Bus lane coming to 16th Street in Northwest D.C.

WASHINGTON — One of the most popular commuter routes in the District is getting a makeover in the hope of freeing up space and reducing congestion.

The D.C. Department of Transportation will soon add a lane along 16th Street, in Northwest, that only buses will be allowed to use during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

“16th Street is a major route for bus riders,” DDOT Transportation Planner Megan Kanagy says,

More than 20,000 commuters hop on a bus on 16th Street every weekday, DDOT says. The route is currently overcrowded, leaving buses sitting in heavy traffic.

“We had to take a look here and see what we could do to make sure that buses could move efficiently and quickly down the corridor,” Kanagy says.

A southbound bus lane will be in effect during morning rush hour — from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. In the afternoon, the hours for a northbound bus lane will be 4 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.

“In some areas we are going to be re-purposing an existing lane, and then there’s a couple of sections where, given the roadway width, we can re-stripe it and add a lane without having to widen the roadway.”

In addition to the bus lane, at least two lanes will still be available for drivers to use.  Cameras will be placed along the route to enforce the lane rules.

It is expected to take two to four years to complete, with DDOT starting work in the spring.

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