Anaheim officials spar over street car project

45363 full
45363 full

Anaheim may be home to the happiest place on earth, but there’s been a lot of discord over a plan to bring a streetcar to the city.

Sparks flew at a Monday meeting of the Orange County Transportation Authority where the board debated whether to stop plans to build a 3.2-mile streetcar system connecting Disneyland with the Anaheim Regional Intermodal Center.

Critics, including Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, said the streetcar, projected to cost about $300 million, will be too expensive and won’t benefit most taxpayers.

"I don’t see how anybody, unless you have a special interest, I don’t see how anybody would be for this," Tait said.

Tait was part of an OCTA ad hoc committee that recommended the board scrap the streetcar plan before too much money is spent.

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray urged the board not to derail the plan so early in the process.

"I would respectfully ask that the board allow the EIR (environmental impact report) and the environmental work to be completed and then have a thorough and robust dialogue that has a full public process," he said.

In the end, the board voted to wait for more information before making a decision. That future vote will be watched by officials in L.A., which is also planning a streetcar project, one in downtown. 

The project has also drawn criticism for its expanding budget. The city is seeking federal funding to help with the nearly $300 million cost.

blog comments powered by Disqus