Streetcar Pushed Back
With 2014 debut delayed, group looks at convincing stakeholders to help pay for project
By Richard Guzmán
August 13, 2010
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - A streetcar is still in the future for Broadway, 14th District City Councilman José Huizar said last week. Just not as soon as originally anticipated.
Speaking at an Aug. 12 luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum, Huizar said that missing out on a $25 million federal grant will cause the timeline to be re-thought. The $100 million effort is part of his Bringing Back Broadway initiative.
“We’re reassessing the 2014 ribbon cutting we were hoping to have,” he said.
Huizar also said that his office will not currently pursue another federal transportation grant as part of the TIGER II program. Instead, he said he will focus on obtaining more of the financing through an assessment district where property owners along the proposed route would be taxed. He said his office will campaign for the assessment to convince landowners that a streetcar along Broadway would benefit them and the city. He expects this to make up a “majority” of the budget.
He said he will also continue to look for funding through other governmental and private sources.
“We’re going to look for money anywhere and everywhere,” Huizar said.
So far about $10 million has been acquired for the project through Community Redevelopment Agency funds. The streetcar would connect L.A. Live and Bunker Hill, with a principal north-south spine on Broadway.
Only six of 65 applicants for the $25 million Urban Circulators federal grants received funds; the projects that got money were further along than the Broadway streetcar, Huizar said.
Jessica Wethington McClean, executive director of Bringing Back Broadway, said that after the denial, federal officials indicated they want the project to have a local matching funds program in place. She also said that the federal government wants the streetcar’s environmental process to be further along before money is awarded.
Huizar said the environmental process will begin in a few months.
On Sept. 30, the streetcar effort could get a boost with a major L.A. Live fundraiser co-hosted by Huizar and business leaders Eli Broad, Rick Caruso and Tim Leiweke.