Like all of my plans, this is a conceptual best-case scenario based on what I think the region can support right now. This is not meant to reflect what I'd like the streetcar network to look like in 15 years, it's what I'd like it to look like tomorrow. Since that is clearly not possible, I'd be happy if any one of these proposals, in part or in whole, was constructed.
Mainly, this plan is to stimulate discussion. If we're lucky, this plan, or one of my readers, will spur the District Council into action. And even if we're not that lucky, this represents a vision for the region of what we could become. Plus it's fun for me. I hope you enjoy reading it as well.
From the Streetcar Plan 1.0:
I chose lines based on connection commercial nodes. I know that some of the
lines are long. Not very many people will ride from Friendship Heights to the
National Archives, but that’s not the point. I once heard Portland’s Streetcar
referred to as a “pedestrian accelerator.” The point in to expand the range of
people going on foot, encourage redevelopment, and offer alternatives.
Streetcars would operate like Portland Streetcar, with traffic in shared lanes. Vehicles would be similar to those used on Portland Streetcar and the South Lake Union Streetcar in Seattle.
One final note: Station locations are conceptual. I picked certain intersections because they were evenly spaced or home to a major commercial node. There may be better stops that should be included, and I imagine that studies will be undertaken before any construction begins. Feel free, however, to make suggestions.
14th Street/Capitol Hill LineThis line, shown in dark blue on maps, starts in Northwest at the intersection of 16th Street and Gallatin Street. This stop, near the Rock Creek Tennis Center, would be a transfer point to theWestside Light Rail proposed in my Major Transit Plan. The line runs south along 14th through downtown, turning east on D Street SE to jog over to 7th Street at L'Enfant Plaza. Turning south on 7th, the line heads for the Waterfront. Passing through the Riverfront District
on M Street, the line heads for Barracks Row. A loop is located at the M/8th Street intersection to short-turn streetcars. The line continues north on 8th Street through the historic district. The line crosses Pennsylvania Avenue and turns right onto Independence Avenue, then north on 19th Street. Jogging over to Oklahoma Avenue on D Street, the line enters a loop at Oklahoma Avenue & Benning Road, site of the Oklahoma Avenue Station on my proposed Silver Line/H Street Subway.
Wisconsin Avenue/Anacostia LineThis line, colored purple on the map, runs across town, with a branch at either end. On the west end of the line, trains head from Georgetown to Friendship Heights or the Court House section of Arlington. At the east end of the line, trains cross the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia and follow MLK to Congress Heights or Good Hope Road to Naylor Road Metro.
The Friendship Heights Branch is unchanged from version 1.0. Turning at a loop at Wisconsin and Western, the line runs down Wisconsin to Georgetown where it meets the Arlington Branch.
The Arlington Branch is also unchanged from version 1.0. Trains operate from Georgetown to Court House Metro by way of the Key Bridge and Wilson Boulevard.
From Georgetown, trains from both branches operate down Pennsylvania Avenue to K Street, after going around Washington Circle. Passing through downtown on K Street, the line jogs around the south side of Mount Vernon Square, turning southeast onto Massachusetts Avenue. Past Union Station, the line continues (on a new alignment from version 1.0) down Massachusetts to 2nd Street. At Pennsylvania, the line turns southeast in the median running as far as 8th, where it turns south. Along 8th, the Wisconsin/Anacostia Line is multiplexed with the 14th Street Line as far as M Street. Turning east on M Street, the line climbs onto the proposed 11th Street Bridge over the river. On the south shore, trains split into the two branches.
The Good Hope Branch goes through the center of old Anacostia. Passing through Southeast DC, the line crosses Alabama Avenue and turns south onto Naylor Road. At the DC Line, the streetcar enters Maryland and goes around a loop at the Naylor Road Metro Station.
The MLK Branch travels past the Anacostia Metro Station on its way to Congress Heights. At South Capitol and Mississippi Avenue, the streetcar turns around at a loop. Transfers are available here to the Eastside Light Rail proposed in my Major Transit Plan.
H Street/State Department LineThis line, which is light blue on the map) is relatively unchanged from version 1.0. The only difference is that I've extended it across the Anacostia River on the Benning Road Bridge to feed into a new station I am going to propose on my plans at River Terrace, a la Greater Greater Washington and Imagine DC.
