The new SafeRides shuttle loops through Burleith and West Georgetown have angered local residents, according to citizen’s advocacy groups and university officials.

“Originally, the community was in shock,” said Lenore Rubino, president of the Burleith Citizens’ Association. “We work so well with the university in dealing with many issues that when this happened without our input it was a big shock.”

Jen Perry, vice president of the BCA, explained that members of the neighborhood are upset in part because the university failed to contact the residents before implementing the shuttle loop.

The SafeRides shuttle loops began running in early December. There are separate vehicles for Burleith, which has 17 stops, and West Georgetown, which has 23 stops. Many of the pick-up points are located close to residents’ homes.

The shuttle loops operate from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday and from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

David Morrell, vice president for university safety, said that it was his own oversight that the community was not informed of implementation of the new shuttle system.

“However, the SafeRides program was operating beforehand and . we felt we had to quickly initiate [the shuttle loops] based on concerns expressed to us by students,” he explained.

Morrell said his discussions with the Student Safety Advisory Board on the issue resulted in the creation of the new SafeRides shuttle loops. The new system has been utilized by 70 to 80 students each night, he said.

“We wanted to run these shuttles in areas of high student traffic,” Morrell said. “The students [on the board] came up with the routes.”

Perry said that the community is primarily concerned about what will happen when warmer weather arrives and more students are partying late into the night.

“The main thing is that the community wants to know what the university would do if there are a bunch of students late at night congregating around the bus stop and making an excessive amount of noise,” she said.

“Now that [the community has] had time to digest everything, we are working hand in hand with university to find a solution that will keep the students safe and the residents safe,” Rubino said.

Rubino added that the discussions are in their preliminary stages and that the community is looking for student input.

Morrell said that the university is prepared to work with local residents if the noise issue arises. He said there have been no complaints since the system’s implementation, however.

In order to promote better relations between residents of the Burleith community and students, the BCA recently opened an account with the Georgetown’s University Marketing Association.

Gregory Re (COL ’07), the manager of the BCA’s UMA account, said that the account officially started at the beginning of the current semester.

“The goals of the BCA UMA account are to increase membership, increase Burleith awareness and to increase dialogue with students in the community,” he said.

“The account is also planning on organizing meetings to facilitate friendly discussions between students and BCA members about community issues,” Re added. “The BCA wants to improve its relationship with the students and believes that a proactive approach is the best way to do this.”

Rubino explained the purpose of the account is to come up with ways for Burleith residents to better connect with Georgetown students who live in their area.

“We need to work this out as a community,” Rubino said. “The initial shock [about the SafeRides shuttles] has worn off. Now we need to sit down, roll up our sleeves and come to a solution that is good for everyone.”

The new SafeRides shuttles will be discussed in the upcoming meeting of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission on Tuesday.

“There have been several smaller meetings, and this is basically going to be an update with some of the statistics,” said Brett Clements (COL ’07), the sole student ANC commissioner.

Clements said that factors to be discussed at the meeting include how many students are using the service, where most students are picked up and whether the current routes are the most useful ones.

“A lot of neighbors [in Burleith] think it will increase noise,” he added. “In the long run, I see this reducing noise. You will have fewer people walking and making noise. Instead, they will be in the shuttle. Less foot traffic could help reduce traffic in the neighborhood.”

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