Is D.C. in too deep to kill the H Street streetcar?

As the H Street streetcar meets its possible end by the end of this month, various news outlets, organizations, and businesses have confessed their own feelings on one question: to kill or not to kill the streetcar? While controversy has circled around the project since the very beginning, there are still many who hope for the development to come to fruition. After years of construction and $160 million spent on the project, the H Street Main Street Executive Director Anwar Saleem says that he as well as other businesses on H Street are excited for the streetcar to one day open its doors to the public. DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo, though, is ready to pull the plug if any additional “fatal flaws” are found during the top-to-bottom peer review by the American Public Transportation Association.

“Fatal flaws” or not, Hill Now polled their readers with the simple question, “Should D.C. pull the plug on the H Street streetcar project?” and almost 65 percent said, “No,” with comments revolving around the basic idea, “We’re in too deep at this point.” For the Washington, D.C. organization, The Coalition for Smarter Growth, they have not only been crossing their fingers for the streetcar to continue, but have been urging D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to “do everything she can to make our H Street/Benning streetcar investment work.”

Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates, though, has urged Bowser to do everything in her power to kill the streetcar project. According to Yates, Bowser will save time, money, and lives if the project comes to an end. He further describes the project as “a slow-moving dinosaur,” “laughable,” and “mind-boggling.” While Dormsjo says that he is not so much against the project as he is against a flawed project, he still has few to no positive words on the project, saying it was developed in “an unprofessional and haphazard, contradictory and inconsistent manner.”

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