Vocal protests of the Columbia Road Bus Priority Project would not stop at a recent meeting of the ANC1C Transportation and Zoning Committee where the principal concern was over the removal of residential and delivery parking between Connecticut Ave and 16th St. NW.

“It’s not really a Rapid Bus Project, but a lie-to-the-residents,” said Kalorama Citizens Association President Denis James. The plan for protected bike lanes on both sides of the street will “reduce roadway capacity that will cause traffic to go slower than ever on Columbia, while the bike lanes sit empty,” James said in written comments. He cited a reduction in the number of bus stops in a neighborhood of seniors and a loss of parking spaces that are “badly needed by residents and businesses.” 

Residents of the heavily impacted 1900 and 2000 blocks of Columbia Rd. NW complained that the reason for the Project – to speed up bus traffic – is inconsequential for the hardship it will cause by removing needed loading zones and forcing double parking – further congesting traffic lanes.

The neighborhood is dense with apartment and condo buildings, all with residents who rely on their autos in their daily lives. Residents point to compounded shortages with other major construction projects expected, including the upcoming Connecticut Ave. Bike Plan and Deckover, Adams School Renovation, and Universal North Building redevelopment. 

Responding to a volley of objections at the ANC meeting on July 19, Transportation Planner Kevin Harrison with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) welcomed comments, acknowledged the impacts and flaws of the plan, but proposed no meaningful solutions and said the Project is going forward.

A local association of residents has reached out to Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.

Release: Monday, July 24th, 2023

Contact: Nick DelleDonne  

delledonne.n@comcast.net, 703 929 6656