Georgetown residents talk traffic, parking, Metro

WASHINGTON — Georgetown’s terrible traffic and the hope for a Metro station were the hot topics at Wednesday’s transportation-focused meeting of the Citizens Association of Georgetown.

Traffic signals along M Street between the Whitehurst Freeway and Potomac Street were tweaked a few months ago, and the District Department of Transportation’s Colleen Hawkinson said Wednesday that the agency found it has made a difference.

“They are already seeing a decrease in the travel time,” she told the audience at Malmaison.

But residents of 34th Street, a popular cut-through drivers use to get from Wisconsin Avenue to M Street and the Key Bridge, say traffic there is out of control.

“I wake up every morning at 5:30 to 7 with the house shaking,” said one resident named John. “The lamps are literally shaking. It’s like an earthquake, and I hear those cars and those trucks go by.”

He  has lived on 34th Street for more than 30 years and says the problem has never been so bad.

Ann, another 34th Street resident, says, “We have bumper to bumper traffic three nights a week, maybe four, from 4 in the afternoon to 7 in the evening,” she said.

Ann’s suggested solution is to block off the street to all through traffic during the evening rush.

Hawkinson says DDOT has been studying ways to solve another Georgetown problem: parking. She invited residents to a public meeting about parking management set for 6:30 p.m. April 1 at St. John’s Church on O Street NW.

A WMATA representative at the meeting, Allison Davis, fielded one of the first questions from the audience: How soon will Georgetown get its own Metro station?

“We definitely know that this region needs expansion of rail,” Davis said, adding that bringing it to Georgetown will likely take decades.

“We’re looking 2040 or beyond. Because for that to happen, you need commitment from Virginia, Maryland, the feds and the District. And there needs to be long-term commitment.”

But Davis had a message for residents who really want a Georgetown Metro stop: “Continue to push for Metrorail, because it’s … the community, from the business groups — that’s what really gets these things moving along.”

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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