Friday, May 23, 2014

WAMU Streetcar Series


WAMU has a great four part series on the return of streetcars to DC:

(1) It Might Be Desired, But In D.C. It's A Streetcar Named... Delay
(2) For Residents, Streetcar Return Will Pose Practical Challenges
(3) Advocates Say That Streetcars Move People — And Spur Development
(4) As H Street Changes, Can Long-Time Residents Stay?


Dave B said...

“The main thing about streetcar is it’s really about mobility more so than speed of transit. That’s being able to ensure connections between neighborhood to neighborhood,” said Thomas Perry, who is running the implementation of the streetcar program at DDOT.

“The number one issue is the number of riders. When you have a lot of riders you go slower because you are doing a lot of loading. That is our number one reason for being slow,” said Gustafson. “The second reason is effective traffic management. We made signal changes and other things to deal with our efficiency and it took three years to refine all of that stuff.”

In Portland, Gustafson said the streetcar program ran into another unexpected problem: Delivery trucks forgot they could no longer double park outside businesses because of the tracks


The DC Street Car: You'll get to that other neighborhood eventually

I guess we can't do anything about the speed. Can't have dedicated lanes and we HAVE to stop every three blocks

Anonymous said...

"Advocates Say That Streetcars Move People — And Spur Development"

You don't say... people with a personal interest in streetcar development support the streetcar? That's some breaking news.

Annoyingmous said...

I've been in a lot of cities, both in the U.S. and in other countries, where streetcars work great. However, it seems like DC isn't implementing most of the things that make streetcars work so well in other cities.

Also, it's hard for me to see how the initial rollout of the streetcar will get a lot of use past the initial novelty phase because, as it stands, it doesn't go anywhere. If they'd brought it over the bridge and into the Penn Quarter, and at the other end completed it out to Minnesota Avenue, then that'd be one thing. But as it stands, it's only good for getting from one end of H Street NE to the other end of H Street NE. Whoopee.

Anonymous said...

Metro was considered folly when it first opened, and there were so few stops it is easy to understand that perspective (1976 - 5 stations). And yet there was a plan to grow Metro and I think we can all agree that it is an important part of our transit system now.
I have no idea if it will be the same for the streetcars, but I still hold out hope that this is just a first step in a long and successful project.

Dave B said...

On the efficiency/speed spectrum from bus to metro, I think most of us were expecting the streetcar fall closer to metro. Now it appears it is going to be off the scale and be worse than a bus

Anonymous said...

I live in the neighborhood and my house is about as close to the streetcar tracks as you can get. I have been a huge streetcar supporter for years, but now even I have to admit this thing has failure written all over it. It could have been great (dedicated lane, light priority, sensible connections to Union Station, Chinatown, Minnesota Avenue) but it's been bungled at every turn. What a mess.

You only have to look at the terminus atop the hopscotch bridge r the way it changes lanes in the middle of the starburst intersection. Just look at those and think-- does this make sense? Unfortunately, it doesn't make sense, and DDOT has long since exhausted the faith of the community that they know something more than we do.


Anonymous said...

True that it will be slow. I'm a skeptic. However, even if it is barely faster than walking it still provides some benefit in bad weather and is a benefit to the elderly and disabled. If it bombs on H st call it an expensive experiment. I am most concerned about bike safety when there are rails throughout the city. It will require more route planning for bikers. When your front tire slips into a rail you go down fast.

Anonymous said...

yep poor bikers! Considering how many stop signs that they already run, they are sure to follow the streetcar tracks and crash.

Anonymous said...

fellow bikers, we have bike lanes on G and I. there's less traffic than H st and no rail lines.

pat said...

The Trolley has lacked planning and support.
The Trolley should pull direct into Union station

Also the car barn at Springarn is horrible, it would be far better to be at the Pepco Benning Rd generation station