*

*
Politics Extra
Enquirer reporters give the scoop on what your politicians are doing


Jessica Brown,
Hamilton County reporter


Jon Craig,
Enquirer statehouse bureau


Jane Prendergast,
Cincinnati City Hall reporter


Malia Rulon,
Enquirer Washington bureau


Carl Weiser,
Blog editor


Howard Wilkinson,
politics reporter

Powered by Blogger

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mallory on Streetcars

In his State of the City address, Mayor Mark Mallory called building a streetcar line a priority - from downtown to Uptown.

He clarified later that he didn't mean he doesn't support the rest of the proposed project, a loop through Over-the-Rhine. He considers them part of the same project and considers them separate phases only in the sense that funding is being pursued only for the OTR loop. But that's temporary, he said - funding eventually will be pursued for the rest of it too.

The streetcar proposal is scheduled for a hearing at council's finance committee Feb. 25 (1 p.m.) Committee chairman John Cranley sent out a nine-page list of questions about the proposal. He specifically said he would be able to support the streetcar idea much more readily if it connected downtown and Uptown, the city's two main job centers. Otherwise, he said, supporters may have a difficult time convincing him.

Cranley also asked for comparisons to rubber-tire trolley cars. But Mallory says no to the rubber tire kind.

"Those can go anywhere," he said. "You don't get the economic spinoff benefit. That's why it's got to be a dedicated line. Transportation done right is economic development."


33 Comments:

at 4:07 PM, February 08, 2008 Blogger ROBERT said...

What the heck is in our water?

 
at 4:09 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous bert said...

Stupid idea, is it in our water??

 
at 4:53 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea and will really cement the redevelopment of OTR and Mt. Auburn. The city needs this.

 
at 4:55 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous 101 million ways to waste money said...

You might as well put the streetcar in water, it'll have just as much effect on the community.

 
at 5:15 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous The Multimodal Traffic Engineer said...

Those who comment on "waste"...

Was it a waste for Mason to put expensive medians on their roads, complete with lighting and landscaping? Is it a waste for Mason to redo their downtown? Was their city hall a waste?

Waste, is in the eye of the beholder. What you think of waste may be someone else's great idea.

Why not think multimodally? Will it take six dollar gas for that to happen? Or are people so entrenched in car culture that they'll let their society die with the death of petroleum age?

Certainly, a streetcar is not going to work alone. A streetcar is not meant to completely replace other modes of transportation; rather, it is meant to complement them. Working together, all modes of transportation can lead to a better city and region.

 
at 5:22 PM, February 08, 2008 Blogger Brandon said...

Why does everyone in Cincy have such a problem with the idea of rail transit? It worked very well for 100 years until we ripped out the streetcars. During that time downtown and the surrounding areas thrived. The modern streetcars are even better than those. Have any of you ever ridden on one? I have and they are great. This is Cincy's best option to further spur more development downtown. The momentum is there now and this will send it over the top. Everyone keeps saying that these are a waste of money, but i can't remember the last time I-71 or 75 made a net profit for the year. Roads are a money pit and the streetcars are much more sustainable. If you have a problem with the streetcars, why don't you do a little bit of research so you can sound intellegent when you say it won't work?

 
at 5:26 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Non-OTR City Resident said...

This is a project solely for the benefit of council members with financial interests in downtown, OTR and the West End.

It commits all of the city's capital dollars for the next several years to this one project. Nothing is left for any developments outside of these three communities.

The property owners who have been warehousing building/lots in the areas that will see benefits should be forced to fund more of this idea.

The continued use of TIFFs in the same areas is unsustainable and puts on undue tax burden on the rest of the city's homeowners. It is hypocritical for council to talk about affordable housing without taking into account the impact their continued granting of TIFFs has on the equation.

 
at 6:14 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous A Concerned Reader said...

The hearing is Feb. 25, not Monday.

 
at 6:16 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Bob Fulton said...

You have made a great point! Instead of a trolley (that would be folly), why not bring back the canals, and have mini barges transport passengers from downtown to OTR? How about steam driven barges for that old timey feel!
Wow! this is getting better and better!
Cincinnati could be renamed "The Venice of the Midwest" I love it! Eventually, we could extent the canal out east, maybe even to Clermont County!

 
at 6:24 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Westwood. It must go to Westwood.

 
at 7:04 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is a project solely for the benefit of council members with financial interests in downtown, OTR and the West End.

It commits all of the city's capital dollars for the next several years to this one project. Nothing is left for any developments outside of these three communities."

