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10 Table 2 Summary Profile of Surveyed Streetcar Systems abandoned automobile manufacturing facility located on interest in carbon emissions reductions, it is anticipated that the shores of Lake Michigan near, but not in, downtown. this objective will become more prevalent in the next few Another exception was Savannah, Georgia, which considers years. Consistent with a growing environmental awareness, its recently opened streetcar as a "starter" line to build sup- the city of Seattle has seen a strong trend toward green build- port for a more extensive streetcar system to resolve bus and ing along its streetcar line and is currently exploring density auto congestion in its downtown. bonuses for buildings that achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from The fuller service systems, as might be expected, gener- the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED is a green build- ally had more extensive planning before construction and ing certification system that provides third-party verification many of these systems have evolved over time to become an that a building was designed and built using environmen- integrated component of overall regional transit strategies. tally sound materials and practices.) Most of the fuller service systems seek to transport residents and workers from housing to jobs and back again, along with Financing for the systems surveyed is varies widely, rang- visitors and patrons of retail and entertainment venues. ing from the repurposing of Interstate Transfer Funds for a planned (but not constructed) highway project in Memphis, Only a few of the system operators reported that alterna- to substantial local property assessments through a Local tive modes of transportation were evaluated when the street- Improvement District (LID) mechanism in Portland and car systems were planned. In contrast, however, most system Seattle. A full comparison of cost per mile, and leveraging operators cited the more generalized belief, without analysis, of public and private sources of funds, was not conducted that people are more attracted to streetcars than to buses, for this study. and streetcars would better meet the goals of revitalization or visitor attraction. Several systems acknowledged that this Management of the systems also varies, including man- opinion needs further empirical research to better under- agement by several nonprofit organizations. Several of the stand if this is accurate in their city, and why it may be true. lower ridership systems rely on volunteers to staff the sys- tem, demonstrating an amazing dedication to the concept of The Savannah streetcar is notable in terms of explicit transit by streetcar (and the appeal of the heritage aspect of identified transportation purposes for its streetcar. In Savan- streetcars in their communities). nah, the streetcar was implemented in large part to solve congestion on historic streets affected by private automobile traffic as well as an overlapping network of bus and shuttle Impacts On Physical Built Environment systems. Based on experience with its initial streetcar line, the current downtown Master Planning process reflects con- As shown in Appendix B, almost all of the streetcar sys- siderable interest in expanding the system. tem representatives believed that the streetcar had positively affected the physical built environment, especially in terms None of the systems' representatives mentioned explicit of attracting new development or enhancing revitaliza- environmental goals as being a key driving factor behind tion and redevelopment efforts; however, the degree of this development of the systems. Nonetheless, based on growing impact ranged from mild to strong. At the same time, each