Month: March 2009

Brad Thomas Interview with the New Colonist

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Fan Mail

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Occasionally we get interesting letters at here is one:

Dear []-

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!!

Best wishes,
Paul ________
Portsmouth, NH

Streetcar in Vienna, Courtesy Mike Governanti
Streetcar in Vienna, Courtesy Mike Governanti

Downtown, OTR Population 1950-2000

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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.

Enquirer: NKY Streetcar Poll

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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.