Photo by PoPville flickr user Wayan Vota
DC has been making a concerted effort to promote biking, but I came across a proposal that negatively affects bikers who live in Columbia Heights and Petworth. Today, Metrobus announced proposed changes to a number of bus lines including the 63 & 64. The basic proposal is to merge the 63 & 64 lines by altering the route of the 63 to run along 11th St between Monroe/Park and Florida. At Florida both lines would then shift back to Sherman and then connect with Vermont. You can see the details here.
Personally, I prefer combining the two lines as it means more frequent bus service on a single street, but as a biker I think Metrobus made the wrong choice in proposing to move both lines to 11th through Columbia Heights. Going down 11th I already have to dodge buses pulling across the dedicated bike lanes on my way to and from downtown. I hate biking on Sherman since it is busier, the lanes seem narrower, and there are not dedicated bike lanes. Plus, for those that ride the bus, Metro’s own studies also show that the 63 has better on time performance in this section than the 64. The distance between Sherman and 11th is very short, so the change would make minimal difference to most bus riders but would very much change the biking experience on this route. Thus, it seems far more logical to move the 64 to Sherman along this stretch. It would increase safety for bikers and improve the on time performance of buses overall – it seems like a win-win. I would encourage fellow bikers and bus riders on one of these routes to contact Metrobus and urge them to move the 64 line to Sherman in this section of Columbia Heights rather than moving the 63 to 11th. I’d be interested to know what PoPville readers think and, if they are interested, to let them know that there is a meeting to discuss the matter today (Thursday) at 5:30 at the MLK Library (901 G St NW).”