WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Council Lifts Ban On Overhead Wires

Play associated audio

The D.C. City Council is endorsing a multimillion-dollar streetcar project this week by lifting a federal ban on the use of overhead wires in the District. But it's unclear if the Council actually has the authority to do that.

The overhead wire ban was enacted by Congress in the 1880s to protect the District's historic, monumental views. Council members say they have the legal power to supersede this ban, but the agency that protects federal interests in the District, the National Capital Planning Commission, has expressed doubts.

D.C. council members say they need to use overhead wires to make the streetcars viable.

"That's the cheapest way to go," says Councilmember Tommy Wells, a strong streetcar backer. He says overhead wires are necessary because wireless streetcars are less reliable and much more expensive.

"It would substantially increase the cost of the project to the citizens," Wells says.

He says the city is working with the Capital Planning Commission, and he hopes it won't overrule the council.

NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist.
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
NPR

NPR Politics Lunchbox: Concerns in Cleveland, 'Funny-Looking People'

Our favorite 2016 news and stories of the day curated from NPR and around the web.
NPR

Facebook Shakes Up News Feed, But We Still Don't Know Exactly How It Works

It will now prioritize posts from friends and family — potentially bad news for media companies relying on Facebook for traffic. The company has been under pressure to defend its political neutrality.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.