Guest Post: Why Cincinnati Needs Streetcars

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Guest post by Randy Simes, editor of UrbanCincy:

Cincinnati has a rich history and one that has grown into a strong, unique and powerful city through the 20th Century.  From pigs and soap, to branding and design, Cincinnati has risen to the challenge of meeting the demands of the new economies.  What will happen over the next century is still to be seen for what was the most important city built west of the Appalachian Mountains for many years.

In order to stay competitive in the 21st Century it has been seen that cities will have to attract the best and brightest talent.  That talent is in turn being attracted to cities where social capital is grown and cultivated, but it is imperative that this talent come and stay here in Cincinnati.  Part of that answer is the Cincinnati Streetcar.  The Cincinnati Streetcar will introduce rail transit to Cincinnati and will make living in the center city easier for those who wish to live car-free or prefer to use other means of transportation like walking, bicycling or transit.

The best and brightest talent has been voting with their feet over the past ten years and they are heading for places like Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, Denver and in the Midwest’s case, Minneapolis.  These cities are working hard to create livable urban spaces that cultivate this social capital experience that is going to determine the winners and losers of the next great economic shift.  The Cincinnati Streetcar is crucial in moving in that direction to stay competitive, and it will help us in other livable qualities.  I want to have a better Cincinnati for not only those of us here now, but the next generation to come.  Support Cincinnati’s future and support the Cincinnati Streetcar.

What do America’s Top Ten Cities Have in Common?

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Outside Magazine published this list of America’s Top Ten Cites.  One thing they all have in common—Streetcars.  Every city on the list is either operating or in the planning stages for a streetcar system.  Do great cities build streetcars, or do streetcars build great cities? Or both?

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Advanced Planning for a Streetcar

Atlanta, Georgia: Operates Heavy Rail, Advanced Planning for a Streetcar

Austin, Texas: Operates Commuter Rail, Planning Streetcar

Boston, Massachusetts: Operates Subway and Streetcar

Charlotte, North Carolina: Operates Light Rail, Constructing a Streetcar

Cincinnati, Ohio: Planning a Streetcar

Colorado Springs, Colorado: Preliminary Planning for a Streetcar

Minneapolis, Minnesota: Operates Light Rail, Planning a Streetcar

Portland, Oregon: Operates Light Rail and Streetcar

Seattle, Washington: Operates Light Rail and Streetcar