Foggy Bottom’s representative on the D.C. Council is using his new position on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to push for a second Metro entrance on GW’s campus.
Jack Evans, who represents Ward 2 for the D.C. Council, was appointed to WMATA’s board of directors in January, and said in an interview last week that his top priority is building a second entrance to the Foggy Bottom Metro station.
“Foggy Bottom is the most-used subway stop that does not have a second entrance, and they really need to have one,” he said.
The plan, which calls for putting the other entrance on 22nd and I streets, has also been backed by the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission and the Kennedy Center.
Evans said building a second entrance would help with “convenience and economic development” because riders won’t have to cross the street to access the station. On an average weekday, more than 22,000 people board the Metro from the Foggy Bottom station, according to WMATA ridership reports.
Evans said the plan for a station, which could be built as early as 2020, would first have to be added to WMATA’s capital budget. Building a second entrance to the station would cost more than $21 million, according to a WMATA report released in 2007.
Last month, the ANC passed a resolution urging the second entrance be built, a plan that other commissioners have supported in years past. Adding the entrance would “relieve the burden of congestion,” “advance the efficiency of the station” and “accommodate the elderly,” according to the resolution.
Patrick Kennedy, the ANC’s chairman, said he and Jackson Carnes, another commissioner, met with University President Steven Knapp this month to discuss the plans for the new entrance. Kennedy said Knapp was supportive of the idea.
“It’s not a tremendous achievement because it’s a hard idea to oppose,” he said.
Kennedy added that Evans’ spot on the WMATA board of directors will benefit the neighborhood.
“The WMATA board member for D.C. is charged with representing the whole city, and they do, but there’s an extra level of incentive for them to carry the torch for issues in their own ward,” he said.
Carnes said adding a second entrance would also improve passenger safety, as riders would have two ways to exit in case of an emergency. Emergency personnel were called to the Foggy Bottom Metro station Saturday night after reports of smoke in the tunnel between that station and the Rosslyn stop.
“In light of what we’ve seen in the last few weeks in terms of what has happened with Metro, making sure that Metro is operating in industry standards, people could evacuate if they needed to in an emergency,” Carnes said.
In January, a Metro car filled with smoke near the L’Enfant Plaza stop, leading to one woman’s death. The incident prompted a National Transportation Safety Board investigation.
Evans said his top priority on the board is to ensure passenger safety.
“Safety is very important, we instill confidence in people who ride Metro, that has to be the top No. 1 priority,” Evans said.