“DDOT plans to conduct a transit priority study along the 16th Street NW corridor including examining the potential for bus lanes”

Photo by PoPville flickr user jsmjr

From DDOT:

Enhanced Bus Service Prioritized in DDOT’s 16th Street NW Action Plan

DDOT has continued to receive petitions from residents and various Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) in support of a dedicated bus lane on the corridor, and we’ve taken note.

  • DDOT’s draft moveDC plan has identified 16th Street NW as a transit priority corridor. Our draft moveDC report designates 16th Street NW as one of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 24 Bus Priority Corridors in the metropolitan region. These 24 corridors carry over half of all of the bus riders in the region.
  • DDOT is committed to improving bus service on the 16thStreet NW corridor and we have developed an action plan that will continue to improve service in the corridor. In the past five years, the addition of the S9 limited stop service and more service in the southern part of the corridor has increased  ridership by around 5,000 riders a day, and yet there are still problems: buses bunch, get stuck in traffic and passengers have a hard time onboarding and off-boarding.

Quick Signal Optimization (July 2014): DDOT recently completed a focused signal optimization timing plan for the 44 signals along 16th Street NW between H Street and Portal Drive. The preliminary assessments show that this  led to travel-time savings, and DDOT will continue to evaluate the results over the next 6-8 weeks.

Additional Articulated Buses (August 2014): Later this month, WMATA will add additional articulated buses to the corridor. These longer buses will add more bus capacity on the corridor and will hopefully help get people on and off buses in a more efficient manner.

Potential “Enhanced Rush Hours” (Fall 2014): DDOT is exploring the possibility of extending rush hours along 16th Street NW by up to an hour in each direction. These would enable buses at the tail ends of the morning and evening rush hours to make up some time and improve operational efficiency.

Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and Full-Scale Signal Optimization (mid-2015): DDOT is already working hard on a citywide signal-optimization project. The northern area of the city, including 16th Street NW, will get a full-blown network optimization in mid-2015. Around the same time, DDOT and WMATA will also optimize traffic signals along 16th Street NW and in some other major bus corridors so that buses can have a little extra “green time,” which will lead to less bus back-ups and quicker travel times.

Transit Priority Study (2015-2016): In 2015, DDOT plans to conduct a transit priority study that will examine various alternative approaches for improving transit along the 16th Street NW corridor, including examining the potential for bus lanes. The study—which will be conducted with public involvement—will take approximately one year to complete, and will identify specific long-term capital needs for improving transit service in the corridor.

Throughout all the phases of our 16th Street NW Action Plan, DDOT will be collecting data and evaluating performance of buses and the broader transportation network. As the District continues to grow, we think 16th Street NW can be a model for improving public transit and maximizing  our large roads so that they can efficiently move people and support healthy neighborhood life.”

23 Comment

  • gotryit

    Why wasn’t the transit priority study started a year ago?

    • Why not two years ago, for that matter? Or at least 18 months, right? I don’t know. Why should it have been a year ago?

      • gotryit

        I’ll take two years ago – sure. I remember DC starting to discuss this about a year ago. They could have just started working on it given the need for it.

  • For the love of pete just close the parking lanes during rush hour (or all day during the week) and make them bus-only! Why does it take a “study” to figure out that dedicated bus lanes would be a good idea? If they really want to go all out they could make dedicated high speed bus lanes down the center and have a true North-South connection. They could use circulator buses so they look like trolleys.

  • With the addition of more buses, they should’ve altered the parking restrictions along 16th Street.

  • lovefifteen

    Any transportation experts here? I’ve always wondered why a busy street like 16th allows parking. It effectively makes it one lane on each side. Is there some reason for that?

    • Politics. It’s the way it’s always been, people don’t like change.

    • Wealthy folks along the Gold Coast don’t want to give up their precious parking. That’s the nexus of municipal power players in DC; Bowser & the Democratic Machine is loath to anger them.

      • Try again. Nobody in “the Gold Coast” from Shepherd Street to Fort Stevens Drive and again north of Walter Reed parks on 16th Street unless the soccer moms are parking on Saturday morning at Carter Baron for … well … soccer. Many of the streets off of 16th are Non-RPP in that area.

        The congestion comes in at Columbia Heights where they have 5 lanes of travel … three southbound in the morning and three northbound in the evening rush hours. Buses get backed up in non-rush hours because Columbia Heights and Dupont Circle won’t give up its precious parking forcing 16th Street down to one lane southbound from Spring Road to H Street, NW and one lane northbound until you get to Irving Street, NW.

        • Yup. Folks living in upper 16th street have their own driveways/garages and ample street parking on side streets.

  • It is so obvious that the solution is to eliminate parking on 16th street. Then you wouldn’t even need a dedicated bus lane. Problem solved at no cost to the taxpayers. You’re welcome, DDOT!

  • Study study study and don’t do anything. It’s the story. Vince Gray’s mayoral tenure

  • RE: A better potential for “Enhanced Rush Hours” would be if police would ticket or scare off drivers who start parking along 16th street in the last 30 minutes of each rush hour period!

  • This is suddenly relevant to my interests. My agency just moved a 10 floor office building to Penn Ave, causing me, and I’m guessing many others, to be adding to the crush on these buses.


  • And don’t forget the lights on 14th Street! It’s a disaster through Columbia Heights. If 14th Street was more efficient, that could take the load off of 16th. Another few years of population boom and the north-south corridors are going to be completely jammed in Columbia Heights.

  • Obviously, this is way overdue, still happening too late, and won’t enough, but at least it’s all been put in motion, I guess. How long does it take to paint and stripe a pair of lane’s, for chrissakes?

    UNRELATED: where is there a Nordstrom in DC?!

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