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Photos: The streetcar cometh

By Luke Rosiak

Update 12:20 11/11: 4th St. is currently closed between H and G streets NE for to add streetcar tracks on H street. The Post caught workers in action Tuesday night lifting rails via crane to prepare them for installation.

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(Luke Rosiak / The Washington Post)

Original post: Fourth Street NE will be closed between H and G streets Thursday and Friday between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm to accommodate installation of streetcar tracks at the 4th and H intersection. Local access will be maintained on 4th Street for residents.

hst.jpg
Streetcar tracks at 4th and H streets NE on Sunday await the pouring of a street after being unloaded from a flatbed truck stacked high with the rails. (Luke Rosiak / The Washington Post)

You can monitor the progress of the H Street streetscape and other DDOT projects at the DDOT Dashboard.

By Luke Rosiak  | November 11, 2010; 12:28 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Construction, District, Driving, Streetcar, Transit  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How's your cell service on Metro?
Next: Using Metro? Don't count on escalators

Comments

More money down the tubes, probably the bulk from Federal grants.

I can remember when the city finally finished removing the tracks for the old street cars in the 60's.

I understand the importance of public transportation, but with Metro showing repeatedly that it can't even operate at a break even point, why would anyone think street cars are going to be cost effective?

Posted by: BEEPEE | November 10, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Are the streetcars going to have speakers to announce when they run over pedestrians?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 10, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@BEEPEE...Actually, District residents, not the federal government, are paying for the H Street of the system. The DC Streetcar system belongs to the District, not WMATA, and the District Department of Transportation has not yet made a decision about who will operate the system. For the record, citizens of the District, not WMATA, also own the DC Circulator.

@getjiggly1...I am confused by your comment. Are you inferring that a streetcar traveling in a lane reserved for vehicles at the speed of other vehicles will increase pedestrian accidents? If so, why is that? OK, but wouldn't the announcements distract other pedestrians, vehicles, and bicyclists and result in more accidents?

Posted by: wslee1234 | November 10, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I meant the H Street SEGMENT of the system.

Posted by: wslee1234 | November 10, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

BEEPEE: Transit will operate at break even the day your car does. You do realize that I pay for suburban road development and the massive military expenditures in the middle east to insure the oil flows, so folks in the burbs can go on heavily subsidized happy motoring, right?

Posted by: janowicki | November 10, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

BEEPEE: Transit will operate at break even the day your car does. You do realize that I pay for suburban road development and the massive military expenditures in the middle east to insure the oil flows, so folks in the burbs can go on heavily subsidized happy motoring, right?

Posted by: janowicki
======================================

This is a silly argument. Drivers pay 100% of the cost of operating and maintaining their vehicles; transit users are subsidized. Fares paid by Metro riders, for example, pay only 30% of the cost of their ride. Check out WMATA's webiste if you think I'm wrong.

The "war for oil" argument is nothing but is a silly slogan and only the stupid and uninformed try to support an srgument with it.

Here's a quick lesson in 8-grade civics:

Drivers pay to buy, operate, maintain, and insure their vehicles BY THEMSELVES.

Highways (not local streets) are financed mainly by fuel taxes, tolls, weigh station fees, taxes on auto insurance, and excise taxes on tires - all paid by DRIVERS. To put it simply, if you don't drive, roads cost you next to nothing.

On the other hand, we ALL pay for transit, whether we use it or not. So, SHUT UP, quit whining and stop biting the hands that literally feed you by paying the lion's share of the cost of your cheap train/bus ride.

And for Gosh sakes, stop making a fool out of yourself by trying to use silly slogans from some agenda-based website to claim you "subsidize drivers", because you DON'T.

Posted by: ceefer66 | November 10, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Highways (not local streets) are financed mainly by fuel taxes, tolls, weigh station fees, taxes on auto insurance, and excise taxes on tires - all paid by DRIVERS. To put it simply, if you don't drive, roads cost you next to nothing.
---------------------------------------

DC has no highways (we'll just go with that and ignore 395/295 issues).

Who pays for the streets, sidewalks, circles, lights, crosswalks, etc?

Gas prices are subsidized, compared to gas prices in other countries - USA pays less than most other developed nation.

Other than that, we need both viable public transportation and viable roads system, imho.

Posted by: Greent | November 10, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greent"
"DC has no highways (we'll just go with that and ignore 395/295 issues)."

That's called cherry-picking the facts. AKA admitting you have no argument.

Posted by: Greent:
"Who pays for the streets, sidewalks, circles, lights, crosswalks, etc?"

Everyone.

Who benefits from them? You guessed it - Everyone!

Who pays for transit? Everyone.

Who benefits from transit? Only those who use it.

And please spare me the "Metro takes cars off the road" and "traffic would be worse without Metro" canard. It insults the intelligence of anyone who deals with the region's traffic.

@Greent:
"Gas prices are subsidized, compared to gas prices in other countries - USA pays less than most other developed nation."

If you're trying to raise and argument that US gas prices are "subsidized", you have the "Gas prices are subsidized" argument backwards, my friend.

Here's a little education for you:

In some countries, gasoline production and sale are government owned and controlled. Prices are set by the producer, in this case, the government. In some countries, such as Venezuela, gas proces are artificially low. THAT, my friend is "subsidizing gas prices".

We don't do that in the US. In this country, gasoline producers are private entities and gas prices are determined by the market.

Some governments choose to use gasoline as a revenue source more so than do others. That's called taxation policy, not a "subsidizing gas proces".

Now, some car-haters, particularly environmentalists and transit advocates, often raise the argument that "driving must be made more expensive" by use of onerous taxation to discourage private automobile use and force people to use transit. The old "get people out of their cars" nonsense. Some even go as far as to say the revenue generated by the taxes should be spent on transit while nothing is spent on roads (their "logic" being that making driving as unpleasant as possible while investing in transit will change people's bahavior in favor of transit use).

@Greent:
"Other than that, we need both viable public transportation and viable roads system, imho."

Agreed.

IMHO, the DC region has invested far more that what's sufficient in transit and woefully too little in roads. The fact that Metro is the nation's second-largest - and costliest to build - transit system AND the fact that we built the second-smallest highway network of the nation's 25 largest metro areas (while canceling planned highways under the reasoning that Metro made them unnessary) are cases in point.

It could logically be argued that our over-emphasis on transit at the expense of building roads is the single greatest reason why we have the nation's second-worst (or its worst, depending who you cite) traffic congestion.


Posted by: ceefer66 | November 10, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

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