To the editor,
I dislike commenting negatively on the ideas of Patrick Klassen, a graduate student at Dalhousie's School of Planning, but if he really believes his vision of a new streetcar/tram system is what is needed for Halifax, as he stated in Chris Benjamin's "Streetcar desires" (March 19, Upfront), then I suggest he needs to engross himself more deeply in his field of study.
As I remember, more than 50 years ago we added much more mobility for traffic on our main streets when our tram system was replaced with the then-modern electric trolley coach powered by the dual-overhead supply system. While the new coaches were quiet and smooth and, being electric, without fumes, they also lacked the capacity to pass each other unless their poles were lowered. This feature itself imposed some traffic limitations on the trolley coach system.
Streetcars and tracks impose even more stringent impediments than the trolley coaches to the smooth and uninterrupted flow of other street traffic, and it would seem that in any review of what is best for Halifax, pending the availability of the non-fossil-fuel-powered bus, our transportation vehicle options are very much limited to what is currently available.
---Bill Phillips, Halifax