What's interesting is that in order to keep costs down, they are going with a single track leaving the option for double track on the abandoned rail ROW between the closest Trax Station and the Sugarhouse district, a denser part of the city. In addition to this gem, there was a hint that mayors would be pushing congress to streamline the funding process for streetcar lines with Salt Lake Mayor Becker taking the charge.
In two weeks, Becker plans to sponsor a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Providence, R.I., calling on Congress to streamline the funding process for streetcars nationwide. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, already has placed a cash request for the Sugar House project.
"We're hoping," Becker said, "that Congress will accelerate the investments."
Recently Congressman Blumenaeur wrote a letter to Secretary LaHood asking for smaller investments to be made in ready to go streetcar projects around the country. In addition to Boise, I imagine the small Sugarhouse project would be one of the many that could apply for the proposed $25 million grant that would be requested.
Next week, Crapo and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., will send a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking him to designate $300 million in federal stimulus money for streetcar projects like Boise's.Below is the alternatives analysis map from UTA showing potential development projects on the corridor as well as possible places for crossover sidings where streetcars will be able to pass on the single track.
What will be interesting to see is if they can keep in the $50 million target for the two mile route. If they do, it will hopefully push others to try and keep costs low.
H/T Ed Havens