Streetcars are totally hot right now. The planning for a streetcar in Downtown LA is starting to heat up and West Hollywood is exploring a shuttle to move clubgoers among party destinations there. Now Pasadena is moving toward its own streetcar--last month the City Council approved a preliminary proposal for a streetcar system through Old Pasadena, Paseo Colorado, the Playhouse District, South Lake Avenue, and the Civic Center, making it one of the "project priorities for the Downtown Redevelopment Project Area," reports the Pasadena Weekly. The city and local business groups commissioned a pair of studies from consulting firm Strategic Economics, which were released in 2010 and recommended ways to link the neighborhoods of Pasadena's Central District (a streetcar was first suggested a few years ago) However, a Pasadena streetcar is still a long ways off. Erlinda Romo, executive director of the Playhouse District Association, tells the Pasadena Weekly that they still need money: "There's no funding identified; it's more like a wish list."
The line would run at the speed of traffic in a continuous loop, "traveling west on Union Street from Lake Avenue to Pasadena Avenue, south on Pasadena Avenue to Green Street, east on Green to Lake, south on Lake to California Boulevard, and north on Lake to Union"--a total of 4.1 miles. Officials hope it can unify the city's shopping areas to help them compete with nearby Glendale and Arcadia (at the time the Strategic Economics reports came out, Rick Caruso's Shops at Santa Anita were still in play in Arcadia).
The Pasadena Streetcar would cost about $79 million. However, "if the route is extended along Green Street to Pasadena City College and along California Boulevard to Caltech, the costs would increase by $18 and $11.5 million, respectively, for a total cost of $108.5 million," according to PW. Strategic Economics thinks Pas can expect some money from the federal government, but will still have to come up with a good chunk of funding on its own.
· Crown city connection [Pasadena Weekly]