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There is no magic with streetcars. The dollar amount of economic development you get is directly proportional to the transit investment: you pay for an expensive subway, you get a lot of development. Choose a cheaper mode, get less development. Subways are great because, above all else, THEY MOVE PEOPLE QUICKLY from one place to another. Streetcars operating in mix lanes will never do that.

If you want more economic development, it's a better bang for your buck to just pay developers to build places than it is to build transit infrastructure that provides very little transit level-of-service benefits.

I'm not anti-streetcar. I'm pro-mobility. I don't see these streetcars increasing regional or city-wide mobility at all. I see them stuck in traffic just like our buses currently are. If the longer term solution is to increase mobility, let's start today by making our buses run better. Once we show we can prioritize transit on urban arterials, THEN let's move forward with higher capacity and more desirable transit.

But a streetcar sitting stuck in traffic is NO better than the bus it's stuck behind.

by Michael on Oct 23, 2009 2:51 pm • linkreport

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