Not again. The University is considering altering the DuPont Circle GUTS bus route from a fairly straight-shot route to the outrageously counter-intuitive route pictured above, which if adopted will make the trip time to and from the University at least 25 minutes (and that estimate comes from non-rush hour travel). And guess what? The route in consideration, which GUTS drivers tested over the weekend, looks exactly like Georgetown’s neighborhood residents wanted it to.
University spokesperson Julie Green Bataille wrote in two emails:
We continue to work to find routes which provide the greatest safety on campus and put the least amount of traffic on neighborhood residential streets. For the first time last weekend we tried a weekend Dupont route which utilizes the Whitehurst Freeway …. This particular route maintains the published schedule.
Under the tentative route, buses leaving the University will start out for DuPont by traveling in essentially the wrong direction before looping around the University, taking the Whitehurst Freeway, and turning up New Hampshire Ave. (If you can’t view the map above, it looks like this.) Currently, rush hour GUTS buses traveled over to Wisconsin Ave, crossed a bridge on Q St., and landed at 20th and Massachusetts, like this.
Bataille didn’t state whether the possible change is the result of pressure from neighborhood residents who often allege that the buses make too much noise and rattle Georgetown’s wood-frame houses (never mind that Metro buses travel similar routes all the time).
But the last time the University altered the DuPont route, it was in explicit reaction to neighbors’ complaints. And a recent email sent to the Georgetown neighborhood listserv by Lind Greenan, the Associate Vice President for External Relations, reminds us that the University is planning to hold a community meeting in the coming months to present the all-important 2010 Campus Plan to discuss its contents with the neighborhood. Just sayin’.
Voice News will have more this Thursday.
Reporting by Eric Pilch.