Streetcars are Critical for Cincinnati’s Continued Growth

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The construction of a modern streetcar system is important not just for the continued growth of Downtown and Uptown Cincinnati, but the region as a whole.  The Cincinnati Streetcar, running from Uptown to Downtown and the Riverfront, will spur new housing, retail, and investment in the urban core. The Streetcar is projected to create $1.4 billion dollars of economic development along the route in the Downtown and Over-the-Rhine portions alone

It will create a more walkable and vibrant city with greater job prospects for its citizens.  The influx of new residents, new stores, and new activity will get more eyes out on the street, leading to fewer opportunities for criminals. Crime in Over the Rhine is down more than 35% in the past several years.  Building the Cincinnati Streetcar will only help this trend continue.

The streetcar’s benefits will not only help the urban core—the entire region will benefit from the Cincinnati Streetcar.  Expanding the streetcar to Northern Kentucky and the Uptown Hospitals, will connect the largest employment centers in the region and add many new destinations along the line.

More importantly, the streetcar will change perceptions about the city.  It will stand as a tangible symbol of progress.  Cincinnati is a city that too often looks to its failures instead of its successes.  The streetcar, along with construction of a new tallest building and the long awaited Banks project, will help defeat that stigma.

In order to continue growing, the region must attract and retain all types of residents, including young professionals and those who want to live in the types of lively urban area that improved public transit creates.  Automobile based suburbs with houses on large lots and quiet streets appeal to many people, but in virtually every city around the country, suburbs tend to be similar.

If someone wishes to live in a new suburban house and eat at Applebees, what is the greater appeal of the new suburban house and Applebees in West Chester over the house and Applebees in Phoenix, or Atlanta, or Columbus? Climate, location, and the draw of the region’s core make the difference.  While two of the three can’t be changed, strengthening the center city can make our whole area more attractive, and the streetcar will do just that.

Thousands of students graduate from our region’s universities each year. If we have a dense, vibrant core, we will able to retain a larger number of them.  New investment in the core will lead to more jobs, population, and economic growth, benefiting the all of Greater Cincinnati.

The Go Cincinnati Report, a study commissioned by Mayor Mallory and researched by the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce outlining recommendations for a strategic approach for economic development, stated “there is probably no infrastructure investment that will have more long term and tax-generation benefit to the City than the streetcar line.”  This is an opportunity for the City of Cincinnati to make a bold statement of progress, to increase jobs and grow its population.  An investment in the Cincinnati Streetcar will move our city forward and help the continued revitalization of the urban core.

One thought on “Streetcars are Critical for Cincinnati’s Continued Growth

    Adam said:
    August 13, 2009 at 11:27 am

    “In order to continue growing, the region must attract and retain all types of residents, including young professionals and those who want to live in the types of lively urban area that improved public transit creates.”

    Definitely. I have friends come in from Chicago to visit all the time, and they often tell me they would more strongly considering living here in Cincy if there was a good public transportation system like the El in Chicago.

    It’s certainly been a discouraging adjustment that I have to drive EVERYWHERE

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