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Old 11-02-2011, 09:48 PM
 
2,464 posts, read 1,855,665 times
Reputation: 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by CinciFan View Post
It's true that the streetcar won't really help alleviate highway traffic, but the streetcar is meant to be the first step into rail transportation in Cincinnati. The ultimate plan is for the streetcar to tie in with light rail at the "unused riverfront transit center." This will absolutely help reduce traffic on our highways. Imagine being able to get on a train near your home, hop off at the riverfront transit center, and take the streetcar throughout Downtown, OTR, and Clifton. Sounds pretty nice to me.

I am going to vote NO on issue 48 because it is an awful idea. It would kill all rail transit in Cincinnati for 10 years, even if a private company was willing to cover all of the costs. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Also, the people leading the opposition to the streetcar are very shady. They continuously spew their lies in an attempt to stir up hate for the streetcar. In fact, just last week a suit was filed against COAST calling them, saying that they knowingly made false accusations to influence the vote on issue 48. How did COAST respond? Chris Finney went today to the "U.S. District Court in Cincinnati to sue the State of Ohio to have Ohio's law against making false statements to affect the outcome of an election declared unconstitutional." (Source is John Schneider, a leading streetcar supporter). SHADY.

Disclaimer: I'm a conservative, and I see right through their garbage.

So in response to the OP, no, Cincinnati is not crazy, but if issue 48 is passed, we will be.


Tell your family and friends too ... I know I've got at least six friends (five solid, one flakey ... maybe I'll have to pick her up and drag her to the polling station on Tuesday ) voting No on 48 and one great aunt who already has.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:17 PM
 
854 posts, read 619,833 times
Reputation: 281
^ I certainly will. It is such a big issue. Keep up the good work
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,095 posts, read 2,950,550 times
Reputation: 1803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doyle2 View Post
. However, how in the world is a streetcar project that is only going to be 4 miles long, going to benefit the entire City of Cincinnati metroplex?
This point is the source of your frustration. The streetcar is a project to benefit the city, not the metropolis. Metropolitan benefits will be very indirect. It shouldn't be sold otherwise.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
8,315 posts, read 5,710,469 times
Reputation: 1632
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
This point is the source of your frustration. The streetcar is a project to benefit the city, not the metropolis. Metropolitan benefits will be very indirect. It shouldn't be sold otherwise.
Yes, if the City builds the streetcar, it will either be the City's success or its Debacle. As with everything, time will tell.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:55 AM
Status: "earning cash and growing 'stache" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Cincinnati near
1,715 posts, read 1,160,848 times
Reputation: 3291
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
This point is the source of your frustration. The streetcar is a project to benefit the city, not the metropolis. Metropolitan benefits will be very indirect. It shouldn't be sold otherwise.
Even within the city, the benefits are only for a small fraction of the 300K residents. I tried to add up the populations of the zipcodes that I consider downtown, and my rough estimate is less than 20K people living downtown. (45202, 45203, 45210) My extended family in Madisonville, Kennedy Heights, Oakley, and Pleasant Ridge would likely never see a benefit, despite paying for it. It seems that a disproportionate amount of state money gets spent in Columbus, just as a disproportionate amount of city money gets spent downtown. I don't like this trend of subsidizing a benefit for a small group on the backs of the majority.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,095 posts, read 2,950,550 times
Reputation: 1803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemistry_Guy View Post
Even within the city, the benefits are only for a small fraction of the 300K residents. I tried to add up the populations of the zipcodes that I consider downtown, and my rough estimate is less than 20K people living downtown. (45202, 45203, 45210) My extended family in Madisonville, Kennedy Heights, Oakley, and Pleasant Ridge would likely never see a benefit, despite paying for it. It seems that a disproportionate amount of state money gets spent in Columbus, just as a disproportionate amount of city money gets spent downtown. I don't like this trend of subsidizing a benefit for a small group on the backs of the majority.
I live in the ridge and as a city resident, I am happy to support downtown development, even though I won't be using the streetcar regularly. I think neighborhoods need to be a little less clannish and open themselves up to working together for the benefit of the city as a whole. Maybe someday they'll restore some of the old lines up Montgomery road. Who knows? It just isn't feasible for every project to immediate benefit everyone equally. Sure, I have my ideas about how to use the money differently, but ultimately it is this or nothing. So I'll take this.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:30 AM
Status: "earning cash and growing 'stache" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Cincinnati near
1,715 posts, read 1,160,848 times
Reputation: 3291
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
I live in the ridge and as a city resident, I am happy to support downtown development, even though I won't be using the streetcar regularly. I think neighborhoods need to be a little less clannish and open themselves up to working together for the benefit of the city as a whole. Maybe someday they'll restore some of the old lines up Montgomery road. Who knows? It just isn't feasible for every project to immediate benefit everyone equally. Sure, I have my ideas about how to use the money differently, but ultimately it is this or nothing. So I'll take this.
I might have trusted the city before the stadium debacle, but I firmly believe that the streetcar development is much more about generating a revenue stream to a few individual interests than providing transportation. The city seems to overpay for everything it does, and the only winners are those that are fortunate enough to 'win' the contract. Right now labor is dirt cheap, unless one is working for the government.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:39 AM
 
2,280 posts, read 1,860,128 times
Reputation: 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemistry_Guy View Post
I might have trusted the city before the stadium debacle, but I firmly believe that the streetcar development is much more about generating a revenue stream to a few individual interests than providing transportation. The city seems to overpay for everything it does, and the only winners are those that are fortunate enough to 'win' the contract. Right now labor is dirt cheap, unless one is working for the government.
What he said ^^. Of course, my personal pet peeve is the ZILLIONS of deteriorated, abandoned, totally code-violating propeties that are literally everywhere you look in most parts of town. Yeah, occasionally the city takes one of the worst violators to court. For example, I believe that Lanny Holbrook guy has now been meted out the horrible punishment of having to wear an ankle bracelet. Now, THAT's the kind of enforcement that'll get these people to shape up. Not.

