When you think of “streetcars” what is the first thing that comes to mind? That’s right… Those iconic red San Francisco Streetcars! The ones that you visualize passengers easily hoping on and off from due to their exposed exterior as they travel through the city with the picturesque San Francisco Bridge and Bay in the background. Seems like fun, huh? Well aside from the fun appearance of streetcars, they actually provide some major benefits to the infrastructure and environment of any city. What are those benefits, you ask? Well here’s a handful…
- A more comfortable, cleaner, quieter and attractive way to travel within the inner city
- An attraction for businesses therefore better economic development for the neighborhood
- A more environmentally friendly transportation alternative
- A greater passenger capacity than traditional buses
- Long term operational savings for the city in comparison to buses
Given all of these benefits, isn’t it wonderful to hear that the City of Atlanta has decided to implement their own version of the iconic street cars, traveling to all of the major points downtown? The City of Atlanta is in their final testing phases of the Atlanta Streetcar initiative. So what exactly does that mean to you?
Well within a few short months, that annoying and completely infuriating downtown traffic congestion can be easily avoided by hoping on a street car and getting where you need to go. Unfortunately, you cannot hop on and off as we imagine our San Francisco streetcar patrons are doing but, you can hit all of the major points of downtown Atlanta. The Streetcars will be operating along a 2.7 mile loop, on Auburn Avenue, through Woodruff Park, on Peachtree Street, Ellis Street, Carnegie Way, Andrew Young International Boulevard, Luckie Street, Park Place, Edgewood Avenue, and Jackson Street.
Despite this initiative and all of its awesome-ness, this will be a big change for the residents and commuters of downtown Atlanta. One that will take some getting used to; therefore, the city has put a major emphasis on streetcar safety during this testing period. While the city is enthused by the excitement of this new development, it is imperative that motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are aware of their surroundings when in a streetcar area and know to stop, look and listen when crossing any streets. We want everyone to enjoy the new Atlanta streetcars but as the cliché goes, “safety first”. Therefore, we ask that you review the safety tips and information that can be found on the Atlanta Streetcar website: http://streetcar.atlantaga.gov/how-to-ride-the-streetcar/.
Passenger service is set to begin soon and the anticipation of expanded lines is already all the “buzz” within the city. In order to get there, we ask that you be safe, cautious and aware. Maybe one day, Atlanta will be known for the iconic blue street cars! Until next time…