An article in The Augusta Chronicle on July 8 ("Trolley study is mostly praised") says that the Downtown Development Authority plans to spend special purpose local option sales tax funds to study the possibility of constructing a trolley from the Medical College of Georgia to downtown Broad Street.
What would be involved in doing this?
The streets would be dug from MCG down Fifteenth Street and Broad Street to lay the tracks. An overhead wire would be put up to run the trolley. The railroad would be crossed (perhaps by a bridge?). The canal would be crossed (another bridge?). The disruption of traffic would continue far beyond the construction.
Who wants it? Transit planner Uriah Lewis is quoted in the article, saying that a bus trial of the route didn't work because of the traffic in the area around Harper Street. An alternative interpretation would be that there was insufficient demand for the service.
Margaret Woodard, the authority's executive director, said that a trolley would help revitalize downtown Augusta, and that powering it by the Augusta Canal would be the first such trolley in the country. These are romantic ideas, in my opinion.
Without more information that we need this, I would be opposed to the proposed study as a waste of SPLOST funds.
Leonard Brubaker, Augusta