Monday, December 10, 2007

A Desire Named Street Car

While the idea of having a system of streetcars in downtown Santa Ana has generated a lot of criticism, I personally welcome it. One of the many lures that attracted me to moving to Santa Ana was the CenterLine light rail project.

But like many projects that start here in Santa Ana, the light rail project grows further from our grasp. From what I've been told by the folks at OCTA, this project will most likely not come to fruition any time soon. I've heard rumors that the city of Irvine is partly to blame, mainly because they don't want certain elements from within our city to make their way over to their taupe and beige town.

“Go away! There ain’t no monorail and there never was!”

With recent talks of a streetcar coming to this town, my hopes for a fun and successful mass-transit system are slowly being rekindled. Two serious issues that I see as an immediate problem are:

1. The streetcars are without any worthwhile destinations.
Santa Ana seems backwards at times, building new homes and lofts, attracting people like myself to this city, but then doesn't do much by way of supporting our leisurely needs. One can only go to Bowers Museum and the Discovery Center so many times.

Santa Ana seems backwards at times, building new homes and lofts, attracting people like myself to this city, but then doesn't do much by way of supporting our leisurely needs. One can only go to Bowers Museum and the Discovery Center so many times.

2. Streetcars will most likely end up the target of taggers.
Though definitely not the only other problem, the glass on the cars will undoubtedly be etched on a continual basis, and the exteriors will become the canvases for Santa Ana's very untalented spray can jockeys.

My biggest concern about continuing to live in Santa Ana, is that the city will not develop at a pace fast enough to retain the young professionals that have moved into new loft developments all over the city. We all took a big gamble moving to this city, let's just hope it pays off sooner than later.

Here is good pro-streetcar article coming from my favorite city.

5 comments :

Urban Messiah said...

We're on a three year plan, granted we aren't upside down at that point. In that time we'll know how the leadership of this city will shake out come next Nov and how the (hopefully new) elected officials are worth a damn. Also, we'll see whether or not any of the partially baked ideas to improve this place beyond that of Tijuana come to be. Otherwise, if we're still chasing off the same poop lady, taggers and driving/biking 10 mins to get a coffee or go to dinner, we'll be done.

Anonymous said...

I agree, SA City Officials had better step up before we step out. A city doesn't get too many rehab opportunities. City council members - let's get this outdated city moving!

concerned homeowner said...

I personally wouldn't mind the streetcars. In Chicago I grew up in on a street with streetcars in a 3rd floor walkup. Seems I've come full circle.

Anonymous said...

That street car idea is supposed to cost $15,000,000.00n a mile.

The immature clowncil probably wants it b/c they see construction kickbacks in the mix. However, that kind of money should really be spent on cleaning up the city with better roads, zero tolerance for gangs and graffiti, litter removal etc...

Santa Ana Slim said...

I have to admit, as nifty as it would be, a rail system doesn't really seem necessary. The traffic in SA isn't really that bad and there's buses everywhere. It's also not a very big city (at least not the central downtown area) and I don't see them running rail lines down harbor. I'd much rather see that money go to other improvements or to develop out this area of town. When I tell people I live in Santa Ana by the train station, NO ONE knows where that is. This train station is one of the coolest stations I've seen but no one knows about it because it's so far from downtown. They need to develop everything between downtown and the station to make the city worth taking the train to (or just going to period) as it stands there's very little in SA other then a lot of people.