Click for next page ( 12


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 11
11 system except Portland noted the critical lack of data and on. Although occasionally the literature forecasting economic analysis to demonstrate this perception of positive benefit. benefits for proposed streetcar systems posits that streetcars Moreover, almost all of the systems described the positive will attract more "creatives" to the area, this idea cannot be benefits as widely varying over time, especially during the substantiated. Few systems surveyed riders as to purpose of current economic downturn. trip or demographic composition; of those that have conducted rider surveys, the primary question has been whether the rider Some representatives of the systems interviewed also is a resident or visitor (likely related to the goal of increasing cited perceptions of increased property values and, to a tourism in several of the systems' communities). lesser extent, lease rates along streetcar routes. Other than in Memphis, however, for which these increases were analyzed Almost all of the system operators interviewed consid- systematically as part of a larger study for the city of Char- ered these economic-related questions as vital, and most lotte, none of the cities offered published studies to support requested more research around this topic, particularly in the property value opinions. cases in which the streetcar system is slated for expansion and significant commitment of public funds. Changes in related development topics, such as attracting larger developers or stimulating LEED-designed buildings, along the streetcar routes were mixed. Several interviewees Changes In Future Land Use Plans And noted that developers seemed to be interested in projects Regulations along the streetcar route, and cited this as a positive trend. Others, however, noted that while projects may have been Several streetcar systems, having demonstrated their viabil- discussed or proposed, once the streetcar was in place, other ity, currently are being integrated into local land use plan- factors created delays in realizing these benefits. ning processes. Notably, this is occurring in Savannah, Portland, Seattle, and San Pedro. Few systems reported ancillary changes to the built environment, such as reduced parking garage construction, A handful of cities reported having made explicit changes increased pedestrian or bike lane investments, or explicit in density or parking requirements either before or as a reductions in parking requirements if located near street- result of streetcar implementation, including Portland and car. Many of these types of built environment changes have Seattle. Portland initially constructed the first segment of its evolved near light rail systems, and perhaps may become streetcar, in part, to explicitly support higher density devel- more noticeable as contemporary streetcars evolve in the opment in a revitalizing district adjacent to the downtown, United States. and subsequently has utilized the streetcar as a connector to the South Waterfront Aerial Tram, which in turn serves as the key mode of transport to a previously disconnected Impacts On Economic Development portion of the waterfront now being developed into major residential, educational, research and development (R&D) One of the most notable aspects of the survey findings is that uses. In Seattle, the city and a major property developer, few, if any, of the systems were seeking information regarding Vulcan Properties, see the streetcar as necessary to achieved the impacts of the streetcar on economic activity such as job planned densities and overall goals for pedestrian-oriented attraction, change in job mix, retail sales, tax revenues, and so development in the South Lake Union neighborhood.