial node that presumably is still coming to the New York/Bladensburg/Montana triangle.

All of this would require, you know, planning and investment. Things that Americans aren't exactly known for these days. Wish we could break that mold!

(In addition, a streetcar route on Montana would have to traverse a pretty steep grade - not sure how much of a problem that would be.)

But if we're going to dream here, why end a metro line as a stub at Bladensburg and New York? Why not run it parallel to the Camden line trains up to Mt. Rainier, Hyattsville, and connect back into the Green line just south of College Park. Could be a modern-day version of the Green line shortcut that existed before Fort Totten to U Street section of the Green line was built.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 15, 2012 11:58 am • linkreport

My fantasy subway network simply follows the old streetcar lines - straight out Wisconsin Ave., Georgia Ave., Wisconsin Ave., Rhode Island Ave. and H St./Benning Rd. But I better quit while I'm ahead regarding "what should have been built 45 years ago" else I'll start sounding like Mr. Freeways.

by Frank IBC on Nov 15, 2012 12:01 pm • linkreport

MARC provides no weekend service, limited holiday service, and spotty midday service. Nice for the 9 to 5 Federal government and related employees. No so nice for lots of transit dependant folks who work weekends, holidays, and non-traditional schedules.

by tour guide on Nov 15, 2012 12:05 pm • linkreport

> why end a metro line as a stub at Bladensburg and New York? Why not run it parallel to the Camden line trains up to Mt. Rainier

The capacity issue is the bigger problem. If we're going to go to the expense of a new Metrorail line, something like this would be at best maybe 3rd in line after separate tunnels downtown for the Blue and Yellow lines.

by Dan Malouff on Nov 15, 2012 12:08 pm • linkreport

Dan: Absolutely. I said the same yesterday. :)

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 15, 2012 12:12 pm • linkreport

This sounds to me like something that would ultimately be done economically as a means of a political boost. I'm not saying the ultimate result would not be useful, but I see that usefulness being marginal.

A MARC Station on this stretch of 2 track railroad would only get limited use as a true transportation facility, and I can see it being a potential choke point for the NEC when the railroad is at its busiest.

by Adam on Nov 15, 2012 12:13 pm • linkreport

A streetcar line would need run down Bladensburg Road to be of much use.

MARC would be a good interim option, but Metrorail is probably the best way to go eventually. A line along the Amtrak/MARC/CSX R.O.W. could (in theory) extend as far out as Hyattsville, perhaps even join the Green Line south of College Park.

This could be a highly beneficial investment for areas like Hyattsville, North Brentwood, and Mt. Rainier...And could possibly help with the daily traffic woes along New York Avenue in DC.

by John Marzabadi on Nov 15, 2012 12:14 pm • linkreport

Adam: They could build a short stretch of parallel track there so MARC trains could "pull out of traffic," right? Wouldn't be too disruptive or pricey.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 15, 2012 12:17 pm • linkreport

So, McDuffie is lobbying for more transit elsewhere in the ward? At the same time, he's doing his best to torpedo the H St streetcar, by opposing the Springarn car barn. Worthy of a desktop head bang.

by Paul on Nov 15, 2012 12:27 pm • linkreport

A subway line is feasible -- assuming the separated blue line ever happens (which it should - it should be the next major addition) -- that line would run from Georgetown to Dupont to Union station, stopping at the convention center and perhaps the West End, New Jersey Ave, and elsewhere. From Union station, a separated blue could either go back and remerge with Orange at the stadium, or, better yet, follow H street and then curve north to NY Ave. From there it could follow the rail lines and the highways and meet up with the Green line in College park. The existing blue line in PG county could just two orange line spurs - which would lessen the confusion of having different lines share track throughout the entire city.

by Dy1983 on Nov 15, 2012 12:29 pm • linkreport

Interesting idea, but what's the point? People could then go to Baltimore on MARC?

