Streetcar hits the street

December 16, 2013

The new streetcar spent most of the weekend sitting on the rails between Third and Fourth streets NE. (Eva Russo for The Washington Post)

Streetcars — or rather, a streetcar — returned to D.C.’s streets for the first time in 50 years Friday night. And, like the rest of the process, the final act of placing the 66-foot-long Czech-made vehicle on H Street NE was not without hiccups. The Post’s Michael Laris reports that its slow-paced journey from an Anacostia test track nearly ended in disaster: “The new car made a last-minute detour from its planned route to avoid a slowdown and ended up scraping a piece of electrical equipment against the 11th Street Bridge.” But  in the end, the streetcar made it, arriving to a cheering crowd that included Mayor Vincent C. Gray, transportation department officials, and at least one spectator with a sense of perspective: “It’s not really good,” Jack Stejskal said, “until it runs.” Passenger service is expected to begin sometime next year after several months of testing. More from WRC-TVWUSA-TV and WTTG-TV.

In other news:

Kaya Henderson publicly rules out a move to New York (PostWAMU-FM)

David Catania says there’s an “extraordinarily high probability” he will run for mayor if Vince Gray wins the primary (Post column)

On Catania’s signature college-funding bill, colleagues should “tread carefully in separating the program’s optics from its real benefits” (Post editorial)

Welcome back, 10th Street (Post)

Counting the many bad apples in the D.C. police force (Post column)

New-trash-can plan held up after Phil Mendelson objects to diversion of retiree funds (Post)

Jim Graham touts results of poll not listed in his campaign finance report (DofDLoose Lips)

“Newly discovered evidence” prompts request for second Michael Brown sentencing delay (DofDAP)

Same goes for several figures with Jeffrey Thompson connections (Loose Lips)

Gray appoints new chief medical examiner, who pledges to gain accreditation (DofDAP)

Friendship math teacher quits, cites pressure to inflate grades (Post column)

Public school teachers hold a wide range of views on reform efforts, hearing shows (Post)

A year after mother’s violent death, little Kodi Brown still needs your help (WaTimes)

Officer’s sexual-harassment-related trauma is a line-of-duty injury, appeals court rules (Legal Times)

Metro moves closer to resuming automatic train operation (Post)

Evidence that fare hikes are driving riders from Metro (Dr. Gridlock)

Incubator bubble may soon be bursting (WBJ)

Holy Rosary Catholic Church, church home to scores of Italian Americans, turns 100 (Post)

Marion Barry proposes Ward 8 liquor license moratorium (CHotR)

Juvenile is arrested for Salvation Army theft (APWRC-TV)

Huge alleged drug ring busted by feds (Post)

Six youths get 15- to 30-year sentences in Woodley Park Metro killing (Post)

Jury convicts in 2011 Caribbean Festival shootings (AP)

Three shootings in two days along North Capitol Street (Post)

Alleged “knockout game” attack in Bloomingdale (PostWJLA-TV)

Hearing this morning on Wilson pool assaults (WJLA-TV)

D.C. is ranked seventh-most walkable city; “better keep an eye on us, Provo,” says Hizzoner (@mayorvincegray)

Jack Evans officiates same-sex wedding (DCist)

We’re going to be down an artisan cheese shop (Young & Hungry)

Meet some rock-and-rolling Superior Court judges (WRC-TV)

Respect the zebras or else (Post)

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 | December 13, 2013