A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meeting Tonight on Proposed Car Barn at Spingarn

Screen Shot 2012-06-23 at 12.08.41 PM
From the DDOT presentation 

WARD 5 EMERGENCY COMMUNITY MEETING ON PROPOSED CAR BARN LOCATION AT SPINGARN CAMPUS
MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012 6:00 - 7:30 pm
PHELPS ACE HIGH SCHOOL
704 26TH STREET NE
MEDIA LIBRARY

You can read the full presentation here. You may also want to check out these survey results.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't make it to the mtg tonight. Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of A vs B? Seems minor just looking at the map. Thanks.

Jun 25, 2012, 9:34:00 AM

 
Anonymous H Street Landlord said...

Let's get it built ASAP. We need more employment opportunities.

Jun 25, 2012, 9:57:00 AM

 
Anonymous AspiringRapper said...

ward 5 WILL NOT be dumped on!! Also, I have no alternatives to offer but I do like yelling the word 'NO' over and over again...

Jun 25, 2012, 10:14:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A structure fronting the road is more appropriate. It's in keeping with an urban neighborhood, especially if it has a nice facade and street entrance.

Although I bet the first inclination of most neighbors will be to "hide" it by setting it back, doing so will only create a suburban-like dark dead space on Benning.

Jun 25, 2012, 10:40:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS IS AN EMERGENCY PEOPLE!

Jun 25, 2012, 10:59:00 AM

 
Blogger inked said...

9:34,
I suspect the meeting will focus on whether or not this is a proper site for this facility. The major difference between A and B is whether the tracks are in front of the building, or behind it.

Jun 25, 2012, 11:12:00 AM

 
Blogger Thenakedshort said...

Let's get this built. That whole section Benning Road is blighted. This is not next door to any residential units. The people that oppose this will oppose anything. We need to stand up for our neighborhood.

If you don't like it, spend a week riding the X2 and tell me how you'd do better.

Jun 25, 2012, 11:59:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ride the X2 and the X9 frequently and I don't see the added value that a streetcar will provide. To me, it will operate exactly like the X2 (subject to stoplights and several stops to pick up and drop off passengers), except that it will not be able to switch lanes to get around a double-parked car.

I'm not actively opposed to the trolley and I want it built on-time and on-budget (too late for that), but people (thenakedshort and others) are delusional if they think the trolley is going to enhance transportation options along H Street. It's a tourist attraction at best but it serves very little additional function, if any.

Jun 25, 2012, 1:04:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was initially a streetcar supporter but now I'm relatively indifferent for two reasons:

1.) The reasons Anon 1:04 mentioned regarding how effective the streetcar will be navigating lights and obstacles.
2.) I'm able to get where I need to go fairly easily using the bus, bikeshare, driving and cabs.

I would like to see WMATA invest more in improving the X2 though because it is just not reliable. They still do not run the right number and size of buses at the right frequency given the demand along that route at all times of the day. And a circulator route to complement the X2 would be great too.

Jun 25, 2012, 1:40:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only problem with the X2 is the caliber of people that ride it. I'm an elitist snob (a.k.a. gentrifier) who get's tired of all the rude, angry, cursing, food eating, child-slapping "people" that ride the X2. Maybe the streetcar will charge more and will attract a more civil rider.

Jun 25, 2012, 1:57:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ticket the heck out of the double parkers. The fines should be astronomically high and the word will get out. It'll make the X2 route more efficient as well.
I see the same car double parked almost every day on H waiting by the chicken place. Enough!
Oh, and for the car barn, it's not like homes or thriving businesses are being torn down to make way for this strucutre. Build the damn thing and let's move on!

Jun 25, 2012, 2:01:00 PM

 
Anonymous bus rider said...

My biggest pet peeve with X2 is it's erratic frequency. On average the wait times have been anywhere between 20 minutes to 50 minutes which unacceptable. The street car will provide additional option which will reduce the load on X2 and also since it runs on a smaller segment of route X2 takes it will be less crowded.

Jun 25, 2012, 2:27:00 PM

 
Anonymous Dave B said...

I think the streetcar was going to essentially be free to ride. They have a fare but will be boarding at the front and back and you pay based on an honor system. This may have changed and probably could still change

If nothing else, that stops people from trying to cram rumpled money into the machine while 10 people wait to board behind them.

I view it as just another option. I'll get on whatever comes next. Even though it is borderline worthless where it currently doesnt connect to Union Station.

There was an article it the Post today about Vincent Gray is in China trying to get them to invest in the rest of the street car system. The article said it would really expedite the process compared to the current plan because the District can't incur so much debt at once. I give the mayor a lot of shit, but he deserves credit if he can pull this off. Maybe it will be his going away present. If he does speed this along, maybe we can even call it the One City Street Car System. Maybe they like Seinfeld and he can do his best Jackie Childs impression

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-mayor-visiting-china-to-tap-investors/2012/06/22/gJQAskj6vV_story.html

Jun 25, 2012, 2:37:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People don't understand the biggest plus for the trolley vs. buses.

