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Streetcar Desires

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The New York Times holsters its typical South-bashing this week for a thoughtful piece on the implications of Atlanta's new streetcar. In a piece titled, "Atlanta Hopes a Three-Mile Streetcar Route Will Help Foster a New Urban Image," the newspaper recounts the nascent system's struggles to open and wonders if the sleek, blue people-movers could one day be iconic, like those of New Orleans and San Francisco. They also tap ardent streetcar naysayer C.T. Martin, a city council member, who lambastes the system as, "At best ... a tourist attraction."