Despite strides to complete the work needed to begin operation, the H Street/Benning Road streetcar line has been delayed yet again. Projected to open as far back as three years ago, there’s always been something to trip it up. Late last year, Mayor Gray’s public promise that service would start by ‘no later than February’ was shortsighted.
Now the streetcar is indefinitely delayed with no projected starting date. The Council has slashed its future funding by nearly 50 percent, endangering the future citywide 37-mile expansion plan. The site of the streetcar storage facility — the southside grounds of shuttered Springarn High School — is still a pile of dirt, nearly a year after the construction plans were approved. There are even rumors floating around that the streetcars won’t be able to accept Smartrip cards, which will undoubtedly put a major dent in ridership.
Despite success with their Circulator routes, DDOT’s inability to complete a 2.4 mile track of streetcar rail in almost ten years is very disappointing. At this rate, we can expect any future expansion to be completed by the year 3000.
So, beloved readers, the unthinkable has happened – Tacos Impala somehow opened their restaurant before the streetcar, and Metro’s new Silver Line will have started service as well. A wag of the finger, DDOT!
In more cheerful related news, Impala Cantina is delicious and everyone should go.
Written by Joel Church.