It’s easy to criticize the Loop Trolley project. But let’s look at some of the positives and potentials:
• Without the development of the trolley, three major projects would not have occurred: the new safe roundabout at the University City lion gates; the new bridges on Delmar at the Wabash Station and on DeBaliviere over the Metro tracks; and the handsome new greenway down DeBaliviere from Delmar to Lindell.
• The Trolley project already has helped new developments, among them the new apartment tower and pharmacy at Delmar and Skinker.
• Contrary to some reports, sales-tax revenues have significantly increased, not decreased, since the project started. In fact, this calendar year’s projected sales taxes earmarked for the trolley are anticipated to be in the $800,000 plus range. The Loop is doing well.
• Although there are no firm commitments, future plans contemplate the line extending to Kingshighway and into Forest Park, much like it did during the World’s Fair. This would reduce pollution and take more cars out of the park.
• There have been very significant non-governmental contributions to the Loop Trolley by Clayco and Washington University, as well as by several individuals.
• The trolley line connects with two busy Metro stations: One on DeBaliviere and other on Delmar.
In summary, once the third long-delayed trolley arrives, so that seven-day service may start, there is the potential for a successful trolley operation that will benefit the entire St. Louis region.
Ben Uchitelle • Clayton