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Thursday, December 01, 2011

CP: Where the Streetcar May End

Housing Complex examines the options on where to end the streetcar now that Amtrak tunnel is out.

44 comments:

Marty McFly said...

I'm all for this streetcar, but the bridge to nowhere isnt going to have anything on this thing by the time its done. I just hope my yet unconceived child can hop off their hoverboard and ride this thing by the time he or she graduates from DC public, then the most prestigious school district in the country.

Anonymous said...

Do we know Union Station is out or is this just a rumor?

Dave B said...

Stopping at the top of the bridge wouldnt be the worst thing in the world. Walking might still be the best option if you dont live farther down H, but for probably 10th street and east having a half assed solution stopping on the bridge will save you 5+ minutes on your commute to the metro.

If you've ever ridden the X2/X9 during the morning rush after 7:45, you've probably gotten to the top of the bridge and seen the traffic extending down the bridge all the way to 3rd St NW and wanted to just get out there and go into Union Station.

The walk to the Metro can be made much more tolerable if they would stop patrolling the parking garage like the Berlin Wall and let you cut across so you can get to the outside Metro entrance. They've even plywooded the little u-shaped up-and-over staircase so you have jump a 3 foot wall

inked said...

10:35,
Union Station is def out.

Anonymous said...

It was never going to actually go inside Union Station. The initial favored solution was to go under the hopscotch bridge, but it still would have stayed under H Street.

"Union Station is out" is not a statement that makes any sense based on past, present, and future plans.

dave b said...

dick @ 11:40

I know, right??? inked is sooo dumb.

inked said...

11:40,
I think we are all familiar with the plan that Amtrak vetoed. I think we also all know to what my earlier statement referred.

Anonymous said...

But does that mean going somewhere on the outside of Union Station is "out"? I thought there were plans to take it into the garage or is that out too. I blame Mayor Grey for all of it. I'm curious to hear what he will have to say next Tuesday night. Lord help him if it's not something positive! I say we bring tomatoes just in case.

Jeff said...

This may be a dumb question. But how is going on top of the hopscotch bridge that much different than going under? So you get off a couple floors higher, walk through the garage pas the Bolt Bus, down the escalators, and get on the metro. The only difference to me is that you are a few floors up from where you would be if they went under the bridge and would get dropped off across the street on the westbound side. Still getting dropped off on the back side of union station.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, according to Inked Union Station is out. I'm not sure if she means the option you just decribed, which I thought was the latest plan. If that plan you mention is out, then what's the point of the trolly? The mayor is a joke. He could have pushed for a deal with Amtrack but he didn't. How many more days does he have in office?

Anonymous said...

Preferably rotten tomatoes.

Anonymous said...

I agree. If this doesn't go to Union Station then what is the point? I'm better off catching the X8 or one of the other buses that directly take you to Union Station.

Anonymous said...

Option 2 seems better than option one to me. It looks like a shorter walk to the metro. I don't know what the 3rd street residents have to say about this tho.

Jeff said...

Anon 2:20 and 2:30: I understand that the "Union Station" plan is out which everyone thinks ruins the street car. My question is if the Union Station plan had gone through where would it drop you off? Back side of Union Station under the bridge, correct? If instead it drops you off at the top of the bridge, where are you? At the parking garage. Which is on the back side of Union Station. Same latitude and longitude, higher elevation. Am I missing something? Not trying to be argumentative I'm just trying to understand.

Karin Rutledge said...

This Third Street resident is vehemently opposed. I cannot speak for others, but they are planning to come to the meeting. The plan involves eliminating all the parking so I cannot imagine anyone would be for this. Plus, the noise, vibrations, wires and poles are not conducive to a residential street. We already have the monstrosity of the Dreyfus building looming over the square. I blame the Fenty Administration's DDOT and Office of Planning for poor planning and poor execution, and for selling out the people that have lived and invested in this previously forgotten part of town.

inked said...

