Georgetown residents lobbying for a Wisconsin Avenue streetcar line
The District Department of Transportation is undertaking a massive effort to install 37 miles of streetcar tracks in D.C. That includes uncertain plans to run a streetcar line up Wisconsin Avenue, connected to the line that will run down K Street and Benning Road to the H Street NE corridor, shown in red on the map at right.
A group of Georgetown residents, however, are trying to turn the potential line into a sure thing. They’re called the Wisconsin Avenue Streetcar Coalition, and they want DDOT to make firm plans to route a streetcar through Georgetown.
Of course, as with any local ambitious project, there’s a lot of anxiety surrounding this issue.
Ben Thielen, who is heading up the Coalition, wrote on the wall of the WASC Facebook page that a member of the Tenley neighborhood listserv posted a Human Transit article to erode support for the streetcar. (The article argued that streetcars aren’t any faster than buses.) Meanwhile, he’s suspicious that upcoming construction on Wisconsin Avenue near Glover Park will impede streetcar tracks, and Glover Park residents are questioning how serious about the possbility of expansion DDOT really is in the Gazette (PDF).
For its part, the Voice is internally divided over whether a streetcar is such a good idea. In the Fall, the editorial board warned that streetcars were a foolish thing to pursue, considering that DDOT has enormous year-to-year budget shortfalls. In his feature story about the up-and-coming Atlas District, however, Chris Heller pointed out that the connectivity a streetcar line offers can mean big things for individual D.C. neighborhoods.