Sunday, November 10, 2013

Local Reaction on the Streetcar

Yeah, it's about what you'd expect. Boondoggle, who'll ride this choo-choo train, this will probably require operating subsidies, etc. etc. Here's columnist Dan Bernstein, who calls the plan "disturbingly delusional," and the PE's Editorial Board, who sticks with "boondoggle."

The thing is, they're not entirely wrong. The City's choice of streetcars as a transit mode does appear to be driven by a me-too attitude and unjustified technophilia. The Riverside Reconnects study is not intended to study how to improve public transit in Riverside, or even how to build a rail transit line in Riverside, but to study a streetcar line in Riverside. And among the anti-transit bias are justified critiques-- for example, would this money be better spent augmenting Riverside's existing bus service?

I'm still tentatively pro-streetcar here, and I'm disappointed with the reflexive anti-transit attitudes of the local press, but streetcar advocates do need to make a better case for their project.

No comments: