District residents have long complained about tour buses clogging the city’s streets during the summer, but neighbors of the former Alexander Crummell Elementary School in Northeast have additional concerns this summer.
The city’s long-term plan for tour and charter buses is to relocate them into a new bus terminal at Union Station. Amtrak’s new master plan for the station envisions a new off-street bus terminal and more organized on-street bus services.
But in the meantime the Union Station Development Corp. and the District government needed a place to relocate as many as 65 buses and decided on the parking lot at the now-vacant Crummell School, at 1900 Gallaudet Street NE.
The Ivy City site is off New York York Avenue and about two miles from Union Station, providing convenient connections for bus groups.
The relocation is decidedly inconvenient, however, for neighbors in Ivy City and Trinidad who don’t want the buses constantly running in front of their homes. On Wednesday, the activist group Empower D.C. held a press conference to oppose the temporary bus relocation.
One of the group’s organizers, Parisa Norouzi, said in an interview that neighbors already suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses that could be worsened by hundreds or thousands of bus trips nearby.
Norouzi also said neighbors and advisory neighborhood commissioners were not given proper formal notice of the bus plan. “The only thing that took place was there was a meeting that the deputy mayor’s office held in December and we found out about it at the last minute, through word of mouth,” she said.
Almost 300 people have signed an online petition by the Ivy City Civic Association asking the District to halt the bus relocation and instead focus on bringing workforce training to the school, another option for the school that has been discussed.
Victor Hoskins, D.C. deputy mayor for planning and economic development, declined to comment on the plan to relocate buses to Crummell School. Hoskins represents the mayor on the Union Station Redevelopment board.
Norouzi said Empower D.C. will file a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court this afternoon to prevent the bus relocation.
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