The above article from the Root DC blog affiliated with the Washington Post outlines the displeasure Kingman Park residents feel about the area possibly becoming more industrial with projects like the trolley barn right off of Benning Road NE. Comments posted on various blogs in response to the story vary from charges of NIMBY-ism to anger about the trolley project ever being started.
"I understand the concerns of the residents of Kingman Park. The trolley system is the play thing of the new urbanists and transportation planners who enjoy spending 1.5 billion of our tax money on their toys. Of course they do not live near the trolley barn or the transmission stations. If either were proposed for a different neighborhood like maybe Eastern Masrket, you can bet provisions would be made to move them to another location." comment on the Roots blog
"Honestly, we live in a city. It's loud. Hell, with the people that gather outside of my house every day, all day and all night, I never, and I mean never get any peace and quiet. At least the streetcar will be beneficial to the neighborhood.
I get the whole "industrial dumping ground" complaint. However, they are not looking at the big picture. Hopefully the streetcar will begin to encourage non-industrial businesses to spread up Benning. " comment on the Frozen Tropics blog.
Response from Richard Layman to the article:Is it the size of the trolley barn that has neighbors upset? The architectural design? Or the threat that Benning Road will not become a Main Street/Great Street like H St or even Barracks Row with projects like the trolley barn and Tire shop?
"well, they might not build a nice one, but "ex-trolley barn" buildings in DC are considered to be significant community assets:
- Blue Castle at 8th and M Streets SE (http://dcmud.blogspot.com/
2011/03/barracks-and-castles-a nd-gardens.html)- Trolley barn converted into housing on the 1400 block of E. Capitol St. NE- Georgetown Park Mall- "Trolley Barn" building in Georgetown (owned by Douglas Development, rented out in part to Georgetown U)- Upper 14th Street bus garage (http://planning.dc.gov/DC/Pla nning/In+Your+Neighborhood/ Wards/Ward+4/Small+Area+Plans+ &+Studies/14th+Street+Corridor +Vision+Plan+and+Revitalizatio n+Strategy)
Interestingly, if you look at Census enumeration sheets from the 1890s to the 1920s, a significant number of Greater H Street residents were employed by the streetcar system (or the railroad), because 15th and H was a major staging point for streetcars, including a trolley barn that was extant into the 1970s (the location of the current Pentacle Apartments).
There is no reason why presence of the streetcar garage couldn't be leveraged as a jobs initiative for people in the area."
Disclaimer: The RCA as a group has not supported OR supported the current plan for the trolley barn. Hopefully more information can be gathered to do what's best for this project, the neighborhood and the city, where everyone feels that the gained something. Let's not throw anyone "under the trolley."