DC Streetcars

DC Streetcars

In 2009, DDOT unveiled a proposed 37-mile DC streetcar system and stated its goals to:

  • Link neighborhoods with a modern, convenient and attractive transportation alternative;
  • Provide quality service to attract and reach new transit ridership;
  • Offer a broader range of transit options for District residents;
  • Reduce short inner-city auto trips, parking demand, traffic congestion and air pollution; and
  • Encourage economic development and affordable housing options along streetcar corridors.

The Committee of 100 supports a well-planned streetcar system. We have testified on several occasions before Council calling on DDOT to develop a realistic financial and governance plan for the system, and urging adoption of a state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly wireless technology to preserve visual quality, not only for national monuments but also for neighborhood boulevards. In the temporary legislation for streetcars, Council adopted several of the Committee’s recommendations.

On Sept. 28, 2010, DDOT announced selection of a program management team “….to ensure the successful design, construction, and operation of the streetcar system across the District of Columbia.” We welcome their expertise in tackling the tough — and substantially unaddressed — issues to implement the finest streetcar system in the world. Toward this end, we call on the DC City Council and DDOT to:

  1. Show Us the Money: Develop a streetcar business, financial & governance plan.
  2. Tell the Whole Story: Develop a master plan for streetcar equipment & facilities.
  3. Move Out of the Past: Assess streetcar technology worldwide and move rapidly towards a wireless system.
  4. Buy for a Wireless Future: Only acquire new streetcars that can eventually be converted to wireless technology.
  5. Obey the Law: Comply with NEPA and all other environmental and preservation law.
  6. Banish the Devil from the Details: Develop a scaled street plan for each phase and rethink some routes.
  7. Don’t “Just Do It;” Do It RIGHT: Craft permanent streetcar legislation to ensure a world class system for a world class city.

Committee 100 Reports and Presentations

icon Building a World Class Streetcar System for a World Class City
October 2010, Prepared by Meg Maguire, Dorn McGrath, Monte Edwards, Dick Wolf
icon Streetcar Planning Requirements
June 14, 2010, Prepared by Transportation Sub-Committee of Committee of 100
icon A Streetcar Named…Desire?
March 18, 2010, Meg Maguire, Chair, Transportation Subcommittee, Committee of 100 on the Federal City
Presentation to the Capitol Hill Restoration Society.

Committee 100 Testimony

icon C100 Comments On Streetcars And Bridges
June 2, 2016, Monte Edwards
The Streetcar portion of the draft Environmental Assessment should be withdrawn and redone to reflect a technically competent and accurate evaluation of wireless streetcar propulsion and an objective comparison of wireless versus overhead wire propulsion for this extension of the streetcar system. The redesign of intersections needs to be evaluated to determine whether they adequately improve those intersections.
icon C100 Testimony DDOT 2021 Budget
June 4, 2020, Jim Smailes & Meg Maguire
While we strongly support the need for expanded public transit, the proposed extension fails to address long-standing systemic problems.  Unless and until there is a comprehensive plan of how to govern, operate, finance and maintain a world class streetcar system as C100 has called for repeatedly, no further money should be invested in this poorly conceived system.
icon C100 Article In Hill Rag Streetcar Funding
July 1, 2014, Meg Maguire
All of us are responsible to see that the streetcar system is done well. Residents and their elected Council members must demand better planning; and DDOT must communicate to a skeptical public how the department will get the streetcar system from here to there.
icon C100 Letter DDOT Direcdtor Bellamy Streetcar Planning
April 22, 2014, Monte Edwards
C100's review of the Draft Environmental Assessment and Section 106 Review the Anacostia Streetcar Extension finds that it neither acknowledges nor complies with DC law.
icon C100 Testimony DC Council DDOT Oversight Streetcar-Commuter Rail
April 29, 2014, Monte Edwards
C100 recommendations concerning three items:  1. The need for an appropriation to prepare a comprehensive freight, passenger and commuter Rail Plan for the District of Columbia.  2. The need to restrict DDOT’s expenditure of any further money for engineering and
design of streetcar extensions beyond the H Street/Benning Road line until the requirements of DC Code§ 9-1171 and 9-1173 have been satisfied.  3. The need to provide a streetcar propulsion technology assessment as required by DC Code §9-1174.
icon C100 Comments On Anacostia Streetcar Extension Draft Environmental Assessment and Section 106 Review
April 17, 2014, Monte Edwards & Meg Maguire
The errors and omissions pointed out in the Committee of 100’s response to the Draft Anacostia Environmental Assessment, and the resultant inadequate and meaningless analysis, require the preparation of a revised Draft Environmental Assessment.
icon C100 Testimony DC Council DDOT Performance Oversight
March 21, 2014, Meg Maguire
Testimony of Meg Maguire, Transportation Subcommittee Chair, before the DC Council on issues of DC Department of Transportation Oversight.

Additional Documents

icon C100 Article In Hill Rag Streetcar Funding
July 1, 2014, Meg Maguire
All of us are responsible to see that the streetcar system is done well. Residents and their elected Council members must demand better planning; and DDOT must communicate to a skeptical public how the department will get the streetcar system from here to there.
icon Monte Edwards CHRS Testimony DC Council Streetcar Landuse Study
February 1, 2012, Monte Edwards
Monte Edwards testified on behalf of the Committee of 100 before the DC City Council regarding oversight of the District’s Department of Transportation.
icon Statement of Monte Edwards On behalf of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society
June 22, 2010, Monte Edwards
icon Testimony Before City Council DDOT Budget Hearing Regarding Overhead Streetcar Wires
April 26, 2010, Monte Edwards
Testimony of Monte Edwards on behalf of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society before the D.C. City Council regarding DC DOT plans to use overhead wires for streetcars.
icon What’s Good for the “Monumental” City Is Good for All the City: Why DC Should Adopt A Wireless Street
April 7, 2010, Monte Edwards
icon Testimony to the Council of the District of Columbia
February 26, 2010, Monte Edwards
icon Charlotte Streetcar Showcase Report
January 28, 2010, 
icon Unpublished Letter to Editor of Washington Post
2010, Monte Edwards
icon Letter to Councilmember Wells
July 30, 2009, Monte Edwards

Federal Comments on Overhead Wires

icon NCPC Letter to Federal Transit Administration
June 25, 2010, 
icon NCPC Letter to DC City Council
June 24, 2010, 
icon NCPC Staff Streetcar Report 2007
January 25, 2007, 
icon NCPC 2007 H St. Streetcar Comments
January 25, 2007, 
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