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Monday, March 24, 2008

Two more weeks before streetcar vote

Cincinnati City Council Finance Committee -- which includes eight of nine council members -- will wait another two weeks before voting on the streetcar proposal.

Chris Bortz didn't submit the motion he described last week, meant to set city officials to work seeking funds. Instead, Roxanne Qualls brought in a motion that would require the city to build a connector line -- David Crowley called it a "finger" -- from Over-the-Rhine to Uptown at the same time as the original downtown/OTR system.

After some wrangling between Bortz and chairman John Cranley (who opposes the city's plan), members agreed to give themselves another two weeks to come up with language that would let officials get started on the project, while promising to follow up with streetcars for Uptown.


at 3:30 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 3:44 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Roxanne Qualls has been unmasked as an academician who can't actually DO anything. John Cranley, heretofore darling of the YPs, has been unmasked as stalking horse for the anti-transit cabal. Together, they are holding the City hostage on the only issue to truly excite the populace in many years. I hope the voters are watching...and keeping score.

at 3:57 PM, March 24, 2008 Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

Argh! Enough political wrangling already! Can we put some tracks in the ground, or what? Ms. Qualls seems to be doing her fair share to derail this project along with her new best bud Cranley, despite calling herself "pro-streetcar". Cincy politics are enough to drive a person to insanity. Maybe we'll be able to start this line 10 years from now.

at 4:42 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


Streetcar from uptown to downtown to OTR ?

Sounds like the Street Car to Desire ?

We wonder if they will fill the crack or pot-ho's ?

at 5:13 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ What is that? Haiku?

Get real people, realize that to be a world-class city, we need public transportation.

at 5:39 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Qualls is trying to kill this project and pretending that she supports it. We need to hold her accountable for the millions of dollars in inflationary costs she and Cranley have stuck the city with.

I would call it cheap political theatre, but it is incredibly expensive for the taxpayers who she will shake down for millions of dollars to advance her political career at the expense of Cincinnati's Neighborhoods.

at 8:32 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look: The folks blogging this represent the 7% that think this is a good idea.

Put it to a vote. Watch the streetcar crash.

I do not believe there has ever been a bigger boondoggle in Cincinnati history. If it is built it will fail within 3 years, and there will not be the white guilt to keep it going like the Freedom Center. Mallory, Bortz and Company will be gone and it will be someone else's problem.

at 9:01 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:13-The City was a very livable, safe, city during the 70's, 80's and early 90's. It will never be a "world class city". The street car plan is a total joke.
First priority...stop the crime. A certain element of the City population is doing 90% of the crime, helped by the liberal City government, started by Charlie Luken and has continued. I was once very proud of Cincinnati. I lived and worked in the City for over 30 years. Have since moved to the suburbs. Let the young folks move to the City and pay their tax dollars for nothing.

at 9:46 PM, March 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is nothing more than a Town Property Corporate Welfare Program along the bungal-ing line, PERIOD !


at 11:12 PM, March 24, 2008 Blogger Sean F. said...

This stalling is getting a bit rediculous. We have a habit of micromanaging everything into the ground, and I hope just this once we can follow though on our big plans and get this idea moving.

at 1:00 AM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have $101 million worth of ways to waste money too. Just send the money my way. It would do just as much good for the city as the ridiculous streetcar.

When are the waste money folks going to understand that in order to become a destination city, you first have to improve the city. Laying down rail and hoping the problems take care of themselves won't work.

at 7:34 AM, March 25, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

"First priority...stop the crime."
How ?

at 7:49 AM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Streetcars are an expensive, rigid system that in this case will travel between areas no one wants to travel in. There is no place to park downtown prior to boarding a streetcar, the city government wants to ticket your car for something from the moment you hit the city limits, the city itself is so dangerous that the mayor will not travel without an armed guard and city council wants private security, when you can find something open it is very expensive, there is very little to attract anyone when there is not a ball game, and there are better systems available that are essentially busses that look and act like streetcars but do not require fixed tracks. The streetcar idea is wanting to do the wrong thing the wrong way at the wrong time.

at 8:20 AM, March 25, 2008 Blogger Jason said...

