Thursday, May 29, 2008

Listserv Post of the Day: Jim Graham has Metro Stats

From Councilmember Jim Graham on the Metro/Employment/Shopping impact of DCUSA and Target. (Maybe this increased Metro riding explains what happened to the northbound escalator -- new poll on the left.) And now, Jim Graham:
Dear Friends:

Shoppers are using Metro in record numbers to get to Target and other stores. The evidence shows that new commerce is thriving in Columbia Heights--and transit use is part of the key.

Before the Target opened, residents were concerned about how all the new shoppers would affect their neighborhood--some feared widespread auto gridlock.

Lots of people *are* traveling to the store. The store's opening day had the second highest sales of all Target stores in the country. Thankfully, many of them are riding Metro or walking.

Metro riders at Columbia Heights have increased 24% during weekdays compared to the previous year. On weekends, the number is up to 39%. Surely some of this relates to the high cost of gasoline, and a general switch to public transportation.

But, the retail center has a 1,000 car garage. The garage still hasn't reached capacity. On average, only 250 cars are there. During peak hours, 350-400 cars are there. In fact, the second level has not been used to date.

Also, 25% of the new Target employees live right here in Ward One--80% overall live in DC. With fewer employees needing to drive in, parking is more available.

Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham
Board Member, Metro/WMATA

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