St. Louis Votes to Fund Transit; Fort Worth Goes Ahead with Streetcar

STL_hearts_MetroLink.jpgThe proof is in the vote. (Image: UrbanSTL)

Reports of transit-related victories are coming from two cities with bloggers in the Streetsblog Network this morning.

First, from St. Louis, the news that Proposition A — a half-cent sales tax to fund St. Louis County’s Metro operations — passed, with 63 percent of voters approving. The measure, which will prevent scheduled cutbacks and restore some service that was eliminated earlier, is a big win for transit advocates who argued that all residents of St. Louis County — not just transit riders — benefit from good public transit. Dotage St. Louis hailed the news, as did UrbanSTL, which pointed out that "the approval of Prop A means that for the first time in Metro history, the transit agency has a substantial, dedicated local funding source."

The Exquisite Struggle wondered if Prop A’s victory heralds "the quiet dawn of regionalism," the reversal of a fragmentation that began in the late 19th century when the city of St. Louis split from St. Louis County:

The coalition supporting Proposition M included John Nations — the mayor of the municipality synonymous with the perceived values of St. Louis County. Yet Nations has realized what many others have failed to. St. Louis County is now fully developed and greenfield development is far outside its ambit. While disconnection from Saint Louis city benefited the County’s edge cities 20 years ago, those aging municipalities must now rely on their infrastructure for competitive advantage. Without connectivity, the municipalities of St. Louis County will not be able to avoid becoming victims of the same job migration to far-flung greenfield development that created them in the first place. This Metro vote marks the first noteworthy step towards regional functionality; hopefully someday April 6, 2010, will be understood as the first corrective to a much closer vote that happened on August 22, 1876.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, a challenge to a planned streetcar system was overcome — for now, at least — when the City Council unanimously approved the next phase of study for the system. Fort Worthology has the rundown.

More from around the network: A sweet little video on complete streets by CommunityDesignGroup in Minneapolis caught the attention of Narrow Streets Los Angeles. CommuteOrlando Blog announces a collaborative effort to find better bike routes in that Florida city. And Tulsa Alternative Transportation Examiner says that the League of American Bicyclists should focus on cyclists’ basic right to use the road.

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