Seems to me any money spent on a MARC station would be better spent on better B2 bus service.

by MLD on Nov 15, 2012 12:37 pm • linkreport

the point depends, in part, on the prospective TOD - if its mostly residential, you need access to employment centers in DC. If its office use, access for commuters from Maryland is worthwhile, and MARC could provide that. The value of a MARC station increases if and when MARC increases in frequency (including weekend service) and run through service to NoVa.

In either case, MARC service serves as "symbolic" of commitment to transit and TOD (as streetcars are sometimes aid to do).

I assume you would do both the MARC station and improved bus service.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 15, 2012 12:43 pm • linkreport

A better option for the entire city would to lobby for a new streetcar line to replace the terrible H busses and go from McClean Gardens/Tenleytown to Armory via Cleveland Park, Columbia Heights/Petworth, Brookland, RI Ave, Bladensburg/NY Ave, Arboretum, Stadium.
This city is lacking in critical east-west transit north of K street. It would be the equivalent of the Purple Line for the district.

by andy2 on Nov 15, 2012 12:47 pm • linkreport

I think this would be a fine place for some TOD. In addition to the WalMart development, there is a new 5000 person concert venue around the corner from that intersection on Queens Chapel. There are also a lot of light industrial spaces back that way.

I like the Bladensburg Road idea, as in my experience the B6 has enough ridership to support a heavier mode once some development comes to those areas.

Alan Drake and I opined about a light rail line that ran from Union Station through Lincoln Park, up Tennessee Avenue, and then up Bladensburg Road into the City of Bladensburg, Hyattsville, and College Park.

by Dave Murphy on Nov 15, 2012 12:51 pm • linkreport

Inner-city stations on commuter rail lines can be a good way to provide additional transit service in previously underserved areas. Chicago and Boston are either adding stations or beefing up service along inner-city commuter rail segments. And in much of Philadelphia, commuter rail is the only rail transit to Center City. Of course, this requires having commuter rail that runs frequently throughout the day and week.

A new MARC station at New York Ave & Bladensburg Rd may not sound like much in the short term, but long term it may be a very good idea. MARC's 2007 expansion plan calls for more frequent trains, weekend and midday service, and most importantly, extending service to L'Enfant Plaza, Arlington and Alexandria. Right now, the only place in the entire region where you can have a one-seat ride to both NoVA and Baltimore is Union Station. That kind of regional connectivity is valuable and could draw a lot of investment to this area in the future.

by dan reed! on Nov 15, 2012 1:02 pm • linkreport

People already go to Baltimore (and Ft Meade) on MARC.

That said, there are more valid reasons not to put a MARC station there. AMTRAK runs through there. Plus, the only way now to increase capacity is to add more track, four wide, to Baltimore. This area isn't the only bottleneck. Baltimore's tunnels are a big one.

by Drake Perth on Nov 15, 2012 1:05 pm • linkreport

What that stretch of Bladensburg Rd needs is not a streetcar 30 years from now (realistically, that's when it would happen) but better bus service today. Don't forget that H ST has been built primarily on the back of the X2/express, so something similar could be done for Bladensburg. And, then you can add the promise of a streetcar in the "near future" (which we all know means in decades) for added measure.

But, really, the low hanging fruit for better bus service in Ward 5 is Rhode Island Ave.

by Falls Church on Nov 15, 2012 1:10 pm • linkreport

My future fantasy streetcar map would include a line on NY-Ave itself, all the way from the Convention Center out eastward to at least Bladensburg Road, and then to Fort Lincoln. This would be coupled with the construction of several additional budget-scale hotels and motels and the possible expansion of the 8 existing hotels on NY-Ave NE. Additionally, build several mid-scale national chain restaurants marketed primarily at the hotels. The idea would be to get budget-minded tourists to actually stay in DC, and provide them with a high-quality transit link to the major tourist destinations. As it stands, lots of family and school-group tourists head to the suburbs for the night, leaving DC with meager sales tax returns on the trinkets they buy in otherwise free museums. Some tourists do stay in these hotels, probably without realizing their transportation choices amount to expensive taxis, expensive downtown parking, a handful of infrequent buses with very indirect paths to tourist destinations, or a treacherous walk to the NY-Ave Metro.

