Response to Proposed DC Transportation FY 24 Budget
We recognize the budget challenges facing DC but are concerned about the proposed changes to DC’s transit priorities including the proposal to cut some routes and for indefinitely delaying the K Street Transitway.
The K Street Transitway is a leading bus priority project in DC that promises to serve an estimated 40,000 daily riders on more than 11 bus lines. It will likely accommodate additional downtown routes once operational. This downtown transitway will provide greater reliability to a large share of DC’s bus riders.
At a moment when budgets are tight, we need to ensure we are sustaining existing service, and making it work better. Maintaining service, giving priority to buses on city streets, and ensuring the city has the funds to address WMATA’s fiscal cliff for operating funds in FY25 are core tasks for the District.
A reasonable pause, but not indefinite delay of the K Street Transitway is merited because the design of the transitway has strayed from its original “Great Streets” approach. We are dismayed that bike lanes were recently cut from the plans, and that the tree canopy and streetscape are being treated like an afterthought. The competitiveness of downtown depends on having green, pedestrian, bicycle and transit-friendly streets, great pocket parks and other people-oriented amenities. The pause should be used to return the K Street Transitway to its early urban design approach, which will be important for downtown revitalization.