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Old 08-25-2014, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
950 posts, read 540,330 times
Reputation: 2201

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I know that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line just opened up on Sunday, - but - there is no one waiting at the stops, and no one on the big, shiny, new buses. I really cannot see much (any) demand for this service, with the exception of people from DC who want to go to Potomac Yards, and must use Metro. Also, once they arrive at Potomac Yards, the current configuration is not pedestrian friendly in the slightest, it is quite a hike from one end of the mall to another. It is a big box, suburban mall.

I also do not get the (lack of) planning here - why the Metro stop and BRT, when the Yards are to be demolished in favor of residential/commercial uses? It also seems to me that there are a lot of commercial vacancies in the area.....do we really need more office space?

Perhaps there will be a greater demand when the entire line is built out, but I cannot picture this being a heavily demanded route, given that Potomac Yards is the crown jewel in the current route plan....

Who are the envisioned riders?
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,850 posts, read 19,454,476 times
Reputation: 5706
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm0484 View Post
I know that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line just opened up on Sunday, - but - there is no one waiting at the stops, and no one on the big, shiny, new buses. I really cannot see much (any) demand for this service, with the exception of people from DC who want to go to Potomac Yards, and must use Metro. Also, once they arrive at Potomac Yards, the current configuration is not pedestrian friendly in the slightest, it is quite a hike from one end of the mall to another. It is a big box, suburban mall.

I also do not get the (lack of) planning here - why the Metro stop and BRT, when the Yards are to be demolished in favor of residential/commercial uses? It also seems to me that there are a lot of commercial vacancies in the area.....do we really need more office space?

Perhaps there will be a greater demand when the entire line is built out, but I cannot picture this being a heavily demanded route, given that Potomac Yards is the crown jewel in the current route plan....

Who are the envisioned riders?
This seems like one of those rare transit projects implemented before the area is built up and then there is no place to build it. That area is going to become much more built up and dense over the next decade or two. Also, it takes some time for people to understand and use a new transit line like this.

Give it time. The use and ridership will get there and the area should develop into a more transit friendly and walkable area with the BRT line in place. At some point in the future, the BRT could be upgraded to Light rail or something. The right of way will be there.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:27 AM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,706,679 times
Reputation: 1554
Give it some time for ridership to grow. A lot of people in Del Ray who take the bus to the Braddock Road Metro probably don't know about it yet.

That big box, suburban shopping center is going to be torn down and replaced with office, retail, and residential. They plan on building a grid of streets to basically extend Crystal City further south. If a Metro stop is built in Potomac Yards as is planned, development in this area will soar.

And I think Arlington has already committed to converting its section into Light Rail while Alexandria is hesitant to do the same.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,657,337 times
Reputation: 1495
Actually, half full bus (not bad for first week) in Arlington today. Perhaps at Braddock Metro station its weak. This is the same as silver line, people jumped on it being 25,000 trips day one, well its grown to 35,000 trips now per day and it will continue to grow as the area in Tysons/Reston East get developed and more walkable and as more people figure out whether it can help their commute.

Dont forget also that August in DC is the lowest month of the year in terms of commuter traffic. Judge in September-November, and keep in mind its year 1.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
349 posts, read 1,293,842 times
Reputation: 217
I used to live in that area and the regular buses seemed to suffice for the demand. I could understand adding an extra lane to that part of US1, but I don't see why they didn't just make it an HOV lane like in Old Town. BRT is a bit of overkill for the area especially when there are major plans for a metro stop in Potomac Yards that will make this BRT line almost unnecessary. Traffic along that stretch, while not great, is not horrible either and they've been adding in parallel roads to relieve must of the strain on US1.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:12 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,706,679 times
Reputation: 1554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
I used to live in that area and the regular buses seemed to suffice for the demand. I could understand adding an extra lane to that part of US1, but I don't see why they didn't just make it an HOV lane like in Old Town. BRT is a bit of overkill for the area especially when there are major plans for a metro stop in Potomac Yards that will make this BRT line almost unnecessary. Traffic along that stretch, while not great, is not horrible either and they've been adding in parallel roads to relieve must of the strain on US1.
HOV on 1 is a joke. Most people don't know it's an HOV lane and there is very little enforcement.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
349 posts, read 1,293,842 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomason View Post
HOV on 1 is a joke. Most people don't know it's an HOV lane and there is very little enforcement.
It's not well marked or set-up, particularly with parking on the side. I've seen this done well in the Seattle area where the right lane is for buses, carpools, and right turns only.

I don't like how they have the bus lanes down the middle instead of on the outside as pedestrians have to cross a busy road to get to the stops and wait in the middle of traffic.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:47 PM
 
290 posts, read 463,782 times
Reputation: 291
I live right near the Braddock Metro and I have wondered the same. I don't see the need for it right now. People complain about the traffic on Rte 1, but it's really not anything at all. It's actually a pretty great commute when you think about how close it is to DC. But like others have said, they used the big blank slate of Potomac Yards before it was built out to think about the future. If they hadn't done it now, they wouldn't have been able to widen Rte 1 to fit it in later when they actually needed it. So I will give them props for that.

That said, if they are building a metro stop in Potomac Yards, I still wonder just who is going to use these buses? Won't people just use the metro? I guess it is potentially faster for someone working in Crystal City but lives in Potomac Yards to just hop on the bus instead of waiting for metro. That's one use case. But I struggle to think about any other target market for these buses after the Potomac Yard metro stop goes in.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:35 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,706,679 times
Reputation: 1554
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenswake View Post
I live right near the Braddock Metro and I have wondered the same. I don't see the need for it right now. People complain about the traffic on Rte 1, but it's really not anything at all. It's actually a pretty great commute when you think about how close it is to DC. But like others have said, they used the big blank slate of Potomac Yards before it was built out to think about the future. If they hadn't done it now, they wouldn't have been able to widen Rte 1 to fit it in later when they actually needed it. So I will give them props for that.

That said, if they are building a metro stop in Potomac Yards, I still wonder just who is going to use these buses? Won't people just use the metro? I guess it is potentially faster for someone working in Crystal City but lives in Potomac Yards to just hop on the bus instead of waiting for metro. That's one use case. But I struggle to think about any other target market for these buses after the Potomac Yard metro stop goes in.
For people in the Del Ray area, walking to the bus/light rail on route 1 will be a 5-7 minute quicker walk than to the Potomac Yards Metro. For those who just want to go to Crystal City or Pentagon City, the bus/light rail would be much more convenient and cheaper. It is planned to be built three blocks east of route 1 way back near the train tracks and the GW parkway.
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