Housing Complex

This Is the Fastest Way to Get From A to B in D.C.

Trying to figure out the best transportation mode to reach your D.C. destination? Looking for a new place to live, but want to make sure it's easy to get around from there by public transit or bike? MIT's You Are Here project has you covered.

I already gave this project a mention in my Morning Links earlier this week, but I thought it was worth breaking out further. So here, below, are maps showing the fastest transit mode to get around town from various neighborhoods.

Note: These maps factor in the time it takes to park the car and walk to the destination when driving. But they don't account for the cost of each transit mode—doing so would cause walking and biking to take over more territory.

Here goes—the green spot indicates the starting point (as well as the radius of speedy walking):

Washington Highlands: Public transit isn't a great option here. Biking is the fastest way to reach the rest of Ward 8, and driving is the best way to go elsewhere. The trouble is that this is one of the hilliest and poorest corners of town, so biking and driving aren't always the most viable options. Instead, many people rely on the bus, which can take quite a while.

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Capitol View: The eastern corner would be in much the same situation as Washington Highlands, if not for one key difference: the Capitol Heights Metro station. As a result, Capitol Hill and downtown are easily transit accessible. The rest of the city? Better hope you have a car, or a lot of time on your hands for the bus.

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Mount Pleasant: Now you know why so many Mount Pleasant group houses seem to have more bikes than people. The majority of the city can be most quickly accessed by bike. The S and H buses get you up 16th Street and across Rock Creek Park, respectively, and the Green Line takes you quickly to Navy Yard, Anacostia, and Congress Heights. But for the morning commute downtown, you'd better hop on your bike.

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BloomingdaleBloomingdale's like Mount Pleasant, but more so. Other than Congress Heights, which is best accessed by trekking over to the Green Line and riding it south, there's nowhere you'll get fastest by transit. So unless you're heading to wards 3, 7, or 8, you're best off biking. As so many Bloomingdale residents do.

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Brookland: Transit-oriented development is the name of the game these days in once-remote Brookland, but let's hope your destination's on the Red Line. Fort Totten, Metro Center, Farragut North, and Dupont Circle are all easily accessible; for the rest of the city, you're better off biking or driving.

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Spring Valley: No wonder everyone seems to drive around here. More than three-quarters of the city is best accessed on four wheels. Transit won't help you out much.

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Capitol Hill: Want to be truly multimodal? You might consider a move to Capitol Hill. Biking's the best way to get around the surrounding area, but there are good transit options to many corners of the city, from west of the park to east of the river. Driving's still the best way to get to most of the north and west of the city.

cap hill

Petworth: Petworth has a Metro station, but unless your destination's on the Green Line, there are better ways to get around. Biking will get you fastest to nearly all of wards 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6; a car's the speediest means to access the farther reaches of the city.

petworth

Downtown: There aren't a ton of places to live here, but let's reverse the exercise. If you work down here and live near the Connecticut or Wisconsin Avenue corridors, or near Brookland or Fort Totten, or on Capitol Hill, or near Capitol Heights or Anacostia or Congress Heights, your fastest commute will be by Metro. Most residents of wards 1, 2, and 5 are best off biking. And if you live east of the Anacostia but not near a Metro station, let's hope you have a car.

downtown

Maps from You Are Here

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