Month: October 2010

City Awarded Federal Funding for Streetcar Planning

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The City of Cincinnati was selected to receive a $2.4 million grant through a joint program sponsored by the Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. This grant will be used for planning transit oriented development along the streetcar line, and will allow the City to adopt land use policies that will help the Cincinnati Streetcar reach its fullest potential.

From WOIO:

The City of Cincinnati will be awarded $2,400,000. Cincinnati will update its Unified Development Code to reflect the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, currently under development. The Code will designate more land area for higher density and mixed-use development through inclusionary development-by-right regulations. The Code will also include a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and Form-Based Code, incorporate the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, incorporate LEED-ND, include airport overlays, and establish site plan reviews. The project will undertake a demonstration project of TOD and inclusionary zoning regulations with the development of a new $128 million street car route.

Read the rest here.


Safest Place in OTR? A Bus Stop

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A common argument made in the comments section on the Enquirer’s website is that the streetcar will not be successful because Over-the-Rhine is too dangerous and riders waiting for the streetcar will be victims of crime.

Sheriff Simon Leis wrote in his op-ed supporting the streetcar:

I disagree with those who say streetcar riders will be sitting ducks for crime. Our Metro buses go from Uptown to Downtown through Over-the-Rhine all the time without problems. Why should the streetcar be different?

As long as the streetcar is heavily used throughout the day and night it will be safe. Because the route connects jobs, housing, schools and entertainment, this seems likely.

The Sheriff is correct. As the below chart shows, crime in Over-the-Rhine on Metro buses or at bus stops is exceedingly rare.

As part of its application for federal funds, the City of Cincinnati compiled a listing of the crimes that occurred on Metro buses or at bus stops along the streetcar line over a ten month period.  During this time there was not a single serious crime that occurred on a Metro bus or at one of the bus stops along the streetcar route in Over-the-Rhine.

Economic development, new jobs, and new activity are making Over-the-Rhine a much safer neighborhood.  The Cincinnati Streetcar will only accelerate this trend by connecting existing activity centers with new jobs and development along the streetcar’s route.  Support a Safer Cincinnati—Ride the Streetcar.

Building the Streetcar Will Create Jobs

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As part of the application for federal funding, a Economics Analysis of the Cincinnati Streetcar was conducted by HDR Decision Economics.  The full report can be accessed here.

Job creation was one of the economic impacts of the streetcar that was studied in this report.  According to the report the Cincinnati Streetcar “is expected to generate 2,157 job-years during the development phase.”

In a time of chronically high unemployment, building the Cincinnati Streetcar will help put workers in hard-hit industries like construction back to work. And the jobs created by building the Cincinnati Streetcar will employ local residents by utilizing Cincinnati based companies like Megen Construction, Jostin Concrete Construction and  Brewster Pumping.

Building the streetcar will put Cincinnatians back to work and create an asset that will benefit the future generations that will call this City home.  Create Jobs–Build the Streetcar.

Business Courier: Casino may Pay for Streetcar Extension

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From the Business Courier:

The developers of Harrah’s Entertainment casino at Broadway Commons are talking with city officials about paying for a streetcar spur that would run to the downown casino district… “Connectivity is important if you want the casino to be more than an episodic experience. We don’t want people to just drive there, gamble and leave,” said Matt Cullen, president and chief operating officer of Rock Ventures, LLC the Detroit-based company that owns casino rights in Cincinnati.