Bus Stops, Parking Signs -- and School Safety
As a city reporter, I often get to story assignments by bus if I can, preferring to see the District through a big bus window instead of a dark Metro tunnel. I have also found the city's winding bus routes an asset if I need to get to a story assignment that's not along a blue, red, orange, green, or yellow dot of a Metro stop.
Here's something I've noticed about city life when it comes to bus stops, parking signs -- and school safety. When transportation officials decide to move or change a bus stop, sometimes the parking signs don't come along for the ride.
Case in point: In Northwest, near the intersection of Sherman Ave and Euclid Street, the bus stop for the 68 bus was moved a few feet south, which I realized recently when I got to the corner and the stop wasn't there. However temporarily jarring, this wasn't noteworthy until the bus pulled up and I saw that it couldn't swing to the curb to pick up passengers because a car was parked in the bus zone. The car should have gotten a ticket, except that the city's Department of Transportation or DDOT, its preferred government acronym, hasn't updated the parking signs to reflect the new bus zone.
Small potatoes? Maybe. But with the opening of Nationals Stadium this weekend and continuing conversation over neighborhood parking near the new Columbia Heights mall DCUSA, the key to avoiding mishaps and limiting traffic congestion is directly tied to getting the small things right -- things like updated and accurate parking signs.
There's also a potential safety issue for D.C. public school students. The bus stop is a half-block west of Benjamin Banneker High School. On any given morning you'll see Banneker students disembarking the 68 bus at that Sherman Ave and Euclid Street stop. With the bus stop change, now those students step out into the street instead of the curb.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) pledged under the schools takeover that all city agencies would come together and support education. To that end, DDOT and the D.C. Public Schools recently announced a pilot program, Safe Routes to School, where eight schools will be selected for a program that will make it "safer, more convenient and more fun" for students to walk or ride a bike to school. So far, buses aren't covered under the pilot, according to the press release, which describes some of the program goals as "fixing safety problems...and working with police to enforce traffic laws."
So what do you think- does excluding buses under the new schools/transportation pilot program leave a gap? What kind of bus and parking issues have you seen around the city?
Posted by: cgsimpson | March 29, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: glenedharrison | March 31, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse
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