See, the idea is that if you invest in these communities, new (wealthier) residents will flock to them. As they move into the city, they bring their tax dollars with them. So, in the end, MORE money will be available for the other communities because the City's tax base will grow through investment such as this.

The streetcar project has very little to do with short term practicality. It is a gesture by the city that it is committed to the redevelopment efforts that are currently underway.

 
at 7:24 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Massive redeveloping is being done in OTR NOW even without the streetcar. Go ahead and build the streetcar, but please, use NO tax money. Do it privately.

 
at 7:42 PM, February 08, 2008 Blogger UncleRando said...

It's great that Mallory gets it...I'm looking forward to getting a place in OTR once this thing is operational. It will easily make OTR the most prime real estate in the City.

 
at 8:57 PM, February 08, 2008 Blogger oakiehigh said...

Seriously people, you need to do research before you start balking at this. FIRST AND FOREMOST, I won't lie. If you don't live in or around OTR, this is not going to benefit you. This is not suppose to be a tourist attraction. It is to benefit the GENERATION of people who have an open mind and big hopes for Cincinnati's urban core and want to be a part of it. If you don't want to be a part of it, that's fine...........Keep you mouth shut!

The city has invested millions in ALL other neighborhoods over the years and neglected OTR for decades. NOW, she will get her fair share!

Is that why you don't want this to suceed though?
That is a pretty poor answer.

Frankly, I don't care what someone in Westwood, West Chester, or China thinks. I was born and raised in Bridgetown and I am placing my money on the city center before gas hits $8 a gallon. (Just got back from Germany and that is what they are paying.) It's coming, People!!!

It's only a matter of time folks!! The bubble has bursted! We don't need to spend millions on turning 75 into 10 lanes. WE NEED ANOTHER FORM OF TRANSIT HERE!!!!!!!!!ALONG WITH MORE MODERN BUSES. This city will need to be able to compete with other cities.

There are a lot of people with a vested interest in this master plan. NOT JUST THE POLITICIANS. This is only the beginning of what 3CDC and many other individual interests have in mind. If you connect this to Uptown, it will be even that much more successful. This would connect the two most powerful economic neighborhoods in the city. It will spur an increase in college students living along the line. Of course this will pay off in the end. Maybe in ten years, you will realize just how negative and ignorant you really sound. Next time you drive by OTR FROM I-75, try and take notice of some of the remaining buildings left and give me one reason WHY they shouldn't invest any money here. There are NOT too many cities who can claim a have a NATIONAL HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD ON THERE BACK PORCH. (Not to mention one of America's most Endangered neighborhoods) This place really is something special and all of your CHEAP SUBURBAN ARCHITECTURE, derives from these styles of 18th century beauties.

 
at 1:19 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Non OTR City Resident said...

It appears that the supporters on this blog don't have a clear idea of what they are supporting. They all hail it as a great transportation alternative and an answer to the need to build more highways. Even its staunchest supporters on Council realize that is not what it is. They are selling it strictly as an engine for economic development. Development I might add that they have already committed millions to and is taking place without this boondoggle.

I find it interesting that Council is only concerned with attracting residents to these neighborhoods. The answer to building a bigger tax base is not to shift the problems of OTR, downtown, and the West End to other neighborhoods and failing to invest elsewhere, thus driving those residents from the city.

I also have grave concerns about the ability to absorb all this development in OTR plus the addition of residential on The Banks. Scan the MLS, and there already is a serious over supply of condo units available and the answer is to add more? especially in the housing environment that we are currently in?

I think it is great that there are people on this blog who are anxious to move downtown and OTR. I wonder how many though will continue to wat to call this area home, once they have school aged children. Are you going to stay and send your children to the public schools or flee to the burbs like most already have?

 
at 9:37 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writer (oakiehigh) was wrong when he mentioned that Council has supported other neighborhoods in the past. Cincinnati has avoided the neighborhoods (as well as OTR) as the neighborhood system does not matter to Council. The vacant lots (where housing used to be) in Price Hill, Westwood, Evanston, Walnut Hills, and OTR. show City neglect. And this lack of housing will add no riders to any rail system

 
at 10:00 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I also have grave concerns about the ability to absorb all this development in OTR plus the addition of residential on The Banks."

The market is determining the need for condos in downtown and OtR. Who are you to question what developers want to place their bets? Private interests aren't going to put their dollars on the line if they don't think they'll get a return on their investments.

 
at 10:42 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud all of you brave enough to try something new to revive our city. Those who are stuck in the past deserve to get the same results from the same efforts.

