Housing Complex

Does H Street Really Need a Streetcar?


This morning's Washington Post reports on street closures on H Street NE.*

Why? The corridor is getting a streetcar, and tracks are being installed as we speak  (or more precisely "write," or, likely in your case, procrastinate at work.) 

The online comments on this story are priceless:

"Another avenue for crooks, murders, rapists to get around town."

"...Who gives a flying f— about street car tracks? Feed the needy."

"...H street needs a LOT of things, but a streetcar is the last of it. the traffic on the street is bad enough and more like an obstacle course with double parked cars, kids and drug addicts randomly wandering into the street and trucks delivering goods to merchants – without running a trolley down the middle. this is by far the stupidest plan i've ever seen."

Deep in the bowels of the District Department of Transportation website, there is more information about this project. But man, do you have to know where to look.  (So thank you Post, for the instructions.)

Streetcar tracks will be installed from the intersection of Oklahoma Avenue and Benning Road to 3rd Street along H Street NE. They will be on the eastbound and westbound lanes adjacent to the curb, according to a recent DDOT report. 

View Benning Road/H Street Trolley in a larger map

As for the launch date of this glorious trolley or train or streetcar or whatever it's going to be called...that I have not been able to track down. But the entire H Street reconstruction project is supposed to last "1,020 consecutive calendar days with [a] scheduled completion date of July 10, 2011," according to DDOT's website.

*From the press release: "Today, the intersection of 4th and H Streets, NE will be closed from 9 am to 5 pm. In addition, the eastbound curb lane on H Street, NE between 3rd and 5th Streets will be closed to traffic. Traffic on 4th Street will be redirected to 5th Street, NE. Flaggers and variable messages signs will help guide motorists and pedestrians around the work zone." On Friday, the 7th and H Streets NE intersection will be closed during the day, as well.

Image by NCinDC, Flickr Creative Commons

  • dcuser

    I'm sorry, but how on earth does this make sense? It's not going to connect to Union Station (red line, Amtrak & MARC). Nor is it going to go across the river to Minnesota Ave (orange) or Benning Rd. It's a waste.

  • Menace

    Hell Yeah it needs a street car and A LOT of other attention as well!

    For the record, H St isn't the only place the street cars are going: Up Georgia Ave, Across to Anacostia, it will connect a massive part of the city. Feel free to actually look at the plan. You may have to put the mochachino, soy latte down first.

    Second, and this is the REAL reason H St "needs" the street car: This part of the city has been severly neglected since 1968. No wonder NWers think only crack heads, murders and rapists live there. (BTW-feel free to leave the comfort of your F'n doorstep sometime!)

    This stretch (which used to be a MAJOR hub of the city until, you know, the looting and rioting from the heartbreak of Dr. King) is rebuilding ITSELF with little to NO help from the city.

    It's about time the residence, the ones that don't live here for only 2-3 years, get some kind of hope in the form of infrastructer long ago given to Chinatown, U St, Logan, Columbia Heights, Foggy Bottom, AM, Cleveland Park, and SE Waterfront.

    It's battling it's current conditions, history and the incredibly insensitive, racist A-Holes who've never set foot on it. (on second thought, please remain on your doorsteps.)

    yeah, maybe they should have a little of what every other part in the city has gotten for years! ya think?!

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  • Tom

    I am sorry, it just seems like a horrendous waste of taxpayer money. For Menace, I ask, how is this different from a bus line? I see it more as a novelty than a serious transportation issue. And to Menace once again, It seems to me that the H st. corridor is NOT repairing itself. What is bringing new life to that neighborhood is not the traditional occupants but the affluent(both white and black, true more white than black but affluent nonetheless) individuals that are taking a chance on a fairly unsafe neighborhood. Hell I did here in SE and have been thoroughly happy. So get off the stupid race card and realize that gentrification is happening. It's a money thing, not a race thing.