For those who aren't particularly in the know, DC mayor Vincent Gray is in the middle of a scandal involving the finances of and contributions to his 2010 mayoral campaign, some are calling for his resignation as a result of this.
In the midst of this, DDOT is seeking input on the management and construction of the streetcar project, which was conceived by Marion Barry and significantly bolstered by Fenty and Gray. 2.2 miles of track has already been laid on H street and a 37 mile network is eventually planned, although a 22 mile "core network" has recently been identified as having priority construction.
However, even to get this off the ground it's taken years. Three cars were purchased for the initial concept, which was a line on separate right of way through Anacostia. This was later changed to a street running line after difficulties establishing ownership of the right of way occurred. This project has been abandoned altogether and the H Street corridor was later identified as the starting point for streetcar service. DC has recently inked a contract with United Streetcar for two more vehicles, and has recently opened bidding for construction of terminals at either end of this segment and a carbarn for up to eight vehicles. The system is set to begin operation in summer 2013.
I personally feel that this is a project with good intentions, but hampered with mismanagement (as is common in DC). I think it has promise, but I also feel it's likely that due to the political climate, it would be easy for someone to say "we're throwing money at this and it's being grossly mismanaged, it's time to stop". What are your thoughts?