As usual, Atlurbanist took the words right out of my mouth with this post over the weekend identifying a core challenge for the Atlanta Streetcar.
The 2.7-mile route isn’t likely to get an enormous number vehicles off the road because it doesn’t serve a major commuting corridor, and it’s not particularly fast either. The real question is whether it will spur development that makes downtown and the Auburn-Edgewood corridors more interesting and hospitable to pedestrians — so that people don’t feel they have to get in a car when they move on to another activity.
As Darin Givens (the Atlurbanist) puts it:
One of the biggest misunderstandings about the Atlanta Streetcar is its very purpose. This is not entirely a transportation device — it is, to a large degree, a development tool that hopes to spur construction and renovation within the many blighted, underused properties through which it runs. This dual aspect of the streetcar has proven to be a difficult sell for many and it is a common point of debate for similar transit projects throughout the US.
To help answer the question, he’s got a nice roundup of projects and potential projects along the route.