Today’s meeting to discuss the options for the future of the trolley in the C Street corridor from India Street to 11th Avenue grew heated as many business owners and other downtown stakeholders pressed MTS executives to consider adopting a trolley loop that would circle downtown.
The proposed options include various combinations of reductions in sidewalk and crosswalk widths, reduction or elimination of driving lanes, and street closures.
The C Street Advisory Committee, chaired by City Council member Kevin Faulconer, asked CCDC to study the downtown loop plan and to come out with a position on the unpopular street closure option, which would, committee members said, contradict downtown’s community plan.
Paul Jablonski, the CEO of MTS, and Harry Mathis, chairman of the MTS board, argued against the downtown loop, which would force riders off the Blue and Orange line trains at spots just outside of the city center to transfer to the downtown-only line. Mathis and Jablonski disagreed with CCDC project manager Sachin Kalbag that the four options presented today were the only options for implementing the longer trains.
One downtown resident spoke against the loop plan, which he said would reduce the quality and frequency of service MTS has achieved in recent months.
Bill Anderson, director of city planning for the Mayor’s Office, said the mayor will be sending a letter to MTS asking them to study the downtown loop train. Kalbag said he’d meet with the MTS deciders to produce a study of the feasibility of operate a downtown cycle.