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.