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St. Louis Votes to Fund Transit; Fort Worth Goes Ahead with Streetcar

7:29 AM PDT on April 7, 2010

STL_hearts_MetroLink.jpgThe proof is
in the vote. (Image: UrbanSTL)

Reports of transit-related victories are coming from two cities with
bloggers in the Streetsblog Network this morning.

First, from St. Louis, the news that Proposition A — a half-cent
sales tax to fund St. Louis County’s Metro operations — passed, with 63
percent of voters approving
. The measure, which will prevent
scheduled cutbacks and restore some service that was eliminated earlier,
is a big win for transit advocates who argued that all residents
of St. Louis County — not just transit riders — benefit from good
public transit. Dotage
St. Louis
hailed the news, as did UrbanSTL,
which pointed out that "the approval of Prop A means that for the first
time in Metro history, the transit agency has a substantial, dedicated
local funding source."

The
Exquisite Struggle
wondered if Prop A’s victory heralds "the quiet
dawn of regionalism," the reversal of a fragmentation that began in the
late 19th century when the city of St. Louis split from St. Louis
County:

The coalition supporting Proposition M included
John Nations — the mayor of the municipality synonymous with the
perceived values of St. Louis County
. Yet Nations has realized what
many others have failed to. St. Louis County is now fully developed and
greenfield development is far outside its ambit. While disconnection
from Saint Louis city benefited the County’s edge cities 20 years ago,
those aging municipalities must now rely on their infrastructure for
competitive advantage. Without connectivity, the municipalities of St.
Louis County will not be able to avoid becoming victims of the same job
migration to far-flung greenfield development that created them in the
first place. This Metro vote marks the first noteworthy step towards
regional functionality; hopefully someday April 6, 2010, will be
understood as the first corrective to a much closer vote that happened
on August
22, 1876
.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, a challenge to a planned streetcar system
was overcome — for now, at least — when the City Council unanimously
approved the next phase of study for the system. Fort
Worthology
has the rundown.

More from around the network: A sweet little video on complete
streets by CommunityDesignGroup in
Minneapolis caught the attention of Narrow
Streets Los Angeles
. CommuteOrlando
Blog
announces a collaborative effort to find better bike routes in
that Florida city. And Tulsa
Alternative Transportation Examiner
says that the League of
American Bicyclists should focus on cyclists’ basic right to use the
road.

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