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Old 12-26-2008, 05:09 AM
 
3,751 posts, read 10,215,556 times
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Its definitely not just population...

Detroit MSA as of 2007 estimate: approximately 4.5 million people
Detroit-AnnArbor-Flint CSA: approximately 5.4 million people.

And they've been talking about improving the mass transit for YEARS!

As it is now - you take suburban busses in the suburbs (SMART), then switch when you hit the city - and vice versa.

Of course not all the suburbs have their own SMART lines, some have their own city lines.

Detroit does have the "people mover" the disney-land type monorail they built in the '80s but it serves a very small downtown inner-ring. Never getting people from residences into the city core, but moving people from parking garages to a couple of tourist-y areas (GreekTown, JLA, RenCen, etc..).

In Detroit, the problems have been (among many) A) Car is King B) Suburbs don't want to pay for a transit system used mostly be city residents C) city is poorer than outlying suburban areas

Cincinnati may or may not be bigger than some of these areas you've cited that have great transit - but I would posit that the Western cities in particular are "newer" and populated by people and city-leaders who put a strong emphasis on such things as alternative transportation.

Cinci seems much more rust-belt manufacturing than that, and as such a more apt comparison is made to other areas with similar cultural issues/baggage.

Just a comment.. I'd love for their to be a nice light rail from the burbs into the city. I don't work in the city, but would take it on weekends for shopping/visiting.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:41 AM
 
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I understand that but at least Detroit has SOMETHING. I mean it's pathetic, we have nothing. We don't have to deal with Car Company lobbyists and we still have nothing. This is when the Cincinnati government really REALLY makes me... disappointed.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:27 PM
 
2,204 posts, read 5,846,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdfess6 View Post
I understand that but at least Detroit has SOMETHING. I mean it's pathetic, we have nothing. We don't have to deal with Car Company lobbyists and we still have nothing. This is when the Cincinnati government really REALLY makes me... disappointed.

You're out of your mind. We are seeing some of the most progressive changes out of Cincinnati's current city administration.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,223 posts, read 57,353,566 times
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And then there's the NIMBY factor. When light rail was up for a vote several years ago, most of the opposition heard was from people living near existing rail lines, who somehow got the idea that freight trains would be roaring through their neighborhoods at all hours.

All you really hear from light rail is a whirr and the clack of the wheels on the rails; Philadelphia's SEPTA trains run past my office once an hour. Most light rail trains are five or six cars long max, except during rush hour. You can barely hear them.

Really, though, the traffic in Cincinnati isn't congested enough, nor are gas prices high enough (yet) for commuters to feel that adding light rail -- or even improvements to the existing bus system -- is worth the cost.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:22 AM
 
414 posts, read 1,128,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
And then there's the NIMBY factor. When light rail was up for a vote several years ago, most of the opposition heard was from people living near existing rail lines, who somehow got the idea that freight trains would be roaring through their neighborhoods at all hours.

All you really hear from light rail is a whirr and the clack of the wheels on the rails; Philadelphia's SEPTA trains run past my office once an hour. Most light rail trains are five or six cars long max, except during rush hour. You can barely hear them.

Really, though, the traffic in Cincinnati isn't congested enough, nor are gas prices high enough (yet) for commuters to feel that adding light rail -- or even improvements to the existing bus system -- is worth the cost.

I agree with parts of your post and disagree with other parts.

I live in a city with a much smaller metro population than the Cincy Metro area and we just opened our first light rail line about a year ago (3 more are currently in the plans). We had a lot of opposition, especially by those that were opposed because of the Not-In-My-Backyard approach. But you are right, the trains are very quiet, and truthfully after a few days, you don't even notice them. Those same opposers are now estatic about the first rail going through their backyard. With the rail came progression. We now have 4 new condo projects, restaurants and retail under construction in areas that hadn't seen much development in years.

