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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lunken Airport Site for 3-C Train Station?

The Enquirer reports that Lunken Airport has been chosen as the site for the 3C train station by state officials. Read Here

Okay, I have to rant a little:

Really?! What a terrible idea! Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I can't imagine a worse place for the train station!

Now, like everything else in Cincinnati, the only way to access the train station will be to drive your automobile, very far, especially for those who live in the northern or western parts of town, over to Lunken airport, and try to find a spot to park in some expensive parking lot.
What are visitors from out of town supposed to do when they arrive? Pay for a cab? Rent a car? Wait for someone to pick them up in another automobile? They are no where near downtown so they will have no idea where to go when they get here. At least by having it near the boathouse they would have been close enough to downtown that it would have been relatively easy to find a hotel room downtown, a restaurant, bar, whatever. But now, nothing.

The whole attraction to rail transportation, at least in my eyes, is the fact you can ignore your car for once and not have to worry about driving or parking and instead just walk, take public transportation, hop on a train, enjoy a book or listen to music, nap, do whatever you want while you enjoy the ride. When you make trains easily accessible to people and neighborhoods via walking or taking public transit (streetcars!) the rails actually get use. When you add that extra step of having to drive somewhere, find a spot to park and worry about how much its going to cost to leave your car in a lot over the weekend it kind of kills the whole convenience thing.

I know they say that it is only temporary, but even while its there its just not going to get as much use and no one will ever support building a more permanent, hopefully better thought out location for the next station. If they don't link the 3C station to the streetcar or a light rail system, it will never work and hardly anyone will ride it. If, however, they make the station easily accessible by many different modes of transportation, (either foot, bike, streetcar, or light rail) it will get a ton of use.

Okay, I'm done, I feel better now.


Matt said...

I completely agree with you. I also agree with those stating that "temporary" in Cincinnati really means decades. I understand Lunken as a concept, but I agree that it would really only work today if the streetcar was linking up with it. Why not Union Terminal - the place built specifically for rail transit, as a beautifully massive gateway to the city?! What about the huge structure already constructed at 2nd Street?! Rail is already in the ground connecting both of those locations.

Let's just hope this means that larger ideas for the streetcar are already in the works...

Justin Hoffman said...

In reading articles I see that planners favor an approach from the East. Somewhere around Lunken as you say, maybe to the Boathouse. This idea would require a 'temporary' station and a rail yard. With all the work that has been done around Eastern Ave. and the International Friendship park I would hate to see rail being thrown in the mix unsympathetically. The system of riverfront parks really is a gem in our city.
Union Terminal is still being considered but there are concerns about freight rail traffic interfering with the passenger rail and the capacity at the Terminal itself. Specifically there are choke points that already cause backups on the rails regularly and most of the terminals at UT have been demolished.
Personally I love the idea of using UT again as the gateway for our city, that's what it was built for. The sketches of streetcar being incorporated and circulating arriving passengers into downtown and OTR show real promise.

I just hope planners and those in charge can have the gut to make the choices that, while possibly being more costly, will make rail transportation a viable and enjoyable option in Ohio.

Jason said...

Well at this point, if the choices are between Lunken and The Union Terminal, I favor the Union Terminal, because at least it would be easy to link up with the streetcar in a few years. Really, this 3C train option is only going to be a success if its linked with the streetcar or a lightrail system that comes into downtown at some point.
I just hope that the powers that be have enough sense to realize why its important to make this system easily accessible by multiple modes of transportation.

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