Where the Streetcar Ends

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    NEWSLETTERS

    I'm going into a lot more detail on this in my print column this week, but since the Post went ahead and mentioned what the District Department of Transportation is thinking about vis-a-vis the H Street line's terminus at Union Station—after it came to light that the original plan for running it straight underneath Amtrak's tracks had been kiboshed—I thought I'd add a visual.

    The first option, on the left, would put a stop on top of the Hopscotch bridge, requiring passengers to walk through the bus garage and down escalators into Union Station. DDOT has determined that the bridge is structurally sound enough to handle the weight, but would still need to complete planned reinforcements; they don't know whether streetcar service could continue simultaneously. Since the trolley can run in both directions, it would not need to turn around in the garage, which will soon be full of intercity bus services anyway.

    The second option, in the middle, would punch a hole through the Hopscotch bridge and then turn south on 2nd Street NE, putting a stop right around Ebenezers Coffee on F Street. You can see the station from there, but it's still a little bit of a walk to metro.

    The third option would turn north to connect to the red line at New York Avenue, jog west along M Street, and come back down First Street NE to end right around Union Station's metro entrance. Creating a no-fare zone between New York Avenue and Union Station could be a great way to integrate NoMa, especially during seasons when the ten-minute walk in between them is less pleasant.

    All of these will be evaluated by the four firms bidding on on the design/build contract. And there are more complications to how this will all play out, which you can read about here tomorrow.

    Where the Streetcar Ends was originally published by Washington City Paper on Aug 23, 2011