Kingfield bus route frustrates resident

Jennifer Sprague approached the Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) at its February meeting for help in getting rid of a new bus route that turns around at the end of the route by her home on the 4400 block of 1st Street.

The route, the 11C from Columbia Heights, cruises down major streets such as 4th Avenue South and East 46th Street before ending at 46th & Nicollet Avenue. To get back to 46th, the bus goes up Nicollet, turns right to 44th, then right onto 1st, a narrow residential street. Sprague said the buses rumble outside her home nearly 50 times a day on weekdays, starting before 6 a.m.

Sprague said she and another neighbor had filed a complaint with Metro Transit, but officials say they will keep the turnaround.

Bob Gibbons, Metro Transit’s customer service representative, said the agency sent crews out to study the situation. He said their conclusion was "the way it is now has the least neighborhood impact."

Gibbons said an alternative turn around plan would take the bus by four times as many homes, compared to the six homes the bus goes by now.

He said when routes change, there are often extensive public meetings, but not in this case because of the single turnaround issue. Gibbons said it’s a difficult issue, but that Sprague did the right thing by contacting Metro Transit to study the situation, as well as KFNA, which has worked with the neighborhood group.

KFNA has asked Sprague to speak with representatives from the Metropolitan Council, the group that oversees Metro Transit. A Council representative said they concur with Metro Transit.

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