by thm on Nov 15, 2012 1:36 pm • linkreport

I think the Marc in-fill station is a terrific idea! So what if there are only 60 stations. I think that is plenty for commuters. It would not be a viable option for all transportation, but if you can get to work and get home from work, then the rest can take care of itself. Seeing as how there is only a station at Union Station and New Carrolton, something in between seems like a great idea..

by Kyle-W on Nov 15, 2012 1:47 pm • linkreport

The Mt. Rainier Mixed-Use Town Center Plan has a MARC station contingency in it (Page 52: http://www.pgplanning.org/Resources/Publications/Approved_Mount_Rainier.htm). The proposed location is at Otis and Wells w/ connectivity (pedestrian overpass) to the Bladensburg Road side. This is also where most development and parking would be concentrated as there is a large industrial area across from Ft. Lincoln Cemetery.

by thump on Nov 15, 2012 1:48 pm • linkreport

Marc is not an option. First the short distance fares are too high, next no one is going to want to take the train for only 1 mile and then transfer at union station with its long portages. Finally and most importantly the PennLine Marc cant affort to stop. Stopping will cost it 3 minutes and for the thousands of daily commuters adding 3 minutes both ways to their travel time will drive them off.

What really needs to happen is either a street car or a new light rail needs to go out from Union station, hit NY ave and Bladensburg and then out the Camden Line Marc to college park metro where the purple line will also go. This will also service Riverdale marc and and North Brentwood.

by Richard on Nov 15, 2012 1:54 pm • linkreport

A MARC station at the location would make very little sense for a large number of reasons already pointed out above. Another point to add is that there is absolutely no incentive whatsoever for the MTA to build (or Amtrak to allow) a station (and have trains stop at it) in an area of DC that not a single commuter from Maryland would utilize.

A Metro station wouldn't make any sense at all, period.

A streetcar line is the obvious solution, but I wouldn't hold my breath for one appearing anytime in the next 20 years just looking at how DC is progressing on the two that are under construction.

by King Terrapin on Nov 15, 2012 1:57 pm • linkreport

the second tweet says MARC/VRE, not MARC.

Does Kenyan read this blog? - he's thinking through service, which we have discussed.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 15, 2012 2:09 pm • linkreport

Maryland-financed MARC would put a station in NE DC therefore adding another stop to an already gruelingly-slow trip for Maryland commuters?

uh huh

Put in a cheap bus shuttle to Union Station and if the traffic warrants lay rail.

by Tom Coumaris on Nov 15, 2012 2:13 pm • linkreport

@ Andy2 -

A nice crosstown link would be the Tilden Street - Upshur Street connector that was proposed many decades ago, but I don't think that the residents of Crestwood would like that.

by Frank IBC on Nov 15, 2012 2:30 pm • linkreport

I woudln't be too sure a one station spur couldn't work. When I lived in Japan everyday I passed such a spur. The way it worked was a two car train ran back and forth on a single track and dropped people off at a platform who then transfered to the mainline platform. The spur did not ever get on the mainline tracks.

Now I am not sure if physically you could build another track and platform at NY ave, but if you could the only capacity decrease would be the pair of metro cars.

by nathaniel on Nov 15, 2012 2:32 pm • linkreport

Bossi & Hatchard,

My "dream" streetcar map also has the Bladensburg segment, though I take it all the way into Maryland to serve the port cities area. I think one streetcar facility could probably serve the terminus of both the Rhode Island line and Bladensburg, and there are enough real estate candidates in the warehouse areas up there that could meet the need.

As Geoff notes, this would require some planning, and GASP, coordination with our neighbors in Maryland.

by Will on Nov 15, 2012 3:22 pm • linkreport

If the District of Columbia was prepared to pay for a third track from Union Station to the Maryland line, then a stop might be feasible at Bladensburg Road on the Penn Line. That's probably cost prohibitive--but an extra track will be needed eventually from DC to Landover Junction, and funding by the District of Columbia could accelerate the process.

