On September 29th, Cincinnati broke ground on the Central Riverfront Park. The park will cover 45 acres and cost $66 million to build. The City estimates 1.1 million people will visit the park every year, but a question remains—how are over a million people going to access the park?
The Central Riverfront Park will have zero parking spaces. Sawyer Point, which draws about 750,000 people per year, has a parking lot with 406 spaces. Only one Metro bus, the #85 Parking Shuttle, goes to the new park, and it doesn’t run on the weekends. Visitors could park downtown and walk to the park, but it is over a mile round trip from Fountain Square to the new River Promenade. As the average American walks less than 1.5 miles day, many people won’t want to make that trip on foot.
The Banks parking garages will be available, but the Reds are in town nearly every other day in the summer, and park-goers will have to pay the cost of parking right next to the ballpark. The Bengals, Freedom Center, and the Banks residents and visitors will be using the garage as well. Think about it, who wants to park in a huge underground garage to go to a park?
The Cincinnati Streetcar will connect the Central Riverfront Park with Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and UC. A streetcar ride from Fountain Square to one block away from the park will take about two minutes. Walking would take over ten minutes each way—not an option for office workers on their lunch breaks.
The Streetcar will help visitors access the park, and make sure the Banks is part of Downtown and easily accessible. It will generate over a billion dollars in new economic activity and support the investments the city has made in the Riverfront and Findlay Market. The Streetcar is a good investment for Cincinnati.
Support Cincinnati Parks—Build the Streetcar.