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Everett - March 2008

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Everett, WA — Everett Streetcar Controversy

Rail Transit Online, March 2008

The Mayor of Everett says he wants no part of any streetcar plan for the city but some members of the city council aren't ready to give up despite a $112,700 feasibility study that found a 5-mi. (8 km) line would cost more than $150 million. Mayor Ray Stephanson said other projects, such as a riverfront redevelopment, are more important and that he might veto any move by the council to advance the streetcar proposal.

"I've thought a lot about this," Stephanson told The Daily Herald. "It's important given this economic climate that we don't make decisions on spending until we fully understand the long-term financial implications."

But some council members, including the chairman of the transportation committee, believe rail could be an import boost to the city's economy and that there's plenty of time to develop a funding strategy. Despite Stephanson's strong opposition to a proposed sales tax increase, a further
study focused on financing the streetcar project is favored by some.

"I think the idea should stay alive," Councilman Paul Roberts told The Daily Herald. "It does have merit as something we should explore."

The feasibility study was conducted by consultants Nelson\Nygaard. They examined a streetcar route linking downtown with Everett Community College, the riverfront and a planned mixed-use project on Port Gardner.


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