字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント This is Washington, DC's Streetcar. It runs through 2.2 miles of mixed traffic in the United States capitol. And it was once part of an ambitious 37 mile streetcar network for the city. But those plans have changed drastically. The project was delivered 7 years past its deadline and tens of million dollars over budget. The idea was to increase mobility for residents while revitalizing an economically depressed area of the city... But it's had trouble along the way..... Similar problems sprung up in Atlanta and Salt Lake City too. Still, there's a massive resurgence of streetcars underway. Since 2001, about a dozen streetcar systems have cropped up across the country. But why do so many cities want streetcars? The general goal is based on the idea that if we build more densely around our transit stations, then we'll convince more people to walk around, bike around, and take transit to get work to get to school and other destinations. Streetcars are also touted for their ability to add a certain... je ne sais quoi to a neighborhood. You know, every city in the country even around the world wants to have some type of train going through their city because they see it as a positive, modern looking and modern feeling public transportation system. The case for building streetcars has historical precedent. They've been around since the 19th century, when they were first horse-driven. Later, in the 20th century, the electrical versions became really popular in cities. Their popularity started to fade when cities turned their focus to building infrastructure for buses and cars. But in the last decade or so, streetcars have made a comeback. There's been a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about urban living and some of that comes with excitement about mass transportation. But big, sort of traditional heavy rail subway projects are very, very expensive. So cities look for something cheaper that they can do and a lot of them have come up with streetcars. The Portland Streetcar was one of the first in the new wave and has led the way for other cities. Its success is often cited in proposals to exemplify the benefits of a modern transit system. But all streetcar proposals are not created equal. Some have seen roaring success... While others, like in Atlanta and D.C see a ton of criticism The problem is that having gone for mass transit on the cheap you get transit that isn't very useful for transportation. It looks nice — you have this cool shiny new train — but if you're running in mixed traffic you're gonna go as slow, or often times slower than a traditional bus. Aside from the slow pace, limited connectivity has kept commuters away in DC. I've been living here for 37 years and I like the streetcar. It's convenient, the only thing I don't like about the streetcar is that it doesn't go far enough. I wouldn't use the streetcar over the bus because the bus takes me straight to my job. Right in front of my job. The streetcar doesn't go over the hill, which I didn't think made sense, but... So if they're not improving the commute, why is there a push for more streetcars? From my perspective they are almost entirely designed to support economic development and not increase mobility. In Portland, for instance, planners actively sought development adjacent to the streetcar. Our narrative was pretty development focused early on, to the point where people were saying the only the only reason you built the streetcar was for development purposes. Now that we're carrying upwards of 16,000 passengers a day it's very much a mix. The system succeeded because Portland Streetcar worked with developers to support their plan. You have to really look at the development side of things. Having the rail on the ground is significantly important for them. To see the commitment from the city for them to make catalytic investments is is important. Right? We're asking these developers to build something that they may not build anyway, but for the rail investment. There's a little bit of quid pro quo there. That kind of focus on economic development is at the heart of other projects too. The Brooklyn-Queens Connector, or BQX, a state-of-the-art streetcar that will run from Astoria to Sunset Park, and has the potential to generate over $25 billion of economic activity for our city over 30 years. Projections aside, the Brooklyn Queens connector has already proven to be a contentious issue. I think one clear reason why the project has been advanced is, is similar to the streetcar projects being discussed around the country which is that there is an economic development goal in the brooklyn and queens waterfront by some major investors who want to improve transportation for basically the new towers that are being constructed along the waterfront. The motivation behind development, and its effects make for a messy debate. A year after its launch, D.C. is starting to see the development that tends to follow transit. A string of luxury apartments, restaurants and stores has fueled a real estate boom along H-street. There is evidence that suggests that government expenditures of any sort that provide a public benefit will provide a sort of a stimulus for development You know whether their parks, whether they're investments in neighborhood retail improvement, whether they're better sidewalks — but it doesn't have to be a streetcar. There are many ways to attract new investment and the streetcar may not be the ideal one or even the right one.