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And then there were four.
Back in November, when the District Department of Transportation presented the potential routes for the north-south streetcar line from Buzzard Point to Takoma or Silver Spring, just about everything was in contention. Fourteenth Street, 13th Street, 11th Street, 9th Street/Sherman Avenue, and 7th Street/Georgia Avenue were all mapped out as options for the line.
Now, as it kicks off its third round of public meetings on the line, DDOT has narrowed the list of routes down to four finalists. And a few things have become clear.
First, the line will run along upper Georgia Avenue. North of the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro station, all four options have the streetcar going on Georgia, at least until Butternut Street NW in Takoma.
Second, some of the longshot routes are out. It never made much sense to consider streetcars on, say, 13th Street, which is largely residential.
Other than that, the public now has several options to weigh in on. The line can run through the Southwest quadrant on 7th Street or 4th Street. It can extend from downtown to U Street NW along 7th, 9th, 11th, or 14th street. It can run along U Street for a few blocks, or not. And it can connect from U to Georgia via Sherman Avenue or head straight to Georgia when Georgia begins at Florida Avenue.
Of course, all of this assumes that the north-south line gets built at all. After the D.C. Council voted to cut funding to the streetcar, the mayor’s office warned that the change could delay or kill portions of the planned 22-mile streetcar network. Because it’s the least far along in planning of the three priority streetcar lines, the north-south line could be the first on the chopping block—-although members of the Council say such fears are unwarranted.
Click the map above to enlarge and explore the routes in greater detail. Following a presentation last night, DDOT will host two additional public meetings on the route options this week: one tonight and one on Thursday. Details here.
Map via DDOT