Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

I'm not sure how many people made this afternoon's meeting on the SE/SW Transportation Improvement Study (I sure didn't thanks to that 4 pm start time), but apparently there is a web site devoted to the project, and the meeting materials are posted there: seswdc.com.
This study is actually an Environmental Assessment, meaning there are very specific structures and steps that DDOT will be following.
Its stated purpose is "to develop a premium transit system that improves transportation capacity, connectivity, mobility, and safety through an integrated, multimodal transportation corridor" across Near Southeast, Southwest, and the Anacostia Historic District.
Also, the study is to address "east-west transportation needs between the Southeast and Southwest Washington communities of Anacostia and the Waterfront."
One tidbit in the materials that may be news to people: If streetcars are chosen as the area's "premium transit mode," there will be a need for storage and/or maintenance, and so this Environmental Assessment "will review and analyze potential sites for a Streetcar facility."
Eight potential sites meeting the initial minimum requirements have been identified: three near M Street, SW, three at Buzzard Point, and two along 7th Street, SE, including, believe it or not, the Blue Castle, aka the Navy Yard Car Barn, where streetcars were stored and maintained during the many years they ran through the city before being shut down in the early 1960s.
A second public meeting is expected in early 2015, with the draft Environmental Assessment and associated public hearing in spring and the final document late in the year.
(Thanks to Josh Hart for the heads up about the web site, and no thanks to DDOT, who didn't mention it in their releases about the meeting. BAH!)
Comments (14)
   
 
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conngs0 says: (10/22/14 10:41 PM)
Man, wouldn't it be great if they could incorporate the final stop of the streetcar line, storage facility, and the proposed new soccer stadium? It'd be necessary to have a street car line anyway, so why not tie the storage area into the stadium? I don't see many clearcut winners amongst the other alternatives unless a case can be made that the streetcar facility would actually serve to encourage private development in its immediate proximity. Otherwise, I just see sites 1 through 4 as potentially inhibiting growth in areas that have quite a bit of potential. For instance, surely there's a temptation to bring the Navy Yard Car Barn back to its original purpose, but it just seems like the opportunity cost there is too high.


Packinblackandred says: (10/23/14 8:40 AM)
I'm interested that the streetcar is still an option here--I thought that it was going to be very limited because of the funding cuts. It would be amazing if it connected to the stadium(s), but I had given up hope!


JD says: (10/23/14 8:52 AM)
There would still need to be a big new push to bring back funding for subsequent lines other than H Street, I believe.


JES says: (10/23/14 10:44 AM)
While I'd love to see the Navy Yard car barn developed into something else, using it as a streetcar facility wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, IMO. That site is a fairly decent trudge from both the Eastern Market and the Navy Yard metro stations, so it's hard for me to imagine a huge retail demand for that site.


Westnorth says: (10/23/14 3:24 PM)
The "meeting" was an open house, rather than a presentation, so people were welcome to stop by until 7 PM. (No, this wasn't explicitly mentioned in the publicity materials, but I took a chance and showed up late, with no ill consequences.)

The project manager said that the goal is to have preliminary designs ready by the end of 2015 for a "multimodal corridor" -- streetcars on either M or Eye, a bike corridor on the other, and streetscape/pedestrian improvements to both (and other streets).


JD says: (10/23/14 9:01 PM)
And on that streetcar funding issue, tonight there's this:

link

D.C. officials today announced the next step in the construction of additional streetcar lines across the city, but also admitted that a conflict with the D.C. Council over funding would likely cut a planned 22-mile system by more than half.

In announcing a short list of teams that have bid for a contract to design, build, operate, and maintain an Integrated Premium Transit system — which will include new streetcar lines and the existing Circulator buses — officials said that a lack of funds is forcing them to cut two planned streetcar lines: an 10.9-mile line running from Buzzard Point to Takoma Park and a 2.2-mile line running from Anacostia to Southwest D.C.


ben says: (10/23/14 11:29 PM)
Has anyone ever suggested putting 395/295 in a tunnel/trench and topping it with a park and a return to the regular street grid? Something like that could possibly be done while they're diggingthe CSS tunnel, and would really help with moving traffic through the area, and connecting things like the streetcar and some protected bike lanes, not to mentionimproving the pedestrian neighborhood.

Probably a really expensive idea, but it would really improve the area...


JD says: (10/23/14 11:51 PM)
@ben--A tunnel/trench doesn't really get talked about as much as just demolishing the freeway altogether and returning to Virginia Avenue.

I posted a bit about it in 2008:
link
(this was from back when there were some notions of tunneling the through traffic coming across the Douglass Bridge under South Capitol Street to 395)

Here's the NCPC Extending the Legacy plan, published in 1997, that talked about it:
link

I think it's more likely that decking it over could happen in Southwest between 7th and 10th. But anywhere else, to dig a tunnel or trench would just be beyond prohibitive, and basically you'd have to demolish the freeway first, which would be the real goal of urbanists anyway.

And if I somehow live to see that happen, well, I'll buy everyone who posts in this thread a beer.


SWag says: (10/24/14 11:10 AM)
if there were a streetcar on M, I could see the castle being a retail destination. also, I wouldn't mind the castle being a streetcar barn/storage. I really just can't wait to see that building redone and not blue. ideally, with a street car on M - I'd like for it to be a Target or Walmart. (seriously - I love those places, especially the urban ones).

but what do you guys think about a street car on M anyway? good idea/bad idea? overkill? not enough? too soon? indifferent?

and I really just rambling. jic they bury the freeway - I want that brew...


SWag says: (10/24/14 11:11 AM)
I'm*


202_cyclist says: (10/24/14 11:35 AM)
@Ben:

I've thought of that. My two big (and unrealistic) hopes are getting rid of the Capitol power plant and turning that into perhaps 1,000 units of new housing that would be located a ten minute walk from three metro stations and, as you mention, burying I-395 and building some combination of housing and public parks above it.


202_cyclist says: (10/24/14 11:36 AM)
Speaking of I-395, without familiarizing myself with the details, could DDOT store the streetcars underneath the highway?


202_cyclist says: (10/24/14 11:39 AM)
@SWag:

Yes--- the streetcar alignment should be on M Street. That seems to be the heart of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, it would be adjacent to the Navy Yard metro station, and it would provide much-needed traffic calming to M Street, where there have unfortunately been 1-2 pedestrian fatalities in the past five years.


JD says: (10/24/14 11:41 AM)
One of the proposed streetcar storage places in the meeting materials is under the freeway between 7th and 8th SE.

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