The District Department of Transportation has implemented one official change to D.C.'s unofficial slug lanes -- and more may be coming.
DDOT changed one slug pickup location from 14th Street NW between H Street and New York Avenue one block west to 15th Street. Though DDOT described this change, which went into effect on October 6, as a test, a flyer distributed to sluggers emphasized the consequences for noncompliance.
In boldfaced text, that flyer reads:
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Department of Public Works (DPW) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will be enforcing the “No Stopping, Standing, or Parking” restrictions for passenger vehicles along 14th St between H street and New York Avenue. Violators will be ticketed.
The new rules also specify that sluggers using the slug lanes -- carpool lanes that evolved organically to take commuters between the District and Virginia -- may only be picked up between 3:30 and 6:00 p.m. at the new location.
DDOT spokesperson John Lisle said that DDOT has been conducting a survey with sluggers and will meet with them tomorrow to discuss recommendations. He said that the process is "very much a collaborative effort."
One slugger said that DDOT's efforts to regulate the slug lanes have interrupted the service.
"Most drivers have stopped picking up 14th Street sluggers due to the inconvenience," said Renee Brown, who says she has used slug lanes to commute from Virginia into the District for six years.
"We are working with the slugging community to identify some possible new locations for some of the slug lines and we may recommend some alternate locations based on their feedback," said Lisle.
Congestion is one issue DDOT wants to address. Lisle says that "14th Street, for example, is very congested during rush hour and when a whole line of vehicles queues up to pick up passengers, that can actually contribute to the congestion in the immediate vicinity" -- congestion that slugging purports to solve.