Urban planning wonks sound off on proposed GUTS change
The absurdity of the new, potentially permanent Dupont GUTS bus route, discussed at the 10 year campus plan meeting, caught the attention of Greater Greater Washington, a wonky, “smart growth” blog about D.C. The issue, mentioned briefly at the top of a list of links, has provoked a 57-comment debate. Here are some of the more interesting ones:
Most commenters, like Jasper, agreed that the neighbors are being unreasonable, saying the proposed route would add to congestion and create a parking nightmare:
Oh, you’re objecting to the a private university offering free transportation to its students, employees and visitors? Would you rather subsidize WMATA through your taxes? And where exactly, would all those cars be parked? Do you realize that there is a two-year waiting period before employees can actually apply for a (ridiculously overpriced) parking permit?
The only commenter who came down solidly on the neighbors side was Lance, who has posted 14 increasingly absurd comments. Given his comments, I think it’s fair to say he probably hasn’t ever seen the intersection of Canal Rd. and M Street. Here are some excerpts (emphasis mine):
GU has a major entrance on Canal Road with roads from there leading to all parts of the campus including the hospital. I think the residents are just saying ‘go make your noise on your own roads instead of ours’ …
[A]sking the buses to use the larger more commercial streets where their noise and vibration is less likely to disturb people in the quiet enjoyment of their homes doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. The riders are still getting to their destinations and from what I can see it’s not taking them any more substantial time to get to their destinations … maybe even less time when you consider that once on GU grounds there’ll be little traffic to impede the buses’ speed …
[T]he idea of banning this private bus system altogether from this historic district should not be off the table … Having a second “public” bus system which is not accountable to the public running through it seems to make little sense …
I get the impression that those who want to see the buses travel narrow residential streets (1) aren’t even interested in open discussion as to whether less intrusive alternatives are possible; (2) ARE fixated on wanting the buses to travel through streets where they perceive the residents as being “uppity” “rich” people in “single family roads”.
This kind of distorted view of who owns city roads, lack of awareness about Georgetown traffic flows and attempts to brand GUTS buses as anti-upper class have provoked some strong responses, like this one from Sensible Person:
1.) As an owner of property, you may feel entitled to certain rights. YOU DID NOT PURCHASE THE ROAD IN FRONT OF YOUR TOWNHOUSE, YOU HAVE NO EXPECTATION OF A BUS-FREE ROADWAY.
2.) Further, property owners SHOULD FUCKING ENCOURAGE THE SUBSIDIZING OF PUBLIC/PRIVATE MASS TRANSIT TO GET PEOPLE OFF THE STREET. It’s unreal that you can sit here and say that removal of GUTS buses passing your Q street residence would bring a reduction in congestion. MORE PEOPLE WOULD JUST DRIVE TO WORK if GUTS service were made ridiculously slow as is proposed.
Many commenters, like Joey, also took issue with ANC commissioner Ron Lewis’ insistence that GUTS buses have no place on Reservoir Road:
Reservoir Road is one of the widest streets in Georgetown (roughly the same width as Wisconsin) … The absurdity of the Commissioner’s statement was that Reservoir Road is *not* a small side street. It’s a heavily travelled commuter route.