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Thread: Streetcars in Cincy?

  1. #151
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    I can see people saying, "I pay these high property taxes and I want that money to go to the schools my kids attend." On the other hand, Walnut Hills is an example where private fund raising can be used to improve a school, so if people want to pay more they certainly can.
    I like funding schools, libraries, townships and counties through property taxes because it is progressive (those with higher abilities to pay contribute more taxes), yet it does leave the poor districts painfully short when the money stays local. Maybe a way to rectify that is to establish a state minimum for the dollars per student that needs to be funded to every school. Once that is satisfied, the rich districts get to keep what's left. The question, of course is will there be any money left for those rich districts? My gut tells me that a lot of money dissappears down the toilet in those large, city systems.
    Yeah, I think the goal should be "raising the water level to lift all boats," rather than trying to create some sort of equal distribution of funds. Personally I think that a lot of money in public schools, rich and poor, is wasted because schools use the money on administration and tech expenditures rather than the one area that would result in the most improvement, more teachers. You can walk into schools with all kinds of fancy computer equipment that looks nice on TV, but really doesn't help kids if they're still packing them into class rooms with 25-30 kids a class. Of course computers don't need health benefits. I think that if they really want to improve the education of poor students, I would try to find a way to encourage schools to hire more teachers before they go on a spending spree at Dell.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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  3. #152
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Roger that- but I'm guessing the guvmint loves buying computers more than paying teachers.

    Because computers make our kids smarter.
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  4. #153
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Roger that- but I'm guessing the guvmint loves buying computers more than paying teachers.

    Because computers make our kids smarter.
    That's what I gather the philosophy of our school district is. Having taught computer programming, I think anyone could teach themselves not only how to use a computer, but how to program one as well, if they just had a solid education in logic, language, and math, none of which requires a computer to learn. But give kids a computer without that background education and only a few will be able to do more than just play games, do email and chat.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  5. #154
    Porkchop Sandwiches DoogMinAmo's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Regarding the education front:

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...391/1077/COL02

    Seems like specialization has already started, and the truly bad and underperforming schools are being targeted.

    Also, what is everyone's thought on this editorial:

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...706180319/1090

    BANKS PROJECT NEEDS NEW NAME, FOCUS

    In regard to the Banks, or the Riverfront District as I like to call it: First, when it's actually started, and completed, it needs a new name. The Banks name by itself just upsets people right now. And they need to not worry as much about condos, there are plenty of condos and apartments to live in the downtown area, or will be in the not-so-distant future.

    The riverfront project should focus more on entertainment and shopping. Allow a quality mass transit system to move people from the middle or outskirts of downtown and surrounding areas to the riverfront. There will be new condos that haven't even been started yet. Not to mention Over-the-Rhine starting to become more livable. Retail + Entertainment + Mass Transit = a great city!

    Mark Altherr
    Delhi Township
    A new name would be a welcome idea, considering the above mentioned immediate negative reaction to the "banks" term. Disagree about the lack of mixed use, though. That is one of the main reasons the Flats in Cleveland failed, and will be a big rerason the Levee has no staying power as well. If the Banks ever does happen, unfortunately, I don't know if the Levee could sustain the hit.
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  6. #155
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoogMinAmo View Post
    Regarding the education front:

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...391/1077/COL02

    Seems like specialization has already started, and the truly bad and underperforming schools are being targeted.

    Also, what is everyone's thought on this editorial:

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...706180319/1090



    A new name would be a welcome idea, considering the above mentioned immediate negative reaction to the "banks" term. Disagree about the lack of mixed use, though. That is one of the main reasons the Flats in Cleveland failed, and will be a big rerason the Levee has no staying power as well. If the Banks ever does happen, unfortunately, I don't know if the Levee could sustain the hit.
    I think your point about the Flats is a pretty good one. Part of the problem with the Flats is that people were only going down there when something else was going on, but with no one living in the area, the place would be dead during the week if there wasn't something else going on to bring people downtown.

    If done right, the Riverfront should be the crown jewel of development in the area, on both sides of the river. When I visit Cincinnati, all I can think of is how beautiful the area around the river looks. If I were a young professional given the choice between living in a condo in West Chester or Mason or a place in a new development near the river, I'd choose to live down by the river. But you have to give me a place to live and a place to buy my groceries. I can't imagine how great it would be to get home from work and just walk down the street or catch a bus/streetcar to the ballpark for a game and then head out to a pub after the game without having to drive.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  7. #156
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    If done right, the Riverfront should be the crown jewel of development in the area, on both sides of the river. When I visit Cincinnati, all I can think of is how beautiful the area around the river looks. If I were a young professional given the choice between living in a condo in West Chester or Mason or a place in a new development near the river, I'd choose to live down by the river. But you have to give me a place to live and a place to buy my groceries. I can't imagine how great it would be to get home from work and just walk down the street or catch a bus/streetcar to the ballpark for a game and then head out to a pub after the game without having to drive.

