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Old 12-22-2011, 11:36 AM
 
Location: OH
361 posts, read 546,706 times
Reputation: 468

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Why thank you both. In fact, I am coming around on the streetcar. I know it is useless as a transportation utility but I am beginning to see it as an actual (but expensive) attraction to bring people downtown. It should be linked with the casino though. Perhaps that will follow. It must be at the casino's cost.
The world must be coming to an end! I cannot believe I'm reading this. I've read some of your previous posts in this thread with you referring to the streetcar as a "toy" and belittling some of the proponents of the project. Hopefully there will be more people like you however, who will slowly realize how the streetcar can benefit the city of Cincinnati.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
165 posts, read 331,559 times
Reputation: 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Why thank you both. In fact, I am coming around on the streetcar. I know it is useless as a transportation utility but I am beginning to see it as an actual (but expensive) attraction to bring people downtown. It should be linked with the casino though. Perhaps that will follow. It must be at the casino's cost.
As usual, Wilson, you are spot-on. The streetcar could only be a "transportation utility" in a dense urban environment like New York's Manhattan or San Francisco which are two of the most private car-unfriendly places on the planet. Parking there costs an arm and a leg. (if you can even find parking) Otherwise, Taxi cabs couldn't do such a brisk business if everything was easily accessible by personal automobile. So long as most of Cincinnati is easily reached by private automobile and parking availability is widespread and not ultra expensive, its hard to justify the utilitarian aspects of the streetcar system. However, as you said, it will be an ATTRACTION and connected with the new downtown development it will serve the downtown waterfront (The Banks and the Casino) while connecting them to the inner suburbs. I think UC students will use it for downtown travel (and the inevitable frequenting of partying hotspots) in the OTR and downtown as well as tourists coming into town riding it for the novelty of the experience. (my spouse and I would fit into the latter category) Above all, it must be kept clean and safe and run on time. At peak demand times (games and local events) it can in those instances take on a utlitarian role but downtown Cincinnati is still far away from becoming like Manhattan or San Francisco in density and traffic congestion. Attractions like streetcars can be good for the local economy so long as they are well run and pay for themselves. (or at least not running on taxpayer funded subsidies) I'd bet the Casino won't mind chipping in some $$$ for the Streetcar so long as it brings them more customers.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:16 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,952,895 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintrest View Post
As usual, Wilson, you are spot-on. The streetcar could only be a "transportation utility" in a dense urban environment like New York's Manhattan or San Francisco which are two of the most private car-unfriendly places on the planet. Parking there costs an arm and a leg. (if you can even find parking) Otherwise, Taxi cabs couldn't do such a brisk business if everything was easily accessible by personal automobile. So long as most of Cincinnati is easily reached by private automobile and parking availability is widespread and not ultra expensive, its hard to justify the utilitarian aspects of the streetcar system. However, as you said, it will be an ATTRACTION and connected with the new downtown development it will serve the downtown waterfront (The Banks and the Casino) while connecting them to the inner suburbs. I think UC students will use it for downtown travel (and the inevitable frequenting of partying hotspots) in the OTR and downtown as well as tourists coming into town riding it for the novelty of the experience. (my spouse and I would fit into the latter category) Above all, it must be kept clean and safe and run on time. At peak demand times (games and local events) it can in those instances take on a utlitarian role but downtown Cincinnati is still far away from becoming like Manhattan or San Francisco in density and traffic congestion. Attractions like streetcars can be good for the local economy so long as they are well run and pay for themselves. (or at least not running on taxpayer funded subsidies) I'd bet the Casino won't mind chipping in some $$$ for the Streetcar so long as it brings them more customers.
I get what you're saying. But the City's track record of keeping other infrastructure, utilities, property, etc. clean, safe, well-maintained and efficient is honestly not very good. And they're cutting what resources they did expend on those efforts all the time. So what will make this investment different, I wonder?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,367,556 times
Reputation: 1920
Vintest... The streetcars can be an attraction. But my opinion goes as follows. Let's see the initial truncated route get built and operational without significant cost overruns. The original loop all the way to UC is not in the current plan - not enough money. Once operational let's see if it runs without a large public subsidy. The private development along the route may very well occur but if it comes at the expense of a public subsidy it is still the old story of public funding of private gains, which by its very nature is discriminatory.

