The cover article in today’s Trib (“Streetcar planning calls for patience”) seems to suggest that Streetcar is going too fast!
For the record, I don’t think we need to slow down, all I’m concerned about is that our Streetcar lines are well-planned and that every potential community has the opportunity to make their case for their position in line based on the merits, not just on political expediency or the the clout of particular interests (on the other hand, the ability of those interests to contribute $$$ to construction and operation and in turn leverage land use or economic development gains for the community is a real factor that goes into the merits discussion).
Nor do I think Streetcar is “magic pixie dust.” Streetcar works in conjunction with other land use and transportation strategies, which is why it’s important that future lines be well planned.
But I do think Streetcar is transformative. Even as some voices at Metro are advising patience, I think Streetcar could actually be one of the key tools to make the Centers that Metro is pushing so hard for happen.
And to the continued debate about Streetcar draining operating funds from buses or LRT, let me say it one more time: the problem is that we have an inadequate level of funding for transit operations in our region. Let’s grow the pie, not argue about the size of the slices!