Friday, July 31, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Ogden City Council Relinquishes Streetcar Dream For Now

Laughably, at least one UTA official attempts to paint this decision in an optimistic light

Just like clockwork, the Standard-Examiner provides a morning story which we foreshadowed earlier this month. Cutting to the chase, on Tuesday night, it seems the Ogden City Council delivered the Ogden Streetcar Project, ten years in the making, its final Coup de Grace.   Here's Cathy McKitrick's lede, folks;
OGDEN — In a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Ogden City Council propelled the city forward on a transit path that had been scrutinized for more than a decade.
The selected 5.3-mile route will connect the city’s Intermodal Transit Center at 2350 S. Wall Avenue to Weber State University, the Dee Events Center and McKay Dee Hospital by way of 25th Street and Harrison Boulevard. And Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was chosen over streetcar as the mode of transit, mostly due to cost. While a light-rail streetcar system would run about $220 million, BRT comes in around $60 million.
“There truly was a lot of good information for either mode and route,” said Bill Cook, executive director for the City Council. “But when it came down to it, it’s viewed that this route and mode are affordable and doable.”
Read the full story, folks:
Laughably. at least one UTA official attempts to paint this decision in an optimistic light:
Utah Transit Authority Project Manager Hal Johnson held out the possibility that BRT could actually serve as a stepping stone to streetcar some time in the future.
“Looking at BRT versus streetcar, there’s a bigger upside with the streetcar,” Johnson said. “But it’s going to be very hard to obtain in the local and federal funding climate that we’re in.” But by moving forward with this project, Johnson said it “sets some stones across the river so we can continue to progress . . . and this can evolve into something different and more as the community changes and evolves as well.”
Our take, Ogden Streetcar fanciers?  Don't hold your breaths for an early revival. Stick a fork into it... if you take our meaning.

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