Streetcar Makes USA Today

We’ve gone mass media. And they got the image wrong :-)

8 responses to “Streetcar Makes USA Today”

  1. Actually the image is correct. As MAX creeps though downtown, it is wearing its streetcar hat, not its Metropolitan Area Express hat.

  2. Cities hope that streetcars can do in this century what they did in the last: Connect neighborhoods and provide a relatively cheap alternative to walking and driving.

    This is not true. It isn’t cheaper than driving under current funding models in any way form or manner here in PDX. It is definately not cheaper than walking – unless you do some really wierd misguided calculations using sidewalks… but I’m not going into that insanity. Point being Portlanders could get misrepresentations of Portland’s SPECIFIC FACTS based on OUR Streetcar.

    Electric streetcars are light-rail, too, but they’re less expensive because they use lighter cars, fewer cars and shorter tracks that share the road with cars and buses.

    Again, they’re not cheaper in the current funding/technology here in PDX. They’re more than 2x as expensive as most Streetcars & Streetcar/Light Rail Systems.

    One quote I found funny and VERY true!!
    “It resonates with folks. … Developers don’t write checks for buses.”

    Nope, developer’s don’t write checks for busses. In most places they want them to go away so that values will increase. Streetcars do EXACTLY the opposite for values in comparison of busses.

    It can be built quickly, inexpensively, right into the street to get around without a car more easily.

    That’s the truth, just look at south waterfront. That track is almost done, it’s only been about 3 months since they started on the extension. Now if the rest of the system could keep developing at that rate we might get the same growth rate Portland did in the past. That’d be awesome. As for getting around easier than with a car, that is definately true in Urban areas – unless one is a logistics challenged person.

    Little Rock opened its 2.5-mile River Rail streetcar in 2004. It connects key destinations — the arena, convention center and River Market District — and lofts, hotels, government buildings and museums. It has been so successful that work has begun on a mile-long extension to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

    About $200 million in development has either been planned or built along the $19.6-million line, Street Smart estimates. Now, North Little Rock plans a $28 million minor-league baseball stadium.

    This is what I KEEP SCREAMING ABOUT!?!??! They payed next to nothing for their Streetcar line compared to what PDX did. Ugh. It’s embarrassing when a blatantly red, backwards thinking state, gets the most bang for their buck out of the Streetcar. (and don’t go off on the amount of “investment” – Little Rock is lucky to get investment no matter what, Streetcar or not)

    All together an interesting read – good catch Chris!

  3. The picture isn’t online is it? But its not surprising to see the streetcar mentioned in USA Today. I know that there are a lot of cities that envy Portland and the streetcar is a part of that. And there was the USA Today article handed out at Gibbs.

    Also, I don’t think they’re saying that it’s cheaper than walking if capital costs are included. The “relatively” is probably about other alternatives (i.e. taxis). As for driving, I’d argue it could be cheaper if you consider all of costs of using an car (parking, pollution, …) And…

    reviving the same neighborhoods they helped create.

    Ya mean like Hawthorne? :)

    It expands the reach of pedestrians

    Makes them “transit-assisted” ones.

  4. Ya mean like Hawthorne? :)

    I’ve put on Southeast Uplift’s LUTC agenda (Land Use and Transportation) next week the creation of a Hawthorne Streetcar sub-committee.

  5. I’ve put on Southeast Uplift’s LUTC agenda (Land Use and Transportation) next week the creation of a Hawthorne Streetcar sub-committee.

    Frank – please let me know how that turns out. My offer of web/software logistical assistance still stands.

    – Bob R.

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