The New Trend in City
Marketing using Streetcars as Strategic Tools
Cities are marketing
themselves today as festive, compact, mixed-use hubs centered around
transit nodes where residents can live, work and play within walking distance.
Such hubs are not only good for our cities; they also encourage the behavioral
changes needed to reduce automobile dependence and greenhouse gas emissions.
The streetcar will extend the effects of the vibrant transit node from streetcar
stations to apartments, shops and offices in downtown areas.
Portland, Oregon is the perfect
city to explore to see how streetcars carved out the early neighborhoods of
the city and how they are miraculously recarving them today. The City of Portland,
being the first city in America to add modern streetcars to its infrastructure,
has been doing it for many years. To learn more about their studies, you may
want to read their exaustive e-book on the subject. Thanks to the City of
Portland and their envisionary population of citizens, applying streetcar
transportation to any city to achieve desired results in neighhorhood improve--ments,
environmental improvements, economic development, traffic congestion reduction,
downtown revitilization, artistic enhancement of the city, and making the
city retiree and pedestrain frendly is now rocket science. You
may now get out your "slide rule" and design the desired growth
of your city by designing a "scaffold" upon which the city will
grow for tens of decades. Click this link to read The
Potential Influence of Modern Streetcars on Portland Neighbor--hoods.
and the City: The
streetcar will increase the population of downtown areas
as well as outskirt areas of cities. This will always
include cultural districts. This trend throughout America
is enticing the development of areas that are not dependent
upon cars for transportation, allowing greater population
and economic activity without the congestion and pollution
costs of corresponding increased driving. For those living
in the central city zones,, the streetcar will greatly
expand their walkable neighborhood, meaning they can work
and shop in neighboring districts without having to drive.
For those living outside the central city core, the streetcar
will create more destinations for work and recreation,
and allow them to park and ride--a popular new gas saving
trend. From each park and ride location, folks will ride
rail transit. From there, move about the central city
easily and comfortably while only parking once back at
the intermediate "park and ride" location.
Getting people out of their
cars and onto sidewalks will mean hundreds of new customers getting off streetcars
and strolling past the windows of central city businesses every day.
will make long-term investments along the streetcar line
that they never would on a bus line. The streetcar’s
permanent infrastructure means residents, visitors, and
developers can depend on its presence – the “flexibility”
of bus lines is actually one of their biggest weaknesses
in creating livable, vibrant central city neighborhoods.
Although, busses work very well WITH rail transit, as
rail transit passengers are pedestrians also and will
become bus transit passengers when venturing away from
the rail alignment, as busses will be routed to go where
rail will not. This will drastically increase bus transit
revenue in any city with rail transit available. (study
America's central city neighborhoods were designed for
walking and streetcars. By bringing the streetcar back,
we’ll be enabling the revitalization of these historic
areas of town without needing to demolish blocks of historic
buildings for parking. By encouraging new development
without the high parking requirements, the streetcar will
encourage preservation of any city's history, hence, more
people places and hangouts.