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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mayor Mallory Speaks Frankly About Streetcars/Budget Issues

I am reluctant to say this, but its about time the Mayor addressed the media and the general public about this very critical issue. For our city to remain united and focused on what's best for our future we need a strong central voice that will speak up on behalf of the city's best interest. As I've been preaching now for I don't know how long, the current proposal to bring inner-city rail transit (streetcars) back to Cincinnati is an opportunity that we can not afford to miss. Very clear, reputable data from many different sources show that rail transit projects such as this are good for cities and create huge returns in economic development. This leads to new residents, businesses, tourism, entertainment, and the list goes on. All of these things increase the city's tax revenue base. Cincinnati is in a financial mess now, not only because we are in the midst of a worldwide and nationwide economic recession, but also because we have failed in years past to invest in our most important asset...Our City Center.
Great strides have already been made in recent years reversing the damage of the 1950s suburban sprawl and highway expansion that caused the exodus of citizens from city centers to various suburban neighborhoods. The city has begun investing in our downtown from fountain square to the banks all the way up to OTR where new residents and businesses are already beginning to pop up everyday. However, we can only go so far without first providing a means for all of these people to move about efficiently without the automobile as their primary mode of transportation. These neighborhoods can not achieve the density of population necessary to give our city the boost it needs with out providing other means of transportation. There simply isn't enough room in such a small area for all of those cars and parking lots. People need to be able to get around with out a car.
I truly believe that right now our city has the opportunity to be on the forefront of a movement that is sweeping the nation. The cities who emerge from this economic crisis with a plan to decrease dependence on foreign oil, attract residents and businesses back to the city center, and make the city THE place to live again are going to be the most successful and prosperous cities in the 21st century.
As the mayor aggressively points out in the video below, allowing the anti-rail charter amendment to pass this November will mean the end of such vital projects as the Cincinnati Streetcar, 3-C Corridor Passenger rail, and regional light rail. We have a chance to use federal money to stimulate our local economy like its never seen before. We can not let this opportunity pass us by or we will forever remain a city that is simply a collection of suburbs and we will forever be a city just struggling to pay its bills.
Thank you Mayor Mallory for fighting so aggressively for this city's future. Please continue to reach out to the citizens of this city so that they can be appropriately informed of the dangers of allowing the anti-rail charter amendment to pass.

Video can be seen here:


David Ben said...

Very, very well said.

ben said...

I'm very interested in this issue, but your link to the data on costs and benefits is broken. Could you fix it? Thanks!

Quimbob said...

The City seems to have remodeled their website. Probably a COA T mole in the IT dept. :-)
here's some info
The city's feasibility study:
The city's streetcar web page:
ProTransit's streetcar FAQ:

ben said...

Thanks. I like the idea of the streetcar, but I'm very skeptical that it would have the huge economic benefits that are being claimed in a place like Cincinnati (the estimates in the feasibilty study aren't very well justified). I'm curious what other options would be out there if the city were to decide to devote all this energy to an alternative project aimed at economic development.

mvoss said...

Puplic transportation is the foundation to any successful urban population. Wether or not you think street cars are the right economic project for the city right now it's got to happen sooner or latter. I really think were at the latter part. If we delay now other citys in Ohio, the
mid west and across the country are going to pass us by. I don't think we have time to wait and no other project has the ability to solidify the success of of all of the investment in downtown. I personally am really tired of waiting for nothing. I want to see something happen!

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