March 31, 2009
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March 31, 2009
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Occasionally we get interesting letters at Cincystreetcar.com here is one:
I applaud you, the Mayor and all the people of your fine city who are supporting and open-minded about the streetcar proposal.
I wish I could financially support your efforts but my job was phased out and I am on the verge of losing my home. Nevertheless, if circumstances change, even slightly, I promise to make a donation to what could possibly change for the better the entire area. I have seen streetcars give a major shot in the arm not just to the economy but to the spirits of citizens who never even realized what a boost a streetcar can be.
We don’t have streetcars here but whenever I am in a city that does, I never hesitate to hop on.
Good luck with what you are all aiming toward. I think when the tracks are laid and people realize it is permanent (something bus routes are not) and new businesses start opening and older busineses start sprucing up…..all the naysayers who balk now, will change their tune.
Have faith and I am certain your efforts and those of so many will be rewarded.
Bravo!!!! I can’t wait to ride the first streetcar!!
March 30, 2009
Until 1950, the City reported a growth in population with every census. In 1951, Cincinnati’s streetcars stopped running and the next half century brought population declines at every enumeration. Cincinnati’s current population is about 2/3rds of what it was in 1950.
Not all neighborhoods lost population equally. In some neighborhoods like Bond Hill or Riverside the population change was only a few hundred people. But in the urban core, those neighborhoods that were built before the automobile and most dependent on transit service suffered huge population losses.
Between 1950 and 2000 Downtown and Over-the-Rhine combined lost 32,520 people—about the current size of Westwood, our most populous neighborhood. The loss from these two neighborhoods amounted to 19% of the City’s total population loss over this period.
In order to grow the tax base and provide more resources to all of the City’s 52 neighborhoods, we need to grow our population base which will provide more income and property tax receipts for the City.
Downtown and Over-the-Rhine have large numbers of vacant lots and under-utilized buildings that make them the perfect candidates to start this effort. Building the Streetcar will help attract new residents to Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, decrease the parking needed for new homes and condos, and restore fixed rail transit to an area that has been in steep decline since transit was removed. A stronger core will give the City greater resources to provide those services that are so vital to maintaining healthy neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati.
Grow our Population. Build the Streetcar.
Note: The Downtown numbers from 1950 do not include anything west of Plum Street so the total Downtown losses were probably even greater.
March 27, 2009
The Enquirer has a poll on their website asking if streetcars connecting NKY and Cincinnati are a good investment. A large majority of the respondents think streetcars are a good idea.
March 26, 2009
Some are concerned about the impact building the Cincinnati Streetcar will have on the budget. Because the Streetcar will be funded from a variety of sources, the impact on the budget will be relatively small.
The City has committed $61 million to the project. Of that sum, $25 million is tax increment financing which can only be spent in Downtown or Over-the-Rhine and does not impact the rest of the budget. The remaining $36 million comes from the sale of the Blue Ash Airport ($11 million) and the capital budget, the budget used for transportation infrastructure like roads and bridges ($25 million). This $36 million will not all be spent at once; it will be spent over several years. No funds will come from the Operating Budget—the budget that pays for health clinics, police, fire, and operating parks and recreation centers.
Cincinnati’s most recent biennial budget totaled $2,540,200,000.00. Because the Streetcar funds will be spent over several years, it makes sense to compare it to a multi-year budget. The graph below shows the spending on the Streetcar that affects the budget in relation to the total amount of City spending. With the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars of benefit for Cincinnati and a budget impact of $36 million, the Cincinnati Streetcar is too good of an investment to pass up. Support Cincinnati. Build the Streetcar.
March 25, 2009
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Across the country the pattern is the same–when streetcars are installed, development follows. According to the Streetcar Feasibility Study, Cincinnati can expect $1.4 billion in new economic activity along the route.
Here is a list of the cities that have installed streetcars since 2000 and the amount of development that has occurred around those lines. None of these lines have been open for more than a decade, and some have been open for just a few years, so even more development is expected occur.
- Portland: $2,800,000,000
- Seattle: $1,400,000,000
- Tampa: $1,100,000,000
- Charlotte: $1,000,000,000
- Little Rock: $ 700,000,000
- Tacoma: $ 680,000,000
- Kenosha: $ 175,000,000
Support Economic Development in Cincinnati. Build the Streetcar.
All figures from the Feasibility Study except Seattle and Charlotte which are from the Mayor’s 2009 State of the City.
March 24, 2009
The Enquirer is reporting that Newport has endorsed the Cincinnati Streetcar and would like to see it extended into Kentucky.
Extending the line would be great for both Cincinnati and Newport connecting attractions like the Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, and the Ovation development as well as linking Newport to Downtown and Uptown.
Running from Newport to the Zoo the Streetcar would link almost every major attraction in the urban core.
March 23, 2009
At the southeast of the Streetcar line, a lot of construction is underway. The Banks (in the foreground of the picture below) is under construction, and Queen City Square (the background) is rising at the rate of about a floor a week and will soon become the City’s new tallest building.
It is 1.3 miles round trip from Queen City Square to the Hamilton County Courthouse, but a streetcar would cut that trip to a one block walk—something especially welcome if you are transporting large numbers of documents to the court.
With a Streetcar, students and their parents visiting the University of Cincinnati from out of town could stay at one of the new hotels on the Banks and ride the Streetcar up to Clifton for the campus tour.
These two projects will have a combined economic impact of $3.5 billion ($1.9 billion for the Banks, $1.6 for Queen City Square).
The Cincinnati Streetcar will connect these projects with the rest of Downtown and Uptown and spur an additional $1.4 billion in economic development. These development projects will ensure that Downtown and Uptown, which have 54% of the jobs in the City and produce much of the income taxes that fund the important services in the other 46 neighborhoods will remain strong.