The City of Anaheim has released a map showing the route of a proposed, $298 million dollar street car project which would link the ARTIC to the Disneyland Resort. The plan calls for the street car to stretch from the ARTIC transportation hub and Anaheim Stadium to the planed Disneyland Resort transportation center and the Anaheim Convention Center. The trolley system would share existing traffic lanes down Katella Ave and serve an estimated 1.25 million passengers annually.
The plan is meeting opposition with the Anaheim City Mayor, Tom Tait, whom believes the street car will just add to the already congested streets around the Disneyland Resort. “Our transit money must relieve congestion and increase mobility, and this streetcar does neither. In fact, it makes both worse”, Tait told the OC Register.
The Disneyland Resort plans call for a transportation center on the east side of Harbor Blvd, near the main entrance to the Resort. Plans include a 6,800 space parking structure, and bus and taxi drop offs sections. The transportation center will be linked to the Disneyland Resort with a bridge which will span over Harbor Blvd. Construction is expected to start next year and be open in time for the 14-acre Star Wars Land Experience currently under construction at Disneyland.
The City and the Orange County Transportation Authority have an uphill battle to climb. Many are opposed to the impact a street car could have on vehicle traffic. The proposal calls for two stops along Katella Ave, one in the Platium Triangle housing development and a second just east of Interstate 5. The Anaheim street car system would then proceed down Katella Ave and turn north on Clementine Street, which is already heavily used by Disneyland Resort Cast Member Shuttles. But perhaps the greatest impact to traffic would come when the Anaheim Street Car begins to share lanes on Harbor Blvd, one of the most congested streets in Orange County.
In 2012 the Anaheim City Council shot down proposals for a monorail style system which would have allowed for an elevated rail that would have very little impact on street traffic. Disney has also abandoned plans for Peoplemover or moving sidewalk systems to fairy guests from their transportation center to the parks. Instead opting for a pedestrian bridge over Harbor Blvd. And once again it seems that an agreed upon solution to work out Anaheim’s traffic and transportation problems remain elusive. With favoring a street car over the more costly Monorail system, the City of Anaheim has locked itself in a battle that must be worked out soon if they have any hope of addressing the growing traffic issues near Disneyland before the latest Resort expansion is completed in the next few years.
The OCTA, City of Anaheim, and the Department of Transportation are holding an informational meeting open to all on March 17, 2016 at the ARTIC, located at 2626 E Katella Ave in Anaheim, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.