Onward and upward!!!

 
at 10:46 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mallory would make a great streetcar conductor.

 
at 11:00 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cincinnati doesn't need a trolley line. It needs high-speed rail connecting it to Columbus and Cleveland initially, then Lexington and Indianapolis. Why is Mallory looking backward instead of forward?

 
at 12:11 PM, February 09, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

"Go ahead and build the streetcar, but please, use NO tax money. Do it privately."
How would a private investor make any profit ?
The entity that stands to gain the most is the city through increased revenue from income taxes, licensing, permits & stuff.
Further, the private investor would have to pay the city for the use of the street.

 
at 12:13 PM, February 09, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

Oakiehigh, NOBODY wants to live near college students !

 
at 2:22 PM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Parker thinks that money should be used of HEALTHCARE for the people of OHIO and not serve the corporate interests.

People are denied the AMERICAN DREAM because we spend OUR money on projects like this instead of what really matters.

Keep your eyes open, Jim Parker will be knocking on your door soon BECAUSE HE BELIEVES IN THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHWEST OHIO.

 
at 2:22 PM, February 09, 2008 Blogger Jimmy_James said...

"Cincinnati doesn't need a trolley line. It needs high-speed rail connecting it to Columbus and Cleveland initially, then Lexington and Indianapolis. Why is Mallory looking backward instead of forward?"

It needs both. It also needs light rail to tie in the suburbs. But of these things, only the streetcar is a possibility NOW. We need to start small by adding this first streetcar line, and then gradually add the phases to connect Clifton, the West End, and NKY. Hopefully, eventually, we'll get the light rail and high speed regional rail, but we can't wait for those things to happen first. We need to seize our opportunities to improve our inadequate mass transit system as they present themselves.

 
at 9:23 PM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:42 unclerando >> good post! Enjoyed the laugh.

 
at 12:01 AM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Light rail is a money pit - pure and simple. The city doesn't have the money to pay for it or to subsidize it. The last time the voters were asked, they turned it down by 2 to 1. Or, doesn't that count?

The city has been "seizing opportunities" (means throwing away taxpayer's money on private enterprise) for over 40 years - and what good has it got us?

I thought the $53 mil to Convergys was going to be a "catalyst" to grow downtown. The stadiums were supposed to "jump start" Riverfront development. All they've "jump started" is more demands for public funding. These big buck giveaways are NOT working.

 
at 10:50 AM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

QUIM,

Why should tax revenues be used to aid private investment as in the case of the streetcar aiding the OTR private rehabbing? Do we not now have too many giveaways to Corporations (for campaign money)?

 
at 11:30 AM, February 10, 2008 Blogger The Nati Life said...

Would all the naysayers please get with the times? Frankly, it's embarrassing that we don't have any sort of mass transit. And don't say that we have buses. Cities like Akron have buses. We claim we are a world-class city. World-class cities don't get around by cars and buses. It's a joke.

 
at 5:30 PM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets a little tiring to hear that some want mass transit to dominate our cities and be like "Europe". Socialistic Europe has mass transit and Europe is a second rate continent. The best of Europe moved here generations ago and are now called Americans. Stop wanting us to be "Europe". Wish for better.

 
at 9:53 PM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:30 Nati Life >> "Cincinnati" & "world-class" in the same sentence??
Where do you live?

 
at 10:27 AM, February 11, 2008 Blogger The Nati Life said...

^The Problem.

 
at 7:30 PM, February 11, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

"Why should tax revenues be used to aid private investment as in the case of the streetcar aiding the OTR private rehabbing"
The revenues gained are projected to cover the money invested. It's not exactly a giveaway like with Saks.

 
at 9:39 PM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

QUIM 7:30

It (tax to build trolley) is exactly the same type of giveaway (as Saks). Saks provides jobs and other economic benifits to the City, not to mention supplying Cincinnati with first class retail.

 
Post a Comment*

Links to this post:

Create a Link

* Our online blogs currently are hosted and operated by a third party, namely, Blogger.com. You are now leaving the Cincinnati.Com website and will be linked to Blogger.com's registration page. The Blogger.com site and its associated services are not controlled by Cincinnati.Com and different terms of use and privacy policy will apply to your use of the Blogger.com site and services.

By proceeding and/or registering with Blogger.com you agree and understand that Cincinnati.Com is not responsible for the Blogger.com site you are about to access or for any service you may use while on the Blogger.com site.

<< Home


Blogs
Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Cincytainment
Who's News
Television
Roller Derby Diva
Art
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
cincyMOMS
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
Bengals
High school sports
NCAA
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff
Soundcheck