A good four-part series this week by WAMU’s two Martins on the return of streetcars to H Street N.E.:
- Martin Austermuhle on the unwarranted optimism about meeting project milestones;
- Martin di Caro on the streetcars playing nicely with all the other vehicular traffic;
- Austermuhle on the expected economic development;
- di Caro on demographic changes to the neighborhood (which started before the streetcar became something to count on).
Perhaps it should have been obvious to me, but I was struck by a comment made by Ellen McCarthy of the D.C. Office of Planning:
“One of the attractions of streetcar as a transportation mode is that it’s cheaper than rail, and while it’s more expensive than bus, what the experience has been nationwide is that the clear visible permanence of rail tracks creates a level of confidence about commitment to development of a particular corridor, so it’s more apt to produce investment on the private sector side.”