Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 5B, 6A and 6C — three member organizations of the H Street-Benning Road Streetcar Alliance – have sent a letter to Freddie Fuller, Associate Director of the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Mass Transit Administration, asking DDOT to hold a public meeting to explain to the community how DDOT plans to power the streetcar line planned for H Street and Benning Road NE between the Minnesota Avenue Metrorail Station (Orange Line) and Union Station (Red Line).
The letter asks DDOT to present to the community on each the following questions:
- What options exist to power the streetcars?
- What is the feasibility of each of these options?
- What are the technical or legal challenges posed by each of these options?
- Which of these power source options does DDOT intend to pursue?
- What is DDOT’s plan to overcome any obstacles and move forward with the selected alternative?
Many are concerned that the longer these questions remain unanswered, the longer the streetcar line will be delayed.
Some media accounts have indicated that DDOT would like to use overhead wires to power streetcars in the District but that the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has cited an act of Congress from the 1890′s as a potential obstacle to using overhead wires.