Yesterday, I blogged about my friend and accountant who gave us a quick-shot, not-so-hot reaction to riding the streetcar for the first time. There, I called it a streetcar. I want to take it seriously, because I am their customer: the line connects near enough to my home and work to be an option and I intend to take it once the silly stuff dies down. (see silly stuff, below). My greatest concern and hope for the line is that this isn't the end but a beginning. One of my bus drivers noted the line extends a few feet past its stopping point on the Fairview end. He's sure, and so am I, that the line is built to connect throughout the city. This was the easiest way to get a transpo project started in Seattle, because once we start talking and chewing an issue, it's as though we never stop. Ending up with the streetcar is a bit like finding a parking spot in this city. If you know how to read the signs, it's not as hard as it looks. Of course it doesn't hurt when the mayor, City Council and Vulcan are all bent on pushing forward with a project. But now that it's running, it is ours, too, if we want to make something of it. If the line extends to the U-District, it establishes a N-S in-city connection point that has the potential to redefine two neighborhoods: the University area, and Eastlake. There's also the bike-friendly factor. Instead of hauling a bike in front of the old bus, the streetcar can take bikes in the center section. Easy on, easy off. One of the biggest factors against biking in the city is dealing with downtown drivers. But biking to the SLU area from the north, at least, has some possibilities for regular riders. Someone at least consider a latte stand with a big bike enclosure. Cuteness aside, a passenger-friendly commuting experience would change the game. Today, buses are transportation chutes and we treat them as such. It would be thrilling to enjoy the experience the way Portlanders do. We should spend the time to turn it into a real option for the city. Now, a reprise of yesterday's silly stuff: Chris Dowsing had to say he rode the S.L.U.T. today. Chris, who happens to be my accountant, works nearby and wasn't going to miss out on the pomp and ceremony, largely because he's the kind of guy who likes to takes pins along to take the wind out of pomp. He's also one funny tax professional, which you don't find every day. Susan Paynter, now retired as a Seattle P-I columnist, once described him as acerbic and -- her phrase -- colorful. After all the officials cleared from today's opening ride, Chris jumped on board and rode from the Westlake stop at one end of the line to the SLU/Fred Hutch stop at the other. His verdict: "Underwhelmed." He'd been genuinely hoping otherwise. Instead, "it was as exciting as a wheelchair ride in a hospital. For $52 million, they could have left 15 thousand Vespas around town." Or: "install a moving walkway, like they have at the airport." His biggest gripes: it's slow (41 minutes round-trip, as promised, but that means a 19-minute lunch hour for some). He reports seeing people walking faster than the streetcar. It's also jerky. Running on an electric motor, every passenger felt every stop. Otherwise, he has to admit, like most of us do, "it's cute." His suggested name for one of the cars is "Jane." For Saturday Night Live fans, that would be as in "Jane, you ignorant..." Not bad for a tax professional.