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Possible Station Entrance Closures Considered by WMATA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Thursday, 21 January 2010

MetroEarlier this week, Councilmember Wells sent the following letter to WMATA General Manager John Catoe opposing the proposed weekend closures of several Ward 6 Metro station entrances as part of the transit agencies cost saving initiatives.

He sent a similar letter last February when WMATA consider similar closures. They didn’t close the entrances last year, but the possibility has returned as an option as WMATA looks to meet large budget gaps.

Tommy’s full letter is below:

January 19, 2010

John B. Catoe, Jr., General Manager
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Mr. Catoe,

In February 2009, WMATA proposed several cost-saving measures, which included closing some Metro entrances on weekends. I wrote you then asking you to reconsider that option, particularly with regard to the Navy Yard and New York Avenue stations, as both entrances are important links for the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Thankfully, the entrances remained open.

Last month, you announced another round of possible rail service reductions, including again proposing closing one entrance for the Navy Yard, New York Avenue, and Stadium Amory stations. As before, I urge you to reconsider this proposal.

For the Navy Yard Metro station, the eastern entrance is the main transit connector for the residents of this Southeast neighborhood, and with more residential units coming online each day, utilization will continue to increase. The western entrance is also a critical link for neighbors, as well as the focal point for planned transit-oriented development.

With Stadium Armory, both entrances are direct links for the residents of Hill East to the rest of Ward 6 and the District; the proposed closure of either entrance will directly and negatively impact the residents who use Metro to connect to the bus as well.

In the case of the New York Ave / Florida Ave Metro station, the southern entrance is the main transit connector for the residents living north of H Street NE and in the growing NoMa neighborhood. The northern entrance for this Metro station requires pedestrians to walk many more blocks and to access the Metro from the very busy and pedestrian unfriendly Florida Avenue. Furthermore, the southern entrance will be the primary access point for riders coming into the neighborhood to shop at the new Harris Teeter full service grocery store, opening third quarter 2010. Harris Teeter chose this location specifically because of its proximity to Metro and the burgeoning residential neighborhoods that surround it. Situated right on top of the red line, Harris Teeter will serve residents throughout Wards 6, as well as those in neighboring Wards 2 and 5.

As the numbers of District residents continues to grow as its numbers of car owners declines, now is not the time to hinder transit-oriented development and neighborhood revitalization by cutting off public transit options. I ask that you please consider the residential needs for mass transit and the weekend utilization of these entrances, and take these closures out of the list of proposed cost saving initiatives.

I recognize that WMATA must make difficult decisions to keep our transit services operating well, but I do not believe that these particular cuts are in the best interest of our neighborhoods, or WMATA and its customers.


Tommy Wells
Councilmember, Ward 6


Readers have left 2 comments.
(1) Untitled
2010-01-22 13:47:09
Mr. Wells,

Please convince the DC representatives on the WMATA board to either support a fare increase to provide more operating funds or provide the operating funds directly.

Limiting the fare increase to only 10 cents does not provide enough operating funds to avoid deferring capital maintenance, and may not provide enough funds to avoid service cuts.

Mr. Catoe and the WMATA staff no longer control this decision. It's up to the funding jurisdictions and the Board at this point. I hope to see you at next Wednesday's public hearing to be held at WMATA headquarters at 5:30pm.

Sincerely Yours,
Michael Perkins
Greater Greater Washington
(2) Untitled
2010-01-25 15:28:11
Mr. Wells,
Since this is about the budget problems that the Metro is facing, can we look at the actual workforce. There are too many mid-level employees that don't affect the day to day operations at Metro. Some of those positions need to be redirected at acutal work. It is unnerving to see several employees standing around talking and people waiting in line for services. Some of the positions can be for customer service windows and such.
I think closing the Navy Yard and Stadium Armory would be a great idea. On the weekends those two stops are way under utilized. I realize that they are in your Ward but they are under utilized. I think they can be reopened or reserviced as the population increase. Currently the vacancy rate in the Navy Yard area is higher than most in the city, why not curb the weekend openings. Why spend the money now for something that isn't there now. Yes I do believe in the future there will be more use but for now it should be restricted to weekday use only. But those aren't the only stops that need to be curtailed. There are stops in Maryland and VA that are underutilized as well.There are stops on the red line, yellow line and green line that are under utilized as well. By the way, why are the proposed stops in certain neighborhoods.
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