Lengthening the Blue Line trolley tracks from Santa Fe Depot downtown up to University City will run up a transportation spending bill the city is counting on the Federal New Starts program to pay half the cost on. The city council decided the early months in Bob Filner's administration are time to get together with SANDAG and MTS and work on finishing the revised design and prepare to start construction on schedule in 2015.
SANDAG still has to guarantee there are no environmental concerns on building the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project.
City councilmembers made clear the price on the project the council called a "necessity" is worth paying. Forecasted growth in the city near the northern track line has made the need to keep San Diegans mobile in Linda Vista and Clairemont, in Lorie Zapf's district, and in University City, in Sheri Lighter's district, a need that demands action. Soon. The project was put on the city's high priority early action list for projects funded by TransNet in 2004, at the time voters approved the extension of the half cent sales tax.
Smart growth developments designed for contemporary living built near the line extension route close to I-5 trolley stops will get put in have been supported by councilmembers over the pat five years to keep walking simple, and easy. Both village homes and market stops have revised the nearby neighborhood blocks.
Loading passengers on trolley cars will lower the demand for street and highway use between downtown and the employment centers in the communities near Westfield UTC shopping mall and UCSD. Active business development has made delayed action on the trolley extension plan a weighty jerk in transportation progress in San Diego.
Use of the northern Blue Line can hold off growing congestion on the I-5, and commuter streets, that causes gridlock during drive time. The public transit project has the potential to keep travel regular over the long term. Mobility options neighborhood locals can take are an essential part of Mayor Filner's neighborhood plan.
The Federal Transit Administration is working with the city on making ends meet on the project. Opportunity to get the new Blue Line running in 2018, and improve San Diegans' mobility, will come after the U.S. Congress approves the recommended federal funding.
This is a Front Story Clip.