Last November, the Sierra Club's national board of directors adopted a vision of a clean energy future for America, including halving oil consumption by 2030. Cars account for half of America's oil consumption, so our focus is on solutions for cars and trucks.
Healthy communities -- places that are compact and convenient, vibrant and verdant, with great transit, biking, and walking -- will allow Americans to get around with less driving. For example, residents of DC drive 36% fewer miles each day than residents of the entire metro area, since DC residents have more transportation choices and have more nearby services.
Toward that end, the Club recently awarded five Healthy Communities and Transportation grants to chapters around the country. The DC Chapter will use one of these grants to re-launch its Streetcars 4 DC coalition, advocating for an expanded and improved crosstown streetcar route.
The streetcar route will run along Benning Road, H Street NE, and K Street NW, connecting Ward 7, H Street, Union Station, Mount Vernon Triangle, Downtown DC, the West End, and Georgetown. We will work with a diverse range of partners across the city on events and media to raise awareness and generate broad public support for streetcar expansion.
While the first phase of the DC streetcar has suffered from false starts and cost overruns, streetcars in dedicated transit lanes remain the best near-term way to substantially increase transit capacity across the District. A crosstown streetcar line would make it easier to get across congested downtown DC, facilitate continued growth in the central city, provide an alternative to crowded Metro lines, and create an opportunity to reimagine K Street as a beautiful urban promenade.
DC deserves better transit, and streetcars are the way to go!
The Streetcars 4 DC coalition asks that the District commit to fund these improvements by 2020:
- A dedicated transitway from Union Station to Georgetown, with efficient bus and rail service along a reimagined, pedestrian-friendly K Street
- A streetcar line east along Benning Road, connecting to the Metro Blue Line at East Capitol Street
- Structural improvements to the Hopscotch and Benning bridges to allow them to carry streetcars
Please join us! Find out more via the chapter's Smart Growth Committee.