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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don't Forget Tuesday's Streetcar Meeting

Streetcars
Here's the info:

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting a meeting on February 26 to provide an update on the final roadway construction currently underway along the H Street/Benning Road streetcar corridor. An overview presentation will go over the construction schedule through Fall 2013, when streetcar vehicles will be delivered to the corridor for testing. Following the overview, neighbors will be able to participate in localized discussions and ask specific block-by-block questions of the project team.

What:                
Public Meeting for the H Street/Benning Road Streetcar Line Construction

When:                
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
                           
Where:              
Miner Elementary School 601 15th Street NE

And here are some fun photos of the old Trinidad car barn (15th & Benning). 

35 Comments:

Blogger pat said...

figures they tear up that building and build a strip mall. sad.

Feb 24, 2013, 10:27:00 PM

 
Blogger Tom A. said...

Inked, thanks for the link. I hadn't seen most of these! What a cool complex- wish it had been saved!

Feb 25, 2013, 9:52:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally would rather have a less than exciting strip mall serving some resident needs than a historic car barn building sitting decrepit and not benefitting the community in anyway. Hopefully they move forward in building that new car barn. Otherwise, just put in a circulator on H st and be done with the streetcar circus.

Feb 25, 2013, 9:57:00 AM

 
Blogger inked said...

The car barn was actually replaced by the Pentacle, not by Hechinger Mall.

Feb 25, 2013, 10:03:00 AM

 
Blogger Tom A. said...

I was kinda hoping that the city would take back the Pentacle by eminent domain to rebuild a trolley barn there, and relocate the Pentacle apartments. Especially if the new trolley barn would be a cool mixed us development very close to H street.

Feb 25, 2013, 12:42:00 PM

 
Anonymous ro said...

but Tom, where would i buy my drugs then, priorities my dear man

Feb 25, 2013, 12:56:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the fireworks.

Feb 25, 2013, 2:28:00 PM

 
Blogger Tom A. said...

Ro, we'll always have Azeeze Bates. It even SOUNDS more drug infested. The Pentacle just sounds like a witches' coven. (I wish it were!)

Feb 25, 2013, 3:59:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely they'll announce that everything is being pushed back by 6-12 months at this meeting, just as they did during the community meeting at the Atlas theater. There is no way possible that the car barn (and everything else) can be finished in a year. 2-3 years sounds a lot more likely.

Feb 25, 2013, 10:00:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The H Street Trolley is foolish and costly in the time economic uncertainty and the Federal Government (the major employer for the Dist/Md/Va) approaching furloughs and budget cuts.

What are your councilmembers and this mayor smoking? Is Mayor Gray’s proposed green initiative to charge residents for trash removal a switch to take the annual budgeted trash appropriation and applied it to the defunct Trolley Car System?

By the time that the trolley cars hit the tracks they will be 5 years old…and obsolete. The cost to ride the trolley will be more costly than riding the Metro Subway or the bus. D.C. residents…you need to vote the council and the mayor out of office.

H Street Trolley is a waste of money …with no purpose. Oh! One purpose, to increase the value of the land/property surrounding the trolley tracks so current owners of H Street property can now flip their housing investment and exodus to Virginia.

Calvin H. Gurley

Feb 25, 2013, 10:42:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calvin, you are exactly right, my brother! And, as an H street gentrifier, I hope that you are the only one who has caught on to this nefarious scheme, so that I may maximize my profits at the expense of the truly deserving citizens of this city on a hill. Now I'm off to polish my Mason's ring.

Feb 25, 2013, 11:35:00 PM

 
Blogger Tom A. said...

Calvin et al, public transit projects are ALWAYS about development first, and transit second. Historically, developers actually PAID for them to sell homes and businesses to the masses. The trolley companies were private businesses paid for for with private dollars.

If you feel so strongly, I hope you'll come to the meeting tonight.

Feb 26, 2013, 8:09:00 AM

 
Anonymous dave B said...

to paraphrase calvin:

"This is a waste of money. It will only make the surrounding area better."

Oh well, good thing DC has a 400 million dollar surplus or something

Feb 26, 2013, 11:09:00 AM

 
Anonymous oh well said...

Hey, some people have a strong attachment to the nightmarish hellscape that is Benning Road beyond 17th Street or so.

Feb 26, 2013, 12:50:00 PM

 
Anonymous Not Calvin said...

Calvin,

If the streetcar line is enough to make shortsighted people like you move to Virginia, then please, go. And don't look in the rear-view mirror.

The streetcar system will increase transit use, economic development, and tax revenue. If you can't see that, then you belong in "forward-thinking" Virginia.

Feb 26, 2013, 3:14:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with those who think the streetcars are great waste of taxpayer money. Let's just write off expenses to date / not spend good money after bad. Circulator buses are perfect for H St, and to connect it to other locales. How about a circle Circulator route from Union Station, along H St, Benning Road to East of the River and back

Feb 26, 2013, 3:28:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except Circulator buses don't have the same capacity as a streetcar vehicle nor do they encourage the type of development that the street car line can (and has).

The buses-only argument is shortsighted and isn't backed up by the numbers.

Feb 26, 2013, 3:50:00 PM

 
Anonymous oboe said...

The H Street Trolley is foolish and costly in the time economic uncertainty and the Federal Government (the major employer for the Dist/Md/Va) approaching furloughs and budget cuts

I think they call them "streetcars" these days. Are you from the past?

Feb 26, 2013, 4:04:00 PM

 
Anonymous Dave B said...

