Over the last year since moving to DC I have been living without a car (for the first time), in turn learning how to live as a pedestrian. Despite its pre-suburban influenced density Glover Park remains of the best pedestrian accessible neighborhoods in DC.
Although the neighborhood is not serviced by it’s own Metrorail stop, a handful of reliable WMATA buses run through this neighborhood that offer routes to Van Ness/UDC and Dupont Circle metro stations on the Red Line. Additional access is available on the 30–series WMATA buses running along Wisconsin Ave, with service running from Tenleytown/AU (red line) and beyond through GWU/Foggy Bottom (Blue/Orange line) and onward through downtown DC. A short walk downhill along Wisconsin Ave. to Georgetown offers access to the Circulator Buses, which connect DC through some of the most popular routes for visitors and DC-lovers alike.
Indeed Glover Park is proudly multi-modal in its transportation infrastructure, even displaying a good balance between automobile transit and pedestrian access to most essential services within walking distance. Because of the residential layout inside of the neighborhood, street parking is quite common (if not always plentiful), offering a safe buffer for pedestrians between the sidewalk and moving traffic. Street-tree lined sidewalks line virtually every street, providing easy access to the business corridor along Wisconsin Ave and also allowing parents and children to walk to neighborhood school!
While Glover Park is not best known for it’s public transit, it is probably one of the safest neighborhoods for pedestrians and cyclists as I have experienced in DC. Even drivers find themselves becoming pedestrians when they’re walking around the neighborhood, especially with the easy access to nearby businesses along Wisconsin Ave (which I’ll detail in the next blog post). Glover Park has everything a resident could ask for: grocery stores, restaurants, park, schools, and is within walking distance (about a mile) to both Georgetown and American University (my alma mater); it’s easy to see what attracted me and many others to live in this neighborhood.
Last week I was able to participate in a ridership survey of Metro’s 30s bus lines. I thought I might share a few of my thoughts and experiences with the public and WMATA alike.
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My introduction to Washington’s public transportation system was literally hopping off an intercity coach/bus and onto a WMATA 30s bus (I can’t remember which) from Metro Center to my new apartment in Glover Park (off Wisconsin Ave). For a newcomer to DC this line seemed both necessary as a route through otherwise disconnected parts of the city and erratic in its inconsistency.
Since that confusing first ride I have seen this series of bus routes strive to improve their on-time performance. I can finally say that the 30s buses are dependable for a daily rider like myself. The redundancy of buses running down parallel parts of the route actually help alleviate bus-bunching during rush hour, although it takes a little practice to adjust to the habit of just waiting for the next bus.
I’d like to thank WMATA for welcoming rider feedback, and to congratulate them on some real positive developments on a much maligned series of bus routes. My only complaint being that after 2 questions there is a wasted opportunity to solicit more from riders of other buses; the survey was distributed through forms on-board the 31 bus I was riding, which was excluded from the survey (along with a couple more popular routes).
Please feel free to share your experiences riding the metrobus system, or to discuss surveys of public transit you’ve taken before, in the comments.
Every year I am baffled that Oktoberfest occurs at the end of September, but at least we can celebrate it here in DC anytime this year. The annual festival lasts from one weekend through the next (for a total of 16 days), already underway in Munich and beginning in DC this weekend. Here’s a few reasons to raise your glass this weekend:
- Roll the barrels down main street at Oktoberfest in Barracks Row, where the restaurants will open their bier gartens and brass bands will play this Saturday September 27th from 11am-5pm. Barracks Row is the small town in the SE of this big city, which would be worthy of some exploration between the beer tents. Stick around for a parade of classic German cars, E Cruzers, and the Military Culinary Competition pitting their best chefs.
- Das Best Oktoberfest is presumably also the largest celebration in the Metro area. It will feature a large selection of beer and brats, come rain or shine under their tents. But you’ll need to arrange a carpool because the strassenbahn won’t take you there.
- When Rumsfeld was refering to Old Europe, he surely wasn’t refering to one of DC’s premier German restaurants. Located in the Glover Park neighborhood for over 50 years, this may be the perfect spot for a low-key celebration between friends this Oktoberfest. Come for the food, stay for the beer, and come back through the end of October.
- Think Globally, Drink locally; celebrate Oktoberfest with The Washington Sängerbund who will cook brats while Capitol City Brewing company plays host to the Mid-Atlantic Brewers Association. This celebration starts next Saturday October 4th, from noon-6pm,
Like so many other international events and holidays, the presence of an international community in DC provides venues for cultural exchanges; Diesen Wochenende, Trinken mehr Bier!