Streams

Streetcar

Transportation Nation

D.C. Mum On Key Streetcar Questions As Safety Campaign Begins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The District Department of Transportation is teaching kids about streetcar safety. But students asked questions officials were not able to answer.
Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

Arlington Streetcars Won't Go To Referendum. Now What?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Both sides in the battle over Arlington County's proposed streetcar lines are weighing in on a big decision by the county board.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

Streetcar Funding Slashed By D.C. Council

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The D.C. Council voted to cut spending for a planned 22-mile network of streetcars — and use the money to pay for tax cuts. But Mayor Vincent Gray says that puts the entire program in jeopardy.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

Maya Angelou Was San Francisco's First Black Streetcar Conductor

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, the poet, writer, and performer who passed away at the age of 86, also has a place in civil rights transportation history: at the age of 16, she says she became San Francisco's first black streetcar conductor.

Read More

Comments [3]

Transportation Nation

As H Street Changes, Can Long-Time Residents Stay?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

WAMU

The new streetcars coming to D.C. are expected to bring billions in economic development, but residents who lived through the bad times might be priced out of staying through the good.

Read More

Comments [2]

Transportation Nation

For D.C. Residents, Streetcar Return Will Pose Practical Challenges

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's been 52 years since streetcars last ran on D.C. streets, and city officials have been working to prepare residents, drivers, cyclists, and business owners for what life with trolley will look and feel like.

Read More

Comments [3]

Transportation Nation

Price Tag of Proposed Arlington Streetcars Increase -- and So Do Ridership Projections

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Arlington County officials say that when its new streetcar line is built out, it will provide the majority of transit trips in the area. But opponents say that's overstated -- and that the increasing cost doesn't justify the project.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

Special Election In Arlington Prompts Debate Over Streetcar Plan

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WAMU

In their final debate before two upcoming caucus votes this week, the three Democratic candidates running for their party’s nomination to fill a vacant seat on the Arlington County board laid out their positions on one of the most divisive issues in the race: the future of the $300 million Columbia Pike streetcar project.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

Debate Over Streetcars To Take Center Stage In Arlington

Friday, January 03, 2014

WAMU

Arlington County -- one of the most densely populated places in Virginia -- has already voted to move ahead with a streetcar plan. Now it must figure out how to pay for it.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

VIDEO: D.C.'s First Streetcar Test Goes Well -- If Slowly

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WAMU

The District’s first streetcar in a half-century was towed down its tracks on H Street NE at four miles per hour Monday, the first in what will be months of safety tests before passengers can finally hop aboard next year.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

D.C. Streetcar To Make Long-Awaited First Appearance

Friday, December 13, 2013

The first streetcar to glide down tracks in Washington in half a century will make its first appearance Friday, as the District Department of Transportation intends to transfer one of its new streetcars from its Anacostia test track to the H Street/Benning Road NE corridor.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

When Will D.C.'s Streetcar Run? Officials Stick With 'Soon'

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

WAMU

D.C.'s first streetcar line in 50 years may be ready for passengers service by spring or early summer of next year, but an exact date remains elusive.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

VIDEO: What It Takes to Build D.C.'s First Streetcar in 50 Years

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

WAMU

The H Street/Benning Road corridor is undergoing a permanent—and highly anticipated—transformation.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

D.C. Studies Nine-Mile Streetcar Line Running Through National Mall

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

WAMU

The District Department of Transportation is launching a one-year study of a nine-mile streetcar line between Buzzard Point in Southwest D.C. and Takoma in Northwest. It's a key segment of a planned 22-mile streetcar system supposed to integrate wiith Metro buses and the D.C. Circulator.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

VIDEO: The First D.C. Streetcar in 50 Years Takes a Test Drive

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WAMU

D.C.'s streetcar won't be taking passengers for several more months, but engineers are already putting the vehicles through their paces, testing braking and acceleration -- and a feature called "dead man."

Read More

Comments [2]

Transportation Nation

Virginia Keeps Designing Its Un-Funded Streetcar Plan

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WAMU

They haven't figured out how to pay for the project yet, but the Arlington County Board has approved a plan to move ahead on the Columbia Pike Streetcar.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

Will D.C.'s Streetcar Open Before 2014? There's a "65/35" Chance

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

WAMU

D.C. officials say they're hopeful the city's new streetcar system will be up and running by the end of the year.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

PHOTOS: D.C.'s First Streetcars Roll in For Testing

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

D.C. is officially welcoming its new set of streetcars this week -- marking the first time the vehicles have been seen in the District since 1962. And to drum up ridership, Mayor Vincent Gray said fares could be free -- at first.

