Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Streetcar Project To Be Discussed Tonight By Ogden City Council - Updated

3/29/11 City Council Notes
By: Brandon Chase Bell
Trolley District Community Advisory Network
A City Council Work Session is scheduled for tonight immediately following the Special City Council Meeting at 6:00 p.m. (there is not a set time for the Work Session, rather it begins immediately after the Special Council Meeting ends, which based on past experience has been approximately 7:00-7:15 or so).
In addition to discussing the Open Space Plan, the City Council will discuss the Streetcar Project and options regarding the “preferred alternative” for the Ogden/Weber Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis. Also, Council member Van Hooser will give a presentation on transit issues based on a recent Rail-volution Conference she attended.
Meeting Information:
Ogden City Council Work Session
March 29, 2011 – immediately following the Special Council
Meeting that begins at 6:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers – Third Floor
Municipal Building, 2549 Washington Boulevard
Streetcar Project Update and Issues to Be Discussed:

Important City Council Letter Sent on February 14
th, 2011 to WFRC, UDOT, and UTA
The information packet for the meeting contains a lengthy review of the Streetcar Project and efforts to bring a modern transit system to the Ogden area. It states that, most recently the city council sent a letter to the Wasatch Front Regional Council, Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Transit Authority on February 14th, shortly following the City Council meeting in January with the WFRC where UTA, and UDOT representatives were also present.
The text from the City Council’s letter relating to Harrison Boulevard and the Streetcar Project are as follows (as contained in the information packet for tonight’s meeting):
Harrison Boulevard
1. We [the Ogden City Council] are interested in pursuing a corridor study for Harrison Boulevard with UDOT as the lead agency and are willing to contribute 50% of the funding required for the study (contingent upon the Mayor agreeing). We request that this study commence as soon as possible.This corridor study will assist the City with decisions that need to be made relative to the Transit Alternatives Analysis and needed operational improvements can be clearly defined.
2. We have concerns with the proposed expansion of US 89 south of Harrison Blvd. and how this increased traffic would be handled by either Harrison or Washington. Further information would be helpful.
Transit Alternatives Analysis
3. We feel strongly that 25th Street should be an alternative route in the Transit Alternatives Analysis and be shown as such in the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). We were surprised that the mode for the “Ogden Streetcar Project” was changed from streetcar to bus rapid transit in the plan. We look forward to receiving a recommendation from the project’s stakeholder group and considering the options further. (Emphasis added)
This letter is significant news in the streetcar project and it’s long history. Many Ogden residents feel that a 25th-Harrison alignment has been needlessly ruled-out as an option. There has been longstanding, consistent, and overwhelming public support voiced in Ogden for a 25th-Harrison streetcar alignment. Our City Council has now taken the opportunity to formally request that it not be ruled out as an alternative, and that a 25th-Harrison alignment be taken forward as a potential alignment in the final Alternatives Analysis, that will eventually be finalized and released by UTA.
We are glad that the City Council has acknowledged this public support of a 25th-Harrison alignment and given voice to the will of Ogden residents in writing this letter to the Wasatch Front Regional Council, Utah Department of Transportation, and the Utah Transit Authority. Additionally, the City Council has also responded in this letter to UTA’s sudden change of plans in suggesting a Bus-Rapid Transit as the transit mode, when for quite some time now, the general consensus and discussion has revolved primarily around a streetcar system.
Tonight’s meeting is an important moment in the process of bringing a modern transit system to Ogden, hopefully along the right route, and the right mode of transit. As the meeting is a City Council Work Session, public comment is not allowed. However, attendance tonight is important to show continued public support for a 25th-Harrison Streetcar alignment, and a streetcar system, as opposed to UTA’s recent suggestion of a Bus Rapid Transit project. Please attend tonight’s meeting and be sure to express your support, in person, to members of the City Council for a 25th- Harrison alignment, and for a streetcar transit system specifically, both before and after the meeting.

Update 3/30/11 9:00 a.m.: For those following the Street Car Topic discussion, one of our gentle readers who attended last night's council meeting provides the following meeting summary concerning the council's posture on the 25th- Harrison alignment:

1 comment:

Moroni McConkie said...

Gentle Reader's writeup is helpful. I'm glad to hear the council plans proactively to pursue the 25th Street route. And their unanimity! Can't remember the last time that happened. Tempted to ask, "What's the catch?" but this is great news.

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved