And so it begins…


District 9 City Councilman Joe Krier confirmed Monday that he is looking into the possibility of a referendum on the controversial streetcar project.

Well, it’s about time. We’re talking, after all, about a $280 million project that’s already run some $90 million over budget before ground is even broken on it, with no guarantee that it’ll ever even come close to paying for itself, let alone turn a profit. And we haven’t even gotten to the intangibles like all the bus riders being inconvenienced by things like longer trips with more stops. I realize mass transit in general is not a profitable enterprise, but I don’t see how it can be argued that the Nelson Wolff Express is anything but another extravagance that San Antonio taxpayers can’t really afford and shouldn’t have to pay for. I go through downtown on the bus every single day, and I’m just not seeing the bus-clogged streets the advocates of the streetcar are talking about.

I found it interesting that Krier cited the fact that both the Alamodome and the AT&T Center were both voted on by San Antonians. After all, both of those projects were close to the size of the streetcar project as far as cost goes; the cost of the AT&T Center was about $186 million ($241 million in 2014 dollars) and the Alamodome project ran about $186 million as well.

Which leads to the question: exactly how big would a public-works project have to be for Nelson Wolff to think it deserving of a vote?



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