Alot of stations that are infeasible today will become feasible when the 4th track is finally added from Wilmington to the DC area.

by Jim T on Nov 15, 2012 3:44 pm • linkreport

This is actually a smart plan. If you noticed in some of his earlier tweets he mentions relaxing the height limits in industrial areas. If McDuffie is thinking what I'm thinking, he plans to relax height restrictions along NY ave and use the MARC\VRE, metro rail or streetcar to attract dense mixed use developments. Not the worse idea.

I can see some larger corporations that want to be in the city but need more space going for this. Keep in mind NOMA metro was a pipe dream too. But developers saw the potential and invested.

I think McDuffie is on to something with his taskforce. That area has a lot of potential if he can figure out some of the transportation issues.

Hats off to forward thinking.

by It makes sense on Nov 15, 2012 3:55 pm • linkreport

Many people may not be aware of this, but there actually was a streetcar line from the 15th and H St terminus up Bladensburg Road - to Bladensburg the town and then further north. It was pretty short lived (i believe it ran for no more than 2 decadesm from around 1912 to 1930 or so, and got shorter as it became more insolvent. It was called the Washington, Greta and Spa Spring line.

by Jarrett on Nov 15, 2012 10:51 pm • linkreport

My fantasy Metro system also features a Glenmont Metro station located at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road, the Fort Totten station located at the B&O tracks and Riggs Road, and the Anacostia station located at Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Avenue.

And the Orange line located along the WO&D Trail through Falls Church.

by Frank IBC on Nov 16, 2012 3:55 am • linkreport

Back when I was involved in H Street and Ivy City revitalization activities, I made a not dissimilar suggestion, that streetcar service could loop from West Virginia Ave. to New York Avenue to Bladensburg to H St./Florida back to West Virginia Avenue.

It could be conceived of as a kind of Pearl District/South Lake Union development augur, which could justify the expense.

The reason that in that general area, fixed rail transit "doesn't make sense" is that it is mostly industrial and a big cemetery. So you don't have many people going to that area wanting to use transit, and people don't live there generating trip demand.

That really is the case wrt MARC, which is focused on getting people to Downtown DC from Maryland to
work. In off-peak hours, there is one train/hour (not unlike SEPTA regional rail actually, which is criticized for infrequency). I suppose you could do what Yonah Freemark has proposed in Greater NY, in setting up LIRR/MetroNorth train service within the city to allow for intra-city trips to be charged at the standard subway rate, as opposed to the higher fare structure that trains normally do.

Similarly, in the past I've considered MARC stops at Takoma or Brookland, but just as a proposed stop at NY/Bladensburg, the service profile doesn't really exist. E.g., the number of people who use the Riverdale Park stop on a daily basis is minimal. I doubt there are many people who ride MARC from Silver Spring to/from DC, it is faster than Metro, although there are people who ride VRE from Alexandria because it is faster, albeit more expensive.

In fact, with regard to the proposal, the Riverdale Park station is instructive, with a similar set of constraints (minimal population, not well located).

I don't know what the intent of the Ward 5 Industrial Lands study is but it's likely to rezone the lands away from industrial, even though the W5 industrial land is the bulk of the city's land zoned in that category.

Likely this proposal is related to that. Speaking of which, back in the day, there was a Langdon area station on what is now the MARC Camden Line. I don't know where it was sited though.
So if you were to do a build

by Richard Layman on Nov 16, 2012 5:57 am • linkreport

andy -- you're talking about the proposed crosstown streetcar line. I always argued that it should have been built first as there would have been no legal issue over the wires, and it would have improved service in an area that needed it.

I also argued it could be extended to College Park and with a Y at the other end serving Georgetown U and AU, also serving HU, Trinity, CUA, and since ending at College Park, could be called the University Line.

