On the Death of the San Antonio Streetcar

When former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro began his new job as secretary of HUD, the all-but-built Modern Streetcar project fell prey to gathering Tea Party forces.
August 28, 2014, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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David Martin Davies updates the quick and surprising twists in the fallout from former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's new position as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On July 28, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro raised his right hand and was sworn in as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That same day, back in the Alamo City, one of Castro’s signature programs, the 'Modern Streetcar' project, was going off the rails, undone by the very leaders who’d once backed it.

The 5.9-mile project would have totaled $280 million, with $32 million coming from the city. The first phase of the system would have included two lines around Downtown as well as connections to the Westside Multimodal Center and north along Broadway to the "thriving" Pearl Brewery development.

The article reads like an autopsy of the slowly gathering political forces, some of them leveraging the streetcar as means for other ends, that finally put an end to the streetcar project.

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Published on Monday, August 25, 2014 in The Texas Observer
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