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Monday, February 06, 2012

WP: Uproar Over a Car Barn

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 9.59.27 PM
Spingarn is that green icon north of Benning on the Google map

The Washington Post blog The Root DC discusses the objections some residents are raising to the location of the proposed car barn that would house the streetcars. The proposed location is on the grounds of Spingarn

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a mess.

Anonymous said...

When I attended the street car meetings , there was a an education component to this site. Has the school to teach repairing electric vehicles (not just streetcars) been dropped from the plans? Seemed like a great idea to me.

In addition, there was no mention of the meeting to discuss the design of the car barn site. It seems to me that DDOT has held meeting after meeting to inform people.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, we live in a city. It's loud. Hell, with the people that gather outside of my house every day, all day and all night, I never, and I mean never get any peace and quiet. At least the streetcar will be beneficial to the neighborhood.

I get the whole "industrial dumping ground" complaint. However, they are not looking at the big picture. Hopefully the streetcar will begin to encourage non-industrial businesses to spread up Benning.

Anonymous said...

I live three blocks away and think it's an EXCELLENT location. Currently there is an abandoned/unused school building and acres of unused grounds. Hopefully the presence of the streetcars would encourage the students to become interested in industry/transportation/mechanics. There is plenty of space and would encourage the growth of business past H St proper and down Benning Road.

Tom A. said...

at this point mine are the only pro-trolley comments on the Wapo's site.

it was a fun rant.

Anonymous said...

The Kingman Park Community is NOT against the DC Streetcar. We just think that the location for the Carbarn/Training Center should be place else where. How about placing it back at Union Station or maybe near the Pepco site. (Pepco is decommissioning at the end of this year) It is already an industrial area....Just a thought!

Jackie H.
Kingman Park Resident

Anonymous said...

So the people on 2nd and 3rd Streets can raise HELL about the Streetcar coming down their street and it is OKAY. But as soon as another community raise HELL about the Carbarn it is NOT OKAY.

What a double standard!!!!

This Streetcar Plan is just like Alaska road to NOWHERE!

What a joke!

oboe said...

The Kingman Park Community is NOT against the DC Streetcar. We just think that the location for the Carbarn/Training Center should be place else where.

We support the streetcar, we just oppose reasonable infrastructure to make it possible. Why not Union Station? How about putting it by the Ft Totten Waste Transfer Station?

Hopefully the NIMBYs will be ignored, the car barn will go in at this site, and a year from now, no one will ever give it a second thought.

This is exactly the equivalent of all the neighbors up in arms about putting a bikeshare station next to Lincoln Park.

Tom A. said...

anon 10:57, If you have a better location for the car barn along the current trolley tracks, lets hear it. I'd also like to hear better locations for the 7-11, liquor store, take out places, and gas station across the street from this site.

Unless you feel that fast food, gas, and liquor is more important to have on that block than a trolley barn.

I'd advocate for putting the trolley barn back where it was until the mid-1960s- but we'd have to relocate several hundred residents of the Pentacle Apartments, and that's never going to happen.

wylie coyote said...

People were opposed to the Bikeshare station by Lincoln Park? Was there any rational opposition? It sits on a concrete divider that was otherwise wholy unused, if memory serves.

If there is a training component for Springarn students (and there should be, vocational training is overlooked as an educational option) as well as possibly some job training for area adults who may lack marketable job skills, this is a no-brainer (especially if they can show the community how the noise will be indistinguishable from the ordinary traffic noise from Benning).

oboe said...

People were opposed to the Bikeshare station by Lincoln Park? Was there any rational opposition? It sits on a concrete divider that was otherwise wholy unused, if memory serves.

You must be new around here. (I kid!)

Yes, there was a very vocal opposition to the bikeshare station. Primarily it would cause children to run pell-mell into oncoming traffic, and would obstruct the view of speeding drivers from Maryland.

Not a whole lot more compelling than this opposition to the car barn because "there's a high school nearby" and "it's close to a housing project".

H Street Landlord said...

Good posts 9:03 and 9:15. Let's get this streetcar rolling!

casey jones said...

Jackie H: I think the PEPCO site is a fantastic place for the car barn. The problem is that the tracks don't go there at present. Obtaining the land and building the tracks would add another big chunk-o-time to actually starting the thing. That's the reasoning, anyway.

Dave B said...

Why would there be noise at the car barn? The cars go there and don't move. I'd imagine there will be more streetcar noise all along the route where the streetcar actually moves, which will pale in comparison to curent bus noise. It's not a freight train

Rayful Edmond said...

I have no problem with a car barn in the proposed location. In fact, I would move from my western H Street location to Kingman Park if it currently wasn't such a decrepit area. Give Kingman Park ten years and it will be even more gentrified than the rest of H Street. White people love to live near water.

You come at the king, you best not miss said...

Rayful, everyone knows you're just a wannabe Cornell Jones. He was DC's REAL drug dealer. Anyway, drug dealers in NYC are soooooooooooo much better.

Anonymous said...

It such a shame that people chat about neighborhoods and have no clue what they are taking about.

The Kingman Park have to right to voice their opinion just like the people on 2nd and 3rd streets.

NO CARBARN AT SPINGARN!

Anonymous said...

@ rayful edmond...what Nice comments you posted!

Rayful Edmond said...

@Anon 3:53. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

Dave B said...

