Month: May 2009

Let’s Not Be Left Behind

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This map shows the cities around the country that are building or planning streetcar lines.

From the Infrastucturist
From the Infrastucturist

This map illustrates two important things.

First, all around the country, cities are investing in urban transit. It isn’t just a West Coast phenomena or something happening only in Portland–over 30 cities are pursuing streetcars.

But in our region Cincinnati is the only city pursuing streetcars. Looking at this map, Cincinnati is the only city south of Detroit, west of Philadelphia, east of Milwaukee, and north of Atlanta that is planning a streetcar system.  For a city that has a reputation for being chronically behind the times, we are the only city in the region that is close to constructing a streetcar system.

A modern streetcar system would be an amenity that Cincinnati could offer, but our peer cities like Louisville, Indianapolis and Columbus could not. The streetcar and the vibrant urban neighborhoods it helps to create gives people who want to live in those neighborhoods other reason to choose Cincinnati. Make Cincinnati More Competitive–Build the Streetcar.

Streetcars and Development in OTR

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From this story in Cincy Magazine on the Streetcar:

On the front lines, Duane Donohue owns the former Red Top Brewery building on McMicken Street in a stretch of Over-the-Rhine that has been branded the Brewery District. A financing plan to convert the building into 20 condos fell apart last year when the economy tanked and investors pulled out. What would cinch the deal for him? More money invested in crime prevention? Litter control? Subsidizing private developments?

“Streetcar,” says Donohue. “It will make development in Over-the-Rhine happen. I think it’s cheaper than subsidizing every single unit in the neighborhood.”

On this Memorial Day

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Let us remember those who have given their lives in service to this Country.

Memorial Hall, Cincinnati
Memorial Hall, Cincinnati

Wessels’ on the Streetcar

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Joe Wessels has an excellent column on the streetcar in this week’s CityBeat:

We need to take the first step. And a route connecting downtown to Clifton and the University of Cincinnati — the area’s two biggest employment centers — makes so much sense you’d have to be crazy to think any politician is behind it. But local political leaders are in favor, in droves, starting with Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. And it’s not just because gas prices are creeping back up.