The Granary District

Creating walkable, urban, human-centered neighborhoods in the Granary District.

Tansit ? I always have my doubts about UTA, They have cobbled their way through the city in such a hap-hazard way I doubt their competence. Another non-compatible track system to where? Streetcars eat streets (maybe Good) but they should have more than one purpose. People don't shop with them, They might commute with them . What demographic are they serving. Are the buses full on the proposed route. What are the masterplans for these areas. I still see cheap 30 year or less hotels being built from national kits and little architectural investment. Just a few bullet points to see where this goes...... Willy

Views: 23

Comment by Brandon Garcia on April 29, 2010 at 4:08pm
Although I'm not an expert, I see two very important ways that streetcars are different from our current UTA offerings:

First, they differ from light rail in that they, like buses, can have multiple stops on each block, allowing users to easily travel through a neighborhood and patronize businesses. The models the RDA is considering don't "eat streets" as the tracks will run along street level and share lanes with cars. Riders get on and off curbside, so stops are frequent and flexible unlike expensive (and essentially permanent) Trax stops.

However, unlike bus lines which can be rerouted very easily, street cars represent a long-term commitment to a neighborhood. This has been proven time and time again -- in cities across the world -- to greatly increase the confidence investors/lenders/developers/business owners have in pioneering new neighborhoods.

So the theory is that a street car would both greatly increase traffic to the neighborhood (as a frequent and convenient public transit option), and would also encourage revitalization of the neighborhood by developers drawn by the guarantee of a long-term public transit line.

As for the cheap hotels and national kits, the entire goal of this website is to encourage intelligent and progressive development of the area -- to give the community a strong voice in shaping the Granary District. The RDA is developing some cool master plans for the area, but they very much want to hear from all of us. With so much unused property in the neighborhood, the District is a blank canvas waiting for our input...
Comment by James Alfandre on April 29, 2010 at 4:27pm
Well Willy, that seems to be the problem we're facing. There isn't a critical mass yet for a streetcar line, at least through the Granary District but the RDA is looking at the area for a line connecting it to downtown with the hope that "if you build it, they will come." If we can gather businesses, tenants and property owners are invested, or want to invest in The Granary District, we can create a foundation for a successful streetcar line. One that people will use to commute, shop and other things. And if there is a foundation in place, we could really turn The Granary District into a vibrant, urban neighborhood just blocks from downtown. And I can say that confidently after touring Portland's streetcar system with the city of Salt Lake last November.


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