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Sense of the Council to Support the Creation of a Circulator Bus by the Downtown Business Improvement District Resolution of 1999
PR 13-639

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Councilmember Jack Evans
Councilmember David Catania
Councilmember Jim Graham
Councilmember Phil Mendelson
Councilmember Vincent Orange
Councilmember Sandy Allen
Councilmember Carol Schwartz
Councilmember Charlene Drew-Jarvis
Councilmember Kathy Patterson
Councilmember Sharon Ambrose
Chairman Linda Cropp
Councilmember Kevin Chavous
Councilmember Harold Brazil


To declare the Sense of the Council in support of the development of a circulator bus system between the National Mall, the downtown, and other neighborhoods as an economic development tool to relieve the Mall area of overcrowding, increase commercial activity and retail sales in the city, and improve DC neighborhood exposure to visitors.

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Sense of the Council To Support The Creation of a Circulator Bus By The Downtown Business Improvement District Resolution of 1999".

Sec. 2. Findings.

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia finds that:

(1) The District of Columbia has dropped from the region's largest to the smallest retail center over the last 35 years.

(2) Average retail sales tax is 8% for dry goods, food and beverage sales in DC.

(3) $1 million square feet of prime retail space generates approximately $325 million in spending, $26 million in direct sales tax revenue, and 2000 private service-sector jobs.

(4) The District's Comprehensive Plan and the Interactive Downtown Task Force Report, both call for the creation of an expanded retail core in Downtown DC focused on 7th and F Streets.

(5) There are currently 22 million annual visitors to the District, many of whom only visit the Mall and never spend any money at DC commercial establishments.

(6) A recent independent economic study found that there is $429 million in untapped spending potential that leaks out of the city each year that could be spent in the Downtown retail core if there were a sufficient number and mix of retail stores, and better access to the downtown area from the Mall.

(7) The Downtown BID and the Mayor's retail task force are working together to create a pro-retail environment in the downtown retail core.

(8) There are plans to build or rehabilitate over 1 million square feet of new retail space in the downtown retail core within the next three years.

(9) There is currently three billion dollars worth of new commercial and residential development being built or in pre-development in the downtown.

(10) Access and linkages between the downtown and the mall are critical to the success of the new downtown retail core, and to the economic success of the city as a whole.

(l l) Downtown circulator busses are successfully used in many cities to move people between and around employment, tourist and commercial areas of their downtown's.

(12) A downtown circulator bus system is the most efficient and cost effective way to transport visitors, workers, and residents between the downtown retail core and the Mall in Washington DC.

(13) As visitors to Washington DC continue to increase, the Mall area is becoming saturated with visitors and museums and monuments are becoming overcrowded.

(14) The City has a serious tour bus problem that could be reduced in part by the introduction of a downtown circulator bus.

(15) It is a long-standing goal of the city to increase the visitor's exposure to parts of the city that are off the Mall.

Sec. 3. Therefore, it is the Sense of the Council to support efforts of the Downtown DC Business Improvement District, the Mayor, WMATA and other partners to work with the federal government to develop a downtown circulator bus to help move people between and around the Mall and the downtown in order to relieve the Mall area of overcrowding, increase commercial activity and retail sales in the downtown and improve DC neighborhood exposure to visitors. Be it further resolved that there will be an exploration of the potential for using these resources to expand circulator connections to neighborhood commercial districts.

Sec. 4. Fiscal Impact Statement.

(a) This resolution shall have no fiscal impact, as it references funds that would be designated by a program from a private entity.

Sec. 5. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon the first date of publication in the District of Columbia Register.

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