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Spokane - June 2003
   

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Spokane — Downtown Streetcars Discussed

Rail Transit Online, June 2003

With light rail now on the back burner as the result of lowered ridership projections, a group of downtown business owners and city transportation officials are talking about streetcars, a mode of transportation scrapped in Spokane 68 years ago.  Research by the Downtown Spokane Partnership and the Spokane Regional Transportation Council has begun into a proposal that would restore tracks to Riverside Avenue, serving the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Washington State University’s Riverpoint campus and the Jefferson park-and-ride facility.  The idea germinated after a visit to Portland by some civic, business and transportation leaders last fall.  After inspecting the MAX light rail system and the downtown streetcar, they came away impressed with the latter.  “Communities are rediscovering some of the things that worked in the past,” Mike Edwards of the Downtown Spokane Partnership told the Spokesman Review.  “There's certainly an energy in that area of Portland.”  The Spokane Regional Transportation Council plans to develop the concept further, including how to finance it, but no time frame concerning actual construction has been discussed.

 

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