Please take the 2010 UrbanCincy Survey to weigh in on some big changes coming soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cincinnati continues to lose ground on its competition

In 2002 Hamilton County voters decided to vote down a half-cent sales tax measure that would have fundamentally changed the way in which Cincinnatians move about the region with a regional transit plan that included light rail (system map), streetcars (integrated map with regional rail plan) and a completely revamped bus system.

As Cincinnatians continue to be restricted to automobile travel and limited bus service, Seattle is now celebrating the opening of their light rail system. Having fewer transportation choices is a negative and it is no wonder that the talented young professionals and creative class are choosing cities like Seattle, Portland, Charlotte, Atlanta, D.C. and San Francisco over places like Cincinnati.

These individuals are choosing life styles and social experiences over household size, affordability and even job opportunities. The jobs are following the talent, and it's only a matter of time before Cincinnati starts feeling the heat from its companies that are having trouble attracting the young talent they need to stay competitive. In this global marketplace Cincinnati can no longer afford to rely on its history and foundational strength - Cincinnati needs to be competitive and learn how to start creating a city and lifestyle that appeals to our nation's changing demographics and urbanizing population.

The scenes from Seattle with more coverage here:


Unknown said...

Haha, I love that in the first video the one car that passes has a full bike rack!

Jeff said...

It's odd that it took Seattle this long to build a light rail.

Portland has been running a network for years now while being less prosperous and less populated than Seattle.

Travis Estell said...


Seattle has had a very impressive bus system for years. Their "bus subway" was built to allow uninterrupted transit travel underneath the city, and required the use of hybrid diesel-electric buses which run on overhead wires while in the tunnel. After maxing out their bus capacity, they finally decided that rail was necessary for the city.

Seattle's bus tunnel was built on the same premise as Cincinnati's own Riverfront Transit Center. They built the tunnel starting in 1987 with the hope that rail transit would eventually use the tunnel. Twenty-two years later, light rail finally is in operation there. Hopefully it won't be 22 years before light rail or commuter rail is operating in Cincinnati's Transit Center. Although we would certainly beat that record by putting light rail in our 80-year old unused subway tunnels.

Chris said...


As much as I love Cincinnati and all the good things I want here (and Tri-State), I do not see a massive transit system happening here. Ignorance is bliss and those people who oppose any development (ie. transit), will refuse to learn what good an investment like rail mass transit will have on an area. As you state, as Cincinnati and the Tri-State delay and fight over this situation, Cincinnati will continue to lose to competing cities because of ignorance and the hard headedness of the opposition of not learning. The only way I feel that people will grasp the idea of rail transit (streetcar and/or light rail) will be through education and the help of the local media, with the correct facts and information.

-off soapbox

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

That's interesting Travis. I was going to say that I've never heard of a "bus tunnel" but I think I rode in a "street car tunnel" in Brussels which is sort of similar.

I'm still surprised that it took a progressive city like Seattle so long to build a light rail. And I'm surprised that cities like Dallas and Charlotte have light rail.

For some reason, that gives me hope for Cincy.

Jeff said...

Wow, I had no idea that this existed:

Anonymous said...

The transit center in Cincinnati is not bring used and is falling apart already. It was a major mistake and money not very well spent. The National Underground Railroad is also a major failure and it will close as soon as the management bleed it dry.

Cincinnati and light rail or trolly will ot work. The people in Cincinnati are far to independent to use such a system and that is jthe way it is. The residents of the City and surrounding areas like there independence and freedom to much to use such a system. I have lived in the Cincinnati area all my life and do not go downtown since it is full of pan handlers and other undesireable characters. That is just the way it is here and I do not see a change in the wind any time soon.

Living in Gin said...

^ *sigh* Gotta love that iron-clad logic.

Travis Estell said...


If Cincinnati dies, what does that do for the value of your home out in West Chester or Mason or wherever you're posting from?

Related Posts with Thumbnails