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Monday, August 29, 2011

Lincolnia Hills opposes bus route changes

Residents of the Lincolnia Hills/Heywood Glen community are unhappy with a proposal by the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority to change the routes for the 7X and 7W buses, making them much less direct.

The bus routes would be be redirected to serve the new Mark Center Transit Station at the BRAC-133 project, which is bringing 6,400 new Defense Department employees to the Mark Center at Beauregard Street and Seminary Road.

The upshot of the proposed route changes would be significantly longer commuting times for bus riders, reports Julie Edelson, chair of the Lincolnia Hills/Heywood Glen Civic Association’s Community Advocacy Committee.

Instead of a fairly direct ride to the Pentagon, buses would travel around Landmark Plaza and stop at several apartment complexes along the Lincolnia/Quantrell loop before heading up Beauregard Street.

Edelson is urging community members to let Metrobus know they value bus service along Chambliss and North Moran and oppose route changes that would reduce service to their neighborhood or lengthen the trip time. People who aren’t regular bus riders should be concerned, too, she says, because convenient rush hour bus service means fewer cars on the road and has a positive impact on property values.

Here’s what’s under consideration:

The 7X bus would continue to operate from its current terminal at Southland and Wingate. But instead of running to the Pentagon via Chambliss and Morgan streets, it would go up Beauregard and then through Linconia/Quantrell before continuing on Beauregard. As a result, it would no longer serve Lincolnia Hills.

The 7W bus would travel along Morgan and Chambliss instead of the 7X bus. In the morning, 7W service would start at the intersection of Morgan and Beauregard, run southbound on Morgan and Chambliss, and then turn left on Beauregard Street. It would travel along the Lincolnia/Quantrell loop before continuing north on Beauregard.

In the afternoon, the 7W would travel south on Beauregard, head along the Lincolnia/Quantrell loop, then turn north on Chambliss before terminating at Morgan and Beauregard.

While the 7W would begin serving Lincolnia Hills, it would travel in the reverse direction, stopping at Lincolnia Shopping Center, the back of the plaza at Landmark, and several apartments on Lincolnia/Quantrell before heading to points north.

For a resident who lives in the middle of Lincolnia Hills, say the Morgan/Ashton intersection, taking the bus to the Pentagon in the morning would mean 12 additional stops, four additional traffic lights, and navigating the expected gridlock on Beauregard Street due to the BRAC project.

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