Some streetcar opponents and some streetcar supporters are arguing against overhead wires, saying that they’re ugly or that they’re incompatible with lush tree canopies. Ralph Garboushian sent along some more pictures of overhead wires from around the world.


Left: A streetcar line on a historic street in San Francisco, near Fisherman’s Wharf. Photo by Michael Perkins. With the iron detailing of the poles, this easily looks like it could be a street in Washington, DC.

Right: Frankfurt’s Schweizerstrasse (top) and Brussels’ 39/44 streetcar lines (bottom). Photos by Ralph Garboushian.

H Street, K Street, U Street, 14th Street, and most of the other streets on DDOT’s streetcar plan have nowhere near this level of tree canopy. The only ones that do are 7th Street SW and 8th Street on Capitol Hill. If DC’s streetcar lines can look as green as these with wires, it would be a huge improvement for most of our streets.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.