— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) February 27, 2016
The D.C. Streetcar has successfully launched. No, seriously.
Though the project to send a streetcar down H Street NE took nearly $200 million and lasted longer than it took to send a man to the moon, it’s finally complete.
Don’t believe us? Here’s some proof:
— Frozen Tropics (@FrozenTropics) February 27, 2016
— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) February 27, 2016
— Benjamin Kotyk Case (@Benkcase) February 27, 2016
$200 million later, DC's first streetcar ride https://t.co/zHRAKS1zia
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) February 27, 2016
— Martin Di Caro (@MartinDiCaro) February 27, 2016
— Barred in DC (@barredindc) February 27, 2016
The DC Streetcar is now in service. For real. pic.twitter.com/PCZklUGUdq
— Washingtonian (@washingtonian) February 27, 2016
And I'm in pic.twitter.com/mmD1SFYKlS
— sharrowsDC (@sharrowsDC) February 27, 2016
BONUS: Here’s a photo of that cheeky Nando’s trolley.
Not a streetcar. Also not Portuguese chicken. pic.twitter.com/bY5vcHjUAa
— Helder Gil (@hgil) February 27, 2016
Furniture Design Store Opens Near Eastern Market — Septcarrés, the design firm that built the interiors of Maketto and Toki Underground, opened a furniture showroom at 323 7th St. SE. [Capitol Hill Corner]
District Announces Streetcar Start With Indecipherable Hashtag — The H Street Streetcar is set to really actually definitely start service on Feb. 27, and the District government announced the start date with a pretty confusing hashtag: #choochoo7. [Washington City Paper]
Police Arrest Two in Connection with Barber Shop Shooting, Name Third Suspect — Police have arrested two men in connection with a shooting at a barber shop near Barracks Row last Friday and released the name and photo of the third suspect. [Hill Now]
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 18, 2016
If Mayor Bowser says it, it’s official, right?
The infamous D.C. Streetcar is scheduled to start running on Feb. 27, D.C.’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) said earlier today.
According to a press release, the streetcar will begin free service at the 13th St. Streetcar Stop (1300 H St. NE) at 10 a.m. next Saturday.
More, from that press release:
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is pleased to announce the launch of DC Streetcar. Join us on Saturday, February 27th at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of 13th and H streets as we reintroduce streetcars to the District. Passenger service will begin immediately following the brief ceremony.
DC Streetcar will operate free service for the public for an introductory period. Permanent fare structure will be announced at a later date.
See you on the 27th!
Streetcar Gets Safety Approval, Could Carry Passengers Before March — The H Street streetcar could start carrying passengers as early as Feb. 26 after being approved by safety officials with D.C. Fire and EMS. [WAMU]
Waterfront Metro Station to Close This Weekend — The Waterfront Metro station will be closed this weekend to fix a leak in the tunnel between the Waterfront and L’Enfant Plaza stations. [SWTLQTC]
How to Make the Most of Valentine’s Day on Capitol Hill — The Hill is Home has compiled a list of Valentine’s Day events and goodies across Capitol Hill. [The Hill is Home]
A Look Inside New Navy Yard Residential Building Park Chelsea — The owners of Park Chelsea at 880 New Jersey Ave. SE have opened their ground-level leasing center for the new residential building. [JDLand]
H Street Streetcar Eyeing Late February Opening — Project managers for the H Street NE Streetcar are aiming to begin passenger service on Feb. 20 or earlier. [WAMU]
Townhomes, Retail Approved for Alley on H Street Corridor — Plans to build four townhomes and commercial space on Linden Court NE, just off of the H Street corridor, were approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment in December. [Urban Turf]
A Look at Development to Come This Year in Navy Yard — Navy Yard blog JDLand rounded up all the construction projects scheduled to complete in 2016 in the Navy Yard area. [JDLand]
District Council Upholds Ban on Cannabis Clubs After Councilmembers Allen, May Change Votes — The District council briefly voted down a temporary extension of the ban on private venues where residents can consume marijuana but reinstated the ban 15 minutes later after Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen and Ward 8 Councilwoman LaRuby May changed their votes to support the ban. [Washington City Paper]
Friendship Charter Schools Founder Plans to Retire — Donald Hense, the founder and head of Friendship Public Charter schools, plans to retire this summer. Friendship is one of the largest charter networks in the District and includes Chamberlain Elementary and Middle schools in Hill East. [Washington Post]
Folger Shakespeare Library Offering Ward 6 Discounts for Christmas Performance — The Folger Shakespeare library will offer discounted tickets for its Christmas performance at the Church of the Reformation at 212 East Capitol St. NE to Ward 6 residents. [Hill Rag]
Developer Secures Financing for 138-Unit Condo Building at The Yards — Developer PN Hoffman announced they have secured financing for a 138-unit condo building at the intersection of 4th and Tingey streets SE in The Yards, which will break ground in the beginning of next year. [JDLand]
H Street Streetcar Test Runs to Increase Today — The empty H Street streetcar will be making more trips up and down H Street NE for the next three weeks as the beleaguered tram gets ready for safety certification to carry passengers. [Hill Now]
The empty H Street streetcar will be making more trips up and down H Street NE starting tomorrow as the beleaguered tram gets ready for safety certification to carry passengers.