The only part I disagree with you on is that there isn't enough traffic in Cincy to justify a line. The traffic in my town isn't any worse than the Cincy area, yet our line has been extremely successful. The key is, it's got to reach the right people (suburbs; i.e. Blue Ash, Montgomery, West Chester, NKY, etc.) and have convenient destinations such as GABP and the business district and NKY.

The same project that the people here said would add little value, has experienced more than 5 million rides and a 99.6% on-time rating in it's first year! Besides the expected businessman riding to work, our community has embraced the lightrail and it is chalk-full on weekends, exclusively for entertainment purposes. I can't tell you how many more times I have gone Uptown in the past year, simply because of convenience.

I think Cincinnati would benefit greatly from a light rail system.

I would also like to add that probably 80% of the people on the train, would not, or have not ever ridden a city bus.

Last edited by jstn; 12-29-2008 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:29 AM
 
2,204 posts, read 5,846,421 times
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^ jstn, if you don't mind me asking ... what city do you live in?
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:53 AM
 
710 posts, read 2,650,219 times
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my money is on Charlotte
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,223 posts, read 57,353,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstn View Post
The only part I disagree with you on is that there isn't enough traffic in Cincy to justify a line.
Even with half of Cincinnati's traffic, light rail would be justified. For folks like you and me who would sacrifice their auto cupholders to commute by train instead of by car every day.

But most of the people in Cincinnati don't think traffic is bad enough that light rail is necessary. "Bad" traffic is when you creep and sit on the freeway for an hour, and the occasional wreck and/or construction aside, that just doesn't happen in Cincinnati on a regular basis as it does in other cities. So because the general perception is that light rail is not needed -- in other words, it won't benefit the average commuter -- no one will be willing to pay for it.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati(Silverton)
1,577 posts, read 2,304,412 times
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I think one should be up and running before gas prices spike to $6 or more a gallon. Oil prices just spiked up 8% over night.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:44 AM
 
414 posts, read 1,128,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlrosen View Post
my money is on Charlotte
You are correct.

We started a few years ago with the proposal which was met with some strong opposition. One thing I will definitely say about this city, is that we have some city leaders that have a great vision of what is needed for the future and they were determined to not let this project fail. We finally passed the proposal, which included a 1/2 cent sales tax burden to the city. We have only opened one line, but as I mentioned before, it has been a tremendous success.

The line begins 12 miles out of center city in the suburbs and consists of 14 stops before it ends. This line will eventually continue to travel to the NE where the UNCC campus is located. Most of the stops have newly built parking garages to satisfy the park-and-ride criteria. Trust me people use it - even those that said it was a waste of money.

I know me and my family use it on a regular basis. We go Uptown at least a 2 or 3 times a week, where as before maybe once a month. Also, I have had probably 20 visitors down from Ohio that have ridden it, and each one of them have said if Cincy had something like that, they would definitely go downtown more often. And trust me, these people aren't usually the let's go to the city type of people.

I think the key to the success is availability and convenience. It can't just be another mode of transportation for those that depend on public transportation. Sure it needs to meet that criteria, but it also needs to add convenience to your typical shirt and tie guy who lives in the burbs and travels to the city for work...or even better, fun. If you go to our first stop at 9:00 on a Monday morning, you won't find an empty parking spot. Each of the parking spots in a four-level parking garage are being filled with Range Rovers, Mercedes, Lexuses, etc.. The result, what was once land used for parking spots Uptown, are now becoming available for new construction concepts such as, condo towers, restaurants, museums, and entertainment...and it's happening!

I just can't express how good this has been for the city. Even in tough economic times our city center is booming. I think the light rail is a key ingredient to our success and progression.

I just couldn't imagine that people would not find it as a great asset to the city of Cincinnati. Imagine just how many of those suburbanites would rediscover just what a great city Cincy is if they could just sit back and ride the train into downtown and be dropped off at the GABP gates or the entrance to the new Banks project when opened, the Union Terminal, etc...

I am of the belief that people stick to their little suburban life because of one thing... convenience. If you open up accessability to the city core, people will venture out and actually find that they enjoy it.
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