D.C. streetcars pose problems for businesses

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Operators are out on the test track daily to practice running D.C.’s new streetcars. But here on H Street, where the cars will first go on line, businesses see a problem: there isn’t enough space between the tracks and the curb for big trucks that make deliveries or pick up trash.

"It's going to make our job a lot harder," says sanitation worker, Mark Hartsell. "You don't know how you're going to do it... I have no idea yet."

Concern has grown to the point that some businesses met with the city on Thursday to ask merchants what they are supposed to do.

"We got to work out the details for delivery because we need our delivery trucks to function as a business," says club owner Blair Zervos.

Their ideas include re-engineering the street with curb cuts into the sidewalk to make space for delivery trucks. But that proposal isn’t so popular with DDOT Chief Engineer, Ronaldo "Nick" Nicholson.

"No, the street widening is done," he says. "It was done as part our our great streets project -- it isn't an issue."

DDOT is saying that when these fixed rail cars start running, which will be soon, a lot of things like overly wide trucks or double parking should be banned from H Street completely.