Corpus Christi — Streetcar Route Opposed
Rail Transit Online, May 2004
The first serious political opposition to the proposed downtown streetcar
project surfaced on Apr. 27 when several City Council members attacked some
of the findings made by consultants, primarily a route along the bay
front. PB Consult suggested using either the Shoreline Boulevard median or
Water and Chaparral streets, where the trolleys would operate in mixed
traffic. Three council members said they would resist spending municipal
funds for a Shoreline Boulevard alignment, and one appeared to be wary of
the rail scheme in general. “I'm concerned about the dollar amount you are
going to ask this community to put forth,” said Councilman Rex Kinnison.
The cost of the approximately two-mile (3.2 km) line has been estimated at
around $30 million, with about 20 percent of that coming from the city.
Kinnison asked the council to vote on the streetcar at an upcoming meeting,
and the city manager agreed to place the matter on the May 11 agenda.
Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority General Manager Linda
Watson said she doesn’t want to scrap to scheme but added it could only
continue with the approval of lawmakers. “I've never heard the council say
that they're not supportive of the project,” she said. “If at any point
they say they don't want it, it stops.” PB Consult principal Alan Wulkan
defended the bay front route because it has fewer disadvantages than the
alternative while providing greater direct access to traffic generators.
But critics claim the overhead wiring would be visually polluting.