A frequently asked question about the Cincinnati streetcar is, “When is it coming to my neighborhood?”
Currently, the City of Cincinnati is focused on building the current 3.6 mile loop around the Central Business District and Over-The-Rhine, where the most employers and revenue-generating entertainment is located. The next phase of the streetcar is expected to travel north on Vine Street to Uptown, Corryville, and Clifton.
But then where will it go?
It’s hard to say, as the City of Cincinnati is only 30% into its research on planning the Uptown phase. In the meantime, a University of Cincinnati student earning his Masters of Architecture outlined a longer streetcar route for an academic project. The design for this theoretical streetcar route is based on the current streetcar route, the 2002 Metro Moves light rail initiative developed by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, and the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan unanimously adopted in 2008 by the OKI Regional Council of Governments.
The light green route represents the streetcar line, and its possibility to expand outward to such neighborhoods as Westwood, Price Hill, and Camp Washington on the west side, northward to Avondale and Northside, and encompass Walnut Hills, Oakley, and Columbia-Tusculum on the east side. The academic project, entitled Metro|Cincinnati, also includes route projections for commuter rail, heavy rail (such as a subway), and extensions into Northern Kentucky.
While it will be up to the city to chart the course of the streetcar to its next neighborhood, it’s likely that it will be one or more of the communities highlighted on the Metro|Cincinnati map.
The two discussed the project with host Mark Perzel on the Cincinnati Edition show from 2-3pm today.
The discussion ranges from the current status of the project to where the next phases of streetcar and light rail work may go next. Some of the items brought up by John were similar to what he brought up on his previous radio appearances, but the group also discussed some different aspects of the project.
The show included one of the more reasonable discussions on the topic to-date. Pete Witte shared his skepticisms about the project, and shared his desires for a larger system that connects people with “jobs and books”.
The interview is split up into two segments that last a total of about 30 minutes.
John Schneider, aka Captain Transit aka Mr. Streetcar, was back on the radio this morning. He was invited to join Brian Thomas on his regular morning show on 55 KRC.
The two discussed the first phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar project in detail, and also discussed the merits of rail transportation in general.
“The fundamental problem with Cincinnati, and the fundamental opportunity is we’ve lost population and we need to repopulate our city. We have a city that was built for 500,000 people, but we only have 300,000 people today,” Schneider explained to an agreeable Thomas. “But the snow still falls on Martin Luther King Boulevard and it has to be plowed, the grass still grows in Mt. Airy Forest and it has to be cut.”
Schneider went on to explain that investing in the Cincinnati Streetcar will help stabilize the city’s tax base and repopulate the city, in perhaps the greatest challenge and opportunity the Queen City has.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Thomas spent almost the entire interview using anecdotes and anti-city hysteria to support his points, but he did loudly profess how much of a bus fan he is. You can listen to the full interview on 55 KRC’s website, or stream it below. The interview lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Now that the funding situation for phase one of the streetcar system and above-ground construction is imminent, CityBeat has decided to look back upon the years of debate over the project and highlight its top ten misrepresentations.
Check out the full story from German Lopez to read his explanations about each one of the following points.
- Streetcar funds could have been used to save police and firefighter jobs.
- The project is way too expensive.
- The project’s problems come from outside sources.
- The streetcar hasn’t increased taxes.
- The streetcar won’t foster economic development.
- Buses are just as good as streetcars.
- The streetcar really doesn’t go far enough.
- Humans can outwalk the streetcar.
- The streetcar can’t go uphill.
- The streetcar will be full of scary black guys with guns.
You can also read the full feature story in the latest print edition of CityBeat, so head out to your nearest coffee shop and flip through a copy.
You can also learn more about what streetcars are and are not by reading through our information page, or by checking out the City of Cincinnati’s FAQ page. You could also submit questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work to get the answers for you, if we don’t have them already.
It’s been a long and tumultuous path for us thus far, but it is almost all behind us now. It’s too bad there was so much misinformation spread along the way, but we certainly did our best to try to provide accurate information regarding the project.
Now, let’s get phase one running and start working on future phases to more of Cincinnati’s great neighborhoods!