The Post is reporting that streetcars could be operating in the District by late 2009. Soon, bids will be opened for the construction of track in Southeast DC. The cars have already been built and are awaiting rails on which to run.
If all goes according to plan, in a little over a year, Washington will join the list of cities who have invested in streetcars in the wake of Portland's successful experiment. The project is already behind schedule, however, but this news is a good sign for the eventual completion of the project.
Hopefully, the Anacostia Streetcar project will have the desired affect on the urban fabric. In Portland, the streetcar helped turn run-down neighborhoods into the trendiest parts of the city. While it's too early to predict that sort of change for one of the District's more notorious neighborhoods, the project will have a positive impact on mobility and will introduce light-rail-type
technology to the region.