Sunday, August 10, 2008

Streetcars Coming?

The Portland Streetcar at the Portland State U...Image via WikipediaHere is an article just published by the Salt Lake Tribune about the proposed Sugar House Trolley.

Streetcars may someday return to Sugar House

As I have mentioned in the past, the Sugar House line should be the first phase of a much longer system which is indicated in the article.

The article also talks about the Portland Streetcar which has been very successful and in fact almost too successful as it often runs standing room only. The streetcar has also help revive an area that was pretty much dead before the arrival of the streetcar.

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Anonymous said...

Just curious. How much congestion will this reduce?

We know that these types of projects don't significantly reduce pollution or fuel consumption, at least compared to cost so they only other possible advantage would be congestion reduction.

Is there a lot of congestion in that area?

Or is this simply another expensive way of making us feel good about "doing something"?

JMD said...

Well for the people who use the trolley it will reduce congestion substantially.

In addition a streetcar will end up costing less than a bus per passenger just like TRAX does.

Also why doesn't the same people who ask if a rail line is going to reduce congestion every asks if a highway will?

The Legacy Highway will only reallocate congestion to different areas. It might help some areas but then congestion will increase in others.

Anonymous said...

Legacy will do more than reallocate congestion. It will increase capacity. Due to growth, that capacity will eventually be filled (Congestion pricing would be a good approach to making sure existing and future capacity is well utilized.)

With 2 to 3% population growth, we have to build more infrastructure of all types, including roads. So the argument that new roads will just get congested isn't totally valid because we could also say that we should stop building new schools because they get filled up too.

Again, how much congestion is there in the Sugar House area and how much growth is occurring in Sugar House? (OK, that one is easy).

F. Mathew VonStieff said...

If they bring the streetcars please tell me that they wont look like those ugly things!

JMD said...

Actually the new ones I think are worse as they look like the new Gillig and Van Hool BRT buses which I think have ugly front ends. Then again I care more that they are functional and good performers which they have been for both Portland and Tacoma.