Tag Archives: Georgetown Metro Stop

WMATA Recommits to New Potomac Crossing

Image courtesy of the Washington Post.

As reported in the Washington Post, WMATA leadership is recommiting to the concept of constructing a new Potomac river crossing between Rosslyn and Georgetown.

This is a topic GM has discussed previously. In short, the construction of the Silver line out to Dulles and beyond will eventually put too much pressure on the tunnel between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom. As ridership increases, Metro will have to come up with a new way to get Virginia riders across the Potomac. Short term solutions involve sending more Blue line trains over the 14th St. bridge, but ultimately a more radical solution will be necessary.

The solution Metro has floated multiple times before involve the construction of a new tunnel between Rosslyn and Georgetown, with the tracks continuing under M St. heading eastward through downtown. Most plans called for the Blue line to take this new route (otherwise known as the “separated Blue line”). But some proposals involve the Orange or Silver lines taking it instead. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Transit

All You Need to Know About the Georgetown Metro Stop

Last week when GM was writing about the debate over Georgetown University’s Ten Year Plan, he mentioned that ultimately the best way to tackle the transportation challenges facing the university and the neighborhood would be for both parties to get behind the effort to bring a Metro stop to Georgetown. This comment led a reader to write to GM and ask what the status of that effort is.

Rather than just answer that question, GM thought he’d take this opportunity to write about all he knows about a Metro stop in Georgetown: why we don’t have one and why we may yet get one (eventually).

Why There is No Georgetown Metro

If you take anything away from this article, please let it be this: the reason there is no Metro station in Georgetown has absolutely nothing to do with neighborhood opposition. Nothing. No “rich Georgetowners wanted to keep out minorities”-conspiracy. No matter how much it fits with the popular stereotype, it’s just not true.

As rigorously documented in Zachary Schrag’s Great Society Subway, the planners behind Metro simply never seriously considered putting a station in Georgetown. The reason: the Potomac. To get under the river, the Metro tunnel has to start heading down far enough away so that it’s not like a roller-coaster.

Commercial Georgetown is very close to the river and on a steep hill, which wouldn’t give the tunnel much distance to reemerge from underneath the river. Thus a Georgetown station would be extremely deep. It would be physically possible to build, but it would be extremely expensive.

And the Metro planners didn’t see a reason to spend that sort of money on Georgetown. In the 1960s when the plans were developed, Georgetown had little office space and few apartment buildings. It simply was not a destination of suburban commuters. Since that was the audience for which the Metro was primary designed to serve, Georgetown was not considered a worthwhile station location.

That’s it. No matter how affirming of all the stereotypes of Georgetowners the myth is, it’s absolutely false.

Why There May Someday Finally Be a Georgetown Metro

In 2013, the first phase of the new Silver Line will open. As planned, the Silver Line will branch off of the Orange Line at East Falls Church and head out to Tyson’s Corner and onwards to Dulles and beyond. Since the Silver Line will share tracks with the Orange Line from East Falls Church to Rosslyn and the Blue and the Orange Lines from Rosslyn eastward, the Silver Line will ultimately add a significant amount of riders to already overburdened rails. Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under History, Transit