Cincinnati’s great collection of neighborhoods were built off of streetcar lines.
Cincinnati boasted some 222 miles of streetcar tracks that reached all parts of the city. The area became famous for not only its inclines, that allowed streetcars to move passengers up and down the city’s steep hillsides, but also its streetcar vehicles like the Cincinnati PCC, open-air viewing cars, or double-decker streetcars.
The massive network, at its peak, moved approximately 100 million passengers a year and allowed for many of the city’s neighborhoods to grow and prosper. This network, however, was completely ripped out and dismantled by 1951 when lines servicing Clifton and Westwood were shuttered.
Current plans for Cincinnati’s modern streetcar system include lines that would connect Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Mt. Auburn, Clifton Heights, Avondale, Corryville and potentially University Heights and Fairview. Subsequent extensions could quickly expand the network to Newport, Covington, Queensgate, Walnut Hills, Clifton, Camp Washington, Northside and the West End.
While those plans for future extensions have yet to be completed, construction is moving full steam ahead on phase one and preliminary work on phase two has already begun. Take a look at what those phase one and two lines would look like overlaid on the city’s historical streetcar network. We have lots of work to do!
In March, Covington and Newport passed this joint resolution supporting the Cincinnati Streetcar and expressing a desire to extend the Streetcar into Northern Kentucky. The text of this resolution has been reproduced here for those new to this site.
The text of the joint resolution with Newport:
WHEREAS, the Cities of Covington and Newport, Commonwealth of Kentucky (Cities) recognize that a strong and economically vital center city is necessary to support a strong and economically vital region, and that the City of Cincinnati’s proposed Streetcar Plan will bring new development, economic vitality, and greater connectivity between any of the region’s exciting cultural institutions; and
WHEREAS, the Cities understand the magnitude of such an investment requires a staged phasing approach that develops and initial critical mass of ridership and development activity within the center city neighborhoods of Cincinnati, and also understands that the system anticipates future extensions into other neighborhoods including Covington and Newport, to create improved mobility and connectivity throughout the region; and
WHEREAS, the Cities recognize the role Streetcars have in encouraging and supporting the exciting, authentic, “walk able” urban neighborhoods desired by talented young professionals, and that these neighborhoods are critical to the region’s success in competition globally for these talented people, both as residents and workers; and
WHEREAS, the Cities endorse and support the Cincinnati Streetcar Plan, its anticipated goals and outcomes, and the phases approach to bringing the benefits of the Streetcar to the region’s center city communities.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF COVINGTON, KENTON COUNTY, KENTUCKY:
Section 1: That the Cities enthusiastically approve the efforts of Cincinnati to develop and implement the Cincinnati Streetcar Plan, and offer their support toward the timely implementation of the Streetcar Plan.
Section 2: That this order/resolution shall take effect and be in full force when passed and recorded according to law.
Press Release From Cincinnati World Cinema:
With GM in bankruptcy and Cincinnati voters preparing for a critical vote on rail transit, a film screening here July 14-15 offers a rare perspective on events that profoundly shaped the nation’s transportation profile. The movie is “Taken for A ride,” a documentary, made in 1996 by Wright State University professor and Oscar-nominated documentary maker Jim Klein. It looks at how and why streetcars disappeared from U.S. cities, and the role played by GM in that process. Both screenings will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie arts center in Covington as a benefit for Southern Ohio Filmmakers Association and Cincinnati World Cinema. Also on the bill is “A Crack in the Pavement” by Andrea Torrice, a short film that looks at the issues around urban sprawl. Jim Klein and Andrea Torrice will be present on July 14 for a question-and-answer session after the film. The July 14 program will include a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. Only July 15, Andrea Torrice, Liz Blume of Xavier Community Building Institute and Madeira City Manager Tom Moeller will discuss urban/suburban growth issues after the show.
Tickets to the July 14 screening are Only $12 in advance!
Thanks to our generous sponsors, ticket prices to the July 14 benefit screening of “Taken for A Ride” have been reduced! Now only $12 in advance and $15 at the door (plus $1 Carnegie facility fee)..
Tickets to the July 15 screeing are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
Tickets are on sale now online at www.cincyworldcinema.org.
In person at: Lookout Joe in Mt. Lookout, Shake It Music & Video in Northside Sitwell’s Coffee Emporium in Clifton Coffee Emporium downtown in the Emery Building.
Learn more at www.cincyworldcinema.org.