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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Street Car is Here!


Video courtesy of DDOT

Or at least one car from it will be here tomorrow. It's scheduled for delivery to the Hopscotch Bridge tomorrow around 9:30pm. Testing will take at least 90 days. (via @ariashe, also here). We might see passenger service in March.



A few facts about streetcars:
1. Each one can hold 144-160 people.
2. Streetcars are slightly larger than a bus.
3. They are only about as loud as a bus.
4. You can use your SmarTrip card to pay for the streetcar.

Here's info from DDOT on the nighttime closure of H Street to traffic to allow for the movement of the streetcar onto the tracks:

Nighttime Closure on H Street NE between North Capitol Street and 5th Street NE for Streetcar Vehicle Delivery to Occur December 13, 2013
First Vehicle to be Delivered to H/Benning for Testing

(Washington D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has announced it will close the eastbound and westbound lanes of H Street NE, between North Capitol Street and 5th Street NE, from Friday, December 13 at 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013. The closure is to allow for the delivery of the first streetcar from the testing facility in Anacostia to H Street NE to begin the functional testing process.

The streetcar will be delivered on a flatbed truck from the Testing and Commissioning Site on South Capitol Street SE to H Street NE. Once on the corridor, the vehicle will be unloaded between 3rd Street NE and 5th Street NE and pushed into the tuck track on the Hopscotch Bridge. Unloading the streetcar will take approximately three hours.

For any combination of closures, local traffic will be permitted access to/from the Union Station garage and the Kaiser Permanente loading dock entrance. Traffic Control Officers (TCO) will be present to assist with pedestrian movements, to direct vehicles in and out of the Union Station garage and to control traffic at H Street NE and North Capitol Street NE.

DETOURS:

Eastbound traffic on H Street NE traffic, west of the Hopscotch Bridge, will:
· turn left on North Capitol Street NE going north;
· right on K Street NE going east;
· right on 5th Street NE going south;
· left on H Street NE going east.

Westbound traffic on H Street NE, east of the Hopscotch Bridge, will:
· turn right on 5th Street NE going north;
· left on K Street NE going west;
· left on N. Capitol Street NE going south;
· right on H Street NE going west.

During the westbound closures, traffic on southbound 4th Street NE attempting to go west on H Street NE, will:
· turn left on H Street NE going east;
· left on 5th Street NE going north;
· turn right on K Street NE and follow the detour signs back to H Street NE.
·
During this closure pedestrian access, and access to establishments, along the H Street NE will not be affected. WMATA riders are encouraged to utilize the bus stop at H Street and 6th Street NE for both eastbound and westbound service. WMATA will provide signage at existing stops that are not in service during the closures. Loading zones will be impacted while work is taking place in a specific block. Freight and delivery vehicles are asked to please adhere to all parking restrictions. Advanced warning variable message signs (VMS) will be updated to notify commuters of each closure. A VMS will be stationed east of the Starburst intersection (15th Street and Benning Road NE) to direct westbound truck traffic to proceed west on Florida Avenue NE to the detour route on K Street NE.

The construction team will make every effort to mitigate impacts to parking during this work. The continued support and patience of the community is essential in order to meet this aggressive completion schedule. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to use caution when traveling through or near the work zone, and follow all restrictions. All construction activities are contingent upon weather, material and equipment availability and other unforeseen conditions. Citizens are encouraged to contact the DC Streetcar team at any time to share concerns or request more information at construction@dcstreetcar.com or (202) 210-3700. For more information on DC Streetcar, please visit www.dcstreetcar.com.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

DDOT forgot one very important part…. ALL THE TRAFFIC ON H. Along with all the double parked cars. This was the worst idea.

Dec 13, 2013, 6:07:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I'm out of town when the streetcar finally arrives. I hope somebody gets pics of its arrival at Hechinger Mall!

Dec 13, 2013, 7:24:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A circulator bus servicing H Street, Chinatown, and Union Station would have been a much more cost effective way to achieve greater mobility. The H Street streetcar will be a good opportunity to learn some lessons before DDOT thinks about any expansion of the system. For example:

1. Be sure you have right of way before construction begins.
2. If planning to go across bridges, be sure that the bridges are structurally intact to support the load of the streetcars.
3. Scope out the area with a trial run in a truck to learn how bad the double parking, bus-stopping, and traffic lights are before considering a fixed-track system like a streetcar.

Dec 13, 2013, 8:43:00 AM

 
Anonymous grr said...

streetcars are not about mobility. streetcars are about money. streetcars fuel development due to permanence. more development leads to more tax revenue for the city.

Dec 13, 2013, 8:53:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DDOT forgot one very important part…. ALL THE TRAFFIC ON H. Along with all the double parked cars. This was the worst idea.

Actually, all that needs to happen is for police to begin enforcing the laws on H Street. People have been used to doing whatever the fuck they want for way to long. All we need is a tow truck or two to confiscate any cars that are double-parked. Heck, it'll be a revenue stream. Eventually the scofflaws will get the idea.

A circulator bus servicing H Street, Chinatown, and Union Station would have been a much more cost effective way to achieve greater mobility.

Wrong. While the up-front costs are higher, the operating costs of a streetcar are significantly lower than that of buses. Among other things, they carry more passengers, they have a much longer service life, and they cause less wear and tear on the roadway.

As grr pointed out, they drive development in a way that bus lanes do not--but even adjusting for that benefit, they're a money-saver.

Dec 13, 2013, 10:39:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like they will need a dedicated traffic signal for the street car to zip diagonal across 3rd and H to union. car accidents waiting to happen...I'm sure also in other areas of H too...This will be interesting

Dec 13, 2013, 11:16:00 AM

 
Anonymous h st ll said...

+1 Anon 10:39

Also, re: the original post, the electric motors on the streetcars are much quieter than the internal combustion ones on buses. They also don't put out emissions in their immediate area.

Dec 13, 2013, 12:55:00 PM

 
Blogger Alan Page said...

I'm still a streetcar supporter, but I have to confess that I was on the X9 today and for the first time I've ever experienced, the bus had to veer around a double parked vehicle, parked smack on the streetcar tracks as the streetcar critics feared/predicted would occur. I hope MPD starts aggressively ticketing double parking vehicles over the next few weeks to let the word get out that double parking is no longer going to be allowed on H.

Dec 13, 2013, 8:46:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you guys seen H Street lately. It looks horrible with all the line running overhead. This area needs character not a street car.

They should have considered putting a turn lane in, since it is near damn impossible to turn off onto a side street and this is before the street cars. The traffic will only get worse, since people won't want to be stuck behind a street car…. and buses…and double parked cars.

The District should have invested their money more wisely.

Dec 13, 2013, 11:01:00 PM

 
Blogger pat said...

"We might see passenger service in March"

of what year, elise?

Dec 16, 2013, 1:35:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Have you guys seen H Street lately. It looks horrible with all the line running overhead. This area needs character not a street car."

Hahaha...did you ever see H Street before the Street Car project began?

Dec 16, 2013, 1:17:00 PM

 

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