DDOT is conducting a study “analyze the feasibility and impact of creating enhanced access to multiple modes of transportation at Burnham Place, Union Station and the surrounding transportation network.” There’s a public meeting tonight from 6-8 pm at the Columbus Club at Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave NE.

With many projects potentially happening around Union Station in the near future, including the Burnham Place development over the rail yards, plans for streetcars from Union Station to H Street, and talks about moving Greyhound buses to the Union Station garage, we need a comprehensive vision to prevent one project from interfering with another. Akridge, the Burnham Place developers, are already signed up to build the new concourse and bus intermodal transportation center as part of the deal to build on top of the rail yards.

Burnham Place will include a new rail

concourse and intermodal bus center.

Photo from Akridge.

The study will cover these areas:
  • Baseline Transportation Improvement Studies
  • New Rail Passenger Concourse
  • Upgraded Amtrak passenger concourse
  • Improved Emergency Access & Egress
  • Improvements to the Existing Rail Concourse
  • Tour Bus & Commuter Parking Accommodations
  • Streetcar Integration
  • Pedestrian Tunnel from Union Station to 1st Street, NE
  • New Metrorail Entrance from the H Street Bridge
  • Baseline Environmental Requirements Study

I also hope that the study factors in the possibility of the Blue Line across H Street as WMATA is suggesting.

Also, is pedestrian and vehicular access in front of the station part of “baseline transportation improvement studies”? Because Columbus Circle (half circle, really) is horribly pedestrian-unfriendly, requiring tourists and Senate workers to cross numerous concentric roadways for Mass Ave traffic, taxis, etc. The area is designed so cars go to the grand main entrance and pedestrians slink in the side door. We should consider making a stately path worthy of our beautiful station for people to walk from their trains down Louisiana and Delaware Avenues to the Capitol and Mall.

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David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.