By Kafia A. Hosh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 26, 2011; 9:44 PM
The sluggers have spoken - again.
Beginning Monday, slug ride-sharing lines on 15th Street NW in the District will relocate for the second time in recent months because of commuter complaints that the site was too crowded and difficult to access.
Commuters gave input at a public meeting that the District Department of Transportation held in October. At the meeting, it was determined that the slug lines on 15th Street between H Street and New York Avenue limited the number of vehicles that could pick up sluggers because H Street is one-way, said John Lisle, a spokesman for the department.
"We got some great feedback from them about the location changes," Lisle said. "They actually suggested: 'What about here? Can you do it on New York Avenue instead of 15th?' "
The slug lines will move to a new location on New York Avenue, between 14th and 15th streets.
Passengers can be picked up between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the new location, and transportation officials will be on site Monday to provide commuters with assistance.
The 15th Street spot was selected last year as a pilot location after the transportation department asked commuters for input on a new slugging spot. At the time, it was considered a preferred location compared with the busy 14th Street corridor, where some drivers were being ticketed for blocking rush-hour lanes.
But as it turned out, 15th Street had issues, too, because "it was kind of tight, and for the drivers to get over there was kind of a problem," said Dave LeBlanc, who runs the Web site www.slug-lines.com. "It really just wasn't a very good location from the start."
The New York Avenue site provides access directly off 14th Street and is easier to get to from other parts of the city. It is more spacious, too, with wider sidewalks for slug lines to form, LeBlanc said.
Stops for the Omniride bus routes, operated by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission , will also move Monday from 14th Street and New York Avenue to 15th Street and New York Avenue, where buses will be closer to the new slug-line location.
Omniride is another commuting option for sluggers, so it was critical to have the bus stops nearby, said Christine Rodrigo, a spokeswoman for the bus system.
"We have people who will slug in the mornings [and] will ride the bus home," Rodrigo said. "They need to be starting and ending in the same location."
The D.C. police and the city's Department of Public Works will continue to enforce rules that outlaw stopping, standing and parking along both 14th and 15th streets between H Street and New York Avenue.
Cmdr. David Kamperin of the 1st Police District said there are no plans to deploy additional officers to the new site, but that "if the officers are driving by and see a violation, they have the discretion to pull over someone," he said. "I'm not sending anybody down there specifically to target rush-hour violations."
For questions or more information about the slug-line move, call the D.C. Department of Transportation at 202-671-0682.