Still waiting on streetcars


A small crowd watches as a new streetcar is rolled onto the rails along H Street NE in December. (Eva Russo/For The Washington Post)

After a series of blown deadlines, city officials have finally settled on a winning strategy for delivering the city’s first streetcar service in 50 years: Stop setting deadlines. Five months after live testing began on the initial stretch of track on H Street and Benning Road NE, there’s still no certainty on when the public will get to ride, the Post’s Michael Laris reports, with a maintenance facility still to be built and regulatory certifications still to be completed: “Transportation officials won’t publicly offer a target date for opening day, saying it will come as soon as the system’s ready and receives necessary safety approvals.” Said a spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who not long ago predicted a February launch: “Obviously, we want things to move as fast as possible. But sometimes you get to the point where things are really out of your control.”

In other news:

House Republicans question marijuana decriminalization but show little sign of action against D.C. bill (PostAPDCistHuffPoRoll CallPoliticoSlateTimeWAMU-FMCity DeskWJLA-TVWTTG-TV)

Taxi drivers want regulators to level playing field with Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and other app-based services (Post)

Breast cancer rate among black women treated at Washington Hospital Center is skyrocketing, MedStar says (Post)

Washington Monument reopens to public today (PostAPWTOP)

Don Peebles tapped to develop 5th and I parcel; neighbors aren’t happy (DiggerWBJHousing Complex)

Peebles deal includes off-site affordable housing to be built in Anacostia (CHotR)

DPW “blitz” will clear alleys of unwanted trash cans this week, Gray administration says (PostDCist)

Time to “lift the veil of secrecy” on fire department disciplinary hearings (Post editorial)

Mary Houston, 75-year-old found dead in Brookland, was strangled and beaten, police say (PostWTTG-TV)

Carlton Coltrane, 60, dies after Barrack Rows beating; suspects sought (PostWRC-TVWJLA-TV)

Impending expiration of No Child Left Behind waiver prompts soul-searching (Post)

Charter schools push back on allegations of anti-immigrant discrimination (Post)

Plea from outgoing Human Services chief David Berns: Landlords need to step up (Post)

Federal judge rules against aggrieved home health care firms, who say city is unfairly putting them out of business (WBJCourthouse News)

D.C. General women’s shelter will be moved to former morgue (DCist)

Microsoft “innovation center” will be staffed by existing regional employees (Digger)

Gun-rights lawyer again asks court to decide D.C. carry case (WTTG-TV)

Judge frees cop accused of threatening girlfriend pending indictment (AP)

Eugene Hughes fights to keep the Midtown Youth Center alive (Post Magazine)

The Phantom Planter speaks: “I need to soothe the pains in my soul” (Post op-ed)

No need to fret about Pepco’s out-of-town owner, Board of Trade chief says (Post op-ed)

DDOT says it will keep a closer eye on pocket parks tended by neighbors (Capitol Hill Corner)

David Catania’s latest tack against Muriel Bowser: thin housing record (Loose Lips)

Jack Evans and friends line up behind Bowser (Dish)

Infighting among Ward 8 Democrats (Loose Lips)

Vincent Gray, Bowser, Evans dance away in Wizards-themed “Happy” clip (YouTube)

CFO counsels against tax break for Southwest church development project (WBJ)

Some vendors inside Eastern Market want to reopen 7th Street on weekends (Housing Complex)

A Connecticut Avenue office building will be listed on Nasdaq (DiggerWBJ)

Scuttlebutt about a new Whole Foods near 9th and U streets NW (PoPville)

Capital Crescent Trail reopens after sewage surge (WJLA-TV)

Kalmia Road crossing is now a bridge, not a culvert (Dr. GridlockPoPville)

Body found in Anacostia (Post)

Former history teacher is new Sidwell Friends head (Answer Sheet)

Why is Sidwell so secretive about student performance? (Post column)

About Washington’s steam laundry shops (Post column)

White House fence-throwing incidents are apparently unrelated (Post)

It’s never too late to thank a teacher (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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