The Downtown DC Business Improvement District has released its 10-year vision plan, and it includes a push for more Metro funding and an expansion of surface transit, including a complete re-thinking of the city’s bus service.
The “Downtown 2027: Vision for the Future” looks to build on the growth of the 138-block area as a destination for employers and visitors. The Downtown BID said transportation improvements will play a key role.
Ten years may seem like a long way off, but consider that the Downtown BID was formed 20 years ago, when the area was barely emerging as a destination point in the city. The Capital One Arena (then MCI Center) was brand new, and the shops and attractions around Gallery Place were nonexistent.
On the transportation side the Downtown 2027 plan calls for the following:
- Improving Metro’s service and reliability, and securing a dedicated funding source.
- Restoring late-night service for Metro, particularly if Capital One Arena remains a key destination point in the city.
- Building the K Street Transitway, which calls for a dedicated streetcar lane in the middle of K street.
- Adding queue jump lanes, traffic signal priority and plan for transit-only lanes in heavily congested areas.
- Better bus operations. The BID called for a complete re-thinking of bus service to emphasize all-day, high-frequency service. It also called for changes to how fares are collected.Reduce on-street parking and develop a better schedule and system for delivery trucks and motor coaches.
- Better coordination between Metro, which operates buses, and DC Department of Transportation, which controls the streets.
The Downtown 2027 plan also calls for special efforts to address homelessness in the area, transferring parks in the BID from the National Park Service to the city, and incentivizing developers to change office space into residential space.
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