Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Streetcar Named Desire

I've been a long time advocate for modern mass transit in Louisville. I feel that having a robust mass transit system will not only help to spur economic development and investment along the transit corridors, but if planned correctly, could be used as a tool for economic re-development in some of Louisville's most impoverished areas.

Light rail has already proven to be a driver a growth.  Dallas started building it's light rail in 1996. in 5 years the 45 mile line has generated over $3.3 billion in private investment, 32,000 jobs, and 39-53% great growth in property value than elsewhere in the city (link). Rail has also been used as an re-development tool for some of the nations poorest areas. Portland's street car line has generated 7,200 housing units and 4.6 million square feet of commercial development in the Pearl District, which was once a blighted industrial part of town(link). I could go on and on.

When Louisville does decided to build a modern mass transit system I want it to be a world class system that benefits the entire city and region.  In order to do this we should plan an entire, cohesive system, that includes a street car line, a light rail line, and bus service. We will have to build one line at a time, but we should present it as a whole system. People need to see where we are going and how this system will benefit them.

We are in an unique position where we can be one of the first movers with respects to modern mass transit in the region. If we are Possibility City we need to make mass transit possible. 


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