Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Enough with the conspiracy
I'll be blunt, this blog isn't about dreaming about passenger trains, railmotors and branchline diesels heading out to tiny towns with government money in the fuel tank - public transport will definitely be taking a back step to the real world developments in the freight market...but that's not to say I will be completely ignoring the topic, and the December 2012 edition of TRAINS has spurred me to take aim at the naysayers opposing light rail developments on the Gold Coast and in downtown Sydney. Here's some facts from the United States - the home of the V8 SUV. There are currently 11 urban streetcar projects under way across the country - in the US streetcars are defined as light rail vehicles that run in streets, while light rail has its own separated corridor. Portland, Oregon - a similar sized city to the Gold Coast - will soon have an 11-km network serving its CBD. Since the first four kilometres opened in 2001 Portland's streetcars have added $3.5-billion in private investment to the city as developers rush to build their condos and office towers on streets with streetcar stops. Want to hear more? Here's a quote from the TRAINS news article to add some fuel to the pro-light rail fire.
"Many (US) cities view streetcars as a way of bringing people back to the central city without using personal automobiles, or as a way of getting around town without encountering parking problems. Streetcars are also viewed by property developers as a more permanent commitment to public transit, and have thus been credited with stimulating significant reinvestment in urban real estate. They are rarely considered part of a commuting system, and instead are intended to provide short trips in downtowns or historic sections of a city."
TRAINS December 2012
So spread the news, Pitt Street or Southport without light rail, these are just roads to a developer - add light rail and suddenly they're something special - something that's not on the other road - and something that makes a city money.