Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Raising the trolley pole

The feasibility study for the Riverfront Streetcar project is up, along with the draft for the route. It's looking all right--this is supposed to be the first phase of a multi-phase project that will eventually send out feeder routes into residential areas of Midtown and West Sacramento. Cost is about $50 million, timeline is still about 5 years, and they're still weighing reproduction historic streetcars vs. modern cars--apparently the repro models are cheapest.

I'm a big advocate of restoring at least one more Sacramento car for use on this system, for obvious reasons and because I think it would benefit the system. While there are obvious limitations to historic cars, including ADA accessibility and air conditioning, they add greatly to the character and context of the system in the same way that old buildings in a modern downtown do. The historic cars in San Francisco are a good model for this: they preserve history AND DO PRACTICAL WORK. By putting them in the mix with modern vehicles with the modern conveniences, the needs and interests of more people are provided.

Part of the strength of this modular system is that they can make changes and additions later--maybe start with repro cars for cost-effectiveness, and add modern and restored cars as proof of concept is established.

I suppose I just really, really want to ride one of the old single-truck Birneys over the Tower Bridge.

1 comment:

Gary Reed said...

This post is being considered for The Sacramento Bee's roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

The Blog Watch column is limited to about 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often trimmed to fit. The blog's main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

If you have questions (or you DON'T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at greed@sacbee.com

Gary Reed
Forum Editor