Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Streetcar meeting

From the CATS folks: "The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will hold a public meeting to discuss updated information on the streetcar project. Project information on the capital costs, environmental effects, and the top two sites for the maintenance facility will be shared with the public for feedback. Boards will be present displaying renderings of the proposed maintenance facility sites." If you hope to have an affect on the future of the streetcar system -- which will become a part of our neighborhood -- now is the time.


Adam Schultz said...

Thanks for the update, John. Do you have the details of the meeting location, date and time?

John McBride said...

That would have been helpful, wouldn't it? Sorry I forgot. Here it is:
July 18, 2006
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Room 267
6:30 p.m.

NOA said...

Thanks for this information. I hope to be able to attend. This is exactly the kind of information I believe people are looking for in the newsletter; matters that affect the quality of life in the community. NOA

Andria said...

Here's new background information from Tom Poston, an active streetcar project monitor from the Merry Oaks Neighborhood Association (MONA):

"Attended the Center City Streetcar advisory board meeting July 12 and got the latest news. We're getting down to the wire now - the Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC) will vote this fall on which transit corridor will be the next to proceed - the streetcar is a leading candidate but by no means a shoe-in; the North Corridor (light rail from downtown to Huntersville and Davidson) is a strong competitor. Preliminary design is almost complete, and the plans as they are now will be shown at the public meeting July 18 at the Government Center.

The big news is that due to the fine-tuning and careful budgeting of CATS, the entire streetcar project has come in under the $250 million dollar cap for the Federal Transportation Authority "Small Starts" program. What this means is that if the MTC approves the streetcar as the next transit corridor and if the FTA approves the grant request, then the *ENTIRE* 10 mile streetcar line, from Beatties Ford Road at I-85 through downtown and out Central Avenue to Eastland Mall will be constructed together, all at once, without the phased-construction that we've been anticipating. That would mean the streetcar along Central would be done in 2011, not 2017 as we've come to expect.

Now this is by no means assured - MTC could decide to approve only the first phase of the streetcar line, and proceed with the North Corridor simultaneously. Or it could give priority to the North Corridor and the streetcar would have to wait. MTC could approve the whole thing and the FTA could only fund the first phase. However a great many economic development indicators are aligning for the streetcar - the development along Elizabeth Avenue from CPCC to Hawthorne Lane has expanded from $80M to $325M as a direct result of the streetcar, and other developments on the scale of Morningside (Apartments) are bubbling in Belmont and Plaza-Midwood as well. Ridership is a big plus and cost savings over additional buses on those routes add another strong argument for the streetcar.

So, now the game is in the final minutes and we can't give up now. If anyone can be at the public meeting next week, it would help. I am planning to be there but the more support that is visible for the streetcar, the more pressure is put on the MTC to select it as the next corridor."

Andria said...

For a small map of the streetcar stops in our area and a registration-required link to the charlotte.com story, go here.
And be kind; it's not as design-developed as "Under The Water Tower."