Cincinnati is constructing the new Central Riverfront Park just south of the Banks project, reconnecting Downtown with the region’s most valuable natural resource—the Ohio River. 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?
Unlike virtually every other park in the city, the Central Riverfront Park will have zero dedicated parking spaces. Sawyer Point, which draws about 750,000 people per year, has a parking lot with 406 spaces. Only one Metro bus, the No. 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 more than 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 Banks residents and visitors will be using the garage as well. Think about it – who wants to pay to park in a huge underground garage to go to a park?
The Cincinnati Streetcar will connect the Central Riverfront Park with Downtown, Uptown, Over-the-Rhine and the University of Cincinnati. A streetcar ride from Fountain Square to a block away from the park will take about two minutes. Walking would take more than 10 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 connect the 62,163 residents who live along the line, the employees that work in the City’s two largest employment centers (containing 54% of the jobs in the entire city), the 35,000 students of the University of Cincinnati, and the millions of visitors, hotel guests, and conventioneers that come to Downtown each year with our new investments along the riverfront.
The Cincinnati Streetcar will generate more than a billion dollars in new economic activity and support the investments the city has made in the Riverfront, Fountain Square, and Findlay Market—leading to increased tax revenues that can be used in all 52 neighborhoods. Support the Central Riverfront Park—Build the Streetcar.