NIMBYs Concerned That Streetcar Barn Will Detract From Historic Housing Project

A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 7 2012 10:56 AM

NIMBYs Concerned That Streetcar Barn Will Detract From Historic Housing Project

Langston Terrace, the first federally funded housing project in America
Langston Terrace, the first federally funded housing project in America

Wikimedia Commons.

At least one reason for the slow pace of transit infrastructure projects in the United States has to be the exceptionally wide range of random objections that people are able to mount to doing just about anything. The District of Columbia, for example, is in the midst of a somewhat ill-advised streetcar construction project that requires the creation of a facility to park streetcars in. Needless to say, some folks don't want that in their backyards:

Residents said they are concerned that the $13 million car barn will create a noise nuisance, disturbing their quiet community of single family homes. Furthermore, residents point out that the proposed barn would sit among three local landmarks: Spingarn, Langston Golf Course and Langston Terrace Dwellings, the first public housing project in Washington.

Yes, that's right, the car barn will impede people's ability to move between the golf course and the housing project, both of which—remarkably—are quite genuinely listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I recommend Ben Adler's recent piece on whether historic preservation has gone too far, and will enter this as an exhibit for the affirmative.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


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