Photo from PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC
From a Vince Gray for Mayor press release:
“I strongly support streetcar development, and remain committed to seeing it become a reality here in the District of Columbia. I’ve visited Portland, Oregon, twice in recent years, seen first-hand the positive economic impact and transportation impact on communities, and I am firmly committed to a new streetcar system in the District which brings about similar benefits to our city.
But we owe it to ourselves to have a well thought out planning process. We can’t afford the Mayor’s approach of “build now and plan later,” which only results in poor outcomes and much higher costs in the end. There needs to be proper planning, comprehensive transportation and engineering work, which is why we allocated $5 million to complete the planning process. Streetcars aren’t scheduled for completion until 2030, and over the next year, we’ll do the kind of planning that’s necessary to give us the most efficient use of our dollars.
I have full intention to move forward with streetcars, however, while we do the planning over the next year, we can take some of the dollars for desperately needed and more immediate capital projects, like renovation of middle schools, while our dollars are dwindling. This approach, which passed Council by a vote of 11-2, will allow for better collaboration and cooperation with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders, and result in a much stronger streetcar system in the end.”