Wave Street Car Fort Lauderdale?

Wave Street Car Fort Lauderdale Hero

Wave Street Car is…CANCELED

The Wave Streetcar is currently under construction in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This is a $150 million dollar project that will provide downtown with a railed electric “streetcar” that goes from Sistrunk Blvd (NW 6th St) & Andrews Ave to 17th St. & Andrews roughly 2 miles South. From the map it does a loop East to SE 3rd Ave a couple of times, once to where it crosses over the New River. The rail will have approximately 12 stops and is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Wave Street Car Logo

Wave Streetcar Facts:

  • Wait time will be around 7.5 minutes during the day and around 15 minutes during the evening.
  • The street car will share the same lane with vehicle traffic.
  • The Wave Streetcar will be on rails
  • There are 12 stops
  • The total length of the rail is 2.7 miles.
  • Estimated completion time: 2017

Why Build The Wave Streetcar?

It is expected that, once completed, the Wave will:

  • Create  jobs, both during construction and permanent.

  • Encourage private investment to bring new housing, shops, restaurants and retail opportunities.

  • Connect Downtown’s many points of interest and link to the regional transit network.

  • Increase foot traffic due to streetcar functioning as a pedestrian accelerator.

  • Direct growth to the urban core and away from our surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Serve as a catalyst to advance regional rail systems.

Reality Of The Wave Streetcar?

This is what is expected once completed. Unfortunately I disagree. Is there a lot of people trying to get from Sistrunk Blvd to the Hospital on 17th St. I am currently unaware of this problem. At $75 million per actual mile, this project is out of hand and ridiculous. Average Cost per mile of rail is $50 million and is “considerably higher than other recently built streetcar projects,” mostly because of the draw-bridge issues. Special Assessment property tax was applied to the residents of downtown Fort Lauderdale to pay for this project. The Wave Streetcar has really no use to the residents paying and it basically brings them from their home to the hospital,Tap 42 or almost all the way to Home Depot! It will transport people and tourists arriving in Fort Lauderdale by train and bus quickly to…well, I’m not sure. Considering Fort Luaderdale is primarily a tourist destination this rail serves no purpose to them as well. On top of this, the Wave Streetcar will operate in the same lane as a vehicle. $150 million to be stuck in traffic? In addition to being stuck in traffic itself, it will cause more traffic when it makes its routine stops directly in the streets. Fort Lauderdale can’t afford more traffic slowdowns, it needs improvement and better flow.

I am not apposed to the Wave Streetcar altogether, but it doesn’t seam to serve much of a purpose. 6 of the 12 stops are within a 1/4 mile radius. The expectations that they think the Wave Streetcar will bring is happening now and it’s market driven, not Wave Streetcar driven. Investment in Flaglar Village and along Andrews towards 17th is already under development with new condominiums, restaurants and more. As the Las Olas area becomes more and more developed the areas around it will eventually take shape and this is happening without the Wave Streetcar. The Wave Street Car will provide jobs, mostly temporarily while the construction happens. Most points of interest this Streetcar will connect are within a half mile radius of each other. Would you wait 7.5 minutes for the Wave or would you walk 6.25 minutes?

The Wave Streetcar, A Better Idea!

Well, I think there are a lot more useful ideas they could have come up with and I just have a few off the top of my head.

  1. Raised rail like in Miami that only goes from the Airport to Downtown Fort Lauderdale. That would be useful to the residents and tourists alike, as they wouldn’t need to rely on Taxis to get home, to the train/bus station or to the their Hotel. Even if they had to take a Taxi from downtown, this would ease the cost and the headache you get when you are trying to get out of the airport to Fort Lauderdale and back to the airport.
  2. Next best thing to 1, would be to have the Wave Streetcar go to the airport. I could find use for that.
  3. If the Wave is supposed to help ease traffic, why not make it go to Port Everglades as well?
  4. A better transportation system to get to the beach would be amazing. Living downtown on Las Olas, the most challenging traffic I face is not going to 17th and Andrews. Its getting less than 2 miles away to Fort Lauderdale Beach, finding a parking space while trying to not getting ripped off with a huge parking fee. You live so close and you are completely discouraged from going to the beach. It’s walk-able or bike-able, but not with chairs, umbrellas and coolers. Sun Trolley is a possibility, but the last time I tried to use it, I waited and waited so I started walking to the Beach, It finally passed me when I was approaching Seven Isles but I soon passed it back going over the Las Olas Bridge due to the traffic.
  5. There is an increase in Fort Lauderdale of Bicycle usage and I think it’s the best way to get around especially within a 2 mile radius starting from Las Olas Blvd and SE 6th Ave. At a fraction of the cost, SAFE bike paths, lanes and walkways could be built to get around through the area. The Bridges could also be fitted with better bike lanes separate from the traffic lanes.

The Wave Streetcar

Maybe I am wrong and The Wave Streetcar is the best thing to happen to Fort Lauderdale. For now, I don’t see it. The cost out-ways any benefits and The Wave Streetcar doesn’t seam to solve any current transportation problems that we have in downtown Fort Lauderale. This may be really handy 20 or 40 years from now, but they need to start thinking about what they need to do with the current issues at hand. Spend money easing the current traffic, the business, residents and areas that are already contributing to the success of Fort Lauderdale and the city will naturally grow from the center out.

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