I stopped by a forum on the proposed extensions of Seattle's streetcar yesterday afternoon -- and heard more objections to the idea of a citywide network than vision to make such a system work.
At question is the idea of extending Seattle's stunted 1.3-mile line to actually go somewhere. It could be a viable transportation system that would encourage development and make owning and driving a car in the city less essential.
Sure, financing and design are legitimate obstacles. The city should solve those obstacles and then start building. Public support will follow -- just as in Toronto and countless other cities where streetcars are commonplace.
What we shouldn't do is talk this issue to death at endless public forums. I didn't hear one concern that couldn't be met. Losing parking on local streets? More people will take streetcars and walk. Cannibalizing bus service? We need to invest in more, better bus service too. One man talked about efficient express bus service in Vancouver as an example of what we should do. Fine, but that and streetcars aren't mutually exclusive.
By all means, get citizen input on the route and design. Then let's build it.