Commission keeps streetcar plan rolling
The Miami trolley, expected to move further along the legislative track today, is still far from the station
BY LARRY LEBOWITZ
While serious financing questions remain to be answered, Miami city commissioners are expected to roll a little farther down the tracks today toward creating a sleek $132 million streetcar system from downtown to the Design District.
Rolling along some of the exact routes where trolleys thrived 80 years ago, the air-conditioned, modern streetcars would link the booming condo canyons, shops and cafes north of downtown with museums, parks, nightclubs and performing arts centers that are planned or under construction.
''This is an absolutely crucial part of the big picture for the future of the city,'' said Commissioner Johnny Winton, whose district would benefit the most from the streetcar. ``We have to get our transportation systems in place in front of the condo boom, or we could wind up with serious gridlock that could kill it all.''
Within a quarter-mile, or a 10-minute walk, of the proposed 6.75-mile track: 60 development projects with a combined 14,400 residential units and 2.64 million square feet of retail and office space planned or under construction.
Powered by overhead electrical lines, the streetcars would run every 10 minutes along fixed-rail guideways in designated lanes shared with other vehicular traffic. Stops are planned every two to five blocks...
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