In 1950 Cincinnati had a multi-modal transportation system that served a city of over half a million residents. Following that year, we dismantled our public transportation infrastructure and began to invest almost exclusively in roadways. In the following decades, our population rapidly declined to its current level of 333,336 nearly a 33% decrease from its peak.
At present we have a system of roads in our city, but little public transportation infrastructure. As we continue to build our city, the type of future transportation infrastructure investments we select will shape our growth. We have to decide, if we are making transportation investment along a corridor, do we want to widen the existing roads or add rail transit?
Both options will reduce congestion and increase the capacity of the corridor, but building rail transit provides a host of secondary benefits of the citizens of Cincinnati that widening roads does not. This chart shows the future outcomes associated with both options:
As illustrated above, adding rail provides numerous secondary benefits not only for those using the corridor, but in the case of higher property values and less pollution, benefits that help the entire city in the form of higher tax revenues and cleaner air. Support a Better Future for our City–Expand our Transportation Options.
Note: As the roadway system in the city already exists, the modal advantages of single occupancy automobiles (for example, not having to rely on pre-scheduled trips) are already present to automobile users and are not enhanced by the addition of extra lanes. Therefore those items have been excluded from the chart which deals only with future benefits from transportation improvements.