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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cincinnati City Council approves $775k to move streetcar project along

Cincinnati City Council approved $775,000 for environmental studies and preliminary engineering work on the Cincinnati Streetcar project that will run from the riverfront, through Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, and go up the hill to the Uptown neighborhoods surrounding the University of Cincinnati.

The approval of the $775,000 allows for the City to move forward with the proposed Cincinnati Streetcar and maintain its spot in the contest for state and federal transportation dollars that are necessary in order to make the project happen.

The first of such money comes from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants and will be announced in February. The Federal Government's Grants for Urban Circulator projects will be announced sometime after TIGER, and then money from Ohio's Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) should be announced this Spring.

More money is needed in order to complete the preliminary engineering work and can be approved at a later date - a move that put some on council at ease about earmarking too much money for the project before we know the outcome of said grants. Should all go according to plan, Cincinnati could open the nation's next modern streetcar system in 2012.

Chris Monzel (R), Leslie Ghiz (R), and Charlie Winburn (R) were the three opposition votes. Interestingly enough, all three of City Council's Republicans have already announced that they will be running for the open Hamilton County Commissioner seat this Fall. Monzel has gone as far to say that he is a "son of the suburbs" and will probably be moving out of the City once he is no longer on City Council.


Nick said...

This is great news and thanks for posting who voted against the project (though Monzel doesn't surprise me).

I hope the majority of council continues to think past their terms and imagine what this city can (and will) be ten years from now.

Tamia said...

I want to feel hopeful/relieved, but I'm curious about the next steps. I guess I'm afraid of counting eggs before--well, you know.

And it is very "interesting" to know who was behind the veto votes...


Jason said...

Great news! Thanks for the excellent reporting.
Its nice to see the Mayor and City Council are sticking to their word about insuring Cincinnati gets a streetcar system.
Now, we sit back and wait for the Feds and the State to come through on their end of the deal:)

Kaid@NRDC said...

Very glad to see this project still on course. Rather interesting political tidbit there at the end, too . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm out in the suburbs, but I'm pulling for Cincinnati. This project can bring some positive and far reaching energy to the region!

Nathan said...

I'm gunning for the streetcar. And would love it to run up here to Uptown. HOWEVER, in light of the high speed rail line plan to run to Union Terminal (eventually), I believe there should be strong consideration to run the first leg between there and downtown. It would make sense to start building as part of a real interconnected transit system.

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