Over 75 people turned out for a 3.6-mile bike ride along the Cincinnati Streetcar route held last week. Margy and Mel Ride Bikes, a community group of leisure bicyclers, organized the ridealong tour which started at Findlay Market. Social media and word-of-mouth attracted the large number of participants, who ranged from streetcar supporters to those who knew little about the route and were curious to see where it would go.
Led by Sarah Perrino, City of Cincinnati Transportation Designer, and Chris Eilerman, Streetcar Project Manager, the tour showcased an up-close look at the construction progress and discussed the milestones for completion. Cyclists rang their bells at each of the stops to indicate where the streetcar will pick up future passengers. Queen City Bike was also on hand to provide safety demonstrations on how to ride carefully during construction, and how to ride a bike on a street with rails in the ground. Traveling the entire loop took around 90 minutes.
Cincinnati’s streetcars will have room to hold six bicycles per vehicle, which can easily be wheeled on board with curb-level boarding. In contrast, a METRO bus only holds two bicycles per vehicle, which must be hoisted and secured on the exterior rack without any assistance from the bus driver. Children’s bikes are too small to fit in the rack, and bikes are not permitted inside the bus. If the rack is full, you must wait for another bus.
Departing from Findlay Market, bicyclers traveled north along Elm Street, passing the Maintenance and Operations Facility construction on Henry Street, then rode south on Race Street through Over-the-Rhine. Crossing Central Parkway, the route continues south into the Central Business District on Walnut Street, looping around at The Banks and back north on Main Street. Returning to Over-the-Rhine, the tour rode along 12th Street to Elm Street, then back to Findlay Market. Afterwards, the cyclists convened at Rhinegeist, a brewery that opened on the route this summer inside the historic Christian Moerlein Brewery.