- http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2009/04/will-streetcars-really-return-to.html

Similarly, I proposed a streetcar/light rail up Rte. 1. In a meeting with Peter Shapiro in 2004, he suggested it could go up to Laurel. I then found out that MTA did a study of streetcar service in relation to the Gateway Arts District, in the mid-1990s. And someone affiliated with the Gateway CDC made the very good point that instead of terminating at RI Metro, it should go to Dupont Circle. But ideally it would be light rail, faster than streetcar, with fewer stops.

That's why I've argued that the streetcar planning process is deficient, because it is very parochial, and doesn't consider cross-border transportation planning, and different modes depending on demand.

Although this thread clearly doesn't involve many people who've ridden the B2 or the buses on Rhode Island Avenue. At least with the B2, there's not the kind of ridership that would justify fixed rail, although the service, like all city bus service, has plenty of opportunity for improvement. The big problem is the cemetery and the Arboretum take out big chunks of land that would normally be developed and generate potential riders.

On Route 1, I have been impressed with the initiative to provide branded bus service, delivered I think by PG County and UMD?

http://www.route1ride.org/about-route-1-ride/

I have not ridden the service. But it is well branded and marketed better than typical bus service. But again, this section of Rhode Island Ave. has issues in terms of population density and minimal numbers of activity centers which is why bus service is typically infrequent (and why many of the early retail attempts in association with the Gateway Arts District failed).

by Richard Layman on Nov 16, 2012 6:07 am • linkreport

Great post.

Great comments by Jim T and it all makes sense.

by H Street LL on Nov 16, 2012 7:36 am • linkreport

i'm not knowledgeable enough to speak to the economic aspects or the logistics of sharing space with amtrak, or how many people would use it, but in response to the criticism that a new MARC stop here would add too much time to the trip i'd just like to point out that the platform improvements at halethorpe are nearly complete. if west baltimore ever gets upgraded in a similar fashion, there is your 3 minutes right there, and probably more, without any of the NEC improvements even happening.

by burgersub on Nov 16, 2012 8:41 am • linkreport

of course, as a baltimorean i'd rather get an infill penn line station at upton that could serve as a transfer station to/from MTA metro. i'm not sure what the configuration is like below ground there but the above ground entrance is less than one block north of the amtrak/MARC tunnel. i personally have met a handful of people that currently or used to commute to the dc area from places like owings mills or reisterstown so it seems like a no-brainer to me. i don't know the history of either of these services so i can only assume that this wasn't done in the first place because of some issue with how old and structurally unstable the amtrak tunnel is, making its alteration cost-prohibitive? maybe if those NEC improvements ever happen...

by burgersub on Nov 16, 2012 8:45 am • linkreport

At current service levels, a MARC station doesn't make much sense.

If the service were through-routed with VRE and operated like rapid transit, then yes, it would make more sense. But that's hardly a quick fix.

by Alex B. on Nov 16, 2012 9:18 am • linkreport

burgersub, I know this is GG Washington, but I thought that a MARC expansion towards Reisterstown itself over the WM trackage (just west of the tunnels) could have had some merit. Stations at Coppin State and an intermodal station at Rogers Avenue, as well as at Owings Mills could really be smartly done. Track and or R/O/W is all there and intact.

by Adam on Nov 16, 2012 12:43 pm • linkreport

Could they run EMUs as a sort of shuttle service between Union Station and New Carollton? Use them to provide non-rush/weekend/late night service, to minimize conflicts with NEC trains, build bypass tracks around the stations and load passengers from the bypass tracks.

by Steve S. on Nov 16, 2012 1:59 pm • linkreport

Improved MARC/VRE is not a quick fix, but is a new street car line (beyond those currently planned) a quick fix? What time frame is CM Mcduffie looking at?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 16, 2012 2:03 pm • linkreport

Could they run EMUs as a sort of shuttle service between Union Station and New Carollton?

This sounds suspiciously similar to a streetcar. Because they should just build a streetcar.

MARC trains are not going to stop this close to Union station because it will slow down every train's trip to Union station by 5 minutes.

by MLD on Nov 16, 2012 2:06 pm • linkreport

The West Baltimore Marc station is being replaced once haelthorpe is finished, which will save 3 minutes for people coming from Penn Station and beyond but not for the bulk of the riders who get on somewhere in between Baltimore and DC.

