Welcome to Somewhere Over the Rhine

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Save the Gamble House

I wanted to draw everyone's attention to the following post in regards to the recent news that the historic Gamble House in Westwood is now in imminent danger of demolition. Your participation could help save this beautiful building.
Please Click Here to Read

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Staying Positive about the Streetcar

Thanks to John Schneider for these words about today's streetcar news:

Dear Cincinnati rail supporter,

I thought it would be good to compile an overview of what has transpired with respect to today's award of several TIGER streetcar grants. This is a long compendium that provides some perspective that you may find valuable. Please read it all if you have the time.

First, and foremost, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory has issued this statement:

Good afternoon –

As you may have heard, the Cincinnati Streetcar project was not one of the projects that received federal funding today from the TIGER grant. I want to assure you that this does not hurt the Streetcar project.

We have applied for funding from several different state and federal sources. Today’s announcement simply means that we did not receive this particular grant. In fact, out of 61 projects to receive funding today, only four streetcar projects were selected.

The federal government announced $1.5 billion in grants today. That is from over $56 billion in applications. Our project is simply one of many good projects that will be competing for the other funding that is still available. And, let me be clear, we are confident that our Streetcar project is one of the best projects in the country.

One of the pots of money still available is the Urban Circulator grant program, which is intended for streetcar-type projects. The reality is that after today’s announcement, there are four fewer projects competing with us for that funding.

There is going to be a lot written and said about today’s announcement and what it means for the future of the Streetcar project. I want you reassure you that despite the chatter, the Streetcar project is still on target and is going to lead to new businesses and job creation in Cincinnati.

I want to thank you for your support. Together we are going to continue to move our City forward with a bold vision for the future.

Mayor Mark Mallory


and Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney provides more detail here:

I wanted you to hear from me on the news of the City’s TIGER Grant application from the US Department of Transportation for the Cincinnati Streetcar project. As you may know, we did not receive funding in this round. Let me be clear: Today’s announcement does not hurt the viability of our Streetcar project. The Mayor and I have experience in these types of federal processes, and that is why we did not put all of our eggs in one funding basket. Our resolve has not changed.

We have two other applications for the streetcar:

· Urban Circulator (Federal) - $25 million - This Grant Program is specifically for Streetcar type projects. The four streetcar projects that did receive money today are now not eligible for these funds. We believe this improves our positioning.

· TRAC Grant - Ohio (Transportation Review and Advisory Committee) - $50 million.

In fact, the Mayor and I have been invited to a Streetcar Summit in Washington DC next week to present our streetcar project at the Summit. We will meet with Members of Congress and key White House and Administrative staff about it.

Cincinnati has received positive feedback over the past year from Members of Congress and White House staff about our project and its benefits for our city.

We continue to believe that the Streetcar project is a game-changing project for Cincinnati that will lead to new businesses and job creation.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of the Cincinnati Streetcar project.

Onward and Upward.



Four cities were undoubtedly elated to receive grants to build or expand their streetcar systems. But others, like Cincinnati, aren't giving up. And perhaps there's some guidance for our continuing efforts in the several stories which follow.

Today's streetcar grant winners included these cities:

DALLAS: Today's announcement cements the idea that we are building a streetcar line from Methodist Hospital to downtown and that can't be anything but good for Oak Cliff.


NEW ORLEANS: The project will cover the costs of a roughly 1.5-mile streetcar from the Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street.


PORTLAND: TIGER funds will be used to reconstruct SW Moody Avenue in the South Waterfront area. The project will elevate the roadway by 14 feet to cap contaminated soils. It will include three traffic lanes, dual streetcar tracks and pedestrian and bicycle facilities.


TUCSON: The project will construct a 3.9 mile modern streetcar line in the City of Tucson that connects the city’s major activity centers, including the Arizona Health Sciences Center, the University of Arizona main campus.


And then some reactions from the cities that weren't successful today, but aren't giving up:

SALT LAKE CITY: The city could snag a second round of stimulus -- $600 million in additional Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.


ATLANTA: It was disappointing to learn that we did not get the grant, but at the same time, it is encouraging to see the commitment of our partners remaining intact.


FORT WORTH: In Fort Worth, the idea would be to reconnect the downtown area with the museum district and medical district with electrified streetcars -- modernized versions of the trolleys that were removed from the area decades ago.


BOISE: Boise had sought $40 million to help pay for a $60 million, 2.3-mile loop of track connecting several downtown districts.


So there you go. Many cities competed, and a handful won. Cincinnati was unsuccessful on just the first of four potential rounds of funding. The winners and losers are all cities to be admired for their energy, pluck and success. We're in good company.

There's a common denominator here: connect your downtown with your cultural centers, universities, and medical centers. And that's Cincinnati's plan.

I'm taking the long view here. What our Mayor, City Manager, City Council and Congressional representatives are trying to do is to even the terms of trade under which Cincinnati and other cities labor today. It's taken seventy years to get us into the hole we're in, and it's going to take a while to dig us out. But you look at the unmistakable progress in Cincinnati and in many of these other cities that you may know personally, and it gives you some confidence that the pendulum is swinging our way. We're now well into a long and complicated process that most of us will live to see to completion.

Meanwhile, as City Manager Dohoney said so well, it's "Onward and Upward" from here. We'll get there.

Thanks for listening, and never give up.

John Schneider

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Florist to Open in Over the Rhine

See Here for an Explanation: Click Here

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Vision for the Future

I just saw this video today and thought it would be nice to share with anyone out there reading this blog. It's a nice look at how well new transportation options can work in the future with a little bit of progressive thinking and smart planning now. Even though Cincinnati is very close to adopting a streetcar system and being reconnected with other cities via high speed rail, we still have a long way to go before we can hope to achieve such convenient and smart travel options. I just wanted everyone to use this video to help point your imagination in the right direction. Cincinnati's downtown region and its suburbs could equally benefit from streetcars, lightrail, and highspeed rail. I think this video gives a brief, but helpful glimpse in what that sort of system could do for the average Joe (even if Joe lives in Blue Ash).
Enjoy! Comments welcome as always!

Must See Streetcar Report