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Mayor Bowser Announces Plan to Help District Residents During SafeTrack

Thursday, June 2, 2016
District provides mitigation strategies to address expected travel challenges as a result of SafeTrack

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District’s strategy to mitigate the impact of ‘SafeTrack’, WMATA’s year-long emergency repair program. The Bowser administration’s plan includes expanded rush hour parking restrictions, retiming traffic signals, deployment of additional traffic control officers and discounted fares on Capital Bikeshare.

SafeTrack begins on the Orange and Silver lines in Virginia on June 4.  The first major repairs within the District will occur from June 18 to July 3, when Metro will experience full closures on the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue/Benning Road stations. Metro stations in the District will also be impacted in August and again in October.   

“At some point during the next year, it is likely that every commuter to and from Washington, DC—whether by rail, bus, or car—will, unfortunately, be affected by SafeTrack repairs. I am committed to making the yearlong repairs to MetroRail as painless as possible for all commuters and DC residents,” said Mayor Bowser. As such, my administration has developed a mitigation strategy and will soon implement a number of tactics designed to ease traffic flow and promote safe and affordable alternative modes of travel. As these tactics are deployed, and for the duration of SafeTrack, I urge District residents and commuters to learn more about how the repairs will affect their travel by visiting https://www.wmata.com/about/back2good/index.cfm.”

The District’s plan also includes the formation of a citywide Traffic Operations and Control Center, increased Roadway Operations Patrol staffing during rush hours, and expanded use of variable message boards to alert motorists to Safetrack changes. DDOT will provide additional staging areas for taxi cabs and carpooling. The District is also exploring expanded hours for the DC Circulator and enhanced capacity at Capital Bikeshare locations impacted by the SafeTrack operations. Capital Bikeshare has created a new $2 per trip fare to provide an additional transit option for commuters. More information on commuter impacts and alternatives is available at https://www.wmata.com/about/back2good/index.cfm. This site will remain active for the entire SafeTrack process to provide residents with up-to-date transportation resources.

“The District Department of Transportation will leverage every resource available to us to increase transit options for commuters,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. “If you have never considered DC Circulator, DC Streetcar or Capital Bikeshare, now is a great time for you to learn more about the many wonderful modes of transportation we have here in the District of Columbia.”

Mayor Bowser was joined at today’s announcement by Councilmember Jack Evans, WMATA Acting Chief Operations Officer Jack Requa, WMATA Board Member Corbett Price, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and DC Taxicab Commission Chairperson Ernest Chrappah.