Again, we have all the suburbanites on here trying to bash a project that they really should have no say in at all. If you want to live in the suburbs and drive your SUV to Ikea 5 times a week, then good for you. (actually I feel sorry for you, but thats another story)

As for those of us that live downtown we want the streetcars to make our neighborhoods more livable. We want access to good, reliable public transit for getting to work, going out, or whatever else we need. It is not a "boondoggle" at all. Its the first intelligent attempt the city has made at making our downtown a real urban core. If you do your homework on the subject you'll see that streetcars are a guaranteed way to turn neighborhoods around for the better.
There's no such thing as "fixing all the crime first." Do you really think that its possible to say, "Okay, there you go, we've fixed all the crime, its now safe to move downtown."??? NO! Thats not how it works. Getting people to live downtown is the way to fix crime. More people living downtown equals more eyes on the street. More people will call the police and help them catch the bad guys. More of the abandoned buildings will be bought up and used. The criminals will have nowhere to hide and do their business. The streetcars are way to stimulate massive amounts of investment and attract new residents.
This is a VERY SMART investment. Thankfully there are some very smart council members working hard for this project. Qualls and Cranley are getting annoying with all the delays, but the project will happen. We just have to pressure them to get started ASAP.

at 9:00 AM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please stop arguing about this.

The drug pushers have been waiting patiently for this service for years.

Let's get it going and inject some life in this downtown drug trade!

at 9:45 AM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I addition to a liberal city council there has been one constant during the crime increase:

Tom Streicher, Chief of Police.

at 10:04 AM, March 25, 2008 Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

If this was put to a vote, I believe it would pass, simply because the vote would be restricted to residents of Cincinnati only. Obviously, it would fail miserably if all Hamilton County voters were able to vote, but this is a city project, not county. We all remember the Metro Moves Light Rail plan that failed miserably, but passed overwhelmingly within city limits. It's the suburbanites that kill these measures. Please don't post on this topic if you live outside city limits.

at 10:34 AM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can bet that somehow the "rich" homeowner will be property taxed for the trolley.

at 12:01 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you route that streetcar to the back door of the Freedom Center, they won't have to relocate the entry.
Then, when it becomes a casino, all the tourists who come to Cincinnati to see the streetcar will be dropped off at the real moneymaker!
You can put hundreds of slot machines in that white elephant.

at 1:12 PM, March 25, 2008 Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Whats wrong with buses?

at 1:48 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Barry Struck Out said...


I hate to break it to you, but the numbers from the Hamilton County Board of Elections do not back up your claim that the light-rail Metro Moves plan in 2002 "passed overwhelmingly within city limits."

It, in fact, failed overwhelmingly in the city, with 31,261 in favor and 44,317 against in the City of Cincinnati. Line 1033 of the Excel spreadsheet downloadable from the Hamilton County Board of Elections website will confirm this. In 2002, this was Issue 7, the Sorta Sales & Use tax of a half-cent.

Countywide, the total was 76,891 for and 164,975 against.

I'll grant you that it did pass in some close-in city wards, such as 6, 10, 15, 16, etc. However, it was severely outvoted in wards 23-26 and it lost convincingly in wards 1,3,4, and 5.

Source: http://www.hamilton-co.org/boe/inputdata/Electionsresults/Archived/G02OFFCANVASS.xls

at 2:33 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Suburbanites" have been carrying your dead *ss for years. I would be happy to have no say in your silly tin railway, if I didn't have to pay for it. You could then enjoy door-to-door crime delivery in your festering slum in peace, except you wouldn't be able to afford to on your own.

at 2:40 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the blogger who thinks this would pass in the city crazy? I live in the city and I predict it would lose at least 3 to 1.

Prove me wrong: Let it go to a vote!

at 2:43 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


If streetcars were such a fantastic opportunity, then: Why did we ever get rid of them ?

Here is your feasibility study at a cost of maybe $25,000.

Run 5 Buses every 15 min along this fantastic streetcar route at no charge for 30 days. Measure rider usage. Take the rider usage times the streetcar fare and determine the (ROI) return on investment.

Oops, 100 mil sure builds a lot of low-income housing and the residents can still ride the bus !

