When All Else Fails, Convene a Task Force
Planning for the streetcar has veered a bit off the rails, as neighbors protest the city's planned car barn/training facility on the Spingarn High School campus and the launch of the inaugural H Street-Benning Road line seems destined to be pushed into 2014.
Hoping to get things back on track (sorry, I'll stop, I promise), Mayor Vince Gray just announced a new task force on financing and governance for the streetcar. The 14-member task force will be chaired by City Administrator Allen Lew and will also include developers Jair Lynch (vice chair) and Matthew Klein, DDOT Director Terry Bellamy, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins, and Chief Financial Officer Nat Gandhi, among others.
“The District has the most ambitious streetcar plan in the nation. We are the only city talking about putting down 37 miles of tracks,” said Gray in announcing the task force. “I want to make sure we have the best minds inside and outside the government working on the important issues of financing and governance to ensure the system has a firm foundation.”
Will this task force receive a kinder reception than the one on undergrounding the city's power lines, also chaired by Lew, which drew huge protests at the Wilson Building? Remains to be seen.
But as long as the streetcar continues not to exist, at least no one can throw rocks at it.
Photo via DDOT Facebook page