O’Connor: Streetcar moves economic development forward

February 15, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

Construction on the rail line for the Oklahoma City streetcar recently broke ground, marking another major MAPS 3 milestone. Many of us are eager to have another transit option in and around downtown Oklahoma City, but streetcar service offers more than mobility, it fuels economic growth.

Portland, Oregon, has seen $3.5 billion of new development within two blocks of the streetcar route in the past two decades. And after nearly a year in operation, Kansas City attributes nearly $3 billion in new economic development along the streetcar corridor since plans were announced in 2012.

Based on the experience of others cities, properties up to a quarter of a mile on either side of a streetcar route experience the greatest economic growth in terms of added housing and commercial growth. Using this parameter for Oklahoma City, it is estimated that over 10 years, streetcar service will significantly increase development in Midtown, downtown, Bricktown and the developing Core to Shore area by bringing more housing units, new commercial square feet, new businesses and new jobs.

Read full article in The Journal Record