From Here to There
The key to a city's growth, both physically and economically, is transportation. Washington has not always been on the cutting edge of transportation as goods and people navigated the city, yet eventually a series of innovations made modern life possible. The first was the city canal, dug to bring materials by water to construction sites in the new city. Next came the horse-drawn street railroad, with tracks laid through the muddy streets. Eventually cablecars and then electric motors took over, conquering the steep hills that had limited settlement to downtown DC. Commuting by streetcar became an option, and the strong, government-based economy created a middle class with an appetite for homes of their own.