D.C. group launches email campaign to save H Street streetcar

A D.C. organization that advocates for public transit is trying to drum up support for the H Street streetcar after a District transportation official said he may axe the project.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is urging locals to send emails to Mayor Muriel Bowser asking that she “do everything she can to make our H Street/Benning streetcar investment work.”

Leif Dormsjo, the head of the District Department of Transportation, said Friday he would scrap the project if additional reviews uncover “fatal flaws.”

CSG wants to ensure the safety of the line but was disappointed to hear streetcars might not come to H Street after years of work by the District, the coalition’s managing director, Alex Posorske, said.

“We want to be sure we’re doing what we can to look out for the mobility needs of D.C. residents,” he said.

D.C. residents can express their frustration in an email to Bowser sent through the organization’s website.

“I believe that the streetcar can be a prominent part of a larger transit investment strategy — with the right modes selected for the right corridors,” the email says. “Streetcars attract investment, new residents and visitors and provide a smooth and attractive transit mode.”

Hundreds of people have sent that message so far, Posorske said.

In a Hill Now poll on whether to kill the streetcar, 65 percent of respondents as of this afternoon said they think the District should carry on with the project. Scott Magnuson, owner of The Argonaut and head of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, echoed that view.
But some people have had enough. Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates wrote today that the project was “a bad idea” and “boondoggle” that needs to be stopped right away.

“If you live near or around H Street, you know the situation is actually laughable,” he wrote.

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