Nobody Wants the Streetcar Expansion?
An article in the P.I. yesterday quoted councilmen Nick Licata in asking, “Why would you put a streetcar in a neighborhood when the neighbors don’t want it?”
Granted, gas is now under $2.00 a gallon, but the Times reported yesterday in another article regarding the progress of the streetcar expansion that ridership has exceeded what was expected. By December 12th (the S.L.U.T. 1-year anniversary) the streetcar will have carried approximately 500,000 riders–80% of which . 150,000 more than what was estimated. With that said, it begs the question of what neighbors Licata is referring to?
With downtown condo prices being the way they are (even in a “slump”), it would seem that the streetcar expansion would create more opportunity for those to live and work in the city without having to pay the downtown premium.
However, the argument from those who oppose is the lack of planning on how the $685 million streetcar project will be paid for. Suggestions have been made that the money would come from a tax on local business’s. The S.L.U. streetcar was paid for by nearby property owners, and there certainly is much more of a buzz in the neighborhood that was not long ago, not a neighborhood at all.
We want to know if you are for the streetcar? Let us know what you think.