Buses probably solve most of the problem. However, many people dont/wont ride buses for whatever reason. Most people who live on H St now use buses and probably don't need the streetcar. But for the people who dont come here or come here infrequently because they don't ride buses and don't want to use a cab, the street car will bring them here more often and make living here more appealing. It's stupid but that is the way it is

Feb 26, 2013, 4:04:00 PM

 
Anonymous poopoo said...

i have lived in dc since 1995, and ridden a bus twice.

however, i will ride a streetcar.

oh, i also grew up going to private schools.

true story. take it for what it is worth

Feb 26, 2013, 4:56:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A streetcar holds 144 people, a bus holds 35. I plan to use the street car daily, get me to Union Station and I can get to anywhere in the world.

Feb 27, 2013, 6:46:00 AM

 
Anonymous Future Streetcar Rider said...

I specifically bought in the H Street area back in 2007 anticipating the future streetcar line. The house I bought had been boarded up for years and was in dire need of a full renovation; a few more years sitting vacant and the house would have collapsed.

What I got? A solid investment and new home in a great neighborhood with great neighbors.

What the city got? Taxable income (I moved from Virginia); increased real estate taxes; increased sales taxes (I do 90% + of my shopping in DC); and an active citizen.

What brought me to this area? The future streetcar line and the current/future development associated with it. Had the X2 been the only option, forget it, I and my tax dollars would have stayed in Virginia. And the neighborhood would have had a collapsed house to contend with.

Like poopoo's story, take it for what it's worth.

DC investment in the streetcar system is more than just another transportation option for a growing area, it's the city investing in itself.

Feb 27, 2013, 8:59:00 AM

 
Anonymous Kenny G said...

For those of us with sick kids keeping us tied to home, can someone sum up what DDOT had to say last night?

Thanks in advance.

Feb 27, 2013, 9:32:00 AM

 
Anonymous SustainableDC said...

Any update from those that attended the meeting? Thanks!

Feb 27, 2013, 10:00:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to the meeting. A very diverse crowd which was noted by the meeting's moderator. The meeting was basically a walk-through of what work would be done this year to get the streetcars rolling by the end of the year.

There were only 15 minutes allotted to Q&A which allowed for about 6 questions to be asked before the meeting was broken off into breakout sessions.The breakout sessions addressed in more depth each task that must be completed this year in order to get the street cars rolling.

The Q&A was frustrating in a sense that those who opposed the streetcar just spoke up without any regards to being called on like everyone else. Wish more people who supported the streetcars were able to ask more questions in the meeting as a whole.

Feb 27, 2013, 11:04:00 AM

 
Anonymous Annoyingmous said...

Anon 11:04 wrote: "The Q&A was frustrating in a sense that those who opposed the streetcar just spoke up without any regards to being called on like everyone else."

You must be new here. Welcome to NE DC.

Feb 27, 2013, 11:45:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annoyingmous wrote: "You must be new here. Welcome to NE DC."

Yes, it was my first meeting.

Feb 27, 2013, 12:19:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the meeting materials:

http://www.dcstreetcar.com/h-benning-project-library/

Feb 27, 2013, 2:24:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to last night's material. I've been to some community meetings on the streetcar, however, it wasn't until just looking at the link that I realized there is no streetcar stop between 8th & 13th Street...a decent chuck of distance in a prime bulk of H Street. I obviously missed something somewhere, but does anyone have a general insight into the decision to have such a gap? Thanks...

Feb 27, 2013, 3:25:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Anon 3:25 -

The "gap" is only five blocks, surely that isn't too much. It's basically 2.5 blocks from either stop to a destination in the middle.

One thing that frustrates me with MetroBus is that stops are too close together, especially on the 90s lines. You stop, go a block, stop, go a block, stop...

Feb 27, 2013, 3:57:00 PM

 
Blogger Alan Page said...

That gap between 8th & 13th isn't so bad. First, there are several X2 stops between those five blocks (the streetcar is not supposed to duplicate the X2's route). Also, those five blocks, especially the 900 and 1000 block, aren't terribly long. I've run after the X2 after missing it at the old stop in front of Granville and caught up to it at 8th St.

As for this: "A streetcar holds 144 people, a bus holds 35."

Sir or mam, there's no way those double decker X2's hold only 35 people. In fact, even on the single x2 buses, with folks standing there have got to be 50-60 people in there.

Feb 27, 2013, 4:57:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets just say the bus holds 60. That's still less than half of a streetcar. Streetcars will increase capacity on an already overcrowded line.

And remember folks, divide by two the number of blocks between two stops....that's the furthest you are from a stop. Five block gap equals 2.5... You're never more than 2.5 blocks away from a stop in that "gap"

Feb 27, 2013, 5:51:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also thought it was "interesting" that the closer you were to the western terminus of the streetcar at Hopscotch Bridge the closer together the stops were (where you can much easier walk to the end of line). As get further away and in the middle of the streetcar line the stops are more spread out.

Feb 28, 2013, 10:09:00 AM

 
Anonymous adl said...

I view it as a positive that the streetcar isn't planning to stop every ten feet like some of the busses in the neighborhood do (thinking of the 90 series as previously mentioned, as well is the D4 in certain stretches). Walking three blocks isn't a big deal and having less frequent stops keeps things moving along.

Feb 28, 2013, 10:57:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish they would cut out the stops at 3rd, 5th, 13th and 19th streets.

Union Station, 8th street, 15th street and Oklahoma Avenue -- 4 stops will make it better, certainly no need for 8 stops over a distance less than 2 miles (most people should be able to walk more than 1/8th of a mile).

Mar 2, 2013, 10:40:00 AM

 

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