Money - Grant-givers say people-hauling efficiency is their primary goal, not urban revitalization
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In the Bush White House, the political appointees who set the nation's mass transit policies view Portland's streetcar system as an extravagance: A sweet way for a relatively few privileged urbanites to move about a city that prides itself on dense downtown development. Rapid bus lines, in the administration's view, would move more people from place to place at less expense.
That thinking could cost Portland, which is hoping to expand its streetcar line and become the first in the nation to be built with substantial federal money. The city has spent years building political and neighborhood consensus about the new route, which would cross the Broadway Bridge and go south to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, nearly completing a streetcar loop of the city's core.
But the project now navigates a political battlefield. Think tanks, Democrats in Congress and the White House are fighting over whether the federal government should help cities use streetcars to promote urban revitalization, or simply fund buses that move the most people over the greatest distances for the least amount of upfront money.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PS3545.I5365 S83 2005