Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Chrlotte votes to spend money on the trolley

No, not actually build the streetcar line, but instead spend $12 million to do the engineering work on the line. The story is that this will demonstrate to the federal government how committed Charlotte is to the project, thereby increasing the odds the feds will pick up half the construction cost.

Let’s be real here: A majority of people on Charlotte City Council really, really want to build at least the first phase of the streetcar line along Beatties Ford Road. And council has already implicitly voted to raise property taxes to do so. Obviously, city council would prefer if the feds picked up half the cost, but if that isn’t going to happen, the line will still get built. The only question is when the decision is made and what sort of very small political fig leaf will be used to say that an explicit property tax increase wasn’t involved. Part of the justification for building the line completely at city expense will most certainly be that since the design work is complete, it would be a waste not to build it.

Bonus observation: Since Charlotte politicians no longer fear voters over tax increases, even tax increases in election years, and the Republican party is pretty much irrelevant in the city, a further fig leaf of deniability of raising property taxes to build the streetcar may not even be necessary.

5 Responses to “Chrlotte votes to spend money on the trolley”

  • Jan
    29
    2014

    And STILL no one has ever explained how streetcars are in ANY way functionally superior to buses. Not once. EVER.

  • Jan
    30
    2014

    Clay rail is vastly superior to Bus Routes. A local Government can Kelo land along a rail line to get rid of low income or middle income land owners then can rezone it in order to make the land along the tracks increase in value theoretically increasing property taxes as Richard Florida Yuppies move into the condos and businesses move in to serve them.

    Unfortunately there isn’t enough people in the creative class demographic to spread around to all the cities seeking that “World Class” status (I think Charlotte’s World Class status may have taken a hit with the lack of high class hotel rooms for Journalists at the DNC. Next time put the Iowa and Missouri delegates in the bedbug and roach motels on North Tryon and the Reporters Uptown).

  • Jan
    30
    2014

    Streetcars are not rail. They’re big buses that can ONLY follow a single path on public streets.

  • Feb
    03
    2014

    I think your thinking of the gold rush buses shaped like a Trolley. This boondoogle will be a trolley running on a rail like the trolley that ran on the former blue line. The above was the CCCP justification for the street car in addition to being a payoff to a local democrat party machine.

    *Update* We’re saying the same thing its just semantics. To me If the thing runs on a track it’s ‘rail’ even though it only has one car and developers thing they can get $$$ building condos along the tracks.

    It’s like the underpants elves business plan

    1 Railroad Tracks
    2 ???
    3 Profit(really just taxpayer subsidy)

  • Feb
    03
    2014

    No, I am thinking of streetcars that run on rails which are laid in the street. This is ESSENTIALLY a big bus which is limited to a single path — no detours, no lane changes. See the mess on Elizabeth Street for how this will operate.

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