Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Nothing to do with Adams Morgan

We need something like this in DC 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

National Zoo security plan is a good idea

Map shows planned security checkpoints at the National Zoo.

The Smithsonian intends to put security checkpoints around the National Zoo, similar to what is now in place at its various museums. The plan is drawing complaints from people who see it as a major change in the zoo's integration with the neighborhood.

Many local residents walk through the zoo, which is fully integrated with the Woodley and Cleveland Park and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. This easy access will be missed and has been one of the charms of the park.

This plan won't impact the Adams Mill entrance, it appears.

The zoo is largely a place for families and we can't pretend the world isn't changing.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Riding Metro, Chicago style

I was in Chicago recently and was staying in Rosemont, one stop south of O'Hare and traveling into the Loop for a conference. (Downtown hotels either booked or too expensive). Actually, enjoyed this. It turned out to be a good decision.

Hotels were half the price in Rosemont, and it gave me a chance to ride the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line into the city. I did that for several days and felt like a local resident.

There's not a lot of difference in the experience from using Metro. I bought the CTA's reloadable "Ventra" card, which expires "11/37" or roughly 20 years from now. Easy to use system. NY-style turnstiles. You pay one fare, $2.50, for the trip. You can buy a paper pass or spend $5 on the Ventra card.

Rosemont had a Dunkin Donuts both inside the turnstiles and outside. You could order at the outside Dunkin Donuts and pick up your coffee and donut inside. They don't allow food consumption on the train, but I don't know if that applies to the platform as well. The CTA is making money off the rents, something that our Metro won't allow.

But if you are in Chicago for any reason, take the Blue Line into the city. It's located on the lower level in the airport and it is -- by far -- the best and probably fastest way to get downtown.

Here's a short video filmed on a Sunday morning from the train car.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The problem with the Dupont Circle piazza and 42 bus users

Dupont Circle, looking North. Photo, April, 2014. 

The District is planning to build a deck over Connecticut Avenue at Dupont Circle. It will be between Dupont Circle and Q Street. This will improve the area, but it may be disruptive to riders of the 42 bus.

What's missing is the exact plan. The District may create what's called "An Oasis" or "Promenade." This will keep the service lanes and some level of vehicle access. It may leave the 42 route unchanged.

There is a petition drive in the District championed by Greater Greater Washington to eliminate the service lanes and use the deck-over to create a pedestrian-only space. If this proposal wins -- dubbed a piazza -- it will mean relocating 42 bus stops.

GGW acknowledges that "closing the service lanes entirely would require changes such as rerouting the 42 bus to surrounding streets or using the underpass rather than going through Dupont Circle."

The piazza concept is championed as "pedestrian friendly." For 42 bus users it is not that. 

One idea is to have the 42 -- similar to the 43 bus -- travel under the circle. This means it would stop at S Street. The distance from the existing 42 stop from Q to S is just under a third of a mile.

The piazza plan scrambles 42 access for everyone for a large section of Connecticut Avenue and Dupont Circle.

 It may be that the planners decide it's just better to reroute off Connecticut Avenue, but it's hard to see how that might work.

The flag I want to raise is this: A decision to reroute the 42 has major implications for Adams Morgan and anyone else who uses this bus. It would be prudent for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions up and down the 42 bus route to pay attention and make sure their voices are heard.

What the piazza supporters are asking for seems reasonable: Let's study a pedestrian-only deck-over. But they are also trying to build political momentum for the no-service-lane option. If the District agrees, then people who don't want the 42 rerouted will be on the defensive once WMATA solicits comments on the rerouting plan.

The GGW is a great organization. It's becoming a lobby force, but it does not represent or speak for the vast majority of people who use the 42. It tends to skew young, representing the energy and vitality of people who want a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly city. For these folks, walking a little extra distance is no problem. For many others in this city, it is. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018