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Bowser Administration Announces H & I Streets NW Bus Lanes Becoming Permanent on November 12

Friday, September 20, 2019

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Bowser Administration Announces H & I Streets NW Bus Lanes Becoming Permanent on November 12

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration announced that the bus lane pilot on H and I Streets NW will become permanent effective November 12, 2019. Bus speeds and reliability were improved during the pilot program, and DDOT is continuing to make adjustments that will enhance the experiences of bus riders along the route.

“Under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, we are committed to improving bus travel for residents and commuters across all eight wards,” said the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Jeff Marootian. “The H/I bus lanes will make the commutes of thousands of bus passengers traveling through downtown faster and more reliable every day.”

Preliminary data comparing June 2018 and June 2019 found improvements in bus speeds and reliability on I Street NW but not on H Street NW. DDOT will implement the following changes to remedy operational challenges identified during the pilot period:

  • Extend bus lane hours to operate between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, to reduce confusion about when lanes are in effect.
  • Create loading zones on the opposite side of the street (south curb of I Street and north curb of H Street) to accommodate loading spaces that will be impacted by the bus lanes.
  • Change signal sequencing and operations to accommodate the heavy volume of right turning vehicles in the corridor that can create bottlenecks for buses.
  • Move bus layover spaces outside the bus lane corridor to accommodate critical bus operations needs at non-conflicting locations.

DDOT also issued Notices of Intent (NOIs) to create new loading spaces along the south curb of I Street NW and along the north curb of H Street NW, and to create new bus layover spaces on 13th Street NW. Written comments must be filed by Monday, November 4, with DDOT’s Transportation Operations Administration, 55 M Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. For information about the NOI’s status, please visit ddot.dc.gov/service/ddot-notice-intent.

The bus lanes pilot operates during the morning rush hour from 7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. and the evening rush hour from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. The temporary bus lanes operate in the right curb lane on H Street between 18th Street and 14th Street NW and along I Street NW between 13th Street NW and 20th Street NW. DDOT marked the lanes with red paint, pavement markings, and signage.

Up to 70 buses per hour use H and I Streets NW during peak periods. Approximately 40 percent of all bus riders in the District travel on some portion of the H and I Streets NW bus route. Yet, prior to the pilot, those riders experienced travel speeds as slow as 2.8 miles per hour in some sections.


The mission of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment.

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