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From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the start of Pre-Revenue Operations (PRO) for DC Streetcar as DDOT prepares the system for safety certification to carry passengers. PRO, which simulates service along the corridor without passengers, is anticipated to begin Wednesday, December 16 along H Street NE and Benning Road NE.

Residents accustomed to the intermittent operation of streetcars during the run up to PRO will see a noticeable increase in activity along the corridor for the next three weeks. The full complement of streetcars will operate simulating normal service from early morning to late night. DDOT will also increase the distribution of safety information to pedestrians, motorists, and businesses along H Street NE and Benning Road NE to ensure the public is adequately informed about this increase in operations. The PRO will run for at least three weeks and will be extended as needed. This is the second time that streetcar has initiated PRO. Read More

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From ReasonTV:

“Meet the Thighmaster of urban public policy: Streetcars.

Municipal politicians all across the country have convinced themselves that this costly, clunky hardware can revitalize their flabby downtown economies.

That includes the fearless leaders of America’s capital city. The DC government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade trying to erect a streetcar line in the up-and-coming neighborhood of H Street. The project has been an epic disaster, perfectly demonstrating how ill-suited streetcars are to modern urban life.

Produced by Rob Montz, who also hosts. Camera by Todd Krainin. Graphics by Jason Keisling and Meredith Bragg.”

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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…?

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From a press release:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the start of DC Streetcar’s “Pre-Revenue Operations” phase—a crucial milestone for DC Streetcar as it continues prepping the system to be certified safe to carry passengers. System Integration Testing and Operator Training is wrapping up now, and Pre-Revenue Operations is anticipated to begin on Monday, September 29.

Pre-Revenue Operations is actual service simulated along the corridor without passengers. During this phase, all streetcar vehicles will run at their projected hours with projected headways (about every ten minutes). Proposed hours of operations for the streetcars were included in a recent legislation package that is now open for public review. Comments regarding the proposed hours of operation can be sent to [email protected] until September 27.

The proposed hours are:

· Monday-Thursday: 6:00 a.m. – midnight

· Friday: 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

· Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

· Sundays and Holidays: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians can expect to see streetcars with greater frequency during this phase and are reminded of the following safety tips: Read More

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From @DCStreetcar:

“To make your opinions on @DDOTDC’s proposed regulations official, use http://t.co/1T7KJOimUs or [email protected] before 9/27.”

From DDOT’s Facebook page:

“In response to the “proposed” regulations for bicycling on H Street. [52268]

DDOT’s number one priority is the safety of all modes of transportation, including bicycles, who share H Street. To that end, G and I Streets now have contraflow bicycle lanes, a safer alternative to H Street and designed to keep cyclists away from streetcar tracks.

We have concerns about all kinds of vehicles impeding the travel of the streetcar, and taken as a whole, the regulations address that. We are looking for constructive ways to address this concern while minimizing the impact to all users of the street. What were shared are (proposed) regulations for which we are seeking public comment.

Constituents have until Sept. 27 to weigh in.”

and:

“In response to the suggestion that prohibition on riding bicycles on the H st. Streetcar guideway *and* the prohibition on bringing bicycles on-board a streetcar during rush hour periods:

“Additionally, DDOT proposed these regulations specifically for the opening of the H Street/Benning Rd streetcar line. Before the opening of any new lines or extensions, DDOT intends to evaluate how the system is performing under the existing regulations and make changes as appropriate.”

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Thanks to all who sent photos of the streetcar being tested on H Street last night.

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DDOT writes:

“This week the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) permanently moved four streetcar vehicles to the H Street and Benning Road NE streetcar corridor. At no time prior have four vehicles been on the corridor at once. These vehicles will now continue System Integration Testing (SIT) and operator training in advance of passenger service, which is expected later this year. The District’s two other streetcar vehicles will join them in the coming months.

