Former city planning director: “The waterfront trolley deserves a more serious review”

There are some very interesting comments being posted in response to today’s Crosscut article, including this from Ray Gastil, the former planning director for Seattle and Manhattan.

“The waterfront trolley deserves a more serious review, and it is great that this article was written to help spur that. My recollection was that Seattle city government felt that the waterfront trolley was effectively the wrong message about trolleys — that it sent the message that they were for tourism and not for a contemporary urban system, and it was important that the latter message be conveyed. I sympathize with that positiion, and also feel that if and when a First Avenue trolley could be built, it is important, and it would in some ways make the waterfront trolley redundant.

“But if you are serious about moving people up and down the waterfrtont, Seattle’s waterfront is long, and there’s not that much to do, and in inclement weather it is long and cold. We need some way to move people, and we need some way to connect Pioneer Square to the great stuff at the other end. Its greatest problem is that a streetcar line will interfere with the flexibility of the newly opened waterfront. Yet done right, it could help give it a plausible idenity. So…time for a serious rehearing.

“And if there are no other good options for moving people on the waterfront besides pedicabs, welll…

“Ray Gastil”