2:20 & Jeff,

The Union station via bridge plan is still a possibility. When I wrote about Union Station being out I was referring only to the tunnel plan (which people seem to have viewed as the most direct connection to Union Station). I have changed the post wording for clarity.

Dave said...

I hate to be a NIMBY but, as another 3rd St resident, Option 2 seems like a horrible idea. It's a narrow street lined with rowhouses and a Montessori school (going down to 3 year olds). Every morning the street is packed with cars dropped their kids off. I don't know how you reconcile that with a streetcar.

Dave B said...

I think Jeff is trying to say that this is basically just as good as the tunnel plan or close to it or at least not horrible

I dont think anybody really knows where the tunnel would have dropped off or how well it actually feeds into the union station Metro platform.

We might have all built it up to be something glorious that it would turn out not to be. Maybe it would have been a 3 minute easy direct walk and this will be a 5 minute wall-hopping bus-dodging walk.

Anonymous said...

So Inked, you're thinking over the bridge for back-way entry into Un.Sta. is still an option? I think that's a fine option and would lend itself to continuing the trolly into China Town sometime around 2053. Maybe this is what Gray plans to tell us on Tues. Should be an interesting discussion either way.

Jeff said...

Dave B...thank you. You are a cunning linguist. Words are tough to say for me.

Anonymous said...

The plan is to have the streetcar terminal at 3rd and H with an escalator that will be located by the SEC/Kaiser building. The escalator will be connected to the parking garage, one level below the Megabus.

charles said...

Have they even figured out how they are going to power these mythical vehicles? The bridge is a pretty steep grade for a streetcar.

Doug said...

Alternative 1 looks a lot better to me. I rather catch the street car from the neighborhood next to Union Station there then standing out isolated in the middle of a cement bridge. For the NIMBY's though, these streetcars are going to be electric and probably quieter than the buses and cars on the street. Same goes for safety I don't see how you are any more likely to be run over by a street car than a car car. Shit at least the street cars travel on nice predictable tracks. A regular cat could drive up onto the sidewalk and run over like twenty toddlers at once. Really, your arguments don't make any sense. You shouldn't oppose this, it will in fact be an asset to you for travel up H street. Seriously, it's the much better option than the bridge IMHO.

Doug said...

uhh... that's supposed to read "regular caR" not "regular caT".

Also, than not then... yeeash

Anonymous said...

It should just end at 3rd & H and then let each person decide which alternative to pursue (up third or up the bridge) on foot.

Robby said...

I am concerned about the proposed facility near a beautiful area near the high school on the eastern end. That's simply not right and citizens over there need to be as engaged as the people on the western end, and I know they are not so they will get screwed (again). sigh. As far as Union Station, either alternative is bad. I presume DC could spend millions and buy access through that parking lot and roll along second street up back F then a # street back to H. Or second street to
Del Ave > M (a stop by U-line) > 3rd to H.


Or we simply could stop now. While I admit the idea is nice, and trolleys last longer than busses, but I don't see this happening. Every idea gets wilder and more desperate. In a city, like all cities these days, with severe budget issues, I can't see us spending more money on this w/o a real path forward. I also don't agree that the amtrak idea is actually off the table, as DC and Amtrak are both controlled by the same people. However, DC's not that sophisticated to pull off a negotiation strategy of that caliber. So the only alternatives seem to be screwing up residential streets, and screwing a beautiful area near a national park.

We just need to stop. Sorry folks, catch the X2/9 Perhaps get the circulator to serve H, but unless we get a visionary at DDOT, and they employ a lobbying firm, this will keep getting worse, and worse, and worse.

Anonymous said...

Robby said, "DC's not that sophisticated to pull off a negotiation strategy of that caliber." I would say "Mayor Gray is not that sophisticated to pull off a negotiation strategy of that caliber." He was against the streetcars before he became Mayor. Can we really expect some major shift of heart?

Dave B said...

If they extend the street car to just past the taxi entrance to the garage and built a stair case down to first street NE, it would be a pretty straightforward walk to the side metro entrance

Trinidaddy said...

