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Friday, February 27, 2009

Mr. Mallory and the Streetcar

In Cincinnati's annual State of the City address, Mayor Mark Mallory took an early opportunity to vaunt about the proposed streetcar system, stating in a lofty voice that "the benefits of the Streetcar system are too significant to allow the naysayers to derail our efforts. The facts are clear. Streetcars must be a part of Cincinnati’s future and we will fight to make it happen."

His charged comments drew one of the largest applause from the crowd of 600 at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Mallory stated that streetcars and fixed-rail investments will spur new development along its proposed route, citing that the first phase of the streetcar would connect two of Cincinnati's largest employment bases: uptown and downtown, and cut through the heart of Over-the-Rhine. Mallory cited Tampa's TECO Line Streetcar System, which has attracted more than $900 million in new investment and development along the line and Charlotte's streetcar and the LYNX light rail line that has attracted over $1 billion in new investment along the corridor. It goes without saying that the role model for Cincinnati is Portland, where over $2.8 billion has been invested along its streetcar network.

According to HDR Consulting, a modest investment of $102 million to construct phase one of Cincinnati's streetcar would generate $1.4 billion in new investment along the line. While a lot of the funding is in place for phase one, Mallory submitted a request for more than $60 million from President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package with the hope that some, if not all of the requested funding will be received.

If the funding is received, it is conceivable that phase one of the Cincinnati streetcar project can become reality in the next two years. The Cincinnati Streetcar Blog has constructed a map that shows the various alignments proposed, with their mileage and cost labeled. It can also be seen below:


View Larger Map

21 comments:

Queen City Discovery said...

This is good news. I'll admit as a typically more conservative voter, I like what Mallory has done for Cincinnati. Not only in terms of fighting for streetcars, but how he's helped race relations with the police department and worked to strengthen Cincinnati's Police Force. Do I agree with Obama's stimulus plan? Another day, another argument, regardless the money is coming and if we can do anything remotely like Charlotte's light rail system imagine the effects on development and the economy it can have.

5chw4r7z said...

My co-workers were wondering how the streetcar would impact traffic downtown, I said lets put people and quality of life before cars for once.

Anonymous said...

What has Mallory done for race relations? He's opposed everything the NAACP has done during his tenure. He appointed the 5th white guy to the Banks working group and he failed to say anything about minority inclusion.

What happened to the money he was going to give all 52 neighborhoods? That was the only plan that he had during his campaign.

The Streetcar will impact traffic in a negative way. It will increase congestion. Cars don't drive themselves, people do and when you create more congestion you effect quality of life in a negative way.

I'm all for improving mass transit and busses can pull over when they let people off. Sorry, but we just don't need Streetcars. The Mayor is out of touch, maybe it's because he has a bodyguard.

Brad said...

In reality Streetcars reduce congestion:
http://www.urbancincy.com/2008/11/cincinnati-streetcar-update.html

Quim said...

QCD ! I want you to design the streetcar !
5chw4r72 & Anonymous Coward, it seems like the streetcar would add some congestion at first until people start using it and dump their cars. At that point, congestion should be relieved on all roadways - including the highways.
Sidewalks might get more crowded if all goes as planned.....

Anonymous said...

"In reality Streetcars reduce congestion:"

Not anymore than a bus going the same route would.

Did an anonymous writer call me a coward for asking questions on here? That's funny, I didn't launch a personal attack.

How will a Downtown streetcar reduce congestion on the highways?

Anonymous said...

People are not going to ditch their cars and suddenly get all gung ho about public transportaion. I depend on public transport myself and people always look at me like im crazy or treat me like im less fortunate when I talk about taking the bus. The magical streetcars are not going to change peoples mentality...

Travis Estell said...

"People are not going to ditch their cars and suddenly get all gung ho about public transportaion. I depend on public transport myself and people always look at me like im crazy or treat me like im less fortunate when I talk about taking the bus. The magical streetcars are not going to change peoples mentality..."

I disagree. People see Streetcars, Subways, and other forms of rail transit as "cool."

Randy Simes said...

Lets please avoid from any name calling or personal attacks.

Thank you.

Randy Simes said...

Anon,

Streetcars will reduce congestion. Not only will they do this at a better rate than a fully loaded car and/or bus due to their higher capacity, but streetcars encourage people living within the service area to live car-free.

This has been seen in the numerous case-studies done for the Cincinnati streetcar project, the feasibility study, and the economic impact studies (yes plural).

If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to provide any of this specific data to you so that you can see for yourself. Have a good day.

Quim said...

ok
"Anonymous Coward" is not an attack. It is a humorous poke at people who don't identify themselves in a faceless online communication. I don't care what anybody's name is but identifying yourself as anything (abc, 123, king of Spain) makes the online conversation easier. In this short thread there are 2 anonymouses already. Are they the same person ?
And, yeah, other people can use your screen name, I have seen people abscond with mine. That's just weird, tho.
I didn't make up "Anonymous Coward". heck, it's institutionalized over at The Register....
Anyway -
"How will a Downtown streetcar reduce congestion on the highways?"
People will opt to move to the service area and will no longer use the highway for their commute.

Anonymous said...

"I disagree. People see Streetcars, Subways, and other forms of rail transit as "cool." "

Sweetheart, only the "hipsters" will find it cool. Others will stick to the convenience of hopping in their cars and going to and fro. The hipsters are a minority in this city.

Dave Reid said...

Streetcars as well as other forms of rail have additional benefits beyond their impact on congestion. For one they encourage economic development along the line.

Anonymous said...

Buses can have a greater impact on reducing congestion and they are much cheaper. They would leave more money for other investments in infrastructure.

Travis Estell said...

"Sweetheart, only the 'hipsters' will find it cool. Others will stick to the convenience of hopping in their cars and going to and fro. The hipsters are a minority in this city."
I guess that's why only hipsters ride the NYC subway or Chicago L and rely on it as their primary mode of transportation.

Anonymous said...

Chicago and NYC's public transportation systems have been around for ages; those systems pre-date "hipsters". Chi/NYC are cities with LARGE populations where everyone driving a car would be impractical to say the least. Don't compare Cincinnati to such big cities. Its silly. Its apples and oranges.

Randy Simes said...

^Can we compare Cincinnati to the dozens of European cities that also have robust transit systems, but are only the size of Cincinnati or even smaller?

It doesn't have to be apples and oranges...we just make it out to be and sell our selves short.

Travis Estell said...

I love how the anti-Streetcar folks are now using the fact that "hipsters" will ride the system as a reason not to build it. As if making mass transit "cool" is a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Im not using it as a reason not to build it. I'm just saying there will not be enough riders to justify undertaking the project. Building it for the cool kids who want to feel special like Portland isn't enough of a reason.

"^Can we compare Cincinnati to the dozens of European cities that also have robust transit systems, but are only the size of Cincinnati or even smaller?"

Such as? Youre not counting rickshaws being pulled by donkeys in the former soviet block as "public transportation" are you?, haha.

Brad said...

"Building it for the cool kids who want to feel special like Portland isn't enough of a reason."

You are correct, but building it to spur $1.4 billion in economic development is enough of a reason.

Randy Simes said...

"Such as? Youre not counting rickshaws being pulled by donkeys in the former soviet block as "public transportation" are you?, haha."

Streetcars (or trams) are pretty standard in European cities. Small and large cities alike boast them. Check out some of the list here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trams_in_Europe

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