Sunday, October 29, 2006

Missing: A Bus Driver Drop-off Lane for Wisconsin Avenue

The area around the Mazza (or Mazda as I always thought it was called) Galerie is a center for foo-foo, upscale, don’t have enough decimal places in my bank account to afford products (Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany’s, Prada, and Gucci). The not-so robust mall offers other shopping choices that are more expensive than what you’d find at, let’s say, Arundel Mills Mall. This is all fine and dandy (does anyone else my age write “dandy” anymore?) except during my rush hour drive on the three-lane southbound Wisconsin Avenue.

The dropoff lane in question is enclosed in the squarish-circular red line (that creates confusion instead of alleviating it).

Directly in front of the Hecht’s store (that’s now a Macy’s), there is a drop-off lane for cars that is separate from the three lanes, yet Metro buses do not receive any assistance. Of course a bus stop sign is placed at the corner of Wisconsin and Western Avenues (marking the MD/DC border). When a bus makes its stop, it blocks the right lane which is also a right-turn only lane. Since the left lane is left-turn only, those driving through the intersection may only use the center lane to get by. Thanks to those who don’t know how the lanes work, a forced merge from three lanes into one is created; guaranteeing a backup.

A Metro bus blocking the right lane occurs throughout the drive into DC and isn’t much of an issue, but when it’s combined with a backed-up left lane, it’s hard to crack 10 MPH through the area. If there was any foresight, buses would be allowed to use the right-lane drop-off and cars would have to fend for themselves without blocking Wisconsin Avenue. I won’t even start to complain about the people who cross well before the intersection’s crosswalk…well, I already did complain…I say they’re fair game.

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