Sunday, January 24, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Where Should the Streetcar Go?

Sounds like the City Council has its marching orders

Informative article in this morning's Standard-Examiner, highlighting the vast gap between the desires of the lumpencitizens regarding Ogden's proposed Streetcar System, and those of the UTA bureaucrats:
Where should Ogden public transportation go?
Std-Ex reporter Roy Burton poses this question:

Should an Ogden streetcar system serve as a regional people-mover, reducing traffic congestion and getting travelers from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible?
Or should its primary goal be transit doubling as an economic engine to drive the revitalization of the city's lowest-income neighborhood?
Seems to us that UTA bureaucrats, through their stubbornness (or sheer laziness/mendaciousness), are forcing a false dilemma. Why would a central city streetcar alignment not adequately serve all of the above-stated goals, we ask? The UTA's position makes no sense.

Encouraging admission by UTA bureaucrat G.J. LaBonty:

UTA project manager G.J. LaBonty said he would encourage Ogden and the City Council to hold a full public meeting on the transit project to gather input from other groups in addition to the Trolley District proponents."Ultimately, this is the city council's decision to make," LaBonty said. "I heard a comment in there that we, meaning the project team, will force a decision from the stakeholders. That's not the way this works at all. [Emphasis added].
Sounds like the City Council has its marching orders. We accordingly urge the council to get moving on this forthwith.

10 comments:

Dan S. said...

This article implies that a 36th Street alignment would function better, at least for passengers making the full trip from downtown to WSU. But that's simply not true. According to the Wilbur-Smith analysis, the 36th Street alignment would have a longer travel time and attract fewer total riders than the 25th Street alignment.

UTA should tell the truth: The reasons it prefers a 36th Street alignment are (a) because UDOT doesn't especially want the streetcar on Harrison; and (b) because putting the streetcar through historic neighborhoods requires more paperwork and documentation to satisfy federal requirements. But neither of these is a fatal flaw. UDOT has not yet stated a firm position, and has privately said that this is Ogden City's decision and it will work with the city to implement what the community wants. And if UTA will just do the paperwork, they'll have no trouble documenting that a 25th Street alignment is actually better, overall, for historic preservation.

Incidentally, the meeting referred to in this article took place on Thursday, January 14. Why the 9-day delay?

midwinter said...

I've been curious about what the original streetcar routes were back when Ogden had one. I know it went down 25th street and on Jefferson. Does anyone have a map of the original routes?

Dan S. said...

here you go, midwinter:

http://www.trolleydistrict.org/history.php

ozboy said...

"Where should the street car go?"

It should go up the mayor's keister and out his ears. Seeing that he is both gutless and brainless, there should be no congestion on the route.

Danny said...

The city does a pretty good job putting together "community plan" groups. It seems to me they could put together a trolley working group and close this issue.

That is, assuming Godfrey stayed far, far away from the process, both from the perception and the reality that he is dishonest and cares nothing for the public.

But the city could do a good job with this. The goal should be an open process to get everyone together on the best route.

Danny said...

Along these lines, no doubt pleasing to all the hippies :) in the room, it appears last year the number of cars in the US fell for the first time since WWII.

Peak of the Car Era

Also, this quote,

"This helps explain why, despite the largest U.S. teenage population ever, the number of teenagers with licenses, which peaked at 12 million in 1978, is now under 10 million. If this trend continues, the number of potential young car-buyers will continue to decline."

Perhaps the future will be a more peaceful, rational place than the helter skelter, debt-driven present.

Conductor said...

Conductor here! Checking in from the APTA annual Streetcar Subcomittee meeting in Seattle Washington. There are at least 30 nationally recognized transit experts here, and we've talked to all of them regarding alignment, engineering, funding ect... Guess what they ALL agree with us! The 25th street alignment best serves the Trolley District AND all of Weber County!

Jim Hutchins said...

Conductor:

You're trying to confuse the issue with facts and data. All you naysayers are the same that way.

Conductor said...

Interesting factoid about the "extra paperwork" mentioned by Dan. It's the difference between an EA(easy) and an EIS (slightly more difficult). Wether you have to submit one or the other remains to be determined for BOTH alignments. If UTA assumes that they only have to summit an EA and they are required to do an EIS (which is inevitable if there is any public contoversy over the proposed alignment - ie 36th) then it will actually be harder than just starting with an EIS on the 25th alignment.

Danny said...

Comment bumped to front page

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