these tracks. In shifting the removal duty from the Transit Company, Congress did not intend by a sleight of hand to eliminate a well-established municipal duty to maintain its streets in reasonably safe condition, thus leaving the previously protected public without legal remedy against either the city or the Transit Company.
It was always contemplated that abandoned track would be removed promptly. For an excellent summary of the relevant legislative history and the most recent congressional expression recognizing a duty on the District promptly to remove, see H.R.Rep.No.1502, 92d Cong., 2d Sess. (1972). "Good cause" could only be an excuse for the Public Utilities Commission to extend the conversion period. The 1956 Act previously quoted did not leave the District by implication the right to delay removal as long as it sees fit. To the contrary, the obligation to remove all track became fixed at the end of the conversion when the track was ordered abandoned.
Turning then to the question of appropriate relief, it should be noted that the District of Columbia presently has somewhat nebulous plans for completing its track removal program, in large part at least, by 1980. Such a leisurely, indefinite schedule, when viewed in the light of the continuing public nuisance which the tracks create, is intolerable, whether the matter is viewed in terms of the District's statutory or common-law duty. A more realistic and definitive schedule must be set and when it is set it must be adhered to. The track removal problems cannot be allowed to drift indefinitely. While removal can be accomplished by simply paving over the tracks, which in many instances has been the practice followed, the District quite sensibly would prefer physical removal. This is more expensive as well as more disruptive of traffic. Accordingly, the District, within reasonable limits, should be permitted to schedule the remaining removal, coordinated to approved highway developments.
The record indicates that in Georgetown, and perhaps elsewhere, some citizen opposition to removal may exist because the residents desire to retain ancient cobblestone paving or indeed to maintain obstacles that deter traffic. The District, of course, should consider these local attitudes in determining the best practical method for removal consonant with citizen wishes.
On or before June 30, 1973, the District shall file with the Court a firm plan for removing the remaining trolley tracks no later than June 30, 1976.
Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is granted against the District to the extent consistent with this Memorandum Opinion. Summary judgment will be granted in favor of D.C. Transit. Submit appropriate order within one week. The foregoing constitutes the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.
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