The District Department of Transportation announced today that the streetcar will begin “Pre-Revenue Operations” tomorrow, meaning that the system will simulate normal service for at least three weeks without passengers.
The tests are the final round of dry-runs before the streetcar can be approved to carry passengers. However, this is the second time the streetcar has entered the PRO phase. The last time was in September 2014, when the streetcar failed to pass the final round of test runs.
The announcement today comes four days after the Washington Post editorial board wondered whether it might be wiser to pull the plug on the streetcar altogether.
For at least the next three weeks, empty streetcars will run about every 15 minutes during its planned hours of operation, which are:
- Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m.-midnight
- Friday: 6 a.m.-2 a.m.
- Saturday: 8 a.m.-2 a.m.
- Holidays: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
DDOT is warning pedestrians, drivers and cyclists in the H Street area to watch for the streetcars and use caution traveling through the H Street corridor.
D.C. Councilmembers Speak Out Against Pepco-Exelon merger — Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen joined Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh and At Large Councilmembers David Grosso and Elissa Silverman on a letter urging the District’s Public Service Commission to reject the proposed takeover of Pepco by Exelon. [Washington Post]
Enterprise Car Rental to Open in Southwest This Week — Enterprise car rental is slated to open its new location at Waterfront Station at 1100 4th Street SW this week. [SWTLQTC]
Video Compares H Street Streetcar to Simpsons’ Monorail — A song created by Express writer Sadie Dingfelder, who has written other local transit-themed tunes, compares the H Street Streetcar to the Springfield Monorail from The Simpsons. [Washington Post]
Eastern Market Bullfrog Bagels Runs Into Neighbor Opposition to Liquor License — The application for a liquor license at the future Bullfrog Bagels location in Eastern Market hit a road block at an ANC 6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee where neighbors expressed concerns about overnight deliveries and noise. [Capitol Hill Corner]
‘Build First’ Development Model Gains Support at Greenleaf Gardens — Neighborhood groups have thrown their support behind a “build first” model of redevelopment at the Greenleaf Gardens public housing complex in Southwest which would allow for new development in vacant areas of the complex without displacing current residents. [Hill Rag]
New H Street NE Restaurant Plans Mediterranean Menu, Extensive Wine List — Sospesso Mediterranean restaurant, which is currently moving into 1344 H St. NE, posted a liquor license application to offer coffee during the day and dinner with wine in the evening. [PoPville]
Lessons Learned From H Street Streetcar Collisions — There have been six collisions between the H Street streetcar and cars during its testing phases. Washington City Paper looked at what can be learned from these accidents. [Washington City Paper]
Organization that Aids Low-Income Veteran Families Raising Money for Christmas Stockings — Community Connections, a Capitol Hill nonprofit that provides mental health care to veterans and others is raising money to provide Christmas stockings full of gifts to children of low-income veterans this year. The group is also collecting winter coats, scarves, hats and gloves at various locations throughout Capitol Hill. [The Hill is Home]
Martin Di Caro, the transportation reporter for WAMU 88.5, delivered some familiar news on The Kojo Nnamdi Show today: the H Street NE streetcar is still not ready to carry passengers, and likely won’t be ready by the end of the year.
The streetcar is set to start a final test phase that will take 21 days, after which D.C. Fire and EMS officials will be able to grant final approval to open to the public, Di Caro reported for WAMU.org.
However, officials have not yet set a date for the final testing phase, called pre-revenue operations, or PRO, will begin. Di Caro said it is very unlikely that the testing and approval from the Fire and EMS Department will finish by the end of the year:
“The fact that only 27 days are left in the year, therefore, shows time is running out in 2015. Moreover, there is no indication as to when oversight officials, led by Fire Captain Kelton Ellerbe, will give the go ahead to start PRO. His office continues to grapple with project managers inside the District Department of Transportation over the approval of documentation for the line’s safety systems.”
In September, Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the streetcar would carry passengers by the end of the year, a promise that will likely not come true.
