Models of Success for Knoxville Streetcar
I hope you’re doing well and enjoying this interesting July day.
I wanted to pass on a post I made today on the Parkridge Community Organization’s Facebook group:
On July 25, Tuscon, Arizona opened a 3.9 mile streetcar linking a hospital, downtown, and University. Cost: $200 M. City Paid: 26.6 M. Fact: $800 M in public/private investment along streetcar line since project start in 2010. Food for thought: Gay Street Bridge to South Knoxville is 4.2 miles from Chilhowee Park / Knoxville Zoo along Magnolia Avenue.
More details are here: https://www.azpm.org/p/frontpage-metro/2014/7/25/40276-metro-week/
This reminds me of similar news from Charlotte, where the “Charlotte Lynx” Blue Line was reported to have generated “nearly 10,000,000 square feet of new commercial and residential development along its route” (9.6 miles). See <http://ctod.org/portal/sites/default/files/CTOD_R2R_Final_20110321.pdf>.
I’ve mentioned this before – but “Park Avenue” was designed as a streetcar suburb. With the precedent for economic activity generated by streetcars, and momentum of economic activity downtown, I think it’s smart to begin exploring the return of rails on Magnolia. Like Charlotte and Atlanta, Knoxville can – and should – be a leader in the Southeast for public transportation infrastructure.