Marion Barry devoted his opening statement to calling for the streetcar plan to be abandoned in favor of paving alleys in Ward 8.
ANC6A Commissioner Drew Ronneberg testified in support of the streetcar plan on H Street and Benning Road, noting the havoc that current construction and poor transit options have caused to date and the promise of great economic development that the new line will provide.
ANC6A Commissioner David Holmes reiterated the long work of community groups to advocate for streetcars on H Street and Benning Road and emphasized that the community and H Street businesses are counting on seeing the streetcars running at the end of the difficult and long construction period.
Several neighborhood residents also testified in support as did one woman who is looking to buy a home near H Street with her husband and baby-to-be, but who is public transportation-dependent and does not feel she can buy along the eastern end of H Street until she knows that funding for the streetcar line is secure. She explained that with the streetcars, H Street become an attractive family-friendly place to live as eastern market and other parts of Capitol Hill have become over the course of time.
Greater Greater Washington's David Alpert testified passionately and particularly persuasively about the importance of streetcars not only to the H Street Corridor and neighborhood but to the District overall.
Tommy Wells broke from his streetcar talking points to share his love of the H Street neighborhood and said that he thought the H Street Festival was "the best street festival in all of Washington . . . and a tremendous asset to the entire neighborhood."
DDOT said they are putting out a Request For Proposals to provide wireless (without overhead wires) streetcars to run on H Street when technologically feasible.
The tone of the hearing varied over the course of time and other Coucilmembers who attended seemed interested in getting streetcar lines running through their Wards, but there was little to not criticism of the plan DDOT prepared and submitted, so hopefully the Council will move to authorize the continued progress with the H Street line soon.