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Old streetcar line photo courtesy of DDOT.

Councilmember Tommy Wellsbill to allow overhead wires to power the planned streetcar network is set for a hearing this afternoon in the Wilson Building. Twenty-eight people are signed up to testify (full list after the jump), from preservationists to environmentalists to H Street-affiliated groups that most need the overhead wire technology available now, rather than the wireless technology that is in development.

One of those signed up is George Clark, president of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, with whom Housing Complex spoke last week for a separate story. Here’s a preview of what we can expect from his testimony:

“We’ve always been public transportation advocates. But we’re not advocates of doing things in a slipshod manner. We’ve just become terribly disappointed in what we’ve seen as a lack of planning on the H street route,” Clark said, criticizing the state of planning for the terminus of the route at Union Station. “That’s the kind of thing that ends up with the city wasting tens of millions of dollars. We’ve said, let’s do streetcars right.”

“When I look down Pennsylvania Avenue, I see a vista. I don’t see overhead wires, utility or otherwise. I see clear views. I think someone was pretty smart back in 1889,” Clark continued. “By the time this system could be fully built, streetcar technology is going to be wireless. Quite frankly, I don’t see why there should be wires in H street and Anacostia, and wireless downtown and in Georgetown. One of the things in the committee we’re always trying to do is be more inclusive and citywide.”

Housing Complex will be getting a root canal during the hearing, but remains confident that recaps will abound. If you’d like to tune in during work, the webcast is here.


Council of the District of Columbia
Committee on Public Works and Transportation
Agenda and Witness List



B18-823, the “Transportation Infrastructure Amendment Act of 2010”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20004





Panel 1
1.    Rich Bradley, President, DC Surface Transit, Inc.
2.    Jason Broehm, Chair, Transportation Committee Sierra Club – Washington DC Chapter
3.    Anwar Saleem, Executive Director, H Street Main Street
4.    Alison Reardon

Panel 2
5.    Bradley Green
6.    Tom Metcalf
7.    Ellen McCarthy
8.    Brett Rodgers

Panel 3
9.    Liz de Bagara
10.    Kenneth Archer
11.    Tony Richardson, Commissioner ANC 6C05
12.    David Holmes, Commissioner ANC 6A03

Panel 4
13.    Meg Maguire, Committee of 100 on the Federal City
14.    Monte Edwards, Capitol Hill Restoration Society
15.    George Clark, Chairman, Committee of 100 on the Federal City
16.    David Alpert, www.greatergreaterwashington.org

Panel 5
17.    Andrea Ferster, DC Surface Transit Inc.
18.    Crystal Sullivan
19.    Mark Bradshaw, Rappaport Management Company and Parcel Services Associates, LLC
20.    Martin Schroeder, American Public Transportation Association

Panel 6
21.    Scott Leonard
22.    Michael Stevens, Executive Director, Capitol Riverfront BID
23.    Jeff Oser
24.    David Bernhardt

Panel 7
25.    Jerry Clark, Chair, DC for Democracy
26.    Jen DeMayo,  Communications Director, Atlas Performing Arts Center
27.    Samuel Swiller, Associate Director, Real Estate Development Gallaudet University
28.    Lance Brown


Gabe Klein, Director of the District Department of Transportation