Even with the H Street streetcar project on track, it’ll be several years before the streetcar can extend westward to K Street.
The K Street Transitway plan would reconstruct K Street to have dedicated transit lanes in the center. The original design didn’t include a streetcar, but anticipated adding one to the transit lanes in the future. The Downtown BID and DDOT hired ZGF Architects to plan that streetcar, and to create this video showing the streetcar on K.
Note how at 1:34 it shows the streetcar approaching Farragut Square and dropping the pantograph to enter the wire-free zone, and then from another angle at 2:02. Another car then approaches from the other direction, stops at a station, and raises its pantograph back up.
At the streetcar technology meeting, officials showed this video. When asked whether the streetcar could really drop the pantograph while in motion, the technology experts said that some models do allow that. Of course, it can also just stop to drop the pantograph if that’s not possible.
Mount Vernon Square would be another wire-free zone, and the designers envision a dedicated lane on the inside edge of the square. By using “grass tracks,” the park could seem to extend out beyond the current edges. You can best see this in the video clip starting at 4:20.