Ticketing to Begin on H Street Dec. 1st if You Park “within a streetcar guide-way or adjacent to a streetcar platform”


I spotted some of the warning violations last weekend, real ticketing starts Dec. 1st. From DC Streetcar:

“District law prohibits parking, stopping or standing a vehicle on or within a streetcar guide-way or adjacent to a streetcar platform. A vehicle in violation of this law shall be subject to fine and removal or impounding. The streetcar guide-way is defined as the area where streetcars operate, including the concrete track slab the tracks rest on.

Streetcar vehicles will be on the H Street/Benning Road Corridor soon to test and train for passenger service. Cars parked outside of the lines, including illegally double-parked vehicles, will impede the streetcar, delay service along the line, and result in a ticket and/or tow for your vehicle.

Real ticketing will start in December.

Be safe and smart when parking, and remember: STAY WITHIN THE LINES.

For more information call 855-413-2954.”


46 Comment

  • I think it’s facetious for the DC government to put a notice on your car that looks like a parking violation to have a checklist of violations only for yours to say “You were not in violation today. This notice is informational. Thank you!”. To also not even check mark ANY box is just unbelievable. SERIOUSLY? Who comes up with this and who thought it was a good idea??

    • So you think they should just ticket you without any sort of warning?

      I think the point of making them look like tickets is so people will actually read them and realize parking like that is no longer allowed.

    • Look up the definition of facetious before you use it wrong again.

    • justinbc

      You seem awfully upset about the District trying to warn people who would ultimately be upset about not receiving a warning…

    • I guess you’ve never gotten an ad on your car that’s designed to look like a ticket? Those are way more annoying.

    • overonhst – what do you think is going to happen if people park outside the white lines after the street cars are being used? Does some magic carpet move the tracks to go around them? If you have been on H St, which by your name I would hope so, most of the people that parallel park there are to say the least horrible. Finally DDOT is doing something that makes sense – but obviously as you have proven someone that someone has to get upset at everything.

      • I think people missed my point. It’s good that DDOT is putting info tickets on people’s cars that are parked illegally, but putting one on someone’s car when they are legally parked could have been accomplished with a slightly less incriminating flyer rather than one emblazoned with “PARKING VIOLATION” on it would have been better. And yes, I used incriminating correctly, thank you very much.

  • This is why streetcars died… because they can’t simply change lanes around obstacles. There’s a high price to pay for someone’s whimsical fantasies based on nostalgia, and it’s a very stupid price. Duh.

    • PDleftMtP

      Don’t get outside the US much, huh?

    • No, shady lobbying to have Public Law #389 passed by congress in the 50’s killed the street car in dc. It required all trolley lines to be replaced by busses.

      • Thank you! And not just in DC, but in the entire country, thanks to the powers that WERE in Detroit. 50 years later, our government had to bail them out because they were too big to fail. Not to mention the greenhouse gas that–make no mistake–is indeed contributing to adverse climate issues.

    • Well-stated.

    • Not true at all. They went out of business because they were unprofitable for the private companies that ran them. [The buses those companies ran weren’t profitable either. That’s why we have public transit agencies now.]

    • lovefifteen

      Streetcars work incredibly well in cities all over the world. They’re fantastic, to be honest.

  • clevelanddave

    Huge waste of limited money. If we had unlimited funds it is a nice nostalgia kick. As the other poster said, they can tie up traffic. More importantly, they are immovable and cost a tremendous amount to operate. They need to be run consistently, all the time, even when there are few riders for them to be of any practical use. You can’t move the tracks, like you can busses. It is somewhat redundant not only to bus but to metro and a fairly robust taxi network that is getting better with more and more options. Some cities like Cincinnati that have already spent tens of millions are taking a second look at their systems even before they are finished. Where I’m from in Cleveland limited systems like the Euclid Avenue corridor are sparsely used even when connected to more robust rapid transit systems. All and all, it would be better to make the streets that we have work better with fewer potholes, better technology in coordinated and modern traffic control systems, widening streets to accommodate more traffic along certain corridors (and bike lanes) than the hundreds of millions that will be spent building and maintaining these empty trains to nowhere. I hope I’m wrong but this seems to be an excess that we can afford now but when budgets are tight we’ll be saying “what were we thinking.”

    • They can tie up traffic? Um, EVERYTHING can tie up traffic: slow drivers, kids, people in wheelchairs, jaywalkers, cyclists, i.e. everything you – as a driver – are going to encounter on H Street anyway. Have you ever driven down H Street? It’s not a driver’s paradise and a streetcar is actually going to help *alleviate* some of the traffic as people taking short trips will opt to take that instead of drive *or* bike (either option would add another “vehicle” on the road (and if you’ve ever driven behind a bicycle, I *guarantee* you would prefer to be driving behind a streetcar, if you’re trying to get anywhere fast).

      • There are already buses that go up and down H St and much further. Why will people now take a streetcar when they wouldn’t take a bus?

        • It’s probably a lot more reliable and runs more frequently than the buses. I tried to take the X2 once, which in theory is supposed to come pretty often, but it was still like a 40-45 minute wait.

        • Have you ridden the X2? Try, and then get back to us.

