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Here are the busiest bus stops on 16th Street, 14th Street, and Georgia Avenue

The map shows where riders are going on Metro's busy 16th Street, 14th Street, and Georgia Avenue lines, plus a couple of smaller routes in the same part of town.

Every circle on this map is one bus stop. The larger the circle, the more riders get on or off at that stop.

Map from DDOT.

It's a fascinating look at transit ridership patterns in DC's densest corridor. And it correlates strongly with land use.

Georgia Avenue is a mixed-use commercial main street for its entire length. Thus, riders are relatively evenly distributed north-to-south.

16th Street, on the other hand, is lined with lower density residential neighborhoods north of Piney Branch, but is denser than Georgia Avenue south of there. It's not surprising then that 16th Street's riders are clustered more heavily to the south.

14th Street looks like a hybrid between the two, with big ridership peaks south of Piney Branch but also more riders further north of Columbia Heights. 14th Street also has what appears to be the biggest single cluster, Columbia Heights itself.

DDOT produced this map as part of its North-South Corridor streetcar planning. It's easy to see why DDOT's streetcar plans are focusing on 14th Street to the south and Georgia Avenue to the north.

Likewise, this illustrates how a 16th Street bus lane south of Piney Branch could be particularly useful.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post


Add a comment »

How does wmata or ddot know how many pax get off at a particular stop?

by ChrisB on Apr 7, 2014 1:28 pm • linkreport

I'd wonder whether this is pre- or post-Walmart, as that stop on Georgia Ave has completely changed the dynamics of the 70 and 79 between Silver Spring and Petworth. On the reverse commute: it'd always been the quiet part where there were open seats, now it's absolutely packed shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the day.

by Bossi on Apr 7, 2014 1:29 pm • linkreport

It seems that everyone has ruled out dedicated transit lanes on 14th St. I think that's a mistake and you could do them anyways if we'd just stop privileging a few parked cars.

But in the absence of that sort of political willpower (and dare I say "balls"), is it not feasible to start doing bus bulbs on 14th? It would make a huge difference, particularly south of Columbia Heights.

by LowHeadways on Apr 7, 2014 1:31 pm • linkreport


I've noticed monitors with clipboards at stops from time-to-time. I thought they were checking bus arrival times, but they could also be doing passenger counts.

by Adam L on Apr 7, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

The biggest clusters are close to subway transfers.

by Tom Coumaris on Apr 7, 2014 1:37 pm • linkreport

How does wmata or ddot know how many pax get off at a particular stop?

Manual counts from workers at stops when they do analyses, and by using data from the Automatic Passenger Counters on the buses.

by MLD on Apr 7, 2014 1:38 pm • linkreport

Someone please tell me the new Trader Joes has an actual loading dock and they don't plan to continue to park a semi on 14th and unload it there...

by charlie on Apr 7, 2014 1:44 pm • linkreport

charlie- They do have an actual loading dock. It's on the sidewalk on 14th Street. It's the frosted glass roll-up doors next to TJ's entrance. Really weird but at least they didn't get a curb cut for trucks to back over the sidewalk.

by Tom Coumaris on Apr 7, 2014 1:52 pm • linkreport

Irving is not really a surprise. It's probably the main east to west transit corridor north of K St. Really need to find a way to get more of those people out of cars because it really can't accomodate the number of people that try to drive through there at all hours of the day. Pretty absurd that we still have parking along there and Columbia given how much more capacity is needed. If you took out parking and made it a transit lane it would save a lot of time. Fortunately it is slated for an eventual streetcar but youll still need the dedicated lane to get above 5 miles an hour.

by BTA on Apr 7, 2014 2:12 pm • linkreport

This map also shows buses that operate on 7th Street NW & SW and 11th Street, 13th Street & Sherman Avenues. The 62/3/4 and 74 are also shown on this map.

Now all they need is a map of how many people are getting on/off S1/2/4, 70/9, or 52/3/4 and transferring. From the looks of the dots about 95% of the large dots are where these routes cross other routes to Metrorail or a H1/2/3/4/8, 90/2/3/6, E2/3/4, G2/8, X2/9, 80, D4/6 and Circulator.

It would also be nice to see changes based on weekdays vs Saturday & Sundays with different times through out the day early morning, late morning, midday, evening, night and late night.

by kk on Apr 7, 2014 2:47 pm • linkreport

I've seen counters riding the 14th street buses with clipboards. At each stop they seem to record both passengers loading and unloading.

by tour guide on Apr 7, 2014 3:45 pm • linkreport

Trader Joes is a disappointment. Their truck blocks half of the bike lane. They put up cones in the pedestrian zebra crosswalk space. They put pallets of materials on the sidewalk. If it was the middle of the night, I could understand but as a daily afternoon happening I am very disappointed.

by tour guide on Apr 7, 2014 3:49 pm • linkreport

yeah TJ is a lil dissapointing, tried to grab a few quick items yesterday around 7, the line wound all the way through the entire place. What a joke.

by corey on Apr 7, 2014 4:47 pm • linkreport

LowHeadways, 14th Street is way too narrow and congested to even remotely consider a bus lane. Bus lanes are not a magic panacea- they can be successful is used in appropriate settings, but the problem on 14th isn't just parked cars- it's that it's just way too narrow overall in the most congested areas. The Georgia ave streetcar should take some of the stress off, and when 16th street gets its inevitable streetcar, that should help a lot too.

by Zeus on Apr 7, 2014 5:02 pm • linkreport

Seems like maybe the "S2 Short" should go to Piney Branch, not just Columbia Heights. And there should probably be more of them -- focusing the service from Piney Branch and south.

by Gavin on Apr 7, 2014 5:24 pm • linkreport

While I think 16th st should be a candidate for streetcars, part of the funding strategy seems to be special tax districts or at least tax money from new development and 16th st is quite built out so we'll get nothing but maybe more buses on top of the old buses.

by BTA on Apr 8, 2014 9:33 am • linkreport

@Zeus If you end on-street parking on 14th north of Harvard St, you've always got at least two lanes in both directions, which is plenty to run half as transit and half as general travel.

But more importantly, why not bus bulbs on 14th? The pulling in and out of traffic, coupled with Maryland drivers and taxis blocking the bus stops, could be easily ameliorated by extending the curb out into the current footprint of the bus stops (although we should be moving all the bus stops to after the lights.

I mean, come on, this is some low-hanging fruit here.

by LowHeadways on Apr 8, 2014 10:19 am • linkreport

I wish there was service on 13th Street NW as well as all of Kansas Avenue. The other big missing link of bus service is on Blair Road between Takoma and Fort Totten. There is no real service in that part of Brightwood and Manor Park.

by Rain17 on Apr 9, 2014 1:54 am • linkreport

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