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D.C. streetcars coming back?

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) is expected to announce Wednesday that the city has found enough money to restore funding for street car service in the District. Earlier Wednesday, the council approved taking $49 million from the streetcars to use to balance city's budget and help fund other projects. That vote effectively delayed the launch of the streetcars by two years.

-- Nikita Stewart

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
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And realizing he just lost the mayors race, Vincent Gray miraculously finds money to restore streetcar service.

Posted by: patio100 | May 26, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the asinine comment, patio100, that contributes absolutely nothing. Apart from "looking cool", what did the Chairman stand to lose politically? He has the votes from Benning already (let's see Fenty win that area) and 20-somethings heading to H St. for weekend-nights out might be outraged, but hard choices had to be made. I'm glad to see Chairman Gray had the courage to actually TAKE a stand, and while I am happy the funds have been found to restore the project, getting a nifty cable car to running down the H St./Benning Corridor isn't a terribly high priority given the other challenges facing the District right now.

Posted by: MikeInWoodley | May 26, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call the initial comments asinine. The fact of the matter is that Gray has shown that he is wiling to kowtow to the lowest common denominator of the "old guard" of District politics (with good buddy Phil Mendelson in tow).

Announcing such a significant policy shift in good concert with Bob Irsay of the Baltimore Colts, and then shifting back after receiving hundreds of calls and emails in protest is outrageous.

One either has a vision for the city and implements it, or else they are a pol. Mr. Gray has simply demonstrated he is the latter.

Posted by: LukasWP | May 26, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't seem to me that Gray is kowtowing to the old guard but the "newer" DC residents who would actually be interested in a streetcar.

As a DC resident, I can do without a streetcar considering the host of other things they could use the money for.

Dog Parks and StreetCars...but hey, DC doesn't have a budget shortage. Nah, let's invest in the next urban baby park, complete with self-propelled strollers.

Posted by: dcis1 | May 26, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse


His job is to rewrite a unsustainable budget proposal written by the Mayor and that is exactly what he is doing.

We are a city that has fired child social workers due to budget pressures yet build dog parks and a boutique street car system.

The priorities of the Mayor is clearly not with the majority of the citizens.

At least Gray has taken the stand that if you want these things you damn well better have a sustainable way to pay for it.

I would like to know what deal he and Natwar Ghandi made in outside of public transparency that now makes this project "affordable".

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 26, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

This whole episode shows that Vince Gray cannot be trusted to say what he thinks.

In 2006, before Colby King supposed that hating young people was good politics, here's what Gray said about the streetcar: "These opportunities, especially those that connect the city, help chip away with the geographical and psychological isolation that residents east of the river feel," Gray said. "It also sends a message that the areas that have been neglected are now becoming a priority."

Today, to score political points, Gray tried to kill the streetcar. And later in the same day, to score political points, Gray tried to say he saved the streetcar.

This city can't wait forever until Vince Gray makes up his mind.

Posted by: hungrypug | May 26, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

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