You have the right to be heard Kingman, but it is kind of apples and oranges. 2nd and 3rd are small quite side streets. the spingarn area ON BENNING RD is almost a highway.

plus, i'm going to assume this is district land, which makes the whole thing easier and cheaper. just deal with it. its not going through anybody's back or front yard that it wouldn't otherwise if the barn were to located somewhere else.

there really is no good place to put it. this is the least bad option

Anonymous said...

I agree with the ideas put forth by Jackie (10:30) and Casey (1:26). The Pepco site would make a great location for a car barn. True, the current tracks don't cross the river, but that's because the engineers didn't do their homework before selling the trolley to the residents east of the river. The bridge cannot structurally support the weight of the cars, but I think the solution is to reinforce the bridge and keep the promise to residents east of the river, or forget the whole project. A streetcar that runs up and down H Street between 4th and 17th streets really doesn't help anyone out. It was a silly project from the beginning and DDOT is just trying to find the "least bad" solution, rather than actually doing something good.

Biffo said...

Streetcars are quiet, and they'll be housed indoors.

If the building is designed right, the barn will be an asset to neighbors, not a detriment. A nice front, perhaps even with retail or other mixed use at the sidewalk level, for example (missed the design meeting).

Robby said...

I remember brining this matter to Vincent Orange and Tommy Wells just after Harry Thomas Jr. resigned. I got no response. That was typical of VO, but was disappointed in not getting any response from Tommy Wells. I feel like the city has made this decision and to hell with the residents. To play this off as a job training center or any such nonsense incensing.


They are planning to carve out a grassy knoll and place an industrial facility.

Andrew said...

Calling the carbarn an industrial facility is a pretty big stretch.

It's closer to a parking garage with a small auto-body shop attached.

A gas station has a far greater environmental impact.

Dave B said...

Anon @ 5:09,

This is the first I've heard about the bridge not being strong enough. I'm not sure I buy it, can you post a source. The same thing was rumored about the Hopscotch bridge.

The tracks didnt go east of the river because they didnt get the federal grant money (Council of 1000 might have played a role). At the time, nobody, inlcuding the Ward 7 Council Member (Alexander at the time?) member made a fuss. That seemed odd to me. Might want to check her pocket book. Probably got hush money. Who doesnt get upset at losing grant money to improve infrastructure. I think Wells said something, but it's not his Ward

Dave B said...

its wasnt the comittee of 100, it was some dude at the NCPC. giant pissing contest. still suspect the committee of 100 is behind it somewhere

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/6333/ncpc-chair-bryant-asks-fta-to-deny-streetcar-grant-to-dc/

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/6484/dc-rejected-for-urban-circulator-streetcar-grant/

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/6412/district-officials-fire-back-on-ncpc-bureaucratic-blackmail/

oboe said...

The tracks didnt go east of the river because they didnt get the federal grant money (Council of 1000 might have played a role). At the time, nobody, inlcuding the Ward 7 Council Member (Alexander at the time?) member made a fuss.

Just to refresh everyone's memory: initially the first streetcar route was supposed to be across the Anacostia. There was widespread public outcry:

In 2005, officials proposed running the tracks along a stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road SE to Minnesota Avenue SE but abandoned those efforts after community opposition. Residents said the roads were too narrow for streetcars.

Once that route was stymied by community opposition, Ward 6 elected officials jumped at the opportunity.

Next time someone asks, "Why don't we have streetcars across the river in Ward 7??" now you know.

oboe said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/12/AR2008071201834_pf.html

Robby said...

Andrew:


Nice try, it will be a storage and repair facility. Like Metro's many such facilities. No they are not pretty. Please stop lying. You can Google them and see pictures, it's not like the old one's of yester year, it's an industrial facility. Plain an simple.

Catster said...

I live 2 blocks from the proposed site and am all for it. This is District land and far and away makes the most sense.


YES TO CARBARN AT SPINGARN!

Robby said...

Well it seems you speak for the minorty. Most people don't want a beautiful area destoryed for the convience of H street folks who wont take the buss.

-Robby

Anonymous said...

...a beautiful area destoryed for the convience of H street folks who wont take the buss...

What does this even mean? Stop talking in code.

-(Presumably) An H Street Person

Dave B said...

"beautiful area destroyed"

lets not be ridiculous. its an ok patch of grass without a tree for shade that will be brown come june. it will be made less ok. it's not an oasis for sunbathing and physical activity.

the beauty that is lost will more than be made up for by any development that takes place at the rfk lots largely due to the presence of a streetcar. the streetcar giveth plenty and taketh little

Anonymous said...

I don't see the big deal. It's going to be enclosed in a building, so noise will be nill.

If it's too ugly, then maybe they can plant trees around it or something to hide it.

jiminy kick it said...

now that i know kingman park folks are so concerned about noise, i'll be sure to turn my stereo way UP on my way down benning. oh wait, then i'll be like one out of every four cars going down benning already. SMH.

Thenakedshort said...

II live on 19th Street and I am for the Trolley Barn, I'd rather be a dumping ground for industrial business than a dumping ground for crack & heroin addicts.

This Post article is ridiculous. It calls a housing project a landmark. What is wrong with you people? It's not like it would replace anything of value. Only birds and people up to no good hang out there. The barn would bring jobs and foot traffic to the neighborhood.

Maybe then the cops and the neighborhood would begin to care there are drug dealers working out of store fronts. What you thought that really was a t-shirt shop?