"Streetcars have sex appeal, it resonates with folks. Developers don't write checks for buses."So True. But what does this have to do with the transit revolution? Everything. These streetcars are doing more with land use than light rail ever dreamed while promoting a true urbanism. Not that Light Rail can't do it either, but its kind of like showing the older brother up. The land use changes can happen around light rail, but it seems more linear around the streetcar. Hopefully we can learn how to build light rail for the same cost...the fact that they are different escapes me...but i'll write on it later.
So what is the next generation of this phenomenon? The Beltline in Atlanta is a good place to start. It was a scare earlier this year for BRT but the good folks of ATL realized that they didn't want to be jogging and biking next to hybrid fume puffers. Good for them and hopefully the plans will be accelerated, but all we can do now is wait and see.
Three lines are under construction...hopefully they have the same results as previous streetcar starts.
Anacostia - Washington DC
South Lake Union - Seattle
Clinton Library Extension - Little Rock