PATHETIC 'family values'

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE, conservative, DEMOCRAT 2009 for clown-cil.

at 3:04 PM, March 25, 2008 Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

Buses don't lead to economic development, and don't appeal to a large portion of the population. Having a fixed streetcar line shows commitment and has proven in other similar cities to increase development along the line. Buses don't provide a boon to economic development in part because lines can be changed at any given time, and no young professionals will be convinced to stay in Cincy after graduating because of its bus line. A good rail transit line will draw more YPs to the area because it is a sign of progress and makes it easy to navigate the city without using automobiles.

at 4:17 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned buses.

Somebody should check the fate of the downtowner.

And it went somewhere people wanted to go!

at 5:05 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has any politician stepped forward and said that this system will be self supporting and will not require subsidies to operate it on an ongoing basis? I don't think so because it won't. We already have a bus system that is subsidized by the payroll tax and other tax resources can we really have another form of public transportation that covers the same routes that the transit company does? Unless it can pay for itself in on an ongoing basis I'm against it. We had them once before and got rid of them. What's next-reintroduce the canels and fire up the unfinished subway system?

Concerned in Oakley

at 7:40 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the idea of having a streetcar to UC. i am curious, can anyone break down where the 100 million dollars will come from for the OTR loop?

for example, how much are tif funds for development?

if there are federal funds, what type are they? same for state funds.

is this a development project or a transit project?

at 9:50 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 11:05 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:05:

"What's next-reintroduce the canels and fire up the unfinished subway system?"

That would be awesome!

at 11:07 PM, March 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:33...

I bet my dad can beat up your dad

at 9:10 AM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take your time; the idea was a bad dream from the start like the Freedom Center.
During the next two weeks, maybe you should look at who owns the property along the proposed route and publish that info to the public.
These are Democrats proposing this project; please keep that in mind down the road.

at 9:41 AM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they put this money towards light rail, which would provide much more benefit to the region than a streetcar system that is restricted to the city limits?

at 11:00 AM, March 26, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

Some answers:

at 11:41 AM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Roselawn Resident said...

I am a city resident and I am strongly opposed to the huge commitment of capital dollars required by the city to make this project happen. It will prohibit any true development in other city neighborhoods for years to come.

Businesses and property owners who believe this project to be so worthwhile should take on a far greater responsibility for its construction. Why hasn't Bortz' family business stepped up with a huge commitment of funds yet. My guess is they contribute a minimum amount yet try to reap a vast majority of the benefit.

This project will increase property taxes to other city/county residents by taking yet more property off the tax roles through the use of TIFFS and tax abatements for property/condo purchasers. Investment and increased property values are already occurring in the areas through previous investment/gifts by the city to 3CDC. As the monetary demands of social service agencies; MH, MRDD, Seniors, indigent care, go up, continuing to make properties that are increasing in value unavailable for taxation, only increases the property tax burden for the rest of the city/county.

The above discussion of property taxes doesn't even address the ongoing operational subsidies this thing will require. Where is this money supposed to come from? The city currently can't meet its obligations to its retirement fund, opens pools for a limited time during the summer, and doesn't budget enough for snow removal and street repair.

I say put the proposal on the ballot. I agree with the previous posters that most of the rest of the city would vote this thing down as it is currently proposed. I would be happy to lead the opposition campaign.

at 11:47 AM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...A good rail transit line will draw more YPs to the area because it is a sign of progress and makes it easy to navigate the city without using automobiles"

What a whacko !

The trolley car is from the past, PERIOD !

You want progress: Moving walkways, PARKING !

Prime-outlet, open air mall like Rookwood !

A rail to no-where, PLEASE !

How about double-decker tour bus line that actually encourages Cincinnati exploration along the historical route ?

How about promoting Showboat Majestic ?

How about a floating restaurant, expanded boat docking, with fuel station, on this side of the river like the Waterfront ?

Why did we not build a port for the Betty Blake with sub-ports at Coney, River-Downs, Riverside Park, etc. ?

How about a 'Merry-Go-Round' on this side of the purple people bridge to encourage families to the river front ?

We are in the burb's. You want our business then make it easy (PARKING, PARKING, PARKING). Sorry, the rail to OTR isn't going to get our cash and we make special trips just to get fish on Liberty at O bammeee's !

