Go Sac Streetcar: Why I Support Measure B
By Laura Braden
As you can see from the proposed route, it runs past a number of landmarks/attractions including West Sacramento’s Civic center, Raley Field, the Sacramento Valley Station (home to Amtrak/light rail/bus stops and the future home of High Speed Rail), the Kings Entertainment and Sports Center (ESC), the Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento Community Center Theater, the State Capitol, Sacramento Convention Center and to the heart of #MidtownSac.
Supporters include Congresswoman Doris Matsui, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, West Sacramento and Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Urban Land Institute, Midtown Business Association and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, among others.
The proposed $150 million project would derive from a mix of federal, state and local commitments:
- $75 million – Federal grant
- $30 million – Property Owners’ tax assessment estimate (received 2/3 support from downtown and midtown Sacramento property owners)
- $25 million – West Sacramento contribution
- $10 million – State of California grant (yet to be allocated)
- $7 million – City of Sacramento contribution
- $3 million – Sacramento County contribution
You can find more background information here.
Now that the property owners along the route have agreed to contribute an estimated $30 million to support the new system, 2/3 of the approximate 3,800 registered voters who live within three blocks of the planned system must vote to support the project before June 2. Once again, this initiative needs 2/3 support to become a reality.
All Aboard – Top 5 Reasons to Support Streetcar
I would personally benefit from a streetcar system because I hate driving, I live on the route, my future office is on the route and most of the bars/restaurants/shops I frequent are on the route. Plus streetcars are #HellaFun. From Portland to New Orleans, streetcars are making a comeback in a major way. Here are my five favorite reasons why:
1. Streetcars are an affordable option (tickets are estimated at $1-3) for urban commuters, pedestrians and tourists. I’ll be able to sell my car and simply rely on my two feet, my beach cruiser and the streetcar to get to 95 percent of my daily routine.
2. The streetcar route would better connect West Sacramento to downtown and midtown Sacramento. I’d love to catch a game at Raley Field and then take a quick ride to Capital Dime for drinks, wouldn’t you?
3. Streetcars promote walking and reduces street/parking congestion, which can help decrease GHG emissions and benefit air quality. And let’s face it, the more cars we can get off the streets, the better. In fact, it’s estimated that a one percent uptick in public transit ridership represents 10 percent less congestion on our major roads.
4. The potential for more economic development, especially for the businesses and restaurants within blocks of the route. In fact, Portland’s streetcars helped contribute $778 million in local development (compared to the project’s $95 million price tag). I want to work, live and play on the grid – and the streetcar (unlike light rail) actually hits more places with a heavy concentration of shops, services and restaurants/bars.
5. Transportation options are a sign of a strong and vibrant city. Just imagine, Sacramento could have streetcar, bike lanes, light rail, High Speed Rail, Amtrak, buses and Uber/Lyft. Need I say more?
Want to learn more? Join a fun bike ride along the streetcar route on Saturday, May 9. We’ll stop at landmarks, and end at de Vere’s.
Already supportive? Join the voter outreach event on Saturday, May 9. Be sure to like the campaign on Twitter and Facebook for news alerts and calls to action, and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE YES ON MEASURE B!