H Street Businesses Complain of Parking Crackdown Around Still-Closed Streetcar — District parking enforcement have towed more than 300 cars and issued more than 1,000 tickets for streetcar-related parking violations, which business owners say have hurt business. [Washington Post]
Preservation League Seeks Historical Designation for Railway Express Building in NoMa — The D.C. Preservation League has nominated the Railways Express Agency Building at 900 2nd St. NE for historical preservation in an attempt to preemptively protect it from alteration as part of the Union Station expansion. [Washington Business Journal]
Southwest Building Camden South Capitol Abandons Plans for Ground-Floor Retail — Camden South Capitol, the building that opened on the corner of SOuth Capitol Street and O Street SW in 2013 has abandoned plans to put a restaurant on the ground floor, receiving a permit to build five additional apartments instead. [SWTLQTC]
Books by Local High School Students to Be Released Thursday — Reach Incorporated, a program that hires teenagers to be elementary school reading tutors, will release four children’s books written by local high school students on Thursday. [Hill Now]
Bowser Denies Link Between Pepco Stadium Deal, Merger — Mayor Muriel Bowser and Pepco representatives both denied rumors that Pepco’s agreement to pay $25 million for naming rights of the future D.C. United Stadium and other properties influenced Bowser’s decision to back the Pepco-Exelon merger. [WUSA 9]
Capitol Hill-Based Beer Brand Looking Past Local Markets to China — Meet the owner of a new Capitol Hill-based beer brand 888 Lucky Beer, who is focusing on selling his brew in China. [Washington City Paper]
Metrobus and Streetcar That Collided Yesterday Sustained Minor Damage — An accordion-style articulated bus and a streetcar both sustained very minor damage when the bus crashed into the streetcar on H Street NE yesterday. [Washington Post]
Canal Park Ice Rink Opens for Winter Today — The Canal Park Ice Rink in Navy Yard is set to open for the winter at noon today after a week-long delay due to unusually warm temperatures. [Hill Now]
Top District Transportation Official Cautious About Streetcar Predictions — District Department of Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo said in an interview with WAMU that he can’t guarantee that the streetcar will carry passengers by the end of the year. [WAMU]
Councilman Allen, Business Leaders Meet Again to Discuss Safety Problems Near Eastern Market Metro — Representatives from local businesses, ANC6B and the Metropolitan Police Department met with Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen on Monday for a second meeting to address crime and safety concerns near the Eastern Market Metro Station. [Capitol Hill Corner]
Pepco Seeks to Rename Street on Buzzard Point ‘Pepco Place’ — The District government and Pepco agreec to a sponsorship arrangement in which Pepco will pay $25 million in exchange for renaming Half Street SW between Potomac Avenue and V Street “Pepco Place.” Much of the money will be used to cover the city’s expected eminent domain payment for the last remaining land on the future D.C. United stadium plot. [Washington Business Journal]
Friends of Rosedale Library to Hold ‘Reverse Book Sale’ Book Drive — Friends of the Rosedale Library will celebrate their third birthday on Saturday with a book and donation drive to benefit the library at 1701 Gales St. NE. [Frozen Tropics]
H Street Corridor, Eastern Market Popular for Bikeshare Members — The most frequent trip for Bikeshare members is between Union Station and H Street NE, followed by the journey between East Capitol Street NE to Eastern Market. [chart-it]
Black Teen Whose Detention Sparked Protest Says His Race Caused Suspicion — Jason Goolsby, the 18-year-old whose detention on Capitol Hill was caught on video and sparked a protest, yesterday told the Washington Post that he was seen as a threat because he is black. [Washington Post]
Tracking Every Time District Officials Have Been Wrong About Streetcar Opening — City officials have offered many proposed start dates for the streetcar along H Street NE since 2009. But the cars still aren’t carrying any passengers. [Washingtonian]
Food Network Star Might Visit H Street NE Eatery This Week — Guy Fieri and the crew of his Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” might make an appearance on the H Street corridor on Friday. [Hill Now]
Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6 said last night he is “hopeful” that streetcars on H Street and Benning Road NE will start picking up passengers before 2016.
Allen, whose ward includes the H Street corridor, told Hill Now that he regularly sees crews testing the streetcars and the vehicles appear ready to take the public for rides soon. But he said passenger service this year isn’t certain.
“It’s certainly my hope that it’s open by the end of the year,” said Allen, who has fought to keep the streetcar project on track.
Last month, Bowser suggested that the streetcars will start ferrying the public down H Street and Benning Road this year, saying she’ll take the streetcar during the first year of her administration, Washington City Paper reported.
The District started installing streetcar tracks in 2009.