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Trolleys Cited as Aid to Downtown W-S Growth

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A small update on downtown streetcars from today's journal. we should have an official proposal in two months with a more definite timeline.

excerpts form the article:

"...The first phase of the proposed project calls for a route of about 2.6 miles with track running along parts of Fourth Street and in a figure-eight pattern downtown. The streetcars would be guided by rails in the road and powered by electricity from overhead lines. Estimates call for the initial phase to cost about $52 million."

"...Potential extensions in Winston-Salem include lines south to Old Salem and the N.C. School of the Arts; north to Wake Forest University, the fairgrounds and the sports complex; and east to Winston-Salem State University."

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The trolley will be a great investment for downtown and the area's surrounding downtown. What a great way to help boost the image of the city.

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I hope this project can move forward. My only concern is that so many Americans are so anti-public transportation - especially in smaller cities, but hopefully the downtown population will continue to increase thus providing a population base to use the streetcars.

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This is a good project and is one that would cement the movement of development towards downtown. The project is also likely to be small enough that its first phase can be built with local funding. Tacoma has a similar-style line.

Tacoma Link Opens

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Does anyone know if the old tracks are still underneath the asphalt? I know in a lot of cities they covered the old cobblestone streets w/ trolley tracks with asphalt instead of actually ripping out the tracks. Is that the case in W-S? If so, I think there was a route that went down West 4th to West End. There was a turn around at Grace Court/Glade Street where the original Zinzendorf hotel was. There might have also been one that ran along Main Street to Cascade Avenue. If anyone knows if that's the case, I'd be interested in learning about it...

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a member on on SSP said that the tracks were paved over when streetcars left the city. in some places you can see where the rails are starting to show from the asphalt wearing down.

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a member on on SSP said that the tracks were paved over when streetcars left the city. in some places you can see where the rails are starting to show from the asphalt wearing down.

Maybe the old tracks are salvageable - if they are a standardized size that could be used with modern streetcars.

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Maybe the old tracks are salvageable - if they are a standardized size that could be used with modern streetcars.

That would be nice, but no way. Those tracks would be corroded, misaligned, and tied with wood. Better to start over with new tracks using concrete ties. (50-yr replacement schedule instead of 7 years)

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I hope this project can move forward. My only concern is that so many Americans are so anti-public transportation - especially in smaller cities, but hopefully the downtown population will continue to increase thus providing a population base to use the streetcars.

This is because they are so ignorant of the peek fuel crisis. As fuel prices continue to rise, the demand for public transportation will increase even in small cities.

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This is because they are so ignorant of the peek fuel crisis. As fuel prices continue to rise, the demand for public transportation will increase even in small cities.

True. And, it would be nice if a move towards the use of public transportation was done out of a shift in thinking and lifestyle, rather than necessitated by economics and the effects of politically unstable oil markets and global warming.

People who caution against driving SUVs and discuss global warming are still derided as tree-huggers. There's a letter to the editor in today's NY Times by the dean of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Science asking why Americans, the press and our "leaders" still aren't sounding the alarm about global warming and its consequences given the voluminous evidence that it exists. The thing he's not considering is that we've been taught by the current administration that intellectuals - particularly Northeastern, Ivy League ones - are elitists who shouldn't be trusted and that America should put its faith in the GOP and religion, not science...

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True. And, it would be nice if a move towards the use of public transportation was done out of a shift in thinking and lifestyle, rather than necessitated by economics and the effects of politically unstable oil markets and global warming.

People who caution against driving SUVs and discuss global warming are still derided as tree-huggers. There's a letter to the editor in today's NY Times by the dean of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Science asking why Americans, the press and our "leaders" still aren't sounding the alarm about global warming and its consequences given the voluminous evidence that it exists. The thing he's not considering is that we've been taught by the current administration that intellectuals - particularly Northeastern, Ivy League ones - are elitists who shouldn't be trusted and that America should put its faith in the GOP and religion, not science...

Wait a minute...you mean religious republicans won't save us after all?

I think (this is getting off topic some) that people think global warming is the invention of Hollywood. Same thing with fuel shortages. Every living human (besides babies) has lived all or the vast majority of their lives during a time when there was plenty of fossil fuels for everyone. Except maybe during the 70s. But I think that as Americans, we assume something will come along to bail us out, and that we can continue our reckless, wasteful behaviors.

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This is very exciting news. Come on Winston-Salem, step up to the plate, make it happen. In my opinion, Winston-Salem is one of the most unique cities in NC. It has so much character and history. Winston-Salem could easily become an attractive city that would attract a new demographic if they would just do something and quick talking about it. It's almost like the are scared they are going to fail. JUST DO IT...

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This is very exciting news. Come on Winston-Salem, step up to the plate, make it happen. In my opinion, Winston-Salem is one of the most unique cities in NC. It has so much character and history. Winston-Salem could easily become an attractive city that would attract a new demographic if they would just do something and quick talking about it. It's almost like the are scared they are going to fail. JUST DO IT...

Well said. It has more to offer than most NC cities, but it seems so complacent all the time when it comes to exploiting its assets.

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Yeah, it would be cool to see something like this here in Winston:

DSCF00351.jpg

This one is in Augsburg, Germany. Actually, this one had a special paint job. Most of them looked like this one:

DSCF00141.JPG

They had an exceptional mass transit system. We bought a ticket for 25 euro good for 24 hours that would let 5 people go from Augsburg to anywhere in Bavaria. With the one ticket, all of us took the local Augsburg transit (buses and streetcars) to the train station, took the train to Munich and back, and took local transit home. It also included use of the local transit while we were in Munich. All for about $30 US for 5 people!

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The old historic trolley that was established in Charlotte has already resulted in $500,000,000 in investment around the line. There is no reason to believe the same or more wouldn't happen in Winston Salem if they did it using modern equipment as that in the photo above.

The SSP idea about using tracks buried in the asphault is a bit silly however. They would have to build new rails for a modern system.

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