A north-south DC streetcar will almost certainly use Georgia Avenue north of Petworth, but could take one of several different paths downtown and to Buzzard Point. DDOT has narrowed down options for this streetcar, and designed potential configurations with and without dedicated lanes.
This week, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is holding its second round of public meetings on plans to build a line between Buzzard Point and either Takoma or Silver Spring.
Residents can weigh in on routes along Sherman Avenue or Georgia Avenue between Petworth and U Street, 4 possible routes downtown (14th, 11th, 9th, or 7th), 2 across the Mall (7th or 4th, and several options for navigating Southwest to Buzzard Point.
At the northern end of the line, DDOT planners are still deciding whether it should go to the Takoma Metro station via Butternut Street NW or all the way up Georgia Avenue to Silver Spring, which has far more merit as a terminus.
Streetcars could get their own lanes, but planners aren’t enthusiastic
Street widths vary greatly throughout the corridor, and the streetcar study team has proposed a number of configurations. Some include dedicated lanes, which could provide a faster, more reliable ride but would involve removing curbside parking, which will be controversial.
Other options would place the streetcar in the center of the street, but have it share the lanes between streetcars and private vehicles. DDOT planner Jamie Henson said it would be possible to convert center lanes to dedicated lanes in the future.
Are dedicated lanes worth it for the speed advantage? Henson said that in many areas, including parts of Georgia Avenue, the traffic volumes are not heavy enough to provide a significant speed benefit from dedicated lanes. Aside from downtown, DDOT planners have deliberately excluded congested corridors that would make service unreliable and slow.
Right now, the study does not assign specific layouts to portions of the corridor, but offers alternatives based on how wide each street section is.
Cross-sections with dedicated streetcar lanes and with streetcars in the center of the street. Click to see all of the options.
Boardings and alightings along 16th Street, 14th Street, and Georgia Avenue NW. Click for a larger version.
- Wednesday, February 19 3:30-8:00 pm (presentations at 4:00 and 7:00 pm) Banneker Rec Center, 2500 Georgia Avenue NW
- Thursday, February 20 3:30-8:00 pm (presentations at 4:00 and 7:00 pm) Emery Rec Center, 5701 Georgia Avenue NW