The line runs from the State Department up 23rd Stret to Washington Circle, thence east on K Street (along with the Wisconsin/Anacostia Line) to Mount Vernon Square. From Mount Vernon Square, it turns southeast on Massachusetts Avenue past Union Station to D Street NE. The line uses a pair of one-way streets (SB on 4th NE, NB on 6th NE) to get up to H Street. The line sticks with H Street and Benning Road to a loop at River Terrace Metro.
Connecticut Avenue LineThis line (green on the map) starts at Chevy Chase Circle, and proceeds south through Northwest to Dupont Circle. Turning south on 20th Street then east on Eye Street, the line crosses downtown. A turn down 12th Street takes cars past Metro Center. Turning east on Constitution then north on 7th, the line reaches its end at a loop at 7th & Indiana.
Georgia Avenue/Mount Pleasant LineStarting at the old streetcar loop in Mount Pleasant, this line, colored orange, travels south on Mount Pleasant Street to Columbia Road. Turning southwest on Columbia, the line is multiplexed with the Crosstown Line for several blocks. At 18th, the line turns south to travel through Adams Morgan's commercial corridor. Turning right on Q Street, the line crosses Connecticut Avenue and follows the Connecticut Avenue Line through downtown. From 7th & Indiana, the Georgia Avenue Line continues north on 7th Street, past Gallery Place Metro. The line follows 7th Street/Georgia Avenue to Silver Spring, where it terminates at the Silver Spring Transit Center, which is currently under construction.
Rhode Island Avenue LineThis line, also colored orange, is part of the Georgia Avenue Line. Sharing the downtown portions of its line, it runs from a loop at 20th and L NW to Mount Rainier. Splitting from the Georgia Avenue Line at 7th and Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Avenue Line travels northeast on Rhode Island all the way to Mount Rainier. At Mount Rainier, it turns back on a siding at Rhode Island Avenue and Perry Street.
Boundary Street LineThis line has undergone a few changes since version 1.0 based on your comments. In the east, it starts at River Terrace on the opposite bank of the Anacostia. This change was made because I'm including a stop there in the next version of my metro proposal. Traveling westward, the line follows Benning Road and Florida Avenue. Turning onto U Street, the line crosses through Washington's L'Enfant City. At U and New Hampshire, the line turns southwest, intersecting the Georgia Avenue Line at 18th Street. Turning west on Q, the line heads toward Georgetown. At Wisconsin, the line turns south and joins the Wisconsin Avenue Line. Turning right at M Street, passengers can change to the metro at the proposed Georgetown stop. Trains then enter a loop made up of one-way streets. Trains travel north on 33rd to P, where they turn west, turning south again at 37th. Here passengers can access Georgetown University. Continuing around the loop, trains turn left onto O Street, right onto 34th, and then left onto M Street.
Crosstown LineThis line has seen the most change since version 1. The Crosstown Line is colored red on the map. It runs from Woodely Park in the west to North Michigan Park in the east. From Woodely Park, it crosses the Calvert Street Bridge over the Rock Creek Gorge, turns northeast onto Columbia Road and then east on Irving after traveling north for a block on 16th. Following Irving, the streetcar passes through Columbia Heights and joins Michigan Avenue south of the Washington Hospital Center. Turning onto Monroe, the streetcar passes the Brookland Metro stop, and after a turn onto 12th, passes through the center of the Brookland neighborhood. Continuing north on 12th, the line once again follows Michigan, ending at a loop at Michigan and Eastern.
Maintenance/Storage:The streetcars need a place to be stored overnight and also a venue where maintenance can be performed. If other cities examples can be followed, new development along the corridor could be made to accommodate a trolley barn as a condition of zoning approval.
At least two locations do seem to have immediate potential, however. At Oklahoma Avenue Metro, the parking lots at RFK will be redeveloped. However, it seems possible that room for Trolleys could be left somewhere on site. Additionally, if non-revenue tracks led south from Rhode Island Avenue along Eastern Avenue near Mount Rainier, a Trolley storage/maintenance facility could be constructed on the industrial sites south of the CSX Capital Subdivision (MARC Camden Line).
I've also included a few other potential trolley barn locations, but these are just conceptual ideas. check out the google map to find their locations. Again, they could be sited in new development and would not be obtrusive.
Additionally, it might be possible to return WMATA’s Northern Bus Garage in 14th Street Heights to trolley service.
Non-Revenue TracksI've included on the google map version some potential non-revenue connections. These are tracks that would link lines together for easy movement of rolling stock, but would not be used for passengers. They are shown in black.
View Larger Map
What other corridors do you think would support a streetcar?