Monday, October 29, 2007

Sacramento Trolley

It would probably be wise for public leadership to secure a vibrant downtown prior to expending some $50 plus million on a system requiring a vibrant downtown to support it.

A better use of transportation money now might be towards the already vibrant freeways and roads in our region needing expansion and maintenance.

Relic may be rolling again
Streetcar plan gains speed as cities see practical charm
By Tony Bizjak -
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, October 29, 2007

On a winter's evening six decades ago, Sacramento's last two streetcars trundled quietly into retirement, pushed aside by the city's booming postwar car culture.
Sacramento streets had gone modern. Cars were unchallenged kings of the road, and Sacramentans were loving it.

"Everybody was buying cars," says lifelong Sacramentan Donald Rivett. "People were putting on the dog."

But times change, and so do ideas of what's modern.

Faced with congestion, parking woes and bland streetscapes, Sacramento planners have reached an ironic conclusion:

They want streetcars back, and soon.

Sacramento and West Sacramento hope to build a $53 million-plus streetcar rail line that would traverse the Tower Bridge and venture a mile into each city's downtown – and do it within the next four years.

The ambitious plan faces challenges. It will require a high level of cooperation between two sometimes cross-river rival cities. It'll also need unprecedented buy-in from local landowners: Officials say property owners will be asked to pay a good chunk of the cost.