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sgfranks wrote:

The great investment in streetcar track was paved over or removed based on public policy.

In Washington's case, a reasonably well-maintained streetcar system was abandoned in the aftermath of a nasty and long-running (7 week) transit strike in 1956. One of the stupidest long-term transportation decisions ever made in D.C. history.

The U.S. Congress (which in those days directly ran the District of Columbia through the House District of Columbia Committee via the D.C. Commissioners) passed a law mandating that the D.C. transit franchise of the incumbent, Capital Transit, be revoked and awarded to a new company, which was ended up being late O. Roy Chalk's D.C. Transit System. Congress also mandated that the streetcar system be shut-down by 1963 with transit service to be provided by buses.

It is not clear to me why Congress decided to take this drastic step (if the Congresspeople were mad at the workers that had been on strike (and their union), this made little sense, since the same workforce (represented by the same union) ran the buses).

by C. P. Zilliacus on Jul 13, 2012 11:43 am • linkreport

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