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K Street Streetcar discussion

At tonight’s MVSNA meeting new board member, and City Vista resident, John Thompson will lead a discussion on the possibility of a K Street Streetcar. John has talked with contacts at DDOT about extending the H Street NE/Benning Road streetcar project to Mount Vernon Triangle via K Street.

The H Street NE / Benning Road Streetcar (fact sheet from Streetcars4DC) has been in planning for several years and tracks are presently being laid. The proposed alignment from 2006 begins by the Minnesota Ave metro, travels west along Benning Road over the Anacostia, upon reaching the Starburst intersection the streetcar follows H Street NE until terminating in no man’s land behind Union Station.

Click image to enlarge

John has been discussing the possibility of continuing to run the streetcar west to connect to K Street before terminating at Mount Vernon Square. This could increase benefit to the Mount Vernon Triangle and proposed development at Northwest One while also affording the H Street NE greater connectivity to downtown DC.

The above map shows two potential extensions for the streetcar line to K Street NW. The red segment takes the straightforward approach of going over the H Street NE bridge, heading north on North Capitol for one block before heading west on K Street for 7 blocks. The green segment promotes integration with the Columbus Circle area in front of Union Station. This alignment, while more expensive, would place the streetcar at a more natural transfer point for Metro, buses, and future streetcar lines.

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Comments

  1. 1

    John Mitchell says

    Actually, there’s little to no chance of an alignment going to Columbus Circle. Existing plans call for a mini-transit center with street car stops on top of the H Street “Hopscotch” bridge behind Union Station, to be constructed around the time of Burnham Place, the Akridge development built on air rights over the station train platforms. Moreover, Columbus Circle itself is slated to be completely revamped, in a process that will send all the buses that currently idle there around the back side of Union Station (as the Circulators have recently begun doing).

    Here are some links:

    http://www.bakerprojects.com/hstreetne/

    http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=892

  2. 2

    Anonymous says

    I support the extension of the streetcar past Union Station onto K Street. The better route, however, would be to continue on H Street to New Jersey Avenue to K Street. New Jersey Avenue, unlike North Capitol, has a median that could be converted to dedicated lanes for the streetcar. It will still reach Northwest One, albeit on the southwest corner.

  3. 3

    fourthandeye says

    Thanks for your input. I had previously skimmed the H Street NE content on Baker Projects. I’ll have to give it a more careful read.

    I’m aware of Burnham Place but very skeptical until Akridge and partners share more details. Presently all their website has are a few red polygons overlayed on a map. Given the enormous effort the project will take, until I see more logistics shared, I will have my doubts that project unfolds sooner than 15-20 years from now.

    Re: New Jersey alignment. I see your point how that is easier. However I think the 1/4 mile walk shed wouldn’t serve much of NWOne or the new developments in NoMA.

  4. 4

    tom veil says

    As someone who works in the shadow of the Union Station Rail Yards, I can tell you that one of the big things killing H St NE is that those of us working on the west side of the rail yards have no safe, pleasant way to get there. I would love, love, love to have a public staircase from 1st St NE up to a streetcar station at the Union Station parking garage on the H St bridge. But is Akridge going to come through with the funds to build their dream project in the near future? I honestly don’t know. I just know that if they did, the pent-up demand would be there.

  5. 5

    Que says

    What happens to the X2 after its built does anyone have any info.

    If it was on H street completely you could replace the x2 but its not you would still need a bus running from 13th H to North Capitol that has high frequency to match the x2

    Infront would also be good but maybe couldn’t the streetcar travel in front Union Station and then continue down Mass Ave and follow the 96 route to K street. That way you would be able to transfer with all metro buses that currently stop at or near the station without giving people a walk who want to go south or H street.

    Maybe would could have two alignments,

    one going around Columbus circle and down mass, new jersey ave and along k street while the other going down h street