Downtown Tram Plans Move Forward
Plans continue for a tram system in downtown Des Monies.
The route and look are in place. The next piece is deciding how it will be run and how to secure funding.
The proposed route is a three-mile loop throughout downtown Des Moines. The main route would be up and down Grand and Court Avenues, right on the streets.
The Traffic Safety Committee met Tuesday morning to discuss the tram. Supporters say they've looked at the success of a similar project in Portland. That tram spurred development and housing within a three block radius of the rail.
They said the tram also makes it easier to get around downtown. As for the funding, the final price tag isn't set but it will be at least 70 million dollars.
"There's a real interest to see if we can get this sped up enough and qualify for some stimulus money that's coming in for infrastructure improvements," said Gary Fox with the Traffic Safety Committee.
Fox said they're looking at electric, a diesel hybrid or battery-operated trams.
The Downtown Community Alliance, HDR Inc. and genus landscape architects will present the findings of the Downtown Des Moines tram feasibility study at a public meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. May 21 at the Des Moines Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave. The presentation will include a description of the proposed route, basic operations and financing options and time for public comment. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation, and a copy of the presentation will be available at www.downtowndesmoines.com after the meeting.
Tram, plaza proposals get the cold shoulder
BY JIM POLLOCK
Two major proposals that would dramatically alter downtown Des Moines drew very little support in the Business Record Executive Survey for 2009.
Asked for their opinion about building a downtown tram system on rails, 56 percent of respondents turned thumbs down, either because the project would be too expensive (32.4 percent) or because a tram wouldn't serve to spark downtown development (23.5 percent). Thirty-eight percent favored the proposed loop across downtown.
As for the push to redesign Nollen Plaza, 76 percent showed little or no interest. Sixty percent said a remodeling of the 30-year-old public space at Third and Locust streets is "not a top priority," and 16 percent saw no need for a change at all. Out of our sampling of Central Iowa business leaders - many of whom might expect to hear from fund-raisers if the Nollen plan were to move ahead - just two said they would be willing to contribute to the cause.
The tram system produced the most comments from survey participants. Kevin Crowley, chief operating officer of Iowa Realty Commercial, wrote of the potentially $100 million project: "The current trolley system is efficient. This is excessive waste. The downtown needs will evolve; tracks are stuck in the ground."
buying eight new buses for a total of $3 million; and spending $3 million to update shelters and build a new Park and Ride facility.
Downtown tram route grows longer, more expensive
By DAVID ELBERT â€¢ email@example.com â€¢ May 23, 2009
A transportation consultant is recommending that Des Moines officials pursue plans for a four-mile downtown streetcar route that would cost about $100 million to build.
The proposal is more ambitious than the two- to three-mile routes proposed by the same consultant four months ago.
The reason for the change to a larger system, said Charlie Hales of HDR Engineering in Omaha, is "a significant shift in willingness by the federal government to support these kinds of projects."
mirage1 wrote:BLD calling me a visionary?.....
Thanks, but that was already done when i was one of those that stood up on the stage in Washington DC and accepted the last "Des Moines, an All-American City" award.
You were there of course....ummmm.......ok, maybe not.
mirage1 wrote:a lane right down the center of court avenue???....so much for any farmers market being located there.
btw, I once accepted an award for Hamburgler of the month at McDonalds. Due to that, none of you amatuers are worthy of discussing the finer points of a quarter pounder with me.
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