By Eileen Frere, July 14, 2014
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SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) --The Santa Ana City Council is considering two proposals that would add streetcar routes through the downtown area, but the idea is causing controversy.
"It brings in hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the city just for the project itself. It creates jobs, not only construction jobs, but operating jobs as well," Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido said.
The first route would have the street car travel down Santa Ana Boulevard and Fourth Street, an option that has prompted backlash.
More than 150 residents and businesses have signed a petition against the idea, citing that construction would cause congestion and the streetcar would make it more difficult to find already limited parking.
"Everyone is always waiting for parking. There are accidents because they are fighting for parking," said Danica Marin, who's business sits on Fourth Street.
More than 130 parking spots would be eliminated if the Fourth Street route is chosen. Parallel parking would replace the existing diagonal slots.
"We have literally many thousands of spaces within the downtown. We have major parking structures - 136 spaces is not going to make a difference," Pulido said.
The second option would have the streetcar travel down Santa Ana Boulevard, Civic Center Drive and Fifth Street. It costs nearly $260 million, or about $20 million dollars more than going down Fourth Street.
"Both are options right now, and it's a good time for people to give the city input so it can decide," Pulido said.
The city council is expected to choose a route on Aug. 5.