Also current Marc fare structure is minimum $4 per ride. I dont know how many people are going to get on at Bladensburg rd for 1 mile for $4 even if the headway increases to every 30minutes.

Marc just doesnt make sense.

by Richard on Nov 16, 2012 2:10 pm • linkreport

Transit oriented development does not require a streetcar. It requires high densities and transport options that people will ride, which in 2012 means frequent, decent buses. Planners and the streetcar myth are as bad as right-wingers and the voter fraud myth.

by Jody J. on Nov 16, 2012 2:18 pm • linkreport

"Could they run EMUs as a sort of shuttle service between Union Station and New Carollton?
This sounds suspiciously similar to a streetcar. Because they should just build a streetcar."

except in seperate ROW, not on the street. I think you meant to say "light rail" of which street cars are a subset. See my first comment on this post.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 16, 2012 2:18 pm • linkreport

routing light rail along the marc penn line would not serve anyone who isnt already on transit except for bladensburg rd/new york ave. Routing it up next to the Marc Camden line would add riverdale, hyattsville(not west hyattsville) and north brentwood, which would be far more useful.

by Richard on Nov 16, 2012 2:30 pm • linkreport

You would have some options if Metrorail was built in the area, one you could get a new line that stops in a portion of NE DC that is not served, plus Mt Rainer and Bladensburg Maryland, two a spur of the Red/Orange Line that could serve as redundancy, three separate Blue Line stop then there is just the process of routing it back toward Union Station kill two birds with one stone.

But first we could start by having some Metrobuses travel on New York Ave. What surprises me is that there are no buses that travel on NY Ave more than a few blocks throughout the whole city (D4, P6, 96, E2 and E3). Having bus service that went from Ft Lincoln or anywhere off of Bladensburg RD toward downtown would be of huge benefit to transit riders in that area of the city since currently the only buses that serve the area stop only at Rhode Island Ave B8/9 , Brookland H6 and Ft Totten H6 plus the b2 which passes Stadium Armory, Potomac Ave and stops at Anacostia.

by kk on Nov 16, 2012 3:31 pm • linkreport

Once the segment of the E2/3/4 route south of Fort Totten is switched to the D4, that route will run directly from West Virginia directly to Montana Avenue and 18th Street NE, and the loop along Fenwick Street NE, New York Avenue and 16th Street NE will pass into history. When that happens there will be no buses running right on New York Avenue east of North Capitol Street.

by Frank IBC on Nov 16, 2012 4:57 pm • linkreport

Some of these comments are so myopic. They all focus on the current state of the area and not how the area could possibly function with development and new transit additions in the future.

by It makes sense on Nov 16, 2012 5:13 pm • linkreport

buses don't run on that section of NY Ave. for obvious reasons. There aren't origins-destinations that would generate ridership. If the Arboretum Place dev. had been created, it would have been a different story.

by Richard Layman on Nov 17, 2012 9:29 am • linkreport

@ Richard Layman

"buses don't run on that section of NY Ave. for obvious reasons. There aren't origins-destinations that would generate ridership."

How do you know there would not be ridership if there was a bus route; have you asked resident of the area ? What survey has been done to prove it. I actually had to go over the area everyday a few years ago and it was terrible trying to get over there. If there is no ridership than why do the B2, D4, D8 and E2,3 anywhere in Ivy City or anywhere between Mt Olivet Rd and South Dakota Ave.

There is a charter school on Blandensburg RD near the Police station, all of the hotels along New York Ave have workers plus more stuff off of NY Ave on side streets many residential areas with no bus service at all. Even if there are no buses running directly on NY Ave it is the quickest way from Ft Lincoln, Ivy City or anywhere else in the area to NW DC. New York Ave station is the closest station to that area but it is damn impossible to get to that station via bus from the area.

by kk on Nov 18, 2012 10:39 pm • linkreport

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