We would go more often if there were parking !

Funny story about that:

Went to get fish, no parking so went around the block. Got stopped by County Gestapo claiming no turn signal ( lie ) while in a turn only lane to boot.

That led to: 'Let me search' !

Answer: NO !

Next, Drug dog dispatched !

Dog handler touches above rear door on first pass. Dog did not hit. (dog was in front of handler when he touched above the door)

On the way back, guess what, dog hit ( What does a drug dog have to do with an alleged no turn signal ?) Dog hit exactly where the handler touched.

Wonder why dog didn't hit on the first pass. The handler stayed on one side of the car. Up the side: no hit, back the same side: a hit on just the spot the handler happened to touch.

Search, ram-sack, FOUND NOTHING (of course).

The funny thing is: I hit the cell phone memo record and left the cell on the inside of the car. You should hear the Gestapo plots. It is great for parties !

Good thing college days where decades ago. May have been a totally different story, but, those days are long gone and the grand-girls college fund is much more important than wasting money 'smoking a blunt' !

Guilt by location !


at 12:03 PM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before everyone gets all worked up about the local officials involved
or jumping to conclusions about the Freedom Center (I live 111 miles north and have visited twice since it opened - excellent museum)you should check into the light rail and street car projects in many mid-size cities. I have followed these nationally for over 20 years and most are doing well or even better than projected. Denver, Baltimore, Portland and many others in cities no bigger than Cincinnati have made a major-positive- difference in their cities. Some homework on those will tell you a lot about what to expect for results in Cincinnati.

at 1:34 PM, March 26, 2008 Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

"What a whacko !

You want progress: Moving walkways, PARKING !

Prime-outlet, open air mall like Rookwood !"

Who's the whacko? If you can't find enough parking in downtown Cincinnati, you obviously havn't been downtown. There are almost as many surface lots as buildings. If you had a streetcar, you wouldn't need as much parking anyway. And open-air malls like Rookwood downtown? Come on, now. Rookwood is a suburban solution that emulates a downtown environment. Retail doesn't do well enough downtown as it is, which would also be helped by a streetcar.

at 1:42 PM, March 26, 2008 Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

"Barry Struck Out", thanks for posting that. My apologies, I was misinformed. Still, I would like to see how the Light Rail proposal would do now, with gas costs the way they are. I'm sure it would still probably fail, but I bet it would be a good bit closer than in 2002...

at 3:20 PM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's the whacko? 1:34 PM, March 26, 2008"


A street car is restricted to one route, PERIOD !

The route has absolutely nothing to currently offer, PERIOD !

So emulation is better than the real thing (Rookwood). Maybe because there is no real thing anymore. The cost of real-estate along with the parking became unrealistic.

No one would travel because there was no place to park and if you missed the meter by a sec. the revenue generating street-cops cost you $110.00.

If there is enough parking why would you need to catch a street-car ?

Field of dreams - if you build it they will come !

We had it. Been there, done that !

This is nothing more than another transfer of wealth from the tax-payer to the corporate cronies, PERIOD !

PATHETIC 'HypocRite' !


at 4:41 PM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are way too many things that need to be done in downtown before we can even start thinking about spending our tax dollars on street cars. Maybe we should wait to see how the Banks project works out and then think street cars.

at 5:36 PM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know why people in the burbs don't go downtown?
It's the crime! Wise up; we moved to get away from the crime in the first place.

at 6:06 PM, March 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we could make the city safe for streetcars if someone can wake up the Elite security guards long enough to make the Mallorys a little more side money.

at 7:48 AM, March 27, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The streetcars will be the equivalent of a moving drop-in center. That'll encourage ridership.

at 4:03 PM, March 27, 2008 Anonymous Flying Dutchman said...

I think some folks forget that downtown and OTR are neighborhoods. Sure, they are mixed use neighborhoods with residential mixed with business, shopping, retail, restaurants, and other entertainment. But they are neighborhoods and people live there. That's what this streetcar is for. It's not a toy train to be used as a tourist attraction for the suburban folks. Parking has nothing to do with it. The streetcar is mainly designed for RESIDENTS of downtown, OTR, and uptown.

