Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Boy Who Cried Trolley Says 'a Couple More Months' Til Opening

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 1:15 PM

The trolley was sighted in the wild this weekend .... but don't get your hopes up just yet. - VIA SCREENSHOT
  • VIA SCREENSHOT
  • The trolley was sighted in the wild this weekend .... but don't get your hopes up just yet.

If you're like us, your social-media streams this weekend were filled with heartening videos of the long-awaited, eagerly anticipated Loop trolley hurtling down Delmar.

Finally! you thought. Almost three years after construction ceased, it seemed as if trolley backers would finally hit the August target they announced earlier this summer (after pushing back from "late spring" and then again from July).





Au contraire.

Today Loop impresario Joe Edwards — the developer who owns many businesses in the neighborhood (the Pageant, Delmar Hall, Blueberry Hill, et al) and the guy who willed the trolley into federal funding and, one assumes someday, existence — went on St. Louis on the Air and acknowledged that the trolley likely won't be running until mid-autumn.

"It's coming very soon," Edwards told host Don Marsh. "Within a couple of months would be my prediction. I hate to predict, but that's my prediction."

A couple of months, one must acknowledge, connotes mid-October. Or maybe even after that. Certainly after Oktoberfest is over, the World Series is but a memory, and winter is coming.

Edwards should really stop making predictions like this; history tells us that he's just setting himself up for failure. The only solid move at this point is to say that the trolley will be done in 2035 and then if it happens before then we can all just be excited about it.

But Edwards, who appeared on the show with the Loop's newly hired executive director, Rachelle L'Ecuyer, made a few other predictions while he was at it:

— On traffic: "The traffic won't be an issue, actually. It'll run the same speed as cars."

— On the potential danger to bicycles: "I think with time people will be reeducated again. Other cities have the same thing. After the first few months, people will realize you have to cross at a 45-degree angle and it's not dangerous at all."

— On the trolley's benefits: "It might even help bring an extra convention or two to St. Louis." Edwards posits that out-of-towners will be excited to learn we have a new trolley line connecting one of the nation's great streets and great parks. "Oh, they just put this new vintage trolley system in," he told Marsh he imagined them saying. Let's book it!

So, folks, you heard it here first ... well, this time at least. Check back in October to see how these predictions work out. And don't forget to bring your protractor; you might need it to calculate those 45-degree angles.

Email the author at jaime.lees@riverfronttimes.com
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