It is a more permanent structure than buses. Bus routes can change in a blink but when the government pays X millions to lay tracks it will be there for awhile. Permanent structure increases my home value = win.

Plus as mentioned earlier hopefully the trolley will actually be on-time.

Jun 25, 2012, 2:37:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, does the X2 run downtown, down K street, and on to Georgetown?

People, the H-street line is just the start of a city-wide mobility system in a city where a mostly commuter Metro system is already at capacity. The streetcars are a lot bigger than buses, far more comfortable, load quickly, have signal priority, do not stop as often, and motorists will quickly learn not to park on tracks or otherwise get in the way of a train. This is not some sort of experimental technology.

The streetcar is not an X2 replacement, it is added new capacity (the bus lines won't go away!). More like the circulators, but higher-capacity, designed for mobility between neighborhoods. As far as transportation projects go, it's not even expensive! Compare some major road construction projects with the cost of the ENTIRE 37 mile system we could have. It's peanuts relative to the value it will bring (public utility, private investment, economic stimulation, etc).

I'm so sick of this - people act like this is a mission to the Moon or something. Just get it started already!

Jun 25, 2012, 2:45:00 PM

 
Anonymous JB said...

The double parkers on H street usually park on the right side, near the curb. Doesn't the street car ride along the middle of H?

Jun 25, 2012, 3:29:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

StantonSez: let's get the anti-car barn and "right-size Hine" crowd into one big room and let them out-NO each other. the capacity of people to employ bitter shortsightedness at the expense of the community cannot be underestimated.
we're not talking about building a strip club or building a prison right next to homes.
it would be good if we can see the opponent crowd for what they are: obstructionists. Fenty had many faults, but he was right in the way he dealt with these folks [remember they opposed the quick rebuilding of Eastern Market and putting in new skylights]

Jun 25, 2012, 3:32:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double parked cars are bad but there is also the X2 with its big butt in the street car lane when loading passengers.

Jun 25, 2012, 4:55:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double parked cars are bad but there is also the X2 with its big butt in the street car lane when loading passengers.

Jun 25, 2012, 4:55:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double parked cars are bad but there is also the X2 with its big butt in the street car lane when loading passengers.

Jun 25, 2012, 4:55:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The streetcars provide economical incentive. That's about it. And it's for that reason alone that I'm all for it. H street would not look as it does today if not for those metal thingies running east and west along H. No way no how.
And not only does H st benefit but the surrounding neighborhoods too, especially in Trinidad/Carver. Abandonded and neglected homes are being snatched up all over to be fixed up and sold. If you ask me, this is the only way you can really push out crime and clean up a neighborhood. The rest of DC speaks as a perfect exacmple: Shaw, Mt. Vernon Sq., Dupont Circle, Logan, Chi Town and part of Columbia Heights.

Jun 25, 2012, 5:47:00 PM

 
Anonymous Ina Kamoze said...

Benning Rd. is a hellscape. Anyone who opposes any project on said hellscape should lose their right to breath.

Jun 25, 2012, 7:05:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hellscape" is a rough term, but I'm going to agree that it applies to much of Benning Road. The area in question, however, is not exactly included in the "hellscape" designation. It's actually a picturesque building and beautiful swath of greenspace.

I'm in the "get it built" category, but an underutilized corner of the RFK parking lot would have been a MUCH better location, if we had any way of making that happen (we apparently do not).

Jun 25, 2012, 8:04:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 2:01 PM -- How do you envision enforcement of the fine for double-parked cars? The problem isn't that the fine is too small, it is that the police don't enforce ticketing for what they view as a negligible expense.

BUS RIDER 2:27 PM -- An average is a single value, not a range. Your statement, "On average the wait times have been anywhere between 20 minutes to 50 minutes" makes no sense.

DAVE B 2:37 PM -- If you think Vincent Gray can sell the Streetcar idea to the Chinese, you're delusional. That's a junket trip.

ANON 2:37 PM -- Bus routes follow demand (just like airline routes, etc.). If the H Street corridor is a profitable route for the bus, it will not change its route "in a blink". Also, if you've been tracking the streetcar project from its early days you would realize that it is already not on-time... it was supposed to be up and running already.

ANON 2:45 PM -- Do you really think DC DOT is going to accomplish the full system it envisions even though they cut back significantly on the very first segment of the system? Look at yourself in a mirror and answer that question with a straight face. Furthermore, I have seen no mention of signal priority for the DC streetcar - please share your information sources with the group here.

JB 3:29 PM -- Have you walked down H Street in the last couple of years?

ANON 5:47 PM -- I wasn't aware that "Shaw, Mt. Vernon Sq., Dupont Circle, Logan, Chi Town and part of Columbia Heights" all have streetcar systems. Oh yeah, they don't! Clearly there are other ways to reduce crime.

ANON 8:04 PM -- The city explored a few other options, but they were all put into the "too difficult" basket. The path of least bureaucratic resistance won.

