ANC approves plans for a Georgetown Metro stop

Monday night the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E approved a resolution expressing Georgetown’s support for a Metro stopa proposal previously rejected over 50 years ago. The resolution was approved unanimously.

The ANC’s resolution has a deadline of 2028 for the Metro stop to be completed, but don’t get too excited. The ANC commissioners themselves are doubtful that the project can be completed by then, saying that they expect it to be completed closer to 2040 instead.

Chairman Ron Lewis introduced the resolution by asking the commissioners and general public to separate myth from reality, refuting the idea that “crusty old Georgetown residents killed the Metro years ago.”

Lewis said that in reality the opinions of the residents at that time were mixed; rather strong opposition from business owners as well as concern from Metro engineers killed the project. Business interests of Georgetown argued that the massive construction necessary would harm consumer traffic to their shops. Metro engineers feared Georgetown soil would create structural problems; the slope from the Potomac to M Street was too great.

But it seems that those concerns no longer exist, as no objections to the Metro stop were raised at the meeting.

According to Lewis, the resolution expresses support specifically for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority‘s own proposal of a Georgetown Metro, encapsulated in its future plan called Momentum. The resolution not only fits in with the WMATA’s plan, but also exhorts them to expedite the pace of construction of the Georgetown Metro stop. The resolution sets the deadline at 2028; this is in line with the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) 2028 plana multi-faceted proposal which aims to “preserve what’s great, fix what’s broken, and create what’s missing,” said a BID representative at the meeting.

The Georgetown ANC is the last of four Georgetown bodies to submit their approval to the WMATA. By doing so, they will join Georgetown University, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, Georgetown BID, and the Georgetown Business Association in approval of the plan.

Either business owners and Metro overpowered the will of the people 50 years ago, or Georgetown has finally realized what it has been missing.

Photo: Mike Appel via Flickr

9 Comments on “ANC approves plans for a Georgetown Metro stop

  1. It took us 16 years after the launch of Sputnik by the USSR to put a man on the moon. Apparently, digging a hole takes 11 years longer than developing a life-sustaining hermetically-sealed tube capable of escaping Earth’s gravity, launching itself from Earth’s orbit toward the moon, landing, counteracting the moon’s gravity, avoiding burning up upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, and splashing down in an ocean with no casualties.

    Bottom line: we need another Cold War to escape the modern stagnation of the American work ethic and government inefficiency.

  2. Ron Lewis is wrong…again.

    In the book “The Great Society Subway”, its authors noted that mid-1960’s Georgetown lacked the commuter traffic necessary to justify a stop–it was mostly an industrial area at the time and few people actually worked along the M Street corridor. Yes, the pitch to build the tunnel was steep, but the urban legend about Georgetown residents looking to keep “the wrong element” out of town was simply not so.

  3. @Box

    I am no fan of Ron’s, but that’s a mischaracterization of what he was saying – as Vox says, he was “explicitly refuting the idea that ‘crusty old Georgetown residents killed the Metro years ago.'” He’s pretty much spot on in his take, actually: resident opinion was mixed, and many of the businesses (and industries) that were in Georgetown did raise various concerns about the impact Metro construction might have on their operations. It never went far or amounted to much, though, because Metro planners quickly dismissed the idea of a Georgetown stop for the reasons you cited: it wasn’t a major commuter destination, nor a source of commuters, and there was no possibility of upzoning as in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

    Anyway, while Mr. Garcia above somewhat understates the technical challenges of building a subway line, it is all too true that the biggest impediments are all political, cultural, and social. You could get a brand-spanking new separated Blue Line from Pentagon to, say, Benning Road via Thomas Circle, H Street, and Oklahoma Avenue, for the cost of a few line items in the Pentagon’s budget. Or, for that matter, for the cost of a couple of freeway widenings.

  4. @Dizzy

    Jerry Garcia was understating for the sake of humor (he/she was purposely understating). It was supposed to be funny, but it was misguided just like his/her lack of discernment in choosing a name to comment with on Vox.

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