Thankfully, most Georgetown students don’t have to worry about rush hour traffic in Georgetown.

But, for a few hours each afternoon, rush hour traffic chokes up the intersection leading to the nearby Key Bridge, congesting by extension portions of M Street, 34th Street and — more often than not — the eastbound 3600 and 3500 blocks of Prospect Street with commuters headed to Virginia, Maryland and upper Northwest D.C.

While this traffic would ordinarily have little effect on undergraduates, the G2 bus that leaves from the front gates passes along this stretch of Prospect Street, despite that its destination is in the direction of Dupont Circle, and ultimately Howard University, far from the traffic-laden commuter roads leading to Virginia and Maryland.

Rerouting the G2 bus simply to avoid that single stretch of Prospect Street — perhaps down N Street instead — would have mutual benefits for the G2 ridership and commuters alike. For those who must ride the G2 around this time of day, it would help shorten an already traffic-prone D.C. commute. For other commuters who typically get stuck in traffic headed toward the Key Bridge or Canal Road, diverting any traffic from those overflowing intersections — especially several buses — would likely reduce the overall congestion.

This change would require little of WMATA yet could prove to be a sensible amelioration to the problem that there aren’t enough lanes of road for the number of cars that need to get around the city. Changing the route to traversing the 3500 and 3600 blocks of N Street would require no new resources, would utilize lanes of traffic that are otherwise calm even during rush hour and would actually pass by fewer private residences.

Even if only to save a few minutes of sitting in traffic, this change would be well worth the trouble.

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2 Comments

  1. To tie into the other article that was written today by Charlie Lowe – the reason that this will never happen is because of political pressure from Georgetown neighbors. They hold enormous sway in determining both GUTS Bus routes (through the campus plan) and WMATA.

  2. It can’t happen because of Holy Trinity School, which uses that stretch of N Street has a recess playground area at certain times of day, and as a pickup/dropoff location in the mornings and afternoons. I suppose you could try to implement this change ONLY during pm rush hour, which is the only time Prospect is a disaster. Say between the hours of 4 and 7 pm. That should be late enough that the Holy Trinity pickups period will have passed…

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