In late August, constructions crews temporarily closed down sections of H Street NE so streetcar tracks could be laid down, prompting a number of people—like me—to go “Huh? What? Streetcar? Since when?” Or as one commenter to put it:
“I’m sorry, but how on earth does this make sense? It’s not going to connect to Union Station (red line, Amtrak & MARC). Nor is it going to go across the river to Minnesota Ave (orange) or Benning Rd. It’s a waste.”
The jury’s still out for me. If H Street becomes the new U Street—and really is there a better contender in D.C.?—then maybe a street car makes sense. Plus, a street line will likely stimulate further development.
But the answers to these questions won’t be arriving any time soon. According to a story in yesterday’s Washington Post, the streetcar plans are barely hatched.
Late last month, the District closed two intersections to cross-traffic along H Street NE to install tracks for a separate streetcar line. Klein said his department decided to lay that track because other work was going on in the area.
Engineers still need to find a way to power the cars on H Street and find places for the streetcars to turn around, said transportation spokesman John Lisle. They also need to find a place to store and maintain the cars on that line.
Image by NCinDC, Flickr Creative Commons