Housing Complex

Clearer Pictures of How the Streetcar May End, For Now

Depiction of the potential car barn training facility at 26th and Benning Road NE.

Back in August, we learned what was under consideration for the H Street trolley's temporary connection to Union Station (after the initial idea, going through an underpass, fell through). Now, the District Department of Transportation has issued some sketches of their own, and they're a little different: The alternatives have narrowed to two, with stopping at F Street and going to the top of the H Street Bridge still in contention, while going up to the New York Avenue Metro stop is off the table. Above is what's being contemplated for the Eastern end.

There's an update meeting next Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Atlas Theater. Diagrams after the jump.


Alternative #1 for the temporary connection to Union Station.

Detail of Alternative #1.


Alternative #2.

  • Skipper

    No start. No finish. No powering. No financing. No plan.

    Greater Gabe's Washington boondoggle.

  • Jordan

    Four months later aaaaaand DDOT has managed to draw red lines on four google maps aerial images.

  • Campy

    Put it on the bridge and hope Lance Wyman knocks our socks off with the best wayfinding system of all time.

    Was there an explanation why the only option with direct connection to metro (ny ave/noma) was eliminated? Should have taken it up 3rd and cut across on M street to connect to the convention center. That would have given us an initial line worth a damn that connects to door-to-door to red and green/yellow metro lines.

  • anon

    How in the hell are they going to put a streetcar on Third Street NE between F and H? It's too narrow for the current two-way traffic configuration, much less adding a streetcar to the mix.

  • jyt

    This is the kind of crap we get when people voted for Gray: people pretend streetcars are impossible, when really they're sandbagging.

    What a gasbag and his staff couldn't run a McDonalds with the manual sitting in front of them.

    Way to go Mayor Gray, you 'serve' the Committee of 100.

  • Joe

    Well said, @jyt. I don't miss Fenty much, but days like these I do a lot.

  • oboe

    I'm with @jyt. It's pretty hilarious to hear the naysayers who don't know anything about the history of the project, and can't even bring themselves to imagine that a streetcar might be made to run on a three mile stretch of road. As though we're talking about building a moon-base.

    But, yes, eventually there'll be a streetcar on H Street.

    May have to wait until Gray's voted out, though.

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  • A dude

    Uh, how do they turn around at union station if they go up the bridge. And really, your second option is turning into the capital hill historic district.

  • Dumbo

    Narrow streets are not the problem. That's done in many cities worldwide. The streetcar should go to the front of Union Station as it was historically. It has just as much justification or more as any other vehicle to be located there. There is no rational justification for buses only. Anyone who has been to Europe knows streetcars are the principal local transportation at most large Central Stations. Its the DC politicians who genuflect to the oil interests and make noxious buses supreme. They don't ride them anyway.

  • Turnip

    The 2nd & F option looks good, with a coffee shop right there and a short (if dull) walk to the metro station. By comparison, the crest of the H Street bridge is isolated and unsupervised, not such a good place to spend waiting for 25-minute headways.

  • jason

    christ, just stop it on top of the hop-scotch bridge. One stop located on the median. The streetcars, i believe, are bi-directional so they do not need to turn around. Run a single track up the bridge right up the center, drop us off at the parking lot and let us walk into union station. the track can split at the end of the bridge, give the car is own signal to enter and exit the bridge. just rebuild the median and lay some track.

    Stick the power station in that absurd a$$ library on 13th and h and lets go. this is taking too long. C'mon folks.

    - All the way up to ny ave metro? seriously? i'd have to leave for work at 4am just to make it to metro center by noon. Too far, too slow, too long.

    - Capital hill? yeh, that'll be like building an apple store in georgetown. By the time they're done with their historic preservation we'll have to ride covered wagons driven by marion barry's nephews wearing coveralls and humming "swing-low" just to get the the E-street picture show. (i'm black and not Hermain Cain, i can say this without being offensive.)

    Anyway, in the meantime, how about we find an an Amtrak easement somewhere in the city to revoke so they'll be forced to stop being douches about the space under the bridge because of some further hypothetical use. Amtrak operating high-speed rail is as likely as Rhee for Ward 8 Council signs in Barry Farm. Only happening if Ayn Rand herself shows up to build a replica Rio Norte line up the east coast.