Alternative 1 makes the most sense and will probably cost less. Ebenezer's would reap some benefits of a streetcar running past it. Walk from Union Station isn't bad at all. NIMBYs will be vocal of course - this is the hill, after all.

Andrew said...

Why can't the streetcars turn into the parking garage? Gets people much closer to Union Station, and also gives the cars a good place to turn around.

Anonymous said...

@Robby
"Sorry folks, catch the bus"??

Really? DC spends millions in public money on infrastructure and the private sector spends millions revitalizing the corridor in anticipation of the street cars and now you think the BEST option is to just scrap the plan because it's messy?

The finish will be messy. But this will happen.

People need to demand that Gray take this part of his job seriously.

Anonymous said...

private sector spends millions revitalizing the corridor in anticipation of the street cars
That's why they call it speculation ...

Anonymous said...

Speculation?
There IS a planned street car line and people have been digging up the road.

Robby said...

Anon 10:59

There's apart of project execution, and in leadership, where you pass a point of diminishing returns and you must decide to keep expending resources or to simply admit defeat and move on.

H will thrive w/o the Street car, if people are afraid of the X2 then like I said get a circulator. Otherwise DC (yes this current admin) isn't strong enough, organized enough, and frankly dedicated enough to make this a reality.

I suggest a recall, not just of the street cars, but of the Mayor & Council Chair.

We are backsliding, and wasting loads of money.

And it's not NIMBY to no want a noisy street car running up and down your relatively quiet street. If they suggested a turn around up where I live I would be angry too.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Robby you have thrown your hands up and given up. We need to fight for this streetcar, especially because of all the tax payer money put into so far. If people fight for the resources for it to happen, it will happen. Gray just hasn't made it a priority. If he isn't delivering good news on Tuesday, I fear for him regarding community backlash.

charles said...

Anybody who believes that every plan for public transit comes to fruition is a speculator in my book. The road was torn up because they got "free" stimulus money to do it. We'll see if the city ever commits its scarce resources to get the streetcar rolling. I personally wouldn't bet on it, and a lot of people who strongly support public transportation don't understand the justification for this project.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the streetcar. And going across the H Street bridge makes the most sense in terms of traffic flow. As someone who lives on 3rd street north of H (and feared the possibility of the streetcar looping north to the NY Ave. metro) it doesn't make sense to send a street car through narrow residential streets when it can go straight down a main thoroughfare.

Anonymous said...

@anon3:44

It's not going across the bridge it's ending in the middle of the bridge, which makes no sense whatsoever. Going down 3rd St is the better option.

Anonymous said...

It's going to turn into the garage at Union Station where the busses used to park and drop off passengers near the escalators. They already blocked that area off to start preparing for construction. The Mayor is going to announce it at his meeting and y'all will rejoice and quit whining.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the city go up against all of those folks south of H Street that have the "no buses" signs on virtually every block. They have successfully argued, in the pass, that public transportation would be detrimental to the fragile historic foundations of their houses...

Anonymous said...

As a not so wise man once said, "never give up on a bad idea"

oboe said...

I agree. No reason whatsoever that DC should follow in the footsteps of such urban horror shows as Portland and Denver. Light rail has been thoroughly discredited. Why can't we just go back to our city's high-water mark of 1982???

This streetcar thing is going to be an epic flop, just as I predicted the bike-share system would be.

Kiki said...

I have to wonder if proposing a car barn on the front lawn of a high school and running the line up a residential street aren't just a means of getting the entire project shut down without Grey having to take the blame. If they attempt to pursue solutions, such as these, the residents fight, then it becomes the people's fault it was shut down, not the administration.

Since going over the bridge is not sustainable in the long term, how about cutting through the bridge then turning up 2nd? It's a commercial street and might spur the development at 2nd and G to move along.

Anonymous said...

Why does anyone care? The street already has buses. A streetcar is the same thing. Either way I'm taking my car....