Streetcar revival is revitalizing downtowns across America

The impact of streetcars on neighborhoods, development, and commercial districts has come up in several reports that I have come across recently.

The streetcar trend continues across America, according to Progressive Railroading: In just the past two years, the streetcar renaissance has led to new lines in Salt Lake City; Dallas; Atlanta; Tucson, Ariz.; and Charlotte, N.C. Cities with lines under design or construction include Los Angeles; Seattle; Detroit; Cincinnati; Milwaukee; Kansas City, Mo.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Others — St. Louis; Baton Rouge, La.; and Minneapolis, among them — are studying the possibility of launching streetcar lines.

Dozens of US cities are now home to streetcars and “another 30 are designing or building new systems or expanding lines.” Economic development is a primary motivation. “Good streetcar systems are planned along urban corridors where development is already happening or it is anticipated to happen,” Michael Townes of HNTB Corp. told the publication.

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