This is a guest post from Jean-Francois Flechet, a Belgian immigrant who came to this country and established his own small business–Taste of Belgium Waffles. He now has two locations in Cincinnati and Columbus.
I am writing this post to express my support to the Cincinnati Streetcar.
I am a small business owner; I have a store located in the middle of Over-The-Rhine in the Historic Findlay Market.
I love Cincinnati and I particularly love OTR, the architecture is fantastic, it’s a jewel for Cincinnati and the State of Ohio. I wish I could have lived in that neighborhood at the beginning of the 20th century and see OTR when it was thriving.
OTR was thriving up to the 30s when it felt as a victim of Prohibition, wiping out the many saloons and breweries that helped the neighborhood thrive. Now, by allocating the funds to build the Cincinnati Streetcar the City has a chance of saving Over-The-Rhine.
To me, the streetcar is about a lot more than just moving people; it’s about saving OTR. It’s about bringing new residents to this beautiful neighborhood, it’s about expanding Findlay Market and creating a striving community where people can find all they need locally, in an environment where they do not need to jump in their car every time they have to leave their house. It’s about promoting a neighborhood that was created when cities were made for pedestrians and not for cars.
The streetcar is about economic development. It is the ONLY credible project that I have seen in the past 10 years that truly has a chance of changing the face of OTR and bring the neighborhood back to life.
The minute we start building the streetcar, people will buy houses in OTR, rehab them, people will move in, new businesses will open. The economic impact of the streetcar on the city is amazing. An independent study by UC shows that the benefit to cost ratio of the streetcar is 14:1.
What better project do we have to invest our money in? Please join me in supporting the Cincinnati Streetcar.