Streetcars in our time?


Mayor Vincent Gray and Transportation Director Terry Bellamy discuss the streetcar program in Anacostia in May. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

First it was 2012. Then it was mid-2013. Then it was just 2013. Now, says city transportation director Terry Bellamy, there’s a 35 percent chance streetcars won’t run down H Street and Benning Road until sometime in 2014, reports WAMU-FM’s Patrick Madden. There’s no doubt the trolley is coming; witness the construction on the Hopscotch Bridge and on the western end of Benning, or the testing facility along South Capitol Street. But slapdash planning years ago — including the lack of a car barn or suitable Union Station access — has meant the opening date has been a moving target that hasn’t yet stopped moving.

In other news:

Howard University deans join chorus of critics alleging fiscal mismanagement (Post)

Some FEMS fire inspection reports appear to be falsified (WJLA-TV)

D.C. jail takes steps to reduce suicide risk (Post)

Family member bristles at LGBT activists’ identification of murder victim: “She was a person, not a label” (Post)

Human Rights Watch needs to take a hard look at itself (Post editorial)

Superlawyer Billy Martin is representing lottery contractor Emmanuel Bailey (WaTimes)

Poll follow-up: “Some stunned that anyone has positive view of Metro” (Dr. Gridlock)

Ground finally breaks today on rebuild of fire-gutted Mount Pleasant apartments (PoPville)

Sentencing today for man convicted of beating T.C. Maslin (PostWRC-TV)

The Frager’s fire had lesser-known victims (Hill Rag)

New Medicaid contracts started Monday (WBJ)

Before allegedly lighting acquaintance on fire, man told friends “the Kraken had been released” (WJLA-TV)

“Love triangle” prompts spate of shootings at Benning Gardens apartments (WUSA-TV)

Ex-Park Police chief: Critical weapons report was “based on hearsay evidence” (Post)

Board of Medicine strips doc’s license for over prescribing painkillers (news release)

No, there isn’t a dog-poisoner running amok in Logan Circle (WTOP)

LGBT activists take out frustration over crime wave on Manny & Olga’s flack (Metro Weekly)

World’s most elaborate carjacking involved forcing van owner to sign over title (D.C. Crime Stories)

Former cop convicted of identity theft had been named “detective of the year” (D.C. Crime StoriesWRC-TV)

Taxis will get 90 extra days to install fancy new dome lights (WUSA-TV)

Is D.C. rolling out the Common Core curriculum the right way? (GGW)

Homeless advocates ended up satisfied with budget language (DCFPI)

Retail industry lobbyist: Living wage bill “is damaging the city’s image within the larger retail business community” (Post letter)

Smithsonian museum is getting a T-Rex! (WAMU-FM)

Buildout will soon begin on Ben’s Chili Bowl H Street NE location (WBJ)

Gallaudet gets serious about redeveloping 6th Street NE properties (Post)

DDOT performance parking czar headed to Atlanta (Capitol Hill Corner)

City intends to sell Shaw property to developer (WBJ)

Rasika plays hardball with former chef, suing over early departure (Legal Times)

Who stole kids’ stuff from the Rose Park rec center? (Patch)

Just a reminder: Lay off the coal tar (WBJ)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · July 1, 2013