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having lived there i have some comments about the streetcar in portland.

1. it is quiet. i can hear it, but since i lived in the city, i didn't mind. it was no more bothersome than a bus idling.

2. the overhead wires were not unsightly.

3. the streetcar enjoyed semi right-of-way with cars making right hand turns only allowed in the lanes. this was made possible by the fact that the streetcar in portland ran as loops. (in one direction down one street and up the street a block over)

4. the street car was a smashing success for many reasons
a. it is free in the downtown zone
b. spurred billions of dollars of investments
c. made the pearl district possible, and rejuvenated the north park blocks
d. connected the south park block to the north street blocks and 23rd ave to downtown.
e. there was no advantage in driving a car around town as streetlights were timed in such a way that it made going faster than 20mph impossible.
f. portland is a cool, forward thinking, do what-is-best-for-the-public-good kind of town.

that's why they went on to build several other streetcar lines, a skytram, and continues to expand their lightrail lines!

by Lived in Portland on Oct 23, 2009 10:56 pm • linkreport

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