CAT to Bring More Streetcars to Savannah

AmericaRediscoversTheStreetcar

It is so great that Chatham Area Transit is working toward more streetcars in Savannah.

What I don’t like are the proposed routes. The plan is overly weighted west of Barnard and only goes as far south as Gwinnett St, when it needs to address more of Savannah’s transportation needs.

CAT Proposed Routes
CAT Proposed Routes
My proposed Routes
My proposed Routes

1.  Extend the existing East-West River St Streetcar beyond both ends of River St to give that line more effectiveness. The west end should be extended to the new Intermodal Transit Center– this would cover the northwest side development zone.

2.  The new North-South line should start at the Intermodal Transit Center, going south down MLK to Duffy St., then east to Abercorn south to Victory, then Bull south to Columbus Dr, across to Habersham through Habersham Village and down to De Renne, west to White Bluff, south to Stephenson, and back up Abercorn to DeRenne where it traces the same path back to the Historic District.

This would give residents of Hunter Army Airfield, Poplar Woods/University Place, Tatemville, Feiler Place,Groveland/Kensington Park, Habersham Woods, Sylvan Terrace, Abercorn Heights/Lamar Heights, Cann Park, Jackson Park, Cuyler/Brownsville, Ardsley Park, Bingville, Metropolitan, Thomas Square, and the Victorian District neighborhoods a convenient way to get downtown– greatly reducing the need for so many cars in the Historic District, and lowering the need for more parking garages.

This would attract a wider usage,  serving tourists, soldiers, low income families, middle income families, SCAD and Savannah Tech students, while promoting residential and commercial development over a large swath of Savannah.  It also supports the neighborhood commercial districts which already exist and are in need of support.

The plan supports older neighborhoods like Ardsley Park, Kensington Park, and Habersham Woods, providing an amenity that Effingham County cannot.

 It also provides locations for large scale development and small scale development to help the smaller businesses/construction firms, not just huge developers.  

Savannah needs many smaller infill projects; the streetcar is the perfect catalyst.

This design gives much of Savannah a 5-10 minute walk to neighborhood restaurants and shops, and a short ride on the streetcar to the Historic District. This will reduce traffic and create a lifestyle that cannot be compared to many other cites.

SEE MY PROPOSED MAP, CLICK HERE:    https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=ze1vGMHRPMiY.kWoX1bBfRUw4

images (37) download (1)

Virginia Highland in Atlanta is a great model for central Abercorn St and Bull St at Ardsley Park retail /restaurant districts with streetcar.
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3 thoughts on “CAT to Bring More Streetcars to Savannah

  1. Buses, which could be energy-saving vehicles, already serve those neighborhoods. Why have streetcars? What kind of streetcars? Where’s the research that says in Savannah, particularly, businesses and developers will come? What businesses and what developers? So many more questions to answer before we discuss routes.

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    1. I agree, Sherman, there should be more research. But CAT’s pushing it through and is ready to go with apparently no public comment. My proposal is just one that, hopefully, should be studied. All I know is, Savannah better attract developers somehow, before Effingham County gets all the improvements and the tax-base. I know many midtown and southsiders that would shop and eat downtown, if there was a way to get there without fighting for parking and potentially getting a dui on the way home. Developers do watch who is building streetcar, and because the route doesn’t change easily, they are more likely to build (preferably, retail with residential or offices above). Savannah is a hot city now, this is a good chance to redevelop our neighborhoods for mixed-income people. Adding tax-base downtown and midtown can bring better services like police and schools. Staying the same, doesn’t get you anywhere.

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