Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Clang, Clang, Clang - The New Free Trolley Goes All Around Downtown Ogden

The starry-eyed Boss Godfrey is still sticking to his facially-absurd story that this hokey downtown short route shuttle is some kind of greater street car ridership experiment

Well, the magic moment has arrived, folks... the golden day Emerald City citizens have been eagerly awaiting. Starting this week, Boss Godfrey's faux trolleys will be traversing a short circular downtown loop, ferrying enthusiastic riders round and round and round the downtown Ogden business district, in a dizzying array of Dowtown Ogden-centiric "right turns." Scott Schwebke provides the lowdown in this morning's Standard-Examiner story:
Clang, clang, clang - The new free trolley goes all around downtown Ogden
Weirdly enough, the starry-eyed Boss Godfrey huckster is still at least loosely sticking to his absurd story that this hokey downtown short route shuttle bus represents some kind of greater overall street car ridership experiment:

The trolley replicas are part of a yearlong experiment to determine whether there is adequate ridership to support a permanent streetcar system within the downtown corridor, said Mayor Matthew Godfrey.
The more level-headed Dan Musgrave however, does advance a more rational argument for the justification of this taxpayer-funded downtown fake trolley conveyance:

Dan Musgrave, executive director of Downtown Ogden Inc., said the trolley replicas will help alleviate parking issues while providing needed transportation.
"People will be able to hop on the trolley and will be able to ride all over downtown."
Yes, we do believe that Mr. Musgrave, unlike Boss Godfrey, does at least make a fair point.


Curmudgeon said...

In re: alleviate parking issues.

Maybe I've just been lucky, but there's never been a time when I've driven downtown that I have not been able to find a parking place reasonably close to where I wanted to go. That includes on business days and on weekends. Usually I find parking right on 25th Street. Have to walk half a block sometimes; don't always find a place right at the door of the store. And on the rare occasions when I can't find parking right on 25th Street if that's where I'm going, I always find it in the big public lots behind the stores just to the north. Never had much of a problem parking at Washington Blvd. businesses downtown either.

So I'm a little puzzled about the parking problems downtown Ogden is supposed to be struggling with. [Note: I'm writing as a customer/shopper visiting downtown, not as someone who works there everyday. I can see where a large employer, say the IRS building, might see a problem accessing close workday parking for employees.]

But as a customer/shopper, I haven't ever had much of a problem finding a parking place reasonably close to where I want to go. The most I've ever had to walk was a block and half, and that was during the Sundance Film Festival.

Dan S. said...

When Godfrey speaks, you need to pay attention to every word. According to his statement in today's article, the O-Town Trolley Express is no longer intended as a study of the feasibility of a streetcar to WSU; it's merely studying ridership "within the downtown corridor".

Never mind that this "corridor" is only three blocks long by three blocks wide. Never mind that no such corridor appears on the WFRC Regional Transportation Plan, and that it was therefore wrong for WACOG to allow the sales tax money to be used for this purpose.

I have nothing against trying out such a system, but this is not a regionally significant transportation project and therefore it should have been funded by the city, not by a county-wide sales tax. I'm also bothered that its operation is being out-sourced to Downtown Ogden Inc., which isn't subject to open meeting and open record laws.

blackrulon said...

Curmudgeon- Obviously you have missed the hordes of people working in hi-tech jobs in downtown Ogden rushing to ride the gondola and shop at the Mexican and Chinese import stores

Anonymous said...

We live on 25th street and our family walks, bikes, and drives to the The Gigaplex Movie Theater, the Treehouse Childrens Museum; this fits ourniche perfectly.
We like the trolley bus. It would suit us if it was an antique-themed modern lightrail system, connecting downtown to health care facilities, the university, a few parks, the retirement communities, schools,... the east bench.

Of course, we would also simply print money to accomplish this one-time public works.

However, we doubt we would allow tens of thousands of public money to cart our family a couple of blocks over to the theater, if it was our druthers.
It would seem selfish, when there are so many other pressing civic needs.

Regardless, it is hard to get people out of their cars.

words matter said...

Is "clang clang clang" supposed to imply that this is similar to a San Francisco cable car???

Monotreme said...


It's a reference to this song.


Could that "clang, clang, clang" sound be Blain Johnson being hauled off in cuffs?

you who said...

Off topice but, lookie here. DeLay Guilty

Ozboy said...

Speaking of Johnson being hauled off in cuff, and hopefully Godfrey along with him - I just saw where Tom DeLay got convicted in Texas for almost the same exact thing that Godfrey, Johnson, etal did with Envision Ogden and FANURE.
DeLay is facing a long prison sentence yet here in Law and Order Utah these two political hacks are seemingly going to get away with doing essentially the same crime.

Can any one tell me - logically - how these crimes are any different from each other and why justice is being done in Texas but not in Utah?

Dan S. said...


Sure, there are differences. In Texas, the laundering was intended to hide a violation of the legal prohibition on corporate contributions to campaigns. Here in Utah there is no such legal prohibition! However, it's still illegal here to solicit contributions for an unregistered organization, and to mislead contributors about the nature of that organization, and to use one's elected office to obtain special privileges for a private organization. So in our case, the money laundering was intended to hide those crimes.

See, it's completely different!


Another attorney turned politician turned corrupt turned turkey. A quick search for Mike Easley and you can read the details of this former prosecutor, two-term attorney general and former North Carolina governor. (Politics Daily has a great article)
Based on the scenario in this article, Blain Johnson could enter an "Alford Plea" and probably face a fine upwards of $5.

history is true and it can't be changed said...

Oz, the difference between Utah and Texas, is that Texas has a competent A.G. and Utah does not.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that only a few weeks ago this blog was railing about the bus route being diverted from 25th Street. The uproar seemed to be as pronounced as if Obama had declared an increase in taxes on everybody. The change was preposterous, absurd, and a scheme.

And now we have the Trolley coming to town for a try out. And, damn, it route takes it up 25th Street. Wonder if maybe that was one of the clandestine reasons that the bus route was altered?

Seems everyone was in on it except the bloggers.

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