Streetcar in ‘test mode’ hits vehicle in Northeast

WASHINGTON — It’s already been a troubled road for the D.C. streetcar system, so this incident probably isn’t welcomed.

During testing on Saturday afternoon,  one of the streetcars running tests hit a black sedan making a left-hand turn at 6th and H Street in Northeast. Based on pictures from the scene,  it was a T-bone accident impacting the sedan’s passenger door.  It’s unclear whether the car was making an illegal left on red or whether the streetcar was at fault.

DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders says the accident was minor and probably won’t affect the opening during the week of Jan. 19.

The streetcar was going less than 10 miles an hour at the time, Sanders says.

“Incidents such as these are to be expected and we have protocols in place to manage through them,” Sanders says.

He couldn’t elaborate on what the protocols are and whether the State Safety Oversight office and the Federal Transit Administration will investigate this incident.

The SSO and FTA need to sign off on the final paperwork before streetcar service can begin on the H Street-Benning Road corridor.

DDOT expects service to begin the week of January 19th, and so far, there is no indication that this crash would cause another delay.

Streetcar was supposed to open in 2013, but has been suffered from repeated delays over the last two years.

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