Georgetown cancels controversial loop road

Photo by Google maps
The shuttle route from the Georgetown University campus to M Street
The shuttle route from the Georgetown University campus to M Street

Responding to objections of many nearby residents and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, Georgetown University announced on Monday that it was canceling its planned “loop road” bus turnaround at the west end of campus adjacent to National Park Service land. The road had become one of the main points of contention between neighbors, especially in Foxhall, and the University as debate proceed over the University's proposed 10-year campus plan.

Councilmember Mary Cheh testifies on the Georgetown Campus Plan (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Councilmember Mary Cheh testifies on the Georgetown Campus Plan
“We heard the concerns of our neighbors," said Stacy Kerr, the University's new Assistant Vice President of Communications. "We take them very seriously, and we're making improvements that respond to those concerns."

The University also rolled out a series of new measures designed to reduce noise and trash in surrounding neighborhoods. Its new M Street shuttle bus, which ferries students from the campus to Georgetown's nightlife via Canal Road, has transported over 3200 students since the service started at the beginning of the school year, Kerr said. The shuttle service is designed to reduce late-night noise near Campus by revelers walking to and from Georgetown nightlife. 

Kerr also announced a twice-daily trash patrol service the University is underwriting in West Georgetown and Burlieth. The patrol disposed of 38 tons of trash since the service began at the beginning of the school year. "We're picking anything up that is not in cans," Kerr said, adding, "the University is paying for this." In addition, she said, police presence has been increased to seven officers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am, paid for by the University.

Neighbors can report trash to be picked up by calling (202) 687-3432. Complaints about security and noise should go to Georgetown's SNAP (Student Neighborhood Assistance Patrols) at (202) 687-8413, Kerr said.

‘This is big news and this is good news,” Cheh said, referring to the loop road change. “I’m delighted.”  She had testified against the road before the D.C. Zoning Commission in May and visited the area with neighbors last winter.  “It’s good to look for alternatives in which one side gets what it wants and the community gets what it needs,” she said.  In her previous testimony, Cheh had pointed to major environmental problems with the original design, including the large buses and their fumes, intrusive lighting and “rumbling of the vehicles day and night.”

"It's positive," said ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels, responding to the changes. "We'd like to see GPS put into the bus system. That way you can monitor where the busses are and whether they are adhering to the assigned routes."
 
 

0 Comments For This Article

Anonymous

Interesting that the university must go through all this bureaucratic mess to get a plan approved. Glad to see new services like trash pick up and M street bus that will help both students and neighbors. But a GPS in the bus, to see "whether they are adhering to the assigned routes?" Really? Is that necessary? Do we monitor our neighbors' car routes to make sure they do not stray off the path. Needs to be a mix between common sense and concern

Anonymous

Don't know why the school bothers to compromise. I understand that the compromises are not for the neighbors but for the commission making the decision, but it's still ridiculous.

Metro buses already run along side the north and and south portions of the park. There would have been no impact from the Georgetown loop road. The neighbors just make up problems.

The neighbors will still find something new to complain about. They will never be satisfied until Georgetown University moves out of Georgetown.

Roberta Frost

Good news!

While we applaud The U. for biofuel buses,
Theirs are now by far the loudest on the street.
And at the risk of raising even more fusses -
GU transport, please, pick a quieter fleet.

Thank you for your consideration.

- The Posting Poet

anonymous

Up here in Bar Harbor we have free propane gas buses, small ones, that take you all over the island. It has been enormously successful,and carried its four millionth rider a month or so ago. Started out about five years ago. Any such thing possible your way?

Anonymous

Why do you live in a city??? Buses are too loud? Do you know how foolish you sound? I don't like the way your cooking smells from the street so I am going to complain. This is so petty. Get a hobby.