Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Street Car Named "Meh"

Dear Street Car: It's not you, it's me.

Whenever I make a run over to H Street NE (and now you know why) I find myself once again baffled at the point of the street car. I don't understand the overhead lines, I don't understand why the street had to be torn up, I don't understand why now I have to try to squeeze my compact car in what feels like a space the width of my college dorm bed.  It's not just that H Street is clearly poppin' and has more amenities and housing on one block than all of east of the river. I just don't understand the point of the street cars themselves. Isn't it like a really clunky and really expensive bus? Correction: a clunky, really expensive bus with a cord (i.e. overhead power lines)? Why not just get more buses? Why not buy everyone a bike? Better still why not invest in hover boards or flying unicorns? Okay, I made that last part up but I really don't understand the obsession. Also, why are they always being tested?! I have yet to see someone actually riding the street car. There has to be real passengers right?  This can't be a really long practical joke? How many tests does someone have to take before they pass? This reminds me of the time I tried to learn how to ski. I took SIX ski lessons with a group of seven year olds (I was 30 at the time) before the instructor finally gave up and  kicked me out of the class. There does come a point where all the practice in world will not get you down the bunny slope without screaming and falling. All was not lost, I have some pretty badass apr├ęs ski boots to show for it.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I really, really, really, really wanted to love the street car but I am having a hard time. It's the lover I want to love but I still don't understand. My friends say he's cute but I just don't see it. It's like trying to love those outfits in my closet that were fabulous when I bought them but have aged out before I even had a chance to wear them.  Can I will them back into style or should I pass them over to my little sister who doesn't know any better?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head. It's a glorified bus with a cord. It's actually slower and less frequent than existing bus service. And worse, it cost millions and millions more.

And people forget that DC has a second streetcar line in Anacostia that is completely abandoned. If you add it all up, that's $250+ million that could have gone to affordable housing, vouchers, schools, pedestrian bridges, sidewalks, homeless shelters, or one of the city's countless unmet needs.