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!