Two council candidates even have a bunch of complaints and violations. That should give everyone an idea of just how seriously anyone takes this problem. It's insane.

When I think about the resources the city already has devoted to the streetcar project plus the ongoing costs of operation--vis a vis what they could accomplish in terms of cleaning up some of these properties-- my blood pressure rises to what is probably an really unhealthy level. So I guess I should just try to not think about it
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
463 posts, read 245,411 times
Reputation: 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemistry_Guy View Post
I might have trusted the city before the stadium debacle, but I firmly believe that the streetcar development is much more about generating a revenue stream to a few individual interests than providing transportation. The city seems to overpay for everything it does, and the only winners are those that are fortunate enough to 'win' the contract. Right now labor is dirt cheap, unless one is working for the government.
The Stadium Debalacale was almost entirely the work of the county government. They were bullied into negotiating an awful deal. Not only that but Mike Brown should be held up as an enemy of the city, that guy did so much damage its not even funny all to support sports fanaticism! He should at the very least have been sued for his damages.

Quote:
On top of paying for the stadium, Hamilton County granted the Bengals generous lease terms. It agreed to pick up nearly all operating and capital improvement costs—and to foot the bill for high-tech bells and whistles that have yet to be invented, like a "holographic replay machine." No team had snared such concessions in addition to huge sums of public money, Journal research shows.
From: Stadium's Costly Legacy Throws Taxpayers for a Loss - WSJ.com

Not only that but yes, the streetcar is about generating revenue, not so much transportation for now, but we are talking about a redevelopment of a tremendous urban neighborhood that has been neglected for far too long here, its something that is worth the risk!

If the 2002 metromoves plan hadn't been voted down (which included the streetcar as part of the proposal that was a regional rail system combined with improvements to the bus system) then we wouldn't have to be discussing how only certain parts of town would be benefiting from transit improvements, they would have been for the whole region!

Last edited by neilworms2; 11-03-2011 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis and Cincinnati
641 posts, read 849,735 times
Reputation: 489
I have largely stayed out of this debate because I feel BOTH sides are wrong in approach.

The idea we would tie our hands for 10 years regarding transit is ridiculous, and probably not be very pro business, especially for OTR

On the other hand spending millions on a 'streetcar' that could just as well be served by trolley buses is ridiculous too.

When I look at OTR I see a lot of promise and opportunity. It could be like Charleston SC or New Orleans or even a San Francisco. A city that has a multi billion dollar tourist industry that creates valuable service, hospitality and retail jobs which this city sorely needs.

However, BEFORE, we do things like a streetcar we need to do some other things. We have hundreds of empty unused buildings in OTR. I have never bought the argument of "build it and they will come" of the pro-streetcar people. This isn't Portland and we have different set of problems and dynamics here.

OTR has crumbling streets , sidewalks, alleys and buildings. You need to invest in improvements in those areas first. You need to haev OTR Lit up at night like a christmas tree. At the same time, you need to eliminate the roadblocks that keep people from buying and developing these buildings which have often sat for 20-30 years empty and require between 1/2 to a million dollars, or more, to restore and get up to code. The city permit process is unduly complicated, cost more than other cities its size, and when you call you may get one answer on the phone and another when you show up.

FIRST: Establish OTR as a Community Reinvestment Zone and eliminate all building permit fees for acquisition and restoration of buildings and increase the tax abatement from 275K to 1 million dollars and from 10 to 15 years.

Second: Eliminate all parking meters N of Liberty for 5 years. Do what other cities are doing and lease the operation of all other city meters and parking lots to a private company for an upfront initial payment and annual fee and use that for infrastructure improvements. That will save the city millions of operational and maintenance costs and we wont be paying meter maids 32,000 a year plus benefits/Pensions to service meters that are NEVER USED!

Third: Revamp city inspections and eliminate duplication of inspectors (one for occupied/one for vacant) Merge databases with permits so one inspector can handle all functions.The savings will be enough to establish a full time housing court Eliminate the VBML Vacant Building Maintence liscensed (citywide) and go back to focused repair based orders.

Fourth: Use Federal CDBG funds for stabilization and facade grants NOT Demolition in OTR

Fifth: Eliminate business license fees for anyone willing to go into OTR and open a business.

Sixth: Concentrated Police Enforcement and patrols and a security camera system that will help shut down criminal activity.

Do the above and in 10-15 years you will need a streetcar system because OTR will have a population and business tax base to support it. More than likely the city will be able to find a private developer willing to build it and pay the city a license fee to operate it and it wont be a burden to the city budget.

I DO NOT understand why common sense is so hard for people in Cincinnati?

Who knows, maybe we can even find the money to get that subway we have sitting under the city finished because we might need it because we would have a viable downtown and OTR and PEOPLE living there who would use it .
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