Oakland — Second Study to be Launched
According to EastBayExpress.com, the city of Oakland is about to revisit its 2005 feasibiity study for a streetcar ine connecting Jack London Square with Uptwon and North Oakland along Broadway.
The original study endorsed the streetcar concept but did not attract funding. City officials continued to favor the concept and in 2011 obtained $300,000 from Caltrans to resume studying. Starting in May the study will determine the cost of a line from Jack London Square to MacArthur BART station as well as recommend the type of equipment that should be used and the estimate potential for economic development inspired by the line.
The latter point is considered pivotal, as the streetcar is viewed as an economic development tool first and a source of transportation second. “The tracks convey a sense of permanence, so developers are more likely to build and retailers to locate along a streetcar line,” project manager Zach Seal told the EastBayExpress site. The city hopes for private investment along the line like the well documented returns in Portland along its streetcar routes.
A favorable study recommendation by late 2013 would lead officials to pursue funding for design and construction of the route.