Streetcars Improve the Urban Environment

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In addition to providing connectivity and stimulating economic development, streetcars improve the urban environment in additional ways. Because they are electric, they don’t produce street level emissions. Diesel fumes really detract from patrons enjoying sidewalk cafes or people enjoying the parks along the route.

Same with the noise. Buses are very loud, especially when as they reach the end of their service life, while streetcars quietly glide along the rails. Think of how many times you have been walking down a street missed what someone was saying on your cell phone due to the noise of a passing bus.

If we want to attract more residents to live downtown and in Over-the-Rhine, we need to focus on improving the urban environment. The streetcars will do that more than adding more buses on a downtown loop ever could. Streetcars will bring economic development, population growth, and mobility. Buses will bring mobility, but the increased noise and emissions, along with their impermanence, will cut down on their potential to create growth and development.

Streetcar_Sidewalk Cafe

One thought on “Streetcars Improve the Urban Environment

    Randy Simes said:
    January 26, 2009 at 10:39 am

    That picture is really telling. I would never sit out and enjoy a meal that close to moving traffic for fear that I would lose my life…not to mention the poor experience I would have with the direct emissions and noise.

    Our city was built with streetcars and more human-scale modes of transportation in mind. We should be doing everything in our power to best work with the resources and urban form that we have.

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