Read More

Comments [4]

Transportation Nation

Bike Modification Lets You Ride on Train Tracks, Probably Get Hit by Train

Monday, July 16, 2012


(Jess Zimmerman -- Cross-posted from Grist.org) If you live in a city with a thriving streetcar system, chances are you live in Europe and your burg is pretty bike-friendly anyway. But you have to admit that sticking to the streetcar tracks would make it much less likely for you to be hit by a car, while simultaneously making it much more likely for you to be hit by a streetcar. If that sounds like fun, or if you’ve just always wanted to “ride the rails” but don’t actually understand what those words mean, you can take inspiration from this project by German urban collective We Are Visual.

The Bahnradbahnrad (trainbiketrainbike) basically just adds training wheels (ha ha, get it? TRAINing wheels?), so the bike can slide through the streetcar’s track groove without losing stability. Off the track, you will look like a six-year-old. But on the tracks, you’ll be able to get anywhere you might want to go — streetcars hit most of a metropolis’ best offerings — while being relatively unmolested by everything besides large multi-car vehicles bearing down on you. But hey, they run on a schedule, and they have to stop — you can outrun a silly little train, right? Go find out!*

* Don’t go find out.

(Original post on Grist.org)

 

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

Will Walker's Wisconsin Win Mean No Milwaukee Streetcar?

Monday, June 11, 2012

A rendering of a Milwaukee streetcar, from milwaukeestreetcar.com

Governor Scott Walker’s triumph in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election seems to vindicate yet again his anti-rail campaign strategy. Supporters of the Millwaukee streetcar, his latest punching bag, must be worried now that Walker will make their pet project the next piece of trophy taxidermy on his office wall, right beside the high speed “boondoggle train to Madison.”

If we’ve learned anything these last few years it’s that an empowered Governor can do a lot to frustrate local wishes, be they for a commuter rail tunnel, a potentially profitable high speed train line, or a cherished lack of interstate highway.  But there’s reason to think Walker might be powerless to stop the streetcar plan, even if he wanted to do so.

A year ago, before the recall campaigning, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran a thorough piece elucidating one possible reason the Republican Governor wasn’t making a big deal of the streetcar at the time:

A 10-year-old civil rights settlement could explain the governor's reticence.

That deal prohibits the state from blocking the streetcar project, according to a top federal transportation official and an attorney involved in the settlement.

Faced with allegations that it was discriminating against urban minorities by favoring freeways over light rail, the state agreed in November 2000 to cooperate with the Milwaukee Connector study and to incorporate its recommendations into the state's long-term transportation plans. That study eventually spawned the streetcar.

(For more in-depth reporting and context on the historical confluence of race and transit, listen to Transportation Nation’s Back of the Bus documentary)

We reached John Norquist, the President of the Congress for the New Urbanism, who was mayor of Milwaukee at the time of the agreement. He agreed that it wouldn’t be possible for the streetcar funding to be re-purposed without the consent of the mayor, which seems unlikely since Mayor Tom Barrett was Walker’s recall opponent. “Walker can’t take the money. It’s a joint agreement,” Norquist said. “If Barrett doesn’t agree to move the money, then the money stays where it is.”

But keeping the funding safe for one project shouldn’t be the end of the story, Norquist said. “I think the transit advocates in Milwaukee need to attack the wasteful road projects that Walker’s engaged in, the boondoggle of widening Interstate 94 to eight lanes between Milwaukee and the Illinois state boundary. That’s something like 4 billion dollars. Just to go from six to eight lanes.”

(Repeated calls and e-mails to Walker's Office were not returned.)

Agreeing with certain regretful comments made by Wisconsin State Representative Brett Hulsey to Transportation Nation last week, Norquist said that the Democrats and pro-train advocates were too timid and passive in the face of Walker’s barrage of criticism. “They need to have an intellectual theory behind what they’re doing. We did this back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We threw out a bunch of pro-highway legislators in Milwaukee, and a bunch of us got elected on an anti-freeway campaign. We killed all three pending freeways in Milwaukee.” The streetcar money originally came from funds returned for the unbuilt Stadium North Freeway.  “Originally it was $500 million. And the state DOT has been trying to steal it ever since.”

Since those anti-freeway heyday that brought him into power, the pendulum has swung the other way, he says, largely because of racial fears tied to transit in Wisconsin. “This last election Walker ran against the city, tried to wrap the fear about the big city around Barrett’s neck,” Norquist observed. “It’s all very hardcore. They treat transit like it’s a welfare queen sashaying down a welfare promenade.”

But he also thinks that attitude might soon run its course. “I think Walker’s attitude still works because the a lot of those post-war generation are still voting their fears about the city and there’s still a lot of them around,” he said. “But it’s about to change. Young people—the Millenials—like urban place, and they don’t have a negative attitude toward transit.” In 1970, there were nine cities in the nation with rail transit systems, he pointed out, while today, some forty cities have it, including many in sun belt. “I think Walker will be one of the last of the people that are able to use transit as a wedge issue.”

 

Matt Dellinger is the author of the book Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway. You can follow him on Twitter.

Read More

Comments [1]