M Street Shuttle: SafeRides or Sudetenlands?

This weekend, Georgetown debuted a new late-night shuttle from the front gates to the M Street corridor. Although ostensibly part of SafeRides, the shuttle was also promised by the University as part of the 2010 Campus Plan discussions. 

Is it SafeRides?

Last February, then-GUSA executive candidate Mike Meaney (SFS ’12), called for the creation of an M Street Shuttle in his budget, but was initially denied funding from the university.

GUSA Vice President Greg Laverierre (COL’ 12) said in an interview with the Hoya that “there’s been a problem of people using SafeRides as a shuttle to the bars. [With the new shuttle] SafeRides can actually have quicker response times now for people who truly feel uncomfortable walking.”

Considering the crime rate in the Georgetown/Burleith area, SafeRides is necessary to ensure students’ safety late at night. And given the number of students going to M Street, this seems like an obvious route.

In an email to the student body, Vice President for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco announced the shuttle along with increased reimbursable details in Georgetown–all for improving student safety:

We are adding some new safety measures this year: 

  • NEW LATE NIGHT M STREET SHUTTLE SERVICE. We have also added a new route to our late-night shuttle service, connecting campus to the M Street corridor. We encourage you to use this service and to also take advantage of the shuttle’s continuing routes through Burleith and West Georgetown as you study, socialize, and connect with friends during the nighttime hours. Details about shuttle routes can be found at http://publicsafety.georgetown.edu.
  • MORE MPD OFFICERS IN NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS. You will see more Metropolitan Police Department officers patrolling the areas around campus during nighttime hours. These officers are there to help keep everyone in our neighborhood safe, and will do this by addressing activity and behavior that creates unsafe conditions or undermines the peace of the community.
Or Sudetenlands?

The June 20th submission (exhibit 321) by the University to the Zoning Commission promised both increased reimbursable details and the M Street Shuttle. Both ANC2E and DDOT requested the shuttle in their filings on the Campus Plan.
On February 28, ANC2E adopted a resolution [PDF] recommending, among other things, the creation of an M Street shuttle to reduce the “transient noise” created by students traversing to and from M Street. 

Although we’re sure the ANC and friends care deeply about students, SafeRides itself has been the object of ANC criticism. At the May 16 Campus Plan hearing, ANC2E Commissioner Ed Solomon said that SafeRides serves at a mode of transportation from one party to the next. Not to forget, students inflict their raucous hullabaloo on sleeping neighbors when waiting for the vans.

To prevent any sort of neighborhood objection, the new shuttle starts at the front gates and drives around the SW Quad before getting to M Street, thereby staying off residential streets nicely.

More importantly than the ANC’s recommendations, District Department of Transportation asked for an M Street Shuttle in their review of the Campus Plan too:

“The University offers a late night shuttle for students to utilize if students have been in the neighborhood at local bars or restaurants. DDOT supports the continuation of the late night shuttle, however recommends the route be kept along M Street and not via the neighborhood streets where is presently travels. This is a quality of life measure the University could address by re-routing the late night buses and still accommodating he needs of students to return to Campus.
Of course, if the shuttle and reimbursable details are responses to concerns of the neighbors instead of student safety, they are not directed at the neighbors directly. Like the proposed Leavey Center dorm, this concession is directed at the Zoning Commission to demonstrate the University’s willingness to work with the neighbors. We’ll have to wait until the Zoning Commission hearings resume in November to see how Dwyer plays this card.


9 Comments on “M Street Shuttle: SafeRides or Sudetenlands?

  1. This is a bizarre premise. Either it is a new shuttle service being provided to help students get safely to their desired destinations, or the University is Czechoslovakia and the ANC is Nazi Germany.

    If you’re going to go with it, though, Vox… go all the way.

    Run this picture (http://i.imgur.com/FFpNY.jpg) of DeGioia (left) and Ron Lewis after announcing the news. Run a quote of DeGioia heralding, “Peace in our time!”

    The Advisory Neighborhood Commission demands lebensraum!

  2. What the hell does the Sudetenland have to do with anything? Really?

  3. In the annals of great Vox Populi editors, from the ramblings of the clearly drunk Sommer to the matronly command of Messrs. Heller, Dodd and Bible, from the doting stewardship of Brint to the fucking terrifying dedication of Redden, we have come now to the days of the latest great leader in this line of kings and queens, Sir Ryan Bellmore, who hath bestowed upon us this gem of a blog post title, this grand comparison untoppable until the ends of time, this new holy of holies in Vox lore, primum inter pares!

    These mere street vermin whose hearts fill with envy and mouths with falsehoods upon reading this post’s glorious appellation know not of what they speak.

  4. @ Not Greg Monroe

    Yea, we gave him the crown and everything. The Bellmore now tolls for you, Georgetown.

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