Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beginning of End for George Benson Streetcar

As 'twas to be expected, the George Benson Streetcar tracks are being raised, a short section here, and then maybe a short section there, but in reality, of course, those rails are toast, having been fitted into exactly none of the plans for what comes next.

Arguably the best place for a trolley, the historical streetcar may not be the best trolley for the place. Being historical, the cars are old-fashioned, and if any great volume of traffic is to be carried, modern street-level boarding may be preferred. There are other places to put a historical streetcar in Seattle.

Some of us are streetcar people, some of us are historical people- how many of us are either remains to be seen. Working with Nickels and Paul Allen, Seattle DOT did a very credible job of working up a route and overseeing the installation of the South Lake Union line. Hopefully a little institutional memory will remain of the Nickels years when the DOT was instructed to sketch some trolley lines- and did so.

Quite possible we'll have to wait until the end of the McGinnteregnum to see any more progress with streetcars. Simply getting a new streetcar line shown in the plans and drawings for the new waterfront would be important, because the old one will be lifted for construction, to be sure. Like the phoenix, the streetcar must rise renewed from its own destruction.

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