Ruth Samuelson fears burnout!
Since late summer, the city has been buzzing about streetcar lines coming to Anacostia, H Street NE and possibly numerous other corridors across the city. Some people are thrilled. Others cry waste. But until Saturday, no D.C. streetcars were actually in America—they were in the Czech Republic, of all places.
I don’t know if Ruth has noticed, but the Europeans tend to build these things better than we do (at least right now). Of course, it won’t always be that way – see United Streetcar.
Then today, news broke that the cars were here! Why this was news is kind of peculiar. Do people care when a new, updated version of the METRO car arrives? A press release from the District Department of Transportation noted the length of the streetcars journey–4,200 miles. It detailed what kind of measures were taken—a “wax coating” was applied “over the external surface of the street car”—to prepare the streetcars for their voyage. It featured an enthusiastic quote from DDOT director Gabe Klein, suggesting that D.C. residents were just dying to see the vehicles up close and personal– as if they were the newest presidential pets.
I’ll fully admit that I’m far nerdier about this than most, but I am just dying to see these vehicles up close and personal. And I do like riding in new Metro cars. I’ll even throw in my two cents about their design. I know I’m not the only one, either.
So, is this really newsworthy? I don’t know. But the beauty of this is how DDOT’s managed to use some social media to get the news out to a community that really wants to hear it and see the pictures. Little things like this make a big difference. Metro, for example, could use a little good publicity right now. Positive waves!