“I promise you that we will get the Streetcar along H Street and Benning Road line up and running…eventually all the way to Georgetown”


From @MayorBowser’s State of the District last night:

“We all know that the Streetcar has been long on promises but short on results. That changes now.

I promise you that we will get the Street Car along H Street and Benning Road line up and running.

Then we will extend the line to downtown Ward 7 so that Councilmember Alexander’s constituents along Benning Road can ride to Union Station and eventually all the way to Georgetown.”

What about Georgia Ave and Walter Reed…?

28 Comment

  • April fools?

  • Very encouraging to see the Mayor include an April Fool’s joke like this in the speech – really did not think she had much of a sense of humor. Keep it up!

  • This is not really the first sign that she has completely abandoned ward 4.

  • Honestly, a Georgetown to Union Station line makes sense first. It’s a guaranteed success in terms of ridership. Will be packed at nearly all hours 7 days/week. A tram down K Street is an instant win, though I loathe to see the clusterf#ck that will happen during the construction phase.
    Of course, there’s also the racial/economic politics of “connecting Benning Road with Georgetown” that Muriel is pushing in that statement. Gotta pander to the base.
    All in, not a terrible state of the District. 5.5 out of 10.

    • justinbc

      I can’t even imagine the construction phase on K Street, sucks for anyone who has to drive (or take the bus).

      • Ditto. I work on K Street and my office has a window that faces K, so I will be experiencing the brunt of this mess and noise. That said, a proper street car would be a game changer. It’s worth the short term hassle for such a long term asset. K Street already has the divided service lane, which could be a dedicated road for the street car with priority signaling. No need to put the street car in the actual road, I’d love this. We could eliminate all the Metro buses that traverse K Street.

        • What about Bus Rapid Transit with a dedicated lane and priority signaling?

          Same transportation benefits as a streetcar but much cheaper. You probably don’t get as strong of an economic development benefit as you do with rails (but still some, because there is dedicated infrastructure in the form of a lane), but it’s not like K Street needs an economic boost!

          • Honestly, cars will still use the Rapid Bus lane and clog up the traffic flow. It will just be the status quo. This is the US, not Germany – this is a culture of selfishness, not collective following of rules. Getting buses off K Street will it make traffic flow MUCH better during rush hour. Buses blocking multiple lanes of traffic and intersections are half the problem.

          • Yes the buses are a major problem. But most buses in the golden triangle are from MD and VA. They won’t vacate the corridor.

            The VA county buses are obnoxious. They block the box at every intersection.

    • “Connecting Benning Road with Georgetown” used to be serviced by all the 30 buses before the redesigned route. Also, would the GTown – Union Station line be in addition to the current Circulator route or in place of ?

  • “There have been too many promises about this project…..I promise this project will work”

  • Good. Now let’s get to work on the North-South line.

    • Probably not even a consideration until the entire east-west line has been built and successfully demonstrated, and that will take several years.

      • Yes, I think the North-South line will eventually be built, but I don’t think there’s any chance they move forward any time soon. It probably depends somewhat on the timeline for Walter Reed, as well as proving that the city is capable of building and operating the East-West line successfully.

    • I agree. The potential for that commercial corridor is tremendous, and the street widths lend themselves better to accommodate a streetcar. I live one block off of Georgia and I would definitely utilize the streetcar to get to some of the restaurants north of me, and head down to the waterfront. I think it would be much more appealing to tourists than the 70 bus, and encourage out of towners to explore more.

      • Agreed.
        Also, my recollection is that the streetcar wasn’t originally conceived as an east-west line (though apparently it must have changed at some point, and I’m not sure when that was). IIRC, Georgia Avenue was originally being considered as a ways of running the streetcar from Silver Spring to Benning Road.

  • This is great. She’s actually winning me over. Now if they can just reset and do it right, with a dedicated lane and light priority, watch out. Complete game changer for the awful crosstown commute.

    • brookland_rez

      Dedicated right of way is essential. K St is plenty wide enough to do it. Just take out the parking lanes and run it along the curb. Put in a concrete curb to keep car traffic out.

  • Awesome! Get it done.

  • Lost in all this is that what Washington DC should really be focusing on: preparing for a fleet of driverless cars and mass transit. In 15 years nobody will be driving their own cars, there will be busses but no bus drivers. And here we are with our shiny new trolly car.

    • “In 15 years nobody will be driving their own cars”

      I’ll take the other side of this bet. Current self-driving car technology is still unable to deal with any obstacles in the road (like, say, construction), nor does it function in inclement weather.

      • According to the 1970s, we should have had flying cars by the early 2000’s. I will also take the other side of this bet with you.
        FYI: we won’t have driver-less cars until insurance companies allow it. In other words, they would probably need to have some sort of Sigma Six-like success/safety rate. Insurers are really good at figuring this stuff out.

        • brookland_rez

          I don’t see how self driving cars has anything to do with this. Physically, there’s no more room for cars in this city, self driving or not. And who’s to say we can’t have self-driving street cars? From a technological stand point, that is possible today with current technology.

          • I think self-driving streetcars/trains/buses are a better prospect for the city than self-driving cars, but self-driving cars are complimentary. They’d make a whole lot of new room for cars because they wouldn’t need to be parked anywhere near where people are.

      • And 15 years ago, the idea was pretty much science fiction. And my Motorola StarTAC was amazing cutting-edge tech. I think 15 years to handle construction and inclement weather is a pretty damn safe bet. Can I get odds on 10?

    • Hmm, maybe. What I think is a lot more likely though…and is already happening pretty rapidly in a lot of places is a marked increase in teleworking. I really think in 15 years you’ll see teleworking become the norm and traipsing our tired asses through annoying commutes a relic of the past. It makes a lot more sense economically for businesses given the high cost of commercial leases (plus all the operational costs of utilities, etc.). Employers are becoming much more comfortable with teleworking and the myth about being unproductive has pretty much been dispelled. Surprisingly, the federal government has kinda taken the lead with teleworking.

Comments are closed.