OGDEN -- The city council needs to find a way to merge its objectives with those in a completed Utah Transit Authority study to develop a successful streetcar project proposal that will receive federal funding, a transportation consultant said Tuesday night.
"You need to marry what the city is trying to do with what UTA has already done," GB Arrington, a Portland, Ore., consultant with PB PlaceMaking Inc. said following a city council work session.
The city council has hired PB PlaceMaking to provide up to $20,000 in consulting services to assist with possible transit-oriented development in Ogden along a proposed streetcar route from the Intermodal Hub at 23rd Street and Washington Boulevard to an area near Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.
It is estimated that a streetcar system would cost about $157 million to build, said Gerry Carpenter, a spokesman for UTA.
The council wants the streetcar to run from the Intermodal Hub up 23rd Street to Washington Boulevard, along 25th Street to Harrison Boulevard, and on to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital. The council maintains that route would foster development along the route and best serve residents.
However, a transit alternative analysis spearheaded by UTA indicates the preferred route should go from the Intermodal Hub along 23rd Street, to Washington Boulevard, to 36th Street to Harrison Boulevard and then to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.
The analysis determined that route would have the best streetcar ridership, Carpenter said.
If the city council decides the analysis should look at special zoning or transit-oriented development, it may be necessary to start the study over, said Carpenter.
However, Arrington said it is important that the council and UTA take time to reach a compromise to submit the best possible funding proposal for the streetcar to the federal government.
"You need to push the pause button," he said, adding that it may take two years to ready a funding proposal.