Saturday, October 03, 2009

Standard-Examiner: New Name on Track

Ogden Trolley District renaming: a prelude to a central city streetcar system?

Encouraging story on the Standard-Examiner front page, reporting on the efforts of residents of the Ogden Central Bench Historic District to upgrade the public image of their neighborhood. From this morning's Scott Schwebke story:

OGDEN -- A resident has rechristened an historic Ogden neighborhood with an unofficial new name and a Web site to tout its streetcar heritage.
Officially known as the Ogden Central Bench Historic District, the neighborhood extending from Washington to Harrison boulevards between 30th Street and the Ogden River has been dubbed the Trolley District by Shalae Larsen, a former city planning commission member.
"It really does a better job of telling the story of what we are all about and how we came to be," said Larsen, who lives in a Victorian-era home in the heart of the district at 614 24th St.
Mr. Schwebke reports that Ms. Larsen is pulling out all the stops, with a multi-pronged campaign (including yardsigns and a website) which would not only highlight the Central City neighborhood's trolley heritage, but also aid in the effort of residents of that district to put in place a new east-west streetcar corridor alignment which would bisect the District:

The city council and city administration are participating in a study that may lead to the establishment of a streetcar system along the busy downtown to the Weber State University/McKay-Dee Hospital Center corridor.The aim of the study is to meet requirements for pursuing Federal Transit Administration funding for a possible streetcar project that could take three years to five years to obtain.
Within the story, we found what we thought to be an interesting twist. As every WCF reader already knows, Boss Godfrey has has been vocal in his preference for an oddball corridor alignment which would run up 36th street between Washington and Harrison Boulevards. This alignment would of course certainly be a great boon for the city... the City of South Ogden, that is. And here's the angle which we find most interesting in this morning's story. Among those quoted is ordinarily diehard Godfrey supporter Tom Moore, who seems to have now strayed from the Godfrey hard-line, and appears to understand that renaming this district could be a prelude to what's really important for a Central City renaissance, i.e., the running of a 21st Century "trolley" through an aptly named Trolley District. If Mr. Moore's apparent support for Ms. Larsen's public relations campaign can be interpreted as an indication that Ogden City political activists of the other persuasion can depart from the hare-brained Godfrey dogma, and join together to work for sensible solutions to Ogden City's infrastructure problems, we'll start off this weekend much encouraged.

Hopefully we're not reading too much into this; but ask yourselves this: How could Ogden have a Trolley District and not a Trolley District Trolley? Such a ridiculous circumstance would make no sense. Ms. Larsen's tactic in this matter is far from subtle, or so it seems to us.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?


Dan S. said...

One obvious explanation for the current situation is that Mayor Godfrey himself is torn on the streetcar alignment issue.

The conspiracy theorists have been assuming that deep down he really wants his gondola, and that he's been pushing for a more southerly streetcar alignment either because it would leave room for a gondola along Harrison, or because he simply wants to make the streetcar less popular and ultimately kill the project.

The alternate theory is that the mayor's push for a more southerly alignment is entirely due to UDOT's resistance to putting the streetcar on Harrison. Maybe, if it weren't for UDOT, the mayor would be on board with the original recommendation that the streetcar go up 25th or 26th Street.

Or perhaps both of these theories are partly correct, and the mayor himself isn't yet sure what his priorities are.

Incidentally, readers may be interested to know that the transit analysis "Management Committee" hasn't met in several months. Apparently the consultants are meeting with the members a few at a time, in private, rather than holding public meetings.

rose said...

Honing in on RudiZink's final sentence, this trolley district proposal is purely political (so it appears). I'm not sure how I feel about historic preservation being used for purely political purposes, it could turn sour like the Windsor Hotel episode. Yet, again, Mr. Moore is apparently on board (no pun intended) with this (go figure).

Curmudgeon said...


Not sure why it should be "purely political." It is a better name for that historic district, seems to me, and if the residents like it better, don't see why they shouldn't have it. I can't see any downside, or even a possible downside, to the name change.

ozboy said...

I congratulate Larsen, Moore and all the other residents of this district in their efforts to restore and maintain the historical significance of the area.

Biker Babe said...

I'm with ozboy - congrats to Larsen, Moore and residents, et al ... for having the stones to make a HUGE effort to get their voices heard in the spirit of preserving the history of the city, with no seeming political agenda ... in spite of godfreyganda and politics. And I think that effort has been well received!

Let's see hizzonah try to fly in the face of this ....

just sayin


Ray Vaughn said...

Perhaps someone has convinced the mayor that it is not a trolley system but just a street level gondola?

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