Welcome to Somewhere Over the Rhine

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

Monday, November 2, 2009

Deciding Cincinnati's Future Tomorrow

I realize that this blog has essentially been devoted to encouraging voters to defeat Issue 9 for quite some time now. That was not the original intent I had when I started this blog over a year and a half ago now. However, my interest in seeing a successful revitalization of Downtown and Over the Rhine mandated that I also become interested in the reintroduction of rail transit within the city of Cincinnati.

I've learned over the last year or so how vitally important a good public transportation system is to ensuring a successful, healthy, and vibrant urban core. I fully believe that the revitalization of Over the Rhine and the rebirth of a strong urban environment in Cincinnati can not reach its full potential without some sort of investment in rail transit within the city. A dense, walkable urban neighborhood like Over the Rhine simply can not support the large number of people it needs to be a success without an adequate means of moving them from place to place. There simply isn't enough room for all the cars that would come with the increase in population. In order for Over the Rhine to achieve the necessary density in population to be a success, we must invest in a good public transportation system in the form of rail transit. The streetcar would be a great first step, but certainly only part of the solution. Future projects involving regional light rail and intercity high speed rail would also be necessary to fit the needs of an ever growing urban population.

Cincinnati voters are at a critical turning point in our city's history. Over the last 50-60 years Cincinnati, like most other mid-west cities, has embraced the automobile culture of suburban sprawl and flight from our urban cores. As a result our most historic and important neighborhoods have suffered. This same process has happened all over the country. In recent years people everywhere have begun to realize how critically important a city's urban core is to keeping the entire city and its surrounding regions strong. Because of this there has been a renewed interest in preserving, revitalizing and strengthening our urban environment.

Good, reliable public transportation systems are vital to giving people options when it comes to transportation and allowing for the full revitalization of the city center. The United States as a whole is beginning to realize that we can no longer be a car-only culture. People need diverse options for transportation. High speed rail, regional light rail and inner city rail are all going to be an important part of strengthening our cities for the future.

Tomorrow, voters will decide what direction they want Cincinnati to take. Do we turn our backs to progress and ignore the need to diversify our transportation options by allowing Issue 9 to pass? Or, do we say no to issue 9 and move ahead with a future open to new transportation options? I know that I don't want to live in a city where it is necessary to use your car for your every transportation need. I want to live where I have choices. I want to live in a city with a bright future and that is willing to move forward.

Please, for the sake of Cincinnati's future VOTE NO ON 9!!

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