Friday, October 23, 2009

DDOT announces plan for eight streetcar lines

Last night was the first of DDOT's public meeting tour through each Ward. At the Ward 6 meeting just off of H Street NE, DDOT offered a proposed map showing two separate phases culminating in eight lines of streetcars running across the District. The first phase would include the H Street line connecting NE Capitol Hill to downtown, along with lines from Anacostia, and from Petworth. The second phase would extend the H Street line to Georgetown and also add a line that reaches Woodley Park.

Councilmember Tommy Wells recently secured a commitment from Mayor Fenty to expidite the H Street line. Wells said that he expects the H Street line to be a boon for the retail outlets expected to open on H Street over the next few years.

In a recent interview with DCmud, DDOT Director Gabe Klein responded to a question about when Streetcars will be operational on H Street, noting that the Mayor has challenged him to accelerate that aspect of the project, explaining that:

GK: Well, right now we’ve said about 2012. But we’re working very hard now that we have a team in place to speed that up - pretty dramatically. So hopefully, you’ll see an announcement in the next 6 months that gives people an update and hopefully it will be a good update - that we’re going to get up and running more quickly. I actually spent the morning out touring the city looking for maintenance facility locations near H Street. We have a number of places we’re looking at, existing infrastructure we can use - so we’re very focused on this project, we’re putting a lot of our own in-house resources into it. We want this to be, you know, a real win for the city.

The open houses will hit each Ward in the District over the course of the next two weeks.

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