First DDOT Transit Meeting Held in Ward 6
Last night, DDOT held its first of the series of 8 meetings focused on DC’s Transit Future. The presentation was less of a formal presentation than a series of information stations with maps, information, and DDOT staff to talk generally about transportation’s future in Washington, and specifically about streetcars in Washington.
DDOT Director Gabe Klein did address the crowd — and ceded the floor to other speakers including Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells — but most of the information was to be gained from asking questions at each information station.
One thing became very clear at the assembly — DDOT and the City are committed to building the streetcar system and have increased its importance so that its completion can be as fast as possible. Even with this priority, it will be years before the system is entirely built out.
Currently, the streetcar system is designed to be created in three phases. Phase 1 includes the currently being built MLKjr. Ave/M Street (Anacostia) line, the K St/H St/Benning Rd line, and the yet to be started Georgia Ave/14th St/7th Street line.
Good news for lower Georgia Avenue is that the initial phase of the Georgia Avenue line would be from the current Metro station at New Hampshire Ave. south to Florida Ave/U Street, west to 14th Street, and then south to K Street.
Two quick comments I have are:
- The system as planned still doesn’t solve the mass transit deserts the City currently has — such as any cross-town route that would connect upper NE and NW to each other without needing to go through downtown to get to the other side of Rock Creek Park; and,
- Perhaps due to DDOT’s belief that development and change closely follows streetcar routes, the emphasis of the proposed streetcar lines closely aligns and connects the established Neighborhood Investment Fund Target Areas.
Below is a video of DC streetcars before they vanished from the City’s streets when the last streetcar ran on January 28, 1962.