Running streetcars may seem hip and kewl, but Portland's slowly discovering a downside: broken windshields and side panels as trucks and other vehicles collide with them. It's now happening about every other month, and each time, a streetcar spends a week in the shop.
It was one thing to run them around downtown, but then in their infinite wisdom, they decided it'd be hip&kewl to run them into the inner southeast industrial district. You don't see semi-trucks downtown very often, but they're all over the inner southeast. And they have a wide turning radius. You might think that since the streetcars only run at 4 to 5 mph they'd have plenty of time to slow to a stop as the trucks are trying to make their turns, but apparently, streetcars are special. They'll keep rolling along, right into the path of the semi.
Even cyclists are less than overjoyed; there've been many reports of wheels getting caught in the tracks, with the result that they end up taking a header over the front of their beloved bikes. Y'know...I'm no "planner", but I'm beginning to suspect that maybe - just maybe - sticking railroad tracks into roadways and running pokey streetcars along them isn't the brightest idea to come along.