Construction closes bus stop at Greenway

| Staff Reporter

The ongoing construction on Melville Avenue has forced MetroBus to alter the route of the Green Line, a route that primarily serves Washington University students.

The Green Line, which travels from Mallinckrodt Center to Schnucks on Olive Boulevard, used to stop in front of the Greenway Apartments on the corner of Washington and Melville avenues. As a result of the blockage created by the construction, however, the Green Line has not been able to make that stop and instead stops at the corner of Kingsland and Washington avenues, a block away from Greenway.

“I got an e-mail alerting me to what was going on with the Green Line reroute,” said Stephanie Hunter, the University’s transportation operations supervisor. “From there, I met with the senior planner at Metro trying to find something a little bit closer to Greenway. After we went out and looked at everything, we had a supervisor from Call-A-Ride come out with a bus to try out different reroutes, and, unfortunately, we had to stick to what was already in place.”

The sidewalk extension project is part of the Centennial Greenway project. Once construction is completed around February, Creve Coeur Park and Forest Park will be connected by an 18-mile path that features ample room for pedestrians and bikers. The construction, however, has already forced students to walk through alleys in order to reach the Danforth Campus, elevating safety concerns over walking off campus. The suspension of the Greenway stop by the Green Line has only augmented student concerns about off-campus safety.

“It is not a long walk from Kingsbury to Greenway, but I am usually making it at one in the morning, which is not when I want to be walking by myself anywhere,” junior Kate Williamson said.

Hunter hopes that the Green Line can resume normal service once the blockage on Melville decreases.

“The two things hindering it most are the blockage on Melville and the construction truck on the corner of Melville and Delmar,” Hunter said. “We were hoping we could send the bus down Melville at some point. As soon as things open up, we can try to get back to as close to the original route [as possible].”

An alternative to the Green Line has been Campus2Home, the University sponsored van service that takes students to their off-campus residences from either Mallinckrodt or Brookings Hall. The vans are small enough to reach Greenway, even with the construction. According to Campus2Home driver Demetrius Jones, there has been a noticeable increase in ridership as a result of the suspension of the Green Line, an increase that the van service can accommodate.

“There has been an increase, but as long as we get people home safely, it doesn’t matter how many people we get,” Jones said. “I have noticed new customers going to Greenway.”

Although Williamson has begun riding Campus2Home for safety reasons, she has noticed a change in the time of journey, as a result of the increased number in stops that Campus2Home makes.

“It has ended up taking me significantly more time, so I have had to budget for that, especially when I have a lot of work,” Williamson said.

Hunter acknowledged the possible inconvenience but emphasized that even with the construction, safety is still the top priority.

“The primary concern for everybody is safety,” Hunter said. “Unfortunately, we do not have control over the construction. I think that if you are just a bit inconvenienced, that is not a bad compromise to ensure your safety.”

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