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It’s the day you’ve been waiting for, folks: The Committee of 100’s 91-page report on the city’s entire proposed streetcar system has dropped, and it’s some great bedside reading if you’ve got a couple hours. The venerable advocacy group’s transportation committee drove every one of the system’s 37 miles, and analyzed each component route with respect to historic and economic designations, land use, building design, transit availability, parking, and of course, overhead wires.
And guess what? On the whole, they think good planning has been done. “Overall, the proposed routes make sense and should boost investor confidence in many areas of the city that need new centers of economic life,” the authors wrote. The caveats: The Anacostia, Capitol Hill, and Georgia Avenue segments need further thought, as does the H Street route’s connection to Union Station. In addition, the Committee lays out the need for financial planning and preservation of affordable housing along streetcar routes, and advocates for the passage of a comprehensive Streetcar Enabling Act that would establish a citizen advisory board for ongoing engagement.
Whether or not you agree with the Committee on other issues, or care whether or not wires crowd your vistas, it’s a good way to get a handle on the whole proposed system in relatively short order.