Streetcars in downtown Salt Lake City?

by | Dec. 15, 2009

News from Utah

A return to yesteryear could be one of the most important pieces to the future of Salt Lake.

Call it downtown rolling.

City leaders have unveiled four potential lines for slow-moving streetcars to shuttle pedestrians around downtown, which they hope will bolster business and development.

"UTA has done a fabulous job of constructing light-rail lines that bring people from all over the metropolitan area to downtown," said D.J. Baxter, head of Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City. "Once they get downtown, they need to have an easy way to get around."

The city's initial line, which could cost as much as $70 million, would ideally service downtown staples, such as Main Street and the Salt Palace, before heading south.

Portland, Ore., has proved the poster child for streetcar success. The $55 million the city pumped into its initial line has turned into $3.5 billion in private investment over the last decade, officials there say.

"We understand what the Portland experience did in a boom time … is a different set of cards than what we have right now," Charlie Hales, of the architecture and design firm HDR, told the City Council last week. "But we're very bullish on this."

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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