Clang, Clang, Clang Goes the Downtown Trolley, Just Maybe?

Well, thank goodness for Morgan Lyons, that’s all I can say.

A little birdie called to alert me to a very important meeting taking place Friday at City Hall to discuss building a trolley line through downtown and also to talk about the second downtown light-rail alignment for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The birdie suggested with a snicker that, “Maybe your invitation got lost in the mail, Schutze.”

Surely not! My invitation? Lost? Impossible.

Naturally, I went straight to the city secretary’s Web site and looked on the calendar of city meetings to see what I could see. Nada and zip. Not a word about it.

Naturally I called the office of council person Linda Koop, chairman of the council’s transportation committee, whose bailiwick this would be. They took my number and said they’d call me.

I’ve sent that old trick before. That’s what my parents used to say when I called from college.

So I e-mailed Morgan Lyons, the spokesperson at DART, and asked him if there was going to be a meeting Friday at City Hall. He e-mailed me right back:

“Yep. It's a joint meeting between Dallas reps to the DART Board, Dallas City Council and downtown stakeholders. The purpose of the meeting is to hear from technical experts on streetcars and make sure interested parties have a shared understanding of what streetcars can do. The speakers at the meeting literally wrote the book on streetcars. It's called Street Smart, which was published by Reconnecting America. That's a group involved in TOD and urban revitalization. The participants are from around the country. They include:

Tom Furmaniak, LTK Engineering Charlie Hales, HDR (engineering and planning firm) Keith Jones, URS Corp. (used to be the GM at the Little Rock transit agency -- he did the streetcar program for the Clinton Library).

Hope that helps.”

Certainly does. Thank you, Morgan. You make me feel feel almost welcome.

The date is Friday at 1 p.m. The location is City Hall, Room L1FN. That’s the auditorium in the first level basement. See you there. I’ll be in the far rear right corner wearing a dress and a pith helmet, with my dog and a large trash bag full of aluminum cans. Sometimes that’s the only way I can slip through security. --Jim Schutze

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