Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Tale of Two (Streetcar) Cities

Who doesn’t love streetcars?  (Well, other than a few folks in Arlington, VA.)
A lot of us see streetcars as both smart transportation and as stimulators of urban revitalization.  Notes from two cities:
Philadelphia – The Girard Avenue streetcar is a nice “heritage” line, restored to service by SEPTA in 2005.  Urban revitalization along Girard Avenue?  Not so much.  A lot more to be done (photo below).

Washington – The new H Street line – the starter line for a 36-mile system (more here) – still doesn’t have a launch date (story here, photo of “parked” streetcars below).  The good news is that H Street has been the object of a DC Great Streets initiative (link here), a multi-pronged, multi-agency revitalization initiative.  And it shows (photo below)!  Yes, there are plenty of rough edges, but also many signs of investment.  Just need the streetcars to roll!

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