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New Light-Rail for New Orleans?

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I heard a rumor about a new restoration of the Desire St. Streetcar....but that it would possibly be a small starter light-rail. And that it might branch off into downtown. It would be part of the new "more tourist friendly/nicer new orleans" plan that includes the canal street renovation and many other projects to make some parts of N.O. nicer and more modern.

Now....I was on wikipedia.com looking at the New Orleans page and I found a piece of information that i dont remember being there before....this is what it said;

"The city is also the scene of the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire." The streetcar line to Desire Street became a bus line in 1948, but may be restored as a light rail streetcar line."

..I had never heard about anything even resmbling this until today, and I dont really think it will happen..just more New Orleans talk. But you never know...so has anyone else heard anything about this? Have there been talks about something like this going on for a while and I have just not heard about it? :blink: I know New Orleans is well known for its "yea were gonna do this and then were gonna do that" philoshaphy on some plans so i just want to know if anyone else has any info on this.

Wikipedia-New Orleans Page

Its under the "Public Transit" title

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I used to live in Bywater, and rumors of resurrecting the Desire streetcar line have been going on for 20 years. Last I heard, the streetcar would run on St. Claude. The original line ran down Dauphine to Desire where it headed lakebound.

For more info, you can go to

http://bywater.org/streetca.htm

The last update is over 2 yrs. ago, so I'm not sure how far along the project is, if at all.

If the city wanted to use rail as an economic stimulus, I always thought that a line down St. Claude would have had much more of an impact than the Canal line.

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I used to live in Bywater, and rumors of resurrecting the Desire streetcar line have been going on for 20 years.  Last I heard, the streetcar would run on St. Claude.  The original line ran down Dauphine to Desire where it headed lakebound.

For more info, you can go to

http://bywater.org/streetca.htm

The last update is over 2 yrs. ago, so I'm not sure how far along the project is, if at all.

If the city wanted to use rail as an economic stimulus, I always thought that a line down St. Claude would have had much more of an impact than the Canal line.

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Yea I didnt think this was a a new development, I think that because there have been so many different propositions for new transit/restorations of old lines they all seemed to mix into each other. Originally i didnt think they were going to even restore do the Canal Line..I just thought it was more talk. That is one of the only BIG projects that NO has really completed after saying it would be done.

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"Streetcar Named Desire" was a very famous 50's movie. It was the movie that propelled Marlan Brando, aka The Godfather, to superstardum. As mentioned above, it was based on the New Orleans streetcar. I'm not sure if the movie was set there as well. Its been a long time since I saw it.

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Hey guys I just got an update on what is going on with the Desire St. Streetcar restoration.

Click Here

That link will give you the info on the project. ^^thanks to JWR_NOLA

The project is in the books, and has cleared one of the two major hurdles. The 2nd hurdle it faces now is $$$. RTA has already managed to collect enough money for about half of the project to be completed, now they need to get the other half.

But this is certinly great for N.O. :D

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I remember hearing that the RTA was denied federal funds for this project because it wasn't clear that this is a "necessary route". It probably isn't, but it would be great to see the Desire route again.

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I remember hearing that the RTA was denied federal funds for this project because it wasn't clear that this is a "necessary route". It probably isn't, but it would be great to see the Desire route again.

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Yea, it probably isnt that necessary for daily commuters and other New Orleanians to use.

But it would definitely have a great impact on tourism, cant you see "come ride the newly restored Desire Street Streetcar Line" as a tool to bring more people into New Orleans. There would be plenty of people who have read the old Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire" or have watched the movie, or have just heard about it who might want to come down to N.O. for a few days to check it, and a few other things out.

The good thing about this project is that the last hurtle is coming up with the rest of the money :lol: ,(I know that sounds crazy to anyone familiar with N.O.) so far there are no angry residents, no high-up politicians, or businesses that oppose the restoration of the Desire St. Line...which doesnt happen much. There always seems to be a group of people somewhere saying "NO!" But that hasnt happened with this project.... so far....

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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Actually the opposite happened. About a year or so ago when they were struggling over the money, that's when the bottom fell out. The FTA annouced that the spending formula had be adjusted from 80%-federal / 20%-local to 60%-fed / 40%-local for high priority projects. If the project wasn't considered high priority, the formula would be a 50/50 match. The project was put on the back burner by the RTA to give priority to the light rail project for the east-west corridor (airport to downtown). They felt that they would be competing over the same money. The residence, including the French Quarter groups, along the route went up in arms over the RTA's decision. So the fight wasn't to keep it out of their neighborhoods, it was to make it happen first. It's seen as a big economic engine for Rampart and beyond. And as far as it being a major part of the transportation system, it doesn't seem to be at first, but when you look at the region's master plan, you can see what it is that they are trying to accomplish. It's just the first of what they hope will be many streetcar projects.

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Proposed East-West Light Rail Homepage

^^This looks really cool, and well thought out.

It really reminds me of what they have been trying to do in Houston(build a commuter rail to the suburbs, a LRT to the airport, and connect those to the downtown LRT) But that has gone nowhere fast.

Does anyone know the probability of this project happening?

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I think we secured $10 million to complete the design phase in the transportation bill that was passed.

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Interesting....Now we would just have to convince the Government that this LRT is necessary for New Orleans, and get the federal funds we would need.

It seems very well thought out. Things like going to areas/neighborhoods that may have doubts about the project and explaining to the people exactly what is going on is a great idea. Most companies/developers dont do that, and their projects dont get much support from the public.

This would definately be used if it was constructed.

And it would be used even more if new condos were put up downtown.

If you lived downtown, and had just gotten back to N.O. via airplane all you would have to do to get home is get on the LRT, let it take you to the foot of Canal, and then catch the streetcar up Canal St.

And it would be EXTREMELY useful to anyone who works or just spends alot of time downtown.

But...$$$ is always a problem.

The Canal St. Streetcar line restoration was 90% federaly funded(I think) and that was before the war in the Middle East. I am all for the war, and I think what we are doing down there is necessary, but the war is sucking up billions of dollars from the U.S. economy. Money that would've been used to fund things like LRT's or other forms of mass transit for cities 4-5 years ago is now going to the war.

Just ask Charlotte, they were denied federal funding for their LRT project about a month ago.

I guess with this we'll just have to sit back, wait, and see wat happens. Like we have to do with most of the projects/developments that are proposed for New Orleans.

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