City Council Members S.C.R.E.W.E.D. on Proposed Streetcar Names

Transportation ideas continue to run afoul of family-friendly policies.

Perhaps salivating at the prospect of federal transportation spending (by way of President-elect Obama's pending economic stimulus package), the Seattle city council this week endorsed the idea of a citywide streetcar system to augment our beloved, if little-used, 1.3-mile South Lake Union Trolley, known as the S.L.U.T.Council member Sally Clark is predictably gung-ho about this $700 million conceptual plan (if you dream it, they will fund), while others, such as Richard McIver, are more circumspect. To avoid the acronym debacle of the current streetcar, council members are floating a variety of prosaic names, such as the U Line and the Central Line. But behind the scenes, council members are clearly struggling with how to reconcile transportation planning with family-friendly policies. Here are some of the current proposals:• From Tom Rasmussen: The Trolley Regrade Ambi-Modal Plan would connect Belltown's vital bar and nightclub locus to Bremerton's underserved population via amphibious streetcars that, unlike state ferries, run all night long.• Proposed by Jean Godden, the Highly Useful Supplemental Streetcar for You links her North Seattle home to the nearest Metropolitan Market, Wedgwood Broiler, beauty salon, and kayak rental shop.• Licata's Human Optimizer line would double the capacity of a Madison Park/Cap Hill route by offering half-price fares to those who pay with soy, backyard chicken eggs, tofu, or other forms of locally grown organic barter.• The Seattle Knowledge Acquisition Nodal Karry-all, Clark's brainchild, would connect all our city's libraries.• Richard Conlin's West Harborview to Occidental Route Express would bring Pioneer Square's ladies of the night that much closer to hospital-administered antibiotics.• The High-Occupancy-Oriented Knickerbocker Express Route would link downtown to the Highlands with no local stops, as Bruce Harrell has long sought.• Jan Drago's Ballard-Interbay Transit Connection Hub would conveniently link all streetcar lines north of the ship canal.• McIver has already charted the West Edge North to Capitol Hill line, connecting the valuable rug- and furniture-shopping demographic to Western Avenue boutiques.• Finally, Tim Burgess has proposed a Two-Way Interurban Neighbours to Kirkland line, a Cap Hill connector for Eastside bois who are trolley-curious.• Meanwhile, Mayor Nickels' own proposal—the Phinney via Roosevelt to Occidental to SeaTac and Tacoma via I-5 and Tukwila Urban Trolley Express—has met significant council resistance.

 
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