That is the amount of surface parking lots in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. The map below shows them in black.
To put 92 acres in perspective, that is larger than Burnet Woods, just two acres smaller than Alms Park and almost twice the size of Rapid Run Park.
Those 92 acres of surface parking have tremendous redevelopment potential. Right now a surface lot has a low property value, meaning very little property tax revenue, and may only have a single attendant, or if it is fully automated it may have no employees- creating no income tax revenue. Building the Streetcar will reduce the need for multiple parking spaces for a single car downtown. Someone who works at a law firm on Fourth could take the Streetcar to the Hamilton County Courthouse rather than drive there and occupy another space.
Only in cities where the property value downtown is very low do you see large surface parking lots—they are not the sign of a healthy city. The Cincinnati Streetcar will help redevelop these properties into condos or apartments over underground or first level parking or garages with retail shops along the street by increasing the value of property Downtown. Higher property values mean more tax revenue that can be spent in all of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods.
The Cincinnati Streetcar will increase the value of the properties along the line, it will help redevelop downtown. It will have benefits that exceed its cost by well over two to one and it will spur over a billion dollars in economic development in this City. Revitalize Cincinnati—Build the Streetcar.
Until 1950, the City reported a growth in population with every census. In 1951, Cincinnati’s streetcars stopped running and the next half century brought population declines at every enumeration. Cincinnati’s current population is about 2/3rds of what it was in 1950.
Not all neighborhoods lost population equally. In some neighborhoods like Bond Hill or Riverside the population change was only a few hundred people. But in the urban core, those neighborhoods that were built before the automobile and most dependent on transit service suffered huge population losses.
Between 1950 and 2000 Downtown and Over-the-Rhine combined lost 32,520 people—about the current size of Westwood, our most populous neighborhood. The loss from these two neighborhoods amounted to 19% of the City’s total population loss over this period.
In order to grow the tax base and provide more resources to all of the City’s 52 neighborhoods, we need to grow our population base which will provide more income and property tax receipts for the City.
Downtown and Over-the-Rhine have large numbers of vacant lots and under-utilized buildings that make them the perfect candidates to start this effort. Building the Streetcar will help attract new residents to Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, decrease the parking needed for new homes and condos, and restore fixed rail transit to an area that has been in steep decline since transit was removed. A stronger core will give the City greater resources to provide those services that are so vital to maintaining healthy neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati.
Grow our Population. Build the Streetcar.
Note: The Downtown numbers from 1950 do not include anything west of Plum Street so the total Downtown losses were probably even greater.
The Enquirer is reporting that a group led by Former Mayor Luken is attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow a casino in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and Columbus. The Cincinnati location would be Broadway Commons.
Adding a casino to Broadway Commons would be a great addition to the urban core. With a casino on Broadway Commons and The Banks underway three downtown entertainment districts would emerge, The Banks, centered at Freedom Way (1st Street) and Main, Fountain Square at 6th and Walnut, and Broadway Commons at Central Parkway (11th St.) and Broadway.
These entertainment districts would be spread out across Downtown, but the proposed streetcar line would tie them all together. If someone staying in a hotel at The Banks wanted to visit the casino, it would be about a 1.8 mile round trip walk. (1.8 miles is about the distance from the Zoo to Xavier University). With a streetcar, they can pick up the train at The Banks and get dropped off two blocks away from the casino. The travel would be both directions, as people staying in the casino’s hotel would want to ride the streetcar down to the new Central Riverfront Park.
Adding a casino to Broadway Commons would provide another destination along the streetcar line, building the streetcar would connect the casino to the rest of Downtown and Uptown. Both will create a more exciting and dynamic Downtown and increase the tax base to fund services in all 52 neighborhoods.
Downtown Cincinnati has a lot of festivals and major events. The streetcar will help bring people to those events from the neighborhoods of Uptown and it will allow people driving in to park along the line and ride the streetcar down to an event like the Taste of Cincinnati. (Street Festivals won’t shut down the Streetcar as there will be turnarounds every several blocks, for Oktoberfest for example the streetcar would run to Sixth St. and turn around).
The Streetcar will also make Sawyer Point more accessible. Instead of walking under highway overpasses and along busy streets to get to the park, visitors can take the streetcar to the Banks and walk along the Central Riverfront Park to Yeatmans Cove.
Once the Streetcar is built it will serve the following events:
- Reds Games- 81 per year
- Bengals Games- 10 per year
- Cyclones Games- 36 per year
- UC Basketball Games- 17 per year
- UC Football Games- 7 per year
- Macy’s Holiday Dazzle
- Macy’s Music Fest
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Black Family Reunion
- Midpoint Music Festival
- Music Now Festival
- Taste of Cincinnati
- Cincinnati Fringe Festival
- May Festival
- Mardi Gras at the Market
- National Cornhole Championships
- Hispanic Festival
- Earth Day Celebration; and
- The Opening Day Parade (you would probably have a streetcar in the parade).