  • Robert Mann-Thompson

    I'm not sure this has been addressed, but I don't believe any focus has been put on the eastern end of this. Putting that facility there, at the foot of a historic high school, housing area, and adjacent to a national park would be a terrible misuse of land. It's clear from the western side that w/o an amtrak deal, this is becoming a fool errand, but the east end of Benning/H isn't anywhere near ready either. I feel the eastern side's being ignored here, and that's rather unfortunate.

  • tom veil

    Why not have the Union Station stop at the front of Union Station? They're tearing up the pavement there anyway, and it would put the streetcar out front where it belongs.

  • extend it

    It should stop on the Hopscotch bridge, but while we are waiting for powerlines, cars, etc to get the line up and running. They should be working now to extend the tracks to the Convention Center. The streetcar is a great project but this current plan of just going along H Street and stopping at Union does little to actually solve the connectivity problems for H. H street is disconnected from downtown, not from Union Station. I fear that by stopping at Union ridership will underwhelm and momentum for the larger system will grind even further to a halt.

  • Tim

    If you would like to get some background on the streetcars visit the DC Streetcar website:

    Issues with the proposed plan to 2nd and F St NE:

    3rd Street and F Street are designated as no-bus routes

    3rd St and F Streets are designated not to have vehicles over 1.5 tons - the street car weighs 32 tons.

    The residents of F Street fought long and hard to have the bus line removed from their street due to the inadequate roadbed and damage to their historic properties.

    3rd St in particular is a tree lined residential street and installing the overhead power lines will destroy the trees and the essence of the street

    3rd Street is narrow and does not support the current traffic and parking stresses.

    Congestion is already a problem

    it would remove all parking form the neighborhood

    The area’s historic homes constructed in the 1890’s and meticulously maintained on the street have fragile foundations that will be adversely affected by the Streetcar.

    200 elementary children attend the DC public school at Logan, the trolley would circle every ten minutes

    Substantial portions of F Street NE is part of the Capitol Hill Historic District

    Major neighborhood disruptions for a project that is “intermediate” is not sound planning nor sustainable.

    the Drop of "Area" in front of Kaiser is already a mess, this will just complicate it even more

    This would totally be against the Safe Routes to School program

    The Street Train is 68 Feet long, 11 Feet tall requiring 16 feet of vertical clearance and weighs 32 Tons

  • Tim

    Continue the tracks over the bridge and to the new Walmart site at H and New Jersey (providing transportation for both Walmart workers and shoppers)


  • Tim

    December 6, 2011 - H Street/Benning Road Streetcar Line Update Meeting at The Atlas Performing Arts Center 1333 H Street NE - 7 pm

  • Rich

    What in the world does "there's a meeting next WEEK at 7:00" mean? Is it every day of next week? Poor writing/editing here, folks.

  • Lydia DePillis

    Sorry, it's on Tuesday.

  • oboe

    200 elementary children attend the DC public school at Logan, the trolley would circle every ten minutes

    Thanks for the cavalcade of NIMBYism, but I'd like to know what you've been smoking if you think that a streetcar would add to the danger already posed by countless private automobiles.

    If anything, a streetcar would make this stretch safer.

  • Rayful Edmond

    Going to NY Ave Metro makes the most sense. Why is this proposal off the table?

  • Novanglus

    Why not continue across the bridge and build a walkway ramp directly to the north end of the metro platform?

  • http://www.ajfroggie.com Froggie

    @Jordan: that's actually DC OCTO imagery. Which is where Google got it from.

    Given that the long-term plan is for the H St streetcar to continue west and tie into the K St NW streetcar, it makes more sense to use the Hopscotch Bridge. Historically, there was no direct streetcar connection from H St NE to the front of Union Station...those streetcars that ran the loop in front of Union Station went either direction on Massachusetts Ave (west to G St NW and New Jersey Ave NW, and east to D St/Constitution Ave), or south on 1st St NE to Independence Ave. The old H St NE streetcars simply continued west eventually to Mt. Vernon Square, the White House, and beyond up Pennsylvania Ave NW.

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