The Winston-Salem Journal’s Scott Sexton weighs in on the proposed $179 million streetcar:

If it ever gets built, it wouldn’t be fair to call the Urban Circulator Project — How’s that for bureaucrat-speak? — a “Streetcar to Nowhere” because it would, in fact, travel a 4-mile path through the middle of downtown.

….The Urban Circulator would, the planners, dreamers and schemers say, stimulate economic development, create jobs and appeal to the elusive young professionals. Shops! Restaurants! Condos!

All for the low, low price of $179 million. Give or take a few million.

Glad to see Sexton express some skepticism over one of the more egregious examples of municipal groupthink. Though he rightfully points out just who would benefit —i.e. make money — off the streetcar, Sexton concludes “streetcar system would be very cool and environmentally sound.” On that last note, allow me to quote my friend the Antiplanner:

The Antiplanner is not convinced that human-caused climate change is real. But even if I were convinced, the progressive solution is likely to do far more damage to our economy and, because poor people are not as gentle with the environment as the wealthy, our world than climate change. There are things we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are relatively cost free, and other things that are very low in cost. Klein’s solutions instead impose the absolute highest costs possible, including the destruction of our economy.

How does the old saying go –the cure is worse than the disease? I’d say $179 million for a four-mile stretch is a good example.