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A site dedicated to Cincinnati's Over the Rhine neighborhood.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Perhaps the Dumbest Argument of the Century....

Check out this post The Beacon published today. Click Here for a laugh
These guys publish all kinds of garbage that I usually just ignore because I know its influence on people is so minimal. However, when I got a glance of the title of their post today I couldn't help but point it out. Some of what they wrote in this article should be written in stone and hung in a museum of idiotic comments.
They are actually trying to convince people that because the skywalk system failed, the streetcars are also going to fail. They try to say that the only reason fountain square now has lots of people is because that section of the skywalk was removed! What kind of backwards, insane logic do they use? These arguments are laughably stupid.
Do I even need to explain how dumb their logic is?
Just briefly,
The Skywalk system was built with the idea that it would make getting around from building to building downtown more comfortable and easy with regards to weather and traffic. This in turn was thought to be good for boosting business and encouraging people to spend more time and money downtown. (all of this happened 20-30 years ago when people were still afraid of downtown and didn't understand the importance of a healthy urban core)
However, what it ended up doing was having the opposite effect. It discouraged people from even stepping foot outside. It took people out of the urban landscape. It completely destroyed any chance of creating a walkable, liveable downtown environment that makes for a healthy urban core. So, businesses located outside the skywalk loop lost business, it actually brought fewer people downtown and before too long the skywalks weren't even being used anymore. For a long time now everyone has realized that the skywalks were a bad idea and a big mistake for the reasons pointed out above.

The whole premise of the Streetcar system and all the urban renewal that is going on downtown is to build on the principles of creating a walkable, livable, entertaining downtown where people can be engaged in the urban environment. This will cause more people to want to live and visit downtown. This in turn will attract businesses to move in where they know there will be guaranteed foot and rail traffic. The whole idea is to bring people INTO the urban environment, not move them away from it as the skywalk did. Again, for the millionth time, rail transit has been proven to do this in many other cities similar in size to Cincinnati.

The beacon is trying to convince people that because our city government made a bad decision almost 3 decades ago this somehow means that our current city government doesn't know what its doing. Come on guys, you need to try a little harder. We are living in a completely different time now and a lot has changed since then. Additionally, we've learned a lot about what works and doesn't work for making cities more desirable.
Cincinnati missed the boat on rail transit once before (by not finishing the subway in 1926). Let's not let opportunity pass us by again.

I'm absolutely tired of hearing people use backwards, poorly thought out arguments as to why we shouldn't invest in rail transit. This is by far one of the poorest attempts I've seen yet at trying to sway people away from the streetcars.

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