The push for a northern extension of the First Hill streetcar from its currently planned terminus near Denny and Broadway has hit an interesting bump in the road — an extension on the other end of the route in Pioneer Square. Details from Publicola:
The new proposal would use up all of the $132.8 million Sound Transit said it was willing to spend to build the streetcar, meaning that there will be no money left to fund the proposed northern streetcar extension to Aloha, on north Capitol Hill. (Seattle Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Sheridan attributed the higher cost to the cost of the streetcar vehicles themselves, not the Pioneer Square extension).
Under the original proposal, about $7 million would have been left over to fund the Aloha extension, which the Seattle Department of Transportation estimates would cost a total of about $20 million. The extension would have also gotten funding from the $60 car-tab fee, which flopped at the polls in November.
The Seattle City Council’s transportation committee is discussing the potential Pioneer Square extension in its session Tuesday morning.
We reported last month that the financed route is ready to begin construction with a goal of being operational by the end of 2013. In August, we detailed the opportunity — and the $7 million challenge — associated with extending the streetcar north up Broadway past E Roy. According to Publicola, the Pioneer Square plan is a response to an argument “that the neighborhood would benefit from the extra transportation option, especially during construction of the Alaskan Way tunnel.”