Friday, September 9, 2011

Metroplan's Proposed Expansion/Review - Perspective of a Park Hill Resident

After posting this to the Park Hill listserv, some were concerned about how the expansion of the trolley would affect biking to downtown. I figured if half of the world has managed both trolleys and bikes, then we can figure it out too.

If you download the linked report you'll see Park Hill & the potential expansion route up Main Street in NLR mentioned many times. I completed their earlier comment form this summer expressing desire to expand north. Our friends in LR logically advocated for expansion throughout that side of downtown. It's my understanding that we in NLR have the next 'option' of expansion but it's our charge to advocate for us to take advantage of this opportunity.

I am of the opinion that expansion north up Main Street makes the most sense for NLR & certainly for Park Hill. Expansion to H Street up JFK as proposed in Alternative 6 along with an earlier start time for the trolley & a more expeditious speed would make the trolley a viable alternative for commuters who work downtown. Perhaps or arguably more importantly for those of us with property in PH, expansion of the trolley would improve property values in that it is an additional selling point to new home buyers as well as aiding in entertainment travel for those who desire to hit Argenta and/or downtown LR (or at least the RiverMarket, for now). I'd argue that public investment in the trolley & in Dickey-Stephens is one of the foremost factors that has aided in its revitalization. It's that investment that made it viable for other developers to invest their money in Argenta. PH should advocate for that kind of investment, along with the development of that 'gathering place'/3rd place that we lack.

Admittedly, there are challenges - construction, where/how the rail would be routed & turned around, the viaduct over Main Street in NLR (the biggest challenge/expense as I understand it) etc. However, I believe that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Frankly, the trolley isn't terribly viable until it expands both further into NLR & LR (throughout downtown & then into South Main, etc) but when it does expand, it will be quite the asset.

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