Friday, April 29, 2005

clang clang!

Downtown Los Angeles could be getting a trolley system! Woo hoo! The City Council approved the funding of a study for the feasibility of bringing back a Red Car-type trolley back to Downtown Los Angeles. The study will determine whether or not a trolley system with a fixed route could work as a circulator and tourism magnet. My head is spinning with the possibilities. I am imagining how far my nontourage and I can then expand our coverage of downtown bars, restaurants, and shops if what this study envisions were to come true. Because that's what politicians, investors and developers like to hear. Tall tales of residents, visitors and tourists all riding the trolley and sprinkling bags of cash at businesses clustered around each stop. Every night would look like a beer commercial's idea of a good time, and every day would look like an iPod or carbonated beverage commercial.

The reality: the study begins this month and will take Irvine-based IBI six to eight months to complete. The study will address physical requirements, costs, operational issues, anticipated ridership and impact on the community. I wonder how they're going to measure the impact on the community. I wish they'd ask me. The 10-trolley car system would traverse a five-mile loop Downtown, with stops at hotels, business centers and tourist attractions. The steel-wheeled trolleys, replicas of the original Red and Yellow cars, would be powered by overhead electric lines. My reality: I could go way beyond stumbling distance from the penthouse.

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