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Streetcars Examined

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As downtown considers laying down some streetcar tracks, the California Planning & Development Report weighs in on the benefits/hype surrounding the streetcar, quoting experts who say the cars "catalyze development," and are tourist-friendly. But critics like Jarrett Walker argue that for cost of a streetcar, business could "invest in pavement upgrades, street furniture, and myriad other amenities that would enhance pedestrian life." According to CPDR, the "streetcar bandwagon, which has picked up dozens of cities nationwide, including Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and Santa Ana, is fueled not only by nostalgia but also by new attitudes about both urbanism and transportation planning." [CPDR]