Ann Arbor Area Community News
This Sunday’s Ann Arbor News has a front page article on the possibility of a streetcar system in Ann Arbor.
According to the article, one vision is that this streetcar would bring people from Plymouth Road, State Street, Washtenaw and Jackson Ave into the downtown area.
According to Eli Cooper, the City’s Transportation Manager, travel time on these streetcars from the outskirts of town to the core would take about 20 minutes or less.
A challenge to the whole streetcar idea is that it will cost perhaps around $50 million dollars. The question is, where will that money come from?
Something else the article alludes to but doesn’t talk much about is the Alternatives Analysis. This Analysis, which will study what type of transportation option would be best for the City of Ann Arbor should be conducted sometime this year.
It is my understanding that this Analysis, which the article refers to as “paying a consultant to see whether a streetcar system could work here . . .” is actually to see which kind of option makes the most sense for Ann Arbor. In addition to a streetcar scenario, there are options such as Bus Rapid Transit.
The website for the City’s Transportation Plan (which is being updated) says the following about the future transportation options in Ann Arbor:
Some of the alternatives that are being studied are streetcars, bus rapid transit, changes to existing bus service, impacts that land use have on transportation, using technology to improve existing roadways, and intersection improvements.
The nice thing about the Transportation Plan is that it is looking at both land use as well as transportation, which makes sense since, as the article points out, development can often be spurred by building a transportation infrastructure.
In the next several months there will be opportunities for the public to provide feedback on the City’s Transportation Plan. I will do my best to post that info here and/or on the getDowntown blog .
So a lot is afoot in the realm of public transportation in Ann Arbor. The biggest questions are, what will it look like and how will we pay for it?
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