Like Wilson, I was softening towards the streetcar until I read where one car costs $3.5-$4 million dollars. I have not received any rebuttal that I am all wet. So in my mind, a modern transit bus costs around $300,000. So for one streetcar the City could have over 10 brand new transmit buses.
Amortize the $100,000,000 cost to construct the streetcar route over 20 years, not including interest on debt, and you would have $5,000,000 per year to operate the 10 buses. I believe for this you could make the fare free.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:04 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,952,895 times
Reputation: 1499
I just wish the city could come up with the, what, couple thousand dollars it might cost them to repave my street. It really does need it.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:43 PM
 
864 posts, read 1,197,153 times
Reputation: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Like Wilson, I was softening towards the streetcar until I read where one car costs $3.5-$4 million dollars. I have not received any rebuttal that I am all wet. So in my mind, a modern transit bus costs around $300,000. So for one streetcar the City could have over 10 brand new transmit buses.
Amortize the $100,000,000 cost to construct the streetcar route over 20 years, not including interest on debt, and you would have $5,000,000 per year to operate the 10 buses. I believe for this you could make the fare free.
Check out this little article from Light Rail Now. It addresses the light rail vs. bus issue as far as cost goes.

Light Rail Now! MythBustersLog - Light Rail Transit Mythbusting

It's a pretty interesting read.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Oxford, Ohio
901 posts, read 1,951,836 times
Reputation: 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman View Post
No, out there in Oxford I don't think much of anything within the core of the Queen City would affect you--so just why ARE you so concerned about what transpires here, streetcarwise? It simply doesn't concern you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
As I recall, you used to post frequently on the Cincinnati board when you lived in Franklin. Why did what happens here concern you at the time?
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman View Post
A valid question, Sarah, and one with an answer. Virtually 2/3 of my life was spent in Cincinnati, except for three years abroad. Unfortunately, both my wife and I managed to completely screw up our lives IN Cincinnati, ending up having to find refuge and employment in Middletown, then Franklin. Over the last 1/3 of our lives, we simply became entrenched in middle aged fears of change, and thus clung to the jobs we had. Last year retirement came and (Presto!) we were "outta there." In hindsight, staying in Franklin so long was the dumbest thing we ever did. (as for myself, my psychic roots here in Cincinnati go deep, deep, deep...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
Maybe the person to whom you wrote "No, out there in Oxford I don't think much of anything within the core of the Queen City would affect you--so just why ARE you so concerned about what transpires here, streetcarwise? It simply doesn't concern you!" is similarly interested in what happens in Cincinnati. The evident hypocrisy in the assumptions you seemed to be making was really my only point.
Okay, Motorman, here's the thing:

First of all, I was attempting to be humorous. Sometimes my sense of humor doesn't come through. But now I'm going to open up about how I really feel regarding this subject...

As I previously told another member on these boards...who seems to be a hard-core urban enthusiast...I give a flying fat-rat's butt about what happens in Cincinnati because I see them spending money they don't have!

My dad is a City of Cincinnati retiree. He went to work for the city in the 1960s, with the understanding that by doing so, he would enjoy certain benefits not only while he was working, but also after he retired, and thus concluded it would be a better deal for him when he retired than what he's now getting! He could have made more money working in the private sector. He only gets less than $2000 a month as his pension, and rarely gets a raise that keeps up with the rate of inflation. But now the city is in a financial situation in which they've proposed cuts to the medical benefits of retirees, and he is now having to pay more for things he was led to believe were a fringe benefit for him. He never sought to terminate his employment with Cincinnati in favor of a more lucrative job in the private sector, even though he could have, because I imagine he felt the benefits he would get after retiring from the city would be far better for him. However, he's now seen changes in his benefits, and is having to pay much more out-of-pocket for his monthly medications, and likewise is finding that he has to bear the full cost of certain types of doctor's visits that he never had to pay for previously. It's hard watching this go on with him, and in fact for a while there was uncertainty about his future medical care because of not knowing exactly how the city was going to handle that particular financial crisis regarding the pension fund in general, as well as medical benefits for its retirees. The city didn't adequately and fully contribute to the pension fund for years the way it was supposed to. It diverted that money to other projects, not taking into consideration the losses it would incur when the stock market came tumbling down. So it's quite unfair to ask the retirees to bear the consequences of that inaction, yet pursue a streetcar system that will cost millions.

So despite all the money woes the city has, it wants to spend money it doesn't have to bring a tourist attraction (that's my opinion) into the city! As I see it, it's irresponsible to spend money you don't have when other priorities are being ignored. If a family has a leaking roof, it doesn't allow it to go unfixed simply because they'd rather save the money to buy a new 52" HDTV. If the city had the excess money to spend, I'd be all for the streetcars. But they've taken a risk based on mere speculation that "if you build it, they will come"...even though it's happening at a time when the economy is in the toilet and shows no real signs of bouncing back any time soon. Maybe some things are turning around, as several other posters in this thread have indicated, but how is that going to translate into a benefit for the rest of the neighborhoods in Cincinnati that aren't near the streetcar line? What about people in Westwood? How about those in Madisonville? What about Sarah Perry, whose street needs to be repaved? How will it trickle down and be of benefit to my dad?

