Ball Park Circulator Wants To Move Eastern Market Bus Stop to the Blue Castle
by Larry Janezich
Posted July 8, 2021
Last night, ANC6B’s Transportation Committee considered a proposal in the Circulator’s 2020 Transit Development Plan that would eliminate the Barracks Row portion of the Eastern Market to L’Enfant Plaza and move the bus stop to 8th and L Streets SE – the NE corner of the Blue Castle. The Plan also suggests extending the Circulator route from L’Enfant Plaza to Mt. Vernon Square. Here’s a link to the study: http://www.dccirculator.com/tdp2020/ (See pages 114 – 116)
As might be expected, Capitol Hill riders depending on transportation to and from the Wharf/Ball Park and businesses depending on traffic to and from Southwest are unhappy with the proposal to truncate the route. According Ken Ken Jarboe – former ANC6B commissioner and current Capitol Hill BID representative – the extension of the route to Mt. Vernon Square has been contemplated for some time, but cutting the route short on the Eastern Market end “came out of left field”.
Circulator planners say the move would boost ridership on the underperforming route and that riders from Eastern Market to SW would be accommodated by the Circulator which transverses Barracks Row on the way to Anacostia and a transfer to the L Street – Mt. Vernon Circulator.
Jarboe says that idea undercuts the marketing of the “one seat ride” from Eastern Market to the Wharf and the Ball Park. “How that increases ridership is beyond me”, he said, adding that the proposal was “not thought through very well.’ He noted there had been no study of shortening the route and that Circulator does not have the data to justify the move. Jarboe noted, that if this is locked in now, it will move forward.
Originally, Circulator was open to comment through June 25. At the request of ANC6B and others, CM Charles Allen prevailed on them to extend the comment period until the end of July, affording ANC6B time to weigh in. Jarboe said the Capitol Hill BID has already commented with a letter, the gist of which is “Please don’t do it”.
Chair Kirsten Oldenburg moved that the Committee recommend to the full ANC that they write a letter to Circulator officials in opposition to eliminating the Barracks Row leg of the route. That motion was agreed to 9 – 0. A second motion urging a study be undertaken of ways to make the Circulator turnaround at Eastern Market more efficient was agreed to 8 – 0 – 1.
The recommendation will be considered by the full ANC6B at its virtual meeting on July 13.
4 responses to “Ball Park Circulator Wants To Move Eastern Market Bus Stop to the Blue Castle”
I don’t think the title is accurate. The proposed change wouldn’t move an entire bus stop. That stop would just be on a different line and anyone getting on from 7th & Penn would just transfer at 8th & M. (which by the way, is no longer a “blue castle”).
I actually like the change. Yes, it would be nice to be able to ride without transferring everywhere I want to go, but that’s not realistic.
Yeah, I don’t get this. If I have to walk down to the Blue Castle I’m already more than halfway to the ballpark neighborhood and at that point might as well keep walking. Taking a separate bus and transferring is silly for such a short distance. Maybe if it was still going to the Wharf it would still make some sense but it would no longer do that either. They might as well cut the route entirely if they’re going to move forward with this plan. Can’t really see who would find the new route useful.
I think the issue is that it’s very useful for each line to intersect other lines multiple times. The proposed change greatly enhances the Navy Yard portion, but detracts from the US/Barracks Row/Anacostia line.
I see two places that could make immediate improvements:
1) Make all bus routes one way. Having to turn around at the beginning and end seem huge time-wasters and very inefficient. (I think…I’m not an expert, but maybe there’s a reason?)
2) Extend the Navy Yard/L’enfant Plaza/Barracks Row even further than proposed: Start at Union Station, down Barracks Row, Right on M St SE, Right(North) on 7th St SW, all the way up to Mt. Vernon Sq, then right on Mass Ave back to Union Station. One way, all the way. Fantastic coverage for all of us in CapHill/Navy Yard/SW / Noma / etc.
I don’t understand any rational purpose to moving the Eastern Market to L’Enfant portion just to service the line to Mount Vernon. Extend the line to Mount Vernon if necessary but why even do that when there is a Green line to Mt. Vernon from the Ball Park. This plan is very discriminatory toward older people for whom walking distances is difficult. It will also result in a good deal more automobile traffic since walking to a bus stop will become an poor option compared to driving or taking Uber. Both proposed plans are senseless