    That would be ideal. But the place to live and other amenities would have to be key. It can't be just a bunch of bars and shops and parking garages and a little green space and expect people to go down there when there isn't something going on down there. Most people live in an area where there is access to things they use. There needs to be places like Kroger, Wal Mart, a dry cleaners, auto repair, convenience stores, Skyline, etc. a short distance away.

    The advantages the people here have is that they can learn from the mistakes of other cities who have done something similar. Like you said, in order for these places to thrive, there needs to people going there.
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  8. #157
    Porkchop Sandwiches DoogMinAmo's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Seems like it could really happen... Good for Cincinnati.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...WS01/310150043

    Streetcar plan cheered
    BY MARGARET A. MCGURK | MMCGURK@ENQUIRER.COM
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    Cincinnati will unveil plans Tuesday on how to pay for a four-mile, $100 million downtown streetcar line that advocates believe will contribute $2 billion to the city’s economy and transform Over-the-Rhine.

    The plan’s cheerleaders include politicians, transit activists and urban developers.

    So far, it seems to have no enemies, although that could change when the city explains where it will get the money to fund the plan.


    • Tell us: Are streetcars a good idea?


    City Council’s economic development committee holds a public hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, and expects city officials to present financing details. While planners have kept a tight lid on those details, the plan is expected to rely heavily on bonds that will be repaid with tax income generated by new development along the streetcar line.

    The streetcar plan aims to create an Over-the-Rhine neighborhood where downtown workers can live without owning cars, and where visitors can leave their cars in outlying lots and ride streetcars to riverfront events.

    If the city’s projections are correct, the line would also kick-start redevelopment worth almost $2 billion in investments, rising property values and growth in property tax collections.

    The program could return vacant buildings to use for as many as 1,574 homes, and convert some of the 97 acres of downtown parking lots to commercial space. “That is a heck of a lot of parking space” for a city this size, said city architect Michael Moore.

    In later phases, the streetcars could be extended to reach the University of Cincinnati and nearby hospitals, backers say.

    The plan’s model is Portland, Ore., where officials report more than 7,200 new homes and 4.6 million square feet of new commercial development along a 7.2-mile-long streetcar line since it opened in 2001.

    The push for streetcars comes five years after Hamilton Conty voters emphatically rejected a $2.3 billion light-rail system.

    “We really tried to pick a lay-up here,” said John Schneider, head of the Alliance for Regional Transit. “We were shooting outside the three-point circle in 2002.”

    First, streetcar supporters decided to focus on the city – where voters favored the 2002 light rail proposal by 2-to-1 while it was defeated by a similar margin countywide. local support was key. The countywide total vote in ’02 was 2-to-1 against light rail, but the central city vote was 2-to-1 in favor. Second, the plan was kept simple and relatively inexpensive – “confining it to flat land, no rivers, no bridges, no tunnels.”

    So far, the strategy seems to be working. Pro-streetcar groups turned out in force for the two open houses where details were on exhibit, and no organized opposition has arisen.

    The smooth sailing for the plan, however, may be due in part to the absence so far of a specific plan to cover the $100 million cost.

    The non-profit development group Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) owns substantial real estate around Washington Park, which would presumably be more attractive to developers with streetcars.

    Yet Darrick Dansby, who oversees Over-the-Rhine real estate development for the 3CDC, said the group has taken no position yet on the plan.

    “It’s a great concept,” he said, “but we are waiting until we see the formal financial plan.”

    Opposition to the 2002 light-rail plan was strong among political conservatives. So far, that’s not true for the streetcar plan.

    Paul Weyrich, head of the conservative think-tank Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, argues that streetcar and light rail systems reflect conservative values.

    More than 10 years ago, he and co-author William S. Lind wrote, “The dominance of the automobile is not a free-market outcome, but the result of massive government intervention on behalf of the automobile. That intervention came at the expense of privately owned, privately funded, tax-paying public transit systems.”

    Today, Weyrich said, transit systems support economic growth, if properly planned and managed. “You have got to go where people want to go,” he said. “Some of these systems don’t go anywhere.”

    Southwestern Ohio Regional Transit Authority board member Stephan Louis, who lobbied against the 2002 light rail plan, said he has not taken any position on the streetcars, which he considers unrelated to the existing bus system.