Jun 25, 2012, 10:18:00 PM

 
Anonymous wylie coyote said...

ANON 5:47 PM -- I wasn't aware that "Shaw, Mt. Vernon Sq., Dupont Circle, Logan, Chi Town and part of Columbia Heights" all have streetcar systems. Oh yeah, they don't! Clearly there are other ways to reduce crime.

^ I would argue that Columbia Heights and at least the Chinatown Metro station still have substantial crime issues. What the anon poster you're replying to might have meant is, when a neighborhood like Logan got extensive development, its street crime issues (mostly open air prostitution) fell by the wayside, by and large. The same could happen along the H Street corridor and up Benning, conceivably. The laying of streetcar tracks has encouraged development in the area; investors and banks like to know that there is reliable transit to projects in which they invest/loan money; fixed rail is the most reliable transit of all. if the tracks are laid, routes don't just change.

the X2 is badly overburdened. It's crowded any given time of the day. Anything that could reduce the overcrowding on that line is a plus. Streetcars are more environmentally friendly than our current bus line, they rank higher as forms of public transit people are likely to use, they require less maintenance than our current buses (many X2 riders have been on a bus when it breaks down, it's a bummer, especially in July/August).

The X2 is the most heavily utilized line in the city. An additional transit option will help alleviate some of that.

At least one developer (for the 800-1000 block project) has said that if streetcar development stalls, he's bailing on his plan to renovate the minimall currently sitting there (which is not an optimal use for that large of a space....more density = more property tax revenue).

ps: Someone asked if the streetcar will run in the middle of H. No, the tracks were laid on the right side of the road going both ways (stops are on the sidewalk, anything else would require either peds crossing to a raised median or playing Frogger with commuter traffic).

Jun 26, 2012, 12:45:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ticket the heck out of the double parkers. The fines should be astronomically high and the word will get out."

Better yes, put a cattle catcher on the streetcar. Once a few people get their cars busted up, they'll get the message.

I really don't see how the streetcar addresses the problem of X2 unreliability and overcrowding. The line only runs on Benning to H and 2nd St. Most people on the X2 are going to and from downtown, at least during rush hour when I ride it. The plans to run the streetcar downtown are years off, probably over a decade. Until then, you'd have to take the streetcar, get off and walk 4 blocks to Union Station, and then take the metro downtown. That's even worse than waiting for the X2 and then standing with your face up against the glass.

Jun 26, 2012, 8:46:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10:18-

As wylie said, the areas mentioned (shaw, chi town, mt vernon, etc) all pushed out crime when new "major" development came to the area. You need a catalyst to kick start the process. A metro station, big box retail, new stadium, trolly all fit into that category.
Just curious - what other ways do you think would reduce crime as quickly and effectively as something major like a trolly?

Jun 26, 2012, 9:16:00 AM

 
Anonymous oboe said...

How do you envision enforcement of the fine for double-parked cars? The problem isn't that the fine is too small, it is that the police don't enforce ticketing for what they view as a negligible expense.

Simple. You authorize a couple of private towing companies to tow double-parked cars along H Street. Let them charge $100 in addition to the city fine. Problem solved.

Jun 26, 2012, 1:21:00 PM

 
Anonymous oboe said...

How do you envision enforcement of the fine for double-parked cars? The problem isn't that the fine is too small, it is that the police don't enforce ticketing for what they view as a negligible expense.

Simple. You authorize a couple of private towing companies to tow double-parked cars along H Street. Let them charge $100 in addition to the city fine. Problem solved.

Jun 26, 2012, 1:21:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting and it seems many of you are missing the purpose of the meeting or why people are outraged. The meeting was not about the Street Car. It was about the Car Barn being at that location, A or B is contrary to the wishes of the community. Ward 5, 6, and 7 citizens were at the meeting. CM McDuffie, and CM Alexander were present. CM Wells did not attend and people did ask about his lack of presence. DDOT did not engage ANC 5B as a whole or the affect SMD ANC Commissioner. They decided to put the barn there because it was the simplest for them. This is not about blocking the street car implementation, this is about the property placement of what DDOT admitted yesterday is a maintenance facility. It will be roughly ½ to 2/3 the size of the Ross and it will have open street car parking outside the building. It's next to a three school complex and multiple homes.

The city scrambled to make this decision because Amtrak fell through, the street car wasn't rushed the car barn placement should not be rushed.

-Robby

Jun 26, 2012, 1:39:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, here, Robby! I agree 100 percent! The city has been taking the easy way out for many of the decisions behind the streetcar project - most egregiously in its push to place the maintenance yard on the school grounds by a historic golf course and calling it an educational institution.

Oboe - I also like your solution to the double parking.

Jun 26, 2012, 4:53:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trolly has already spurred significant economic development in the area and it hasn't even been built. Can you imagine if we get this system operating.

Jun 29, 2012, 8:14:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I just interject here that this is quite possibly the funniest thing I've read in the past month. Excellent!

Oct 10, 2012, 9:14:00 PM

 

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