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Ivy City residents have been fighting the city’s plans to put a tour bus depot in their neighborhood with all they’ve got. In December, they won a temporary injunction from a judge against placing the depot on the lot of the defunct Alexander Crummell School until certain conditions were met. But in their struggle, they’ve lacked a key element: a good alternative location. There’s been talk of the RFK Stadium parking lot, but that proposal runs into the same problem as efforts to relocate a streetcar barn there, namely that it’s federal property designated for recreational uses.
But now opponents of the Crummell lot plan have two allies in their fight, in the form of alternative proposals. The first comes from Councilmembers Vincent Orange and Jack Evans, who have introduced a measure, the “Ivy City Tour Bus Parking Restriction Amendment Act of 2013,” to relocate the depot to Buzzard Point. According to their bill, the site at 180 V St. SW can hold more than 200 buses and 550 cars—-more space than Crummell offers. But the proposal is not without its problems: The lot is owned by the developer Akridge and is part of the potential future site of a D.C. United stadium—-a proposal that is reportedly picking up steam.
Which is the advantage of the second plan. On Thursday, the District Department of Transportation laid out three possible designs for a bus parking facility at an obsolete part of the Southeast Freeway. DDOT had planned to build a new bridge over the Anacostia River, but those plans were canceled in 1996. With the extra land, DDOT suggests, a bus lot could be constructed in one of three ways.
The DDOT plans are still very preliminary, and city officials have given no indication that they’re interested in locations other than Crummell. But with the DDOT and Council proposals, Ivy City residents can take heart in knowing that city leaders will at least be made aware of alternatives to the course the neighborhood’s been fighting.