Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shiny machine from the future to mysteriously appear downtown

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 9:42 PM

click to enlarge 'Behold, our new idol'
  • 'Behold, our new idol'

Of the 3,082 transit projects proposed for metro Atlanta, few are as far along as the Peachtree Streetcar.

Proponents of the $300 million project say it's shovel ready and could be snaking up and down Atlanta's most famous thoroughfare by the end of 2012. That is, if we can secure the cash to build it.

And while City Hall and MARTA anxiously wait to hear if the streetcar has been selected for vital federal funding — an announcement is expected in mid February — you'll get a chance to see the technology that could potentially be used in the project (as well as for the Beltline) this week.

On Thursday from 2-5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., a Siemens light-rail and streetcar vehicle on its way to Charlotte, N.C. — the city that's actually made progress on building transit — will make a stop at Centennial Olympic Park. Atlantans are invited to drop by and take a tour of the streetcar, enjoy refreshments, and ask themselves why this technology isn't already being used in one of the most vibrant cities in the country.

Now don't get us wrong: This event is great. But at the risk of sounding like downers, isn't it just a tad bit depressing that here we are, still sitting in traffic in 2010, and we're having to treat streetcars and transit like they're an Epcot attraction? "Witness ... the future." Nonetheless, go check it out if you're downtown.

(Courtesy Siemens)

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