      • clevelanddave

        With a name like common sense you seem to be lacking in that department. It is a train to nowhere because it isn’t really going somewhere in the sense of the San Francisco Embarcadero or the El around the Chicago loop. I’m sorry if you don’t like the Cincinnati comparison- not fancy enough for you. Ok, Boston then, another story of a trolley line that didn’t work too well. Common sense would dictate that having this immovable, inflexible system operating in the middle of the road will probably jam up traffic still further rather than relieve congestion. Time will tell. I hope I’m wrong. I just know that among all the priorities that this city ought to have with regard to transportation, this really should not have been high among them. Thanks Harriet!

        • For someone opening their reply with an ad hominem attack, you sure do lack an argument to back it up with. What did I say that isn’t common sense? Apparently you forgot to back up your ad hominem attack with, say, points in my argument that lacked common sense. Way to go “Cleveland Dave”. “It is a train to nowhere,” says Cleveland Dave, not knowing that this is only the beginning of over thirty miles of planned tracks because he can’t be bothered to do things like read and research what he’s talking about.

    • justinbc

      If there are any inefficiencies with the streetcar system it’s due to other idiotic, selfish drivers being in the way where they shouldn’t be, which is what these warnings are for. It’s not because the streetcar itself is inefficient. I’ll gladly not take cues on how to run a city from Cincinnati, thank you. And those of us who live near the line would appreciate you not referring to it as “nowhere”.

      • austindc

        Got to agree with you man. I say we just jam some cowcatchers on the front of these babies and plow the cars out of the way!

      • If it’s anything like the green line in Boston, the street car will be no more efficient than buses because it will still stop at traffic lights and be stuck when objects are on the tracks. In my experience, bike lanes and streetcars work better in Europe because they often run on different traffic lights than cars.

    • streetcars fuel development due to their permanence. tax revenues gained from new development help cash flow into the city.

      • Winner. Streetcars have almost always been about real estate development. From the beginning, look it up. The transportation benefits are secondary, but both are a good thing.

    • apparently you have never been to one of the many european cities with streetcar networks. try visiting amsterdam.

    • Streetcars DECREASE traffic by transporting a lot more people than a single bus can, and certainly more than a single car or taxi.

    • streetcars are cheaper per passenger mile to operate. They operate in married pairs, which can hold many more than even an articulated bus can. This cuts down on labor costs. Further, vehicles last much longer. Fuel is cheaper. the ride is smoother. you’ve obviously never ridden the x2

      Capital costs, ok, sure, more expensive.

  • I hope the street car operator is allowed to issue the tickets. I could imagine a car being double parked blocking the street car, but then there’s no way to punish the driver if a traffic enforcement or a police officer is not immediately nearby. They need to do a Zero Tolerance policy for the first few months that the street car is open. Too often cops just drive by, not enforcing any of the traffic violations that they spot.

  • What’s the over-under on how many days until we have a fatality on H Street, due to one of the local characters wandering out and mindlessly crossing the tracks mid-block?
    My guess is 7 days.

  • Man, everyone is so cheery today! (cue Debbie Downer sound)

  • I wonder if all the people criticizing the streetcars might be singing a different tune if the streetcar lines currently headed up Georgia Ave instead of H street. I sense a little jealousy that H street has been the recipient of the great boon that has been the promise of the streetcar, and all the subsequent development on H, while Petworth’s leg of the streetcar project is still years away, and the northern part of Georgia Avenue in Petworth still languishes..

    • They’re probably coming to the realization that this streetcar line is not going to be the great savior that everybody hoped it would be, so they’re coming to the realization that it will probably never be built out beyond the H Street line.

      • Who knows how it will pan out. I don’t think it was ever intended as a panacea, but it did bring a great deal of attention and money to a part of town that has benefited greatly. I think it will end up being about as functional as the circulator, which I found very useful when living in Georgetown. There is something to be said for knowing for sure that your mode of transportation will come, and being able to see (the tracks) of where it will go. This is the discomfort many people have with the bus system, and they might be afraid to ride it for fear of it never coming or it going to the wrong place. The streetcar is friendlier.

    • Maybe for a few, but it seems to be mostly a knee-jerk reaction against streetcars. I suspect most would have the same comments about a streetcar along Georgia Ave, too.

    • +1 Well said. All these haters are just mad there’s not streetcar going in their neighborhood.

  • Everyone who thinks this is going to be an above-ground Metrorail has another thing coming. They only have a handful of cars, and headways are going to be 15 minutes, which is only comparable to late night Metrorail service. Add in the inevitable delays due to traffic and illegally-parked cars, and the streetcars are going to get bunched up, just like buses. It could’ve been so much better, but since they’ve already messed up on so many details, it’s going to be a big disappointment for people who think it’s somehow going to be better than the bus.

  • … but feel free to park in the bus zones, we’re too busy to enforce that infraction.

  • Every streetcar thread has the same comments for and against.

    Look, I live on H Street and I am generally a streetcar supporter. It’s pretty easyy, however, that this hasn’t been massively bungled. The line would be much more valuable if it had dedicated lanes down the middle of the street and light priority. The fact that it doesn’t does mean it will get ensnarled in traffic and stopped by poorly parked cars. It’s just going to happen. The Union Station terminus on top of the Hopscotch Bridge is a pretty pathetic backup plan as well.

    I can only hope these issues are not severe enough to turn it into a complete joke. I have very little confidence that DDOT has sufficiently thought through and adequately planned for the real-world functioning of these cars.

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