The Mayor will be guest blogging on Soapbox Media this week. An excerpt from his first post:
Let’s start with the topic that got some of the loudest applause at the State of the City and has also drawn some of the harshest criticism: The Cincinnati Streetcar.
In the address, I made it clear that the Streetcar is absolutely crucial to the future of Cincinnati. Over the last few years, we have moved forward on major projects all over the city.
- The Banks is rising out of ground.
- The construction of the new Riverfront Park is underway.
- We are building a new tallest skyscraper, the Great American Building at Queen City Square.
- Over-the-Rhine is undergoing a dramatic transformation with new businesses, hundreds of new condos, a beautiful new school, and expanded park.
- And in Uptown, we are seeing lots of new development around the University and hospitals.
The Streetcar is the project that links them all together and fuels the next round of development.
Continue reading here.
From Mayor Mallory’s 2009 State of the City Address:
“Another crucial component of GO Cincinnati calls for the development of a Streetcar system and Streetcars will have a dramatic and lasting impact on the future of Cincinnati. It will spur economic development, creating new jobs and growing our local economy. And in its first phase, it will connect uptown and downtown, our two primary employment centers.
Now, we have done our homework and the benefits of a Streetcar system are clear. Tampa developed a Streetcar in 2002 and they have seen $450 million dollars in new development, and another $450 million dollars in development is underway. In Charlotte, developers have invested $1 billion dollars since their Streetcar system was installed. And in Seattle, $1.4 billion dollars in new real estate investment has been made along their Streetcar route.
Those results are no coincidence. When a city puts rails in the ground, economic growth follows. The exact same thing will happen right here in Cincinnati. We expect to see at least $1.4 billion dollars in economic impact in the first phase, alone. And that will give us additional resources to put to use in our neighborhoods all across the city.
The benefits of the Streetcar system are too significant to allow the naysayers to derail our efforts. The facts are clear. Streetcars must be a part of Cincinnati’s future and we will fight to make it happen.”
WCPO reports Mayor Mallory will be meeting with President Obama this morning to discuss the stimulus package. One of the stimulus priorities for the Mayor is the Cincinnati Streetcar.
With an economic impact ratio of 14.1 to 1, the Streetcar represents exactly the type project that allows the City to get the most ‘bang for its buck’ out of the stimulus.
In the short term it will employ engineers, designers, and construction workers. In the long term it will lead to compact development in the core of the City which will help reduce our dependence on imported oil by creating walkable communities served by public transportation.
That is a question the proponents of the fake vintage bus trolleys need to know the answer to. A bus is a 12 year investment. If one of these trolleys is purchased today, it will last through two terms of President Obama, a term of President Biden, and still be rolling around for the inauguration of President Palin in 2021. That is of course, unless the “pilot bus trolley program” costing $14 million is abandoned after two years.
In 1999, diesel was around $0.99 a gallon. In 2007, it almost $5. What will diesel prices be in 2021? I have no idea—and neither do the fake vintage bus trolley proponents.
In 2021 we will still have an electric grid, but I don’t know what will power it. Electric streetcars can be powered by whatever fuels we discover, or whatever new technologies we create. They can run off of wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, tidal, nuclear, or coal power. In a time of transition for our energy supplies, streetcars, with their flexible sources of power, represent a smart investment for the uncertain future.
Image from: www.starlinetours.com