Your Views: Transit alternatives

Your Views: Transit alternatives
A WMATA bus. (Photo/WMATA)

To the editor:

Now that Alexandria is being subjected to yet another Metro shutdown, the city is looking for additional ways to improve transportation alternatives. Promoting alternatives like transit and cycling is the best way to mitigate the negative effects of the shutdown.

One area that would benefit from improved transit infrastructure is connectivity between Old Town and Del Ray. First, let’s review what is currently out there. The DASH 33 line connects Potomac Yard with King St. Metro via Del Ray. Metrobus 10 lines connect Mount Vernon Ave. in Del Ray to Washington St. in Old Town via Braddock Rd. Metro. Metroway connects Potomac Yard to Braddock Rd. Metro via Route 1. The Old Town Connector connects King St. and Braddock Rd. Metro stations with the Waterfront.

This coverage isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either. Popular destinations, both for residents and visitors, like the Waterfront and Del Ray are not connected by a one-seat ride and most potential riders avoid trips that require transfers.

I propose for DASH to fix this through an expansion and extension of the existing OTC and 33 routes into a new route. My plan would create a single figure-eight shaped route from King St. to Braddock Rd. via the Waterfront as per OTC, north through Del Ray and east to Potomac Yard, as per the 33, then south down the Rt. 1 bus lanes, west at Monroe Ave., then finally south down Commonwealth Ave. and back to King St. The route could be run in both directions if funding allows.

This configuration would retain nearly all existing coverage and greatly expand one-seat connectivity for many of the busiest parts of the eastern portion of the city. These changes would attract riders and reduce the need to use cars for these trips.

-Jeff Yutzler, Alexandria