Transportation is only half the equation, appropriate land use policies also need to be in place. Atlanta needs to update the zoning along the streetcar and provide incentives to developers. Incentives don’t need to be the ever popular tax breaks, streamlining the permitting process along the streetcar would likely help spur development at no cost to the long suffering City of Atlanta taxpayers.
Portland and Seattle both put supportive zoning in place and actively courted developers to build along the streetcar lines. Support of local businesses is important as well, in Seattle, Amazon was kind enough to lease a substantial amount of office space along the streetcar that in turn spurred other redevelopment efforts.
Modern streetcars across the US have been a great tool for, among other things, spurring new residential development in walkable centers, with Portland’s being the most obvious example.
But streetcars don’t even need to be fully completed to have this positive effect.
In Streets Blog post…