The crime thing is getting more difficult to be accepted anymore folks. Crime is decreasing and as more people continue to move into these areas it will only drop further.

at 5:00 PM, March 27, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


If this boondoggle is designed for downtown, OTR and uptown, then you folks pay for it.
You know you're lying about the crime and the general public isn't buying that story.
Hell, the Mayor and City Council need armed protection.

at 5:17 PM, March 27, 2008 Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I think we should take all of this extra streetcar money and move the fountain.

at 5:38 PM, March 27, 2008 Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I thought we needed a jail?

at 11:34 PM, March 27, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:00...

Crime in OTR was down 24% last year. That's not an argument to believe or not believe. It's a fact.

Don't be stupid, educate yourself before you write.

at 11:05 AM, March 28, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are numerous crimes that go unreported, but they still happen to law abiding citizens.
I know for a fact that there has been an outbreak of armed robberies on UC students around the Clifton campus.
Have you seen that reported regularly in the paper? I don't think so.
You can cite percentages, but perception is reality to the public who does not feel safe in OTR.

at 11:45 AM, March 28, 2008 Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I guess buses just aren't kool enough for all the movers and shakers going back and forth from downtown to OTR.

at 1:53 PM, March 28, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Average Joe Cincinnati is taxed beyond recognition. This street car crap takes more from Joe still, and the high class makes more money off the already bent backs of taxpayers. DON'T DO IT, COUNCIL! Thank God for term limits.

at 11:44 PM, March 28, 2008 Anonymous Flying Dutchman said...

Anon 5:00 PM. You say since it is designed for downtown, OTR, and uptown residents, those residents should pay for it? Well I don't own a vehicle so I won't be using the updated Brent Spence Bridge, you pay for the upgrades. Mark me down that I don't have to pay bridge and highway taxes because I don't use it. I don't have any kids in the public school system, I don't want to pay for that either. That's not how our system works my friend.

Cheviot, are we still stuck on the Fountain? They upgraded the Fountain and just look at how the area has exploded since completion. It's hard to argue that anymore...

at 7:42 AM, March 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Louisville has a really neat streetcar system, with scheduled stops that bind the riverfront to uptown at the U of L campus, and east to west. They set it up so it runs late to all stops when the Louisville Sluggers play, and even have one day a month when all the businesses on the route stay open late together. Imagine, a riverfront that does not close at 6:00 PM.

By the way, they do this with trolley busses, that look and act like streetcars, but have no fixed rails. Imagine that.

at 9:33 AM, March 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I won't take a postion on the proposed streetcar. I believe that we should keep in mind that no form of transportation is free of subsidy for construction, maintenance and operation. The cost of reconstructing and maintaining Interstate 75 within Hamilton County alone over the next couple of decades will cost several billion dollars. How many of us would be willing to vote to tax ourselves to cover this enormous cost? If we return to the days when all the Ohio River bridges and major roadways were financed by tolls would that be progress? The costs for financing the streetcar and even the proposed light rail transit pale in comparison with the costs to maintain our roadways. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is not self sustaining since Federal Motor Fuels Tax rates have not changed since 1993 and will be insolvent during the next adminstration.

at 12:17 PM, March 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flying--- If you don't own a car, you don't pay any fuel taxes either state and/or federal so you don't pay.
I won't ride your streetcar so I don't want to pay.
Don't even own a car; that's un-American!

at 11:45 AM, March 30, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you people actually and truly ENJOY driving in your cars to and from work every day? You don't consider that a waste of time and emotionally depressing? Huh.

at 1:38 PM, March 30, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nati---- Depends on the cars you drive.

at 3:08 PM, March 30, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to live in the city. No good jobs, no grocery store, no safe place for the kids to play. Driving was a necessity, usually a half hour minimum to any of the above (in the burbs, natch). Streetcar would solve none of these problems.

at 9:38 PM, April 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who keeps writing things in all caps...You are a moron. Every single claim you make is idiotic and could easily be shot down by anyone with a 6th grade education who takes the time to actually research this subject appropriately before typing. I would go through it all if I had time to waste, but I don't. You're arguments aren't even worth responding to. Stay in the suburbs. We don't want or need your "cash." You can keep spending that on food to get fatter and gas to fuel your SUV. Have a nice life.

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