MOORLACH UPDATE — Streetcar Feedback — June 21, 2014

When submitting an editorial to the OC Register, it is recommended to keep your thoughts to a maximum of 800 words. Providing ten reasons to oppose a streetcar system in the cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana (see MOORLACH UPDATE Streetcar Warning June 16, 2014), found my submission in need of some trimming down to the recommended limit. The fun part of having an editorial printed is the responses. Todays OC Register provides one from someone whom I personally know. He is older than I am and provides his reminiscences on using streetcars. However, e-mail responses to my UPDATE also provided affirming reactions and even more reasons to oppose the streetcar idea. Here are some of them (without attribution):

You forgot to mention that California is the only state whose public transit workers are allowed to strike (I was in SF during the BART strike and it was a nightmare for tourists).

It will do nothing but waste money. In my youth, I rode the real Streetcar Named Desire in New Orleans. I was not impressed then, and I certainly am not now.

I spent a week in New Orleans 6/4 – 6/10. They have some leftover street cars that the "locals" love. They are a quaint method of moving people, but they are an ancient, space clogging, old technology (let’s go back to dispensing gasoline with lever operated gas pumps – or how about stairs, instead of elevators/escalators? …or horsedrawn street cars ?)

Reason 11: I think Artic will be a financial flop. I went there last night. It is a lovely building, but such a waste, and deeply misguided. Would you open a business there? People will get off the train and leave. Maybe it should be called the Great Train Station?

Have you ever just put your fist through a wall? šŸ™‚

If after laying out those 10 reasons and streetcar proponents still think it is a good idea, then what can you do? Some folks are so entranced by a pet idea, no amount of logic to the contrary will sway them.



Supervisor John Moorlach has a lot to say about streetcars, Why streetcars shouldnt be desired in O.C. [Opinion, June 16], but obviously, has never driven along their routes.

I grew up in Southern California when streetcars took us everywhere. There were no malls, so if you wanted to go to the big stores, you took the streetcar to Los Angeles. There were connections to all the major cities, and the ride was reasonably fast, efficient and inexpensive.

However, it was not a pleasant experience for car drivers. Steering was affected by the track grooves and slickness. The front wheels would get squirrelly. Since the tracks were in the No. 1 lane, a raised island existed in between the first and second lanes for loading and unloading passengers. Car drivers in the lane behind the streetcars were forced to wait while passengers entered and exited the streetcars.

The car drivers in lane two also had to wait while these people crossed to and from the sidewalk. During a green light this was even more frustrating.

Denny Bean


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