    “We don’t see ourselves competing or challenging or going after the business that is proposed for this economic development plan using the streetcar,” he said.

    Operating costs for streetcars are about the same as bus lines, said Jim Graebner, chairman of the Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Subcommittee of the American Public Transit Association.

    However, he said, “That ‘about’ covers a lot of things.” Among them is maintenance, which is much lower for electric cars compared to diesel buses, he said.

    “Streetcars definitely have a longer life span,” Graebner said. “The typical streetcar is designed to last between 20 and 30 years. Buses have about a 12-year life.” He said cars built in the 1950s have been restored and are running today. “They’ll keep going as long as you keep replacing parts.”

    Along with moderate operating costs, streetcars have other advantages, supporters say. For instance, their tracks are relatively quick and easy to install, and the city already owns the right-of-way on the streets where they will run.

    Expanding the line uphill to the Corryville/University Heights area could cost more because of the geography, but how much is unclear.

    “The problem is now we don’t have any really good … ridership data, engineering data, population data, suggesting what route is best.”

    Last edited by DoogMinAmo; 10-15-2007 at 10:28 PM.
    "I'm a Cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. Please don't send me to the pickle farm, bum." - Brak

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  9. #158
    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    People really seem to get a kick out of that free green Friday streetcar that tools around downtown to take old ladies shopping and the like. It runs for exactly three hours a week, but hey, baby steps.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

  10. #159
    Porkchop Sandwiches DoogMinAmo's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    And now the follow up... It was passed unanimously and to applause by city council. next step? Funding.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...WS01/310160029
    Streetcar plan stays on track
    BY MARGARET A. MCGURK | MMCGURK@ENQUIRER.COM
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    Undaunted by a $102 million price tag, five Cincinnati City Council members Tuesday voted to push forward with plans for a streetcar line from Freedom Way downtown to McMicken Avenue in Over-the-Rhine.

    City Manager Milton Dohoney and City Architect Michael Moore told the economic development committee the system could be operating by December 2010.

    The proposed line would run north on Main to 12th Street, west to Elm, north to McMicken, east to Race, south to Central Parkway, east to Walnut and then south to Freedom Way.


    Dohoney won a round of applause from onlookers crowded into the hearing with his fervent appeal for streetcars in spite of the city’s immediate budget crunch. “We need to seize the momentum when we have it, and we have it now,” he said.

    He said the plan calls for “sacrifices” in the form of deferred capital improvements.
    Committee member Roxanne Qualls praised the plan but asked for details on what work will have to wait because of the streetcars.

    Fellow committee members Cecil Thomas, Jeff Berding, David Crowley and chairman Chris Bortz all spoke in glowing terms about the plan’s potential to boost the city’s economy.

    “We need to do some reprogramming in order to achieve this big project, this big vision.” Bortz said after the meeting. “If we continue to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, the city will continue to decline.”
    "I'm a Cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. Please don't send me to the pickle farm, bum." - Brak

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  11. #160
    Porkchop Sandwiches DoogMinAmo's Avatar
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    Re: Streetcars in Cincy?

    Now this... a lot of dangerous maybes(TIFS and grant from a broke state of Ohio) and private dollars(31 million!) make it seem risky and less likely.
    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...033/1092/COL02

    Streetcar $$: Not just city's
    BY MARGARET A. MCGURK | MMCGURK@ENQUIRER.COM
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    The city of Cincinnati would contribute $36 million toward building a $102 million streetcar system connecting downtown to Over-the-Rhine, under a financial plan unveiled today at City Hall.

    But for the streetcar plan to become a reality, the proposal also calls for $61 million in funding from sources other than the city.

    Under the proposal, the city put up $25 million from its capital fund. It also would use $11 million from its sale of the Blue Ash Airport to pay for the street car project. Cincinnati sold the airport this year to the city of Blue Ash for $37.5 million.


    • Tell us: Do you favor streetcar proposal?


    Bonds paid for with taxes from new development in the area near the streetcar line would cover $25 million. Finally, the plan would call for $20 million from undefined "public/private partnerships” and $11 million from unidentified "private contributors” and a $10 million potential grant from the state of Ohio.

    City Manager Milton Dahoney told City Council’s economic development committee that planners will give more details on the financing plan with a month. In the meantime, he urged to endorse the plan. “We need to seize the moment,” he said.

    "I'm a Cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. Please don't send me to the pickle farm, bum." - Brak

    Record In Games Attended, 2007: 2-1 (1-0 GAB, 1-1 Jake)


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