FWIW, I lived in Hamilton county for almost 33 years between 1965 - 1998. Fifteen of those years were INSIDE Cincinnati itself. I've only lived in Butler County since 1998. I moved here after leaving my job, and also because I couldn't keep paying out my butt for an apartment in Oakley - a place the landlords wanted to "bring up to market rate". I hope they replaced the non-working AC, tore up the dated carpet, and gave the place a new fridge in the process. I moved to West Chester after that, and then moved to Oxford this year to be closer to family....and also because it's a pretty cool little town up here. So while I didn't really get a vote about the whole streetcar thing in Cincinnati, I do feel like I have a right to express my opinion about it. After all, if I come downtown and pay to ride the damned thing, I sure as hell won't see any benefit from it up here in Oxford...and neither will my dad.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Hall View Post
the best way for cincinnati and the U.S. to get out of debt is to stop subsidizing suburbia massively through mortgage interest deductions, fannie mae buying all the mortgages, and putting money from general taxation into the highway fund. let suburban drivers pay for suburban roads.
No, Matthew, it's just okay to use taxpayer money (where do you think the money in that government grant is coming from?) to fund a streetcar line that will only benefit people of a certain socio-economic status in a small section of town, right? As opposed to funding a highway system that benefits the entire region, and nation, as well as people from all walks of life.

Tell ya' what, Matthew, if you can build an additional 1.9 million housing units in the city core...as well as all the buildings needed to provide the employment for those people, build the transportation infrastructure needed, and the sewer, gas, water, and electric lines need to sustain them, farms to grow their food, and all the quiet secluded places where they can go to find some peace away from the city noise...then you might get more people to move back into the city. But until that happens, what do you expect the rest of us to do...fall off the face of the earth and die?

Those highway systems we use taxpayer money to build benefit YOU, also. You can't deny that...unless, of course, you'd prefer to starve when food can't make it to you. Or if you'd rather the military not be able to transport troops and equipment in the event of a war...which, if I recall correctly, was one of the primary reasons for building the interstates.

And to be frank, the best way for America to get out of debt is by demanding all our overseas companies to bring the jobs back home, and to stop buying all our stuff from China. BUT...that's a bit off topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
For my part, I think an amusement ride would be a lot more effective if it was a giant Ferris wheel on the riverfront like London has. Think of the view. That is an attraction that people would actually pay to use.
Tsk tsk tsk, Wilson.....a Ferris wheel isn't something that would be uniquely Cincinnati. Make it a wooden rollercoaster instead. There ya' go...it could dip and soar back and forth over the river, and even dive through a tunnel next to the entrance at PBS and emerge from the tunnel next to GABP.

Last edited by insightofitall; 12-22-2011 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:16 PM
 
800 posts, read 696,982 times
Reputation: 552
>one car costs $3.5-$4 million dollars

A modern streetcar such as the Skoda-based car that visited Cincinnati last year lasts three times as long (the average bus is retired after 12 years, whereas the average electric transit vehicle, be it subway, light rail, or streetcar, operates for 30+ years). So to compare a modern streetcar to a bus, you actually have to compare one streetcar & its maintenance over 30+ years to three buses and their work over 12 years apiece.

The streetcars survive so long because they operate over smooth rails instead of pavement and because electic motors survive MUCH longer than diesel engines. There is no transmission or steering to go out, no exhaust to rust out, no tires to replace every three months, no breaking timing belts & resultant bent valves.

The concrete pad and the track itself last 30 years. Go to Portland and see the light rail track installed in the first segment in 1986. Some of the concrete is starting to chip near switch tracks but otherwise it has had zero maintenance. It doesn't crack like asphalt because it's laid in a much thicker slab that isn't compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle.
When the streetcars were scrapped in Cincinnati back in 1951, the track, the overhead wire, and the streetcars themselves still had decades of life left in them. Because the streetcar company was a private company, they had to pay tax on everything that was scrapped, and taxes were MUCH higher in the 50s than they are now. When the last trolleybuses were retired, the company scrapped $400,000 worth of copper wire, but had to pay 45% tax on that sale.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:35 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,952,895 times
Reputation: 1499
insightofitall, I'm sorry about your dad. It's a shameful situation, and one of the most egregious examples of the city not taking care of its obligations before taking on more debt. But the fact is, there are a lot of citizens who simply don't see anything wrong with that scenario. And enough politicians who want to pander to them.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Oxford, Ohio
901 posts, read 1,951,836 times
Reputation: 691
I've said enough. I did NOT want to come back in here just to get upset and run my mouth again. I've done that too much, for which I apologize...but I can't help it sometimes. Things just get under my skin and I let loose. So carry on with the discussion. No need to respond to anything I've written, as it doesn't really matter much anyway.
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