WP: Funding restored for D.C. streetcars

Photo from PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

The Washington Post’s Nikita Stewart is reporting:

“D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray said he has worked with the office of the Chief Financial Officer to come up with money that would allow the city to restore funding for streetcars.

Gray spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said $10 million would be made available immediately to purchase street cars in fiscal 2011. Another $37 million would be place in reserve pending an operations and funding proposal from Mayor Adrian Fenty. The council would then have to approve the proposal.”

29 Comment

  • a “diving catch” made by vince gray to save the day? seems like it.

    sorry, i’m not buying it. pulling the rug out from the residents then trying to slide it back under their feet after you get thousands of angry voters calling your office doesn’t make it better.

    fenty may not deserve to win the election, but vince gray deserves to lose it.

  • And may we all remember the day Vince Gray lost the election by pandering only to the wards he deemed valuable to his campaign.

  • This was a severe miscalculation on his part. Not only will he be forever linked with the initial decision, but he looks impotent for not sticking to his guns.

    To everyone who placed a phone call to their councilmember today: job well done.

  • He righted the wrong. Does he deserve credit for coming around? Isn’t that what politicians are supposed to do?

    • Yes, but it shows how short-sighted he was initially, which doesn’t portray “Visionary Mayor” that will enhance the city’s future.

    • Except the “wrong” was his own doing… in a shady strikethrough at 2am the night before the vote on the budget. He’d deserve more credit if he hadn’t tried to pull this maneuver in the first place.

      As is — even if he succeeds in restoring the status quo on streetcars — he’s managed to alienate people on both sides of the debate. That’s self-destruction you don’t see every day… it requires a special talent.

    • if i light a house on fire and then i put it out, am i a hero or an arsonist? both?

  • Obviously the streetcar part hasn’t been updated but :

    D.C. OKs soda tax, rejects income tax increase

    Read more: D.C. OKs soda tax, rejects income tax increase – Washington Business Journal


    • This is great news. I can’t believe this passed. I thought it was dead a couple of days ago.

  • aren’t these kind of last minute swings always part of passing a budget? calm down everybody.

    • you’re missing the part where they had a public meeting last week:

      “The line had been approved by the Committee on Public Works and Transportation last week, but the final proposed Budget Support Act removes it and returns funding to some of the Great Streets streetscapes which DDOT said they could backfill with federal funds.”

      it’s more a matter of where he was choosing to move the funds, and the fact that he did it without an open discussion of the necessity to trim an extremely popular program from the budget. it’s bad politics, even by DC standards.

    • If you believe that your elected officials are solely in office to throw ideas out to the press to see which slide by without a whimper or to hold their finger to the wind to see which way it’s blowing, then you’re right -not a big deal.

      If you believe that you elect an official to use his best judgment to make tough decisions to improve the city for all residents, then this fiasco is utter stupidity.

  • These are a waste, white people just need to learn how to take the bus.

  • Isn’t a street car just an insanely expensive bus? Let’s just take the bus

  • Ha!! All the at-larges are terrified. They either (1) didn’t realize what they were voting on or (2) didn’t realize that anyone cared because (3) they all drive everywhere. Mendelson and Catania are backtracking as hard as possible.

    Mendelson realized “later” that they reduced it more than he thought, and thinks it was a bad idea, and wouldn’t have voted for it if he’d realized it at the time. Catania is blaming the “circuitous” process and was only upset because it didn’t go far enough!

    Oh, and Barry “loves” Graham and Wells.

  • Glad to see the ship has been righted. Gray may have won back my vote.

  • Woo-hoo. The Budget Crisis is Over! thank god we can afford the toy trolley!

    Now, my dog needs a heated, lap pool with an organic snack bar designed by an internationally reknowned architect! My dog wants it, and he wants it now!

  • My conspiracy theory:

    Vince Gray has to go before the DDOT Public Space Commission to deal with his illegally constructed fence.

    Maybe he decided to knock off the DDOT streetcar program to teach them a lesson for applying the same law to him that they apply to everyone else.

  • He would have better vision if he would grab his shoulders and careful pull his head out of his…

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