SIT includes the integration of vehicles, power, communications and traffic and train signal controls to ensure that all components are safe and working properly. Elements that are tested include radio communications, overhead contact system (OCS) interface, track switch interface, traction power emergency trip, braking, signal and sign visibility and streetcar control center communications. These tests will occur in live traffic conditions on the corridor.

In-traffic operator training is also beginning, building on the training and pre-qualification operators already received at the DC Streetcar Testing & Commissioning Site. Each operator will train with supervisors along the corridor under various traffic scenarios in order to be certified to carry passengers on the H/Benning Line.

Pre-revenue operations, in which service is simulated without passengers, will follow SIT and operator training. These elements are required for DDOT to certify its system and be accepted by the State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA). The safety certification process involves several critical steps and is intended to ensure that the system meets safety standards and is ready to carry passengers.

Pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists are advised to use caution as they travel through the corridor during testing and training activities. Remember to “Look, Listen, Be Safe!” around streetcar vehicles at all times – look both ways and listen for the streetcar before stepping into the crosswalk, and never walk in front of a moving streetcar.

Drivers should also be aware that the Department of Public Works (DPW) is now ticketing cars that are parked in such a way as to impede the path of the streetcar, including cars parked outside of the white lines and illegally double-parked vehicles. The fine for vehicles blocking the path of the streetcar will be $100. At DPW’s discretion, vehicles may also be towed to clear the streetcar’s path and then relocated within the immediate neighborhood. Ticketing will be an ongoing occurrence along the corridor and is not expected to cease.”

And @dcstreetcar tweets:

“REMEMBER: The streetcar is still in testing mode. For your safety, do not attempt to board.”

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From DC Streetcar:

“Beginning today, the District Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin ticketing and/or towing vehicles along H Street and Benning Road NE that are parked in such a way as to impede the path of the streetcar, including cars parked outside of the white lines and illegally double-parked vehicles. The District’s streetcar vehicles are scheduled to return permanently to the corridor this month for additional testing before passenger service begins.

The fine for vehicles blocking the path of the streetcar will be $100. At DPW’s discretion, vehicles may also be towed to clear the streetcar’s path and then relocated within the immediate neighborhood. Ticketing will be an ongoing occurrence along the corridor and is not expected to cease.

The DC Streetcar Team has been issuing “warning tickets” to vehicles on H/Benning that are improperly parked, prior to actual enforcement. Outreach will continue in order to spread the word that DPW is now ticketing and to educate motorists about proper parking along the streetcar corridor.”

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From DDOT:
“If you can’t make our meetings but have opinions on the North-South options, email us at [email protected]

“The North-South study phase is wrapping up! Please join us for our third series of public meetings to see what analysis has been done and to provide feedback. We’ll be analyzing four remaining alternatives in detail.

DC Streetcar June2014-Four Alternatives (PDF)

Thursday, June12, 2014; 3:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Presentations at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Emery Recreation Center
5701 Georgia Ave NW

And thank you to everyone who came to our previous series of public meetings! We appreciate your time and feedback. Summaries from Public Meeting Series 1 and 2 are posted online.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is continuing to conduct a planning study to examine opportunities for public transportation improvements in the North-South corridor from the Takoma/Silver Spring area to the Buzzard Point/Southwest area.

The study area is focused on a 9-mile corridor that includes most of the inner Southwest, crosses the National Mall, and in generally bound by 14th Street and 5th Street NW. For evaluation purposes, the study area will be divided into three different areas:

North: Takoma/Silver Spring generally to Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro station area;
Central: Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro Station area to the Downtown; and
South: Downtown to the SW Waterfront/Buzzard Point area.

Study Process

Over the next year, DDOT will be conducting a Phase 1: Planning study, in collaboration with the community, area businesses, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify and analyze alternatives to improve transit service and capacity in the corridor.

At the end of the study, DDOT will identify alternatives for further evaluation in the Phase 2: Environmental review process.

Check out our Project Library for more information and materials!”

Of course if the proposed 2015 budget moves forward…

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