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Restarting Passenger Rail In Ohio's 3C Corridor

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The State Controlling Board approved ODOT seeking a contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct the $25 million final engineering and Tier II environmental assessment of 3C "Quick Start." Similarly large and complicated engineering contracts, including their scope of work, appear to take about 4-8 months of negotiating and writing. So we're probably looking at the end of the year before the engineering work gets going. The engineering will probably take about a year.

 

In the meantime, if you and others here are at a university in the 3C Corridor and want to help spread the word about 3C, let me know. Drop me a note on PM.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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I-70/71 redesign cost shows value of rail

Monday, July 26, 2010  02:52 AM

 

Reconstruction of the I-70/71 split Downtown illustrates why passenger-rail service is so important for Ohio. Enlarging this 3-mile stretch of roadway is slated to cost about $1.5 billion and may further erode the environment for nearby residents.

 

Full letter to the editor at: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2010/07/26/i-7071-redesign-cost-shows-value-of-rail.html?sid=101

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  There's something going on at the former PRR Undercliff Yard in Cincinnati. I doubt that it has to do with the 3-C line, but the site near the intersection of the OASIS line and Beechmont Avenue was a possible station site.

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What's a-happening?


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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  Not sure. There's a developer interested in several acres that was formerly part of the Undercliff yard. I have no idea what kind of development is proposed or whether it's related to the 3-C. Neither do I know the exact plans for the 3-C line. But I think that the particular spot could have been a candidate for the Lunken Airport station.

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John Kasich, Yvette McGee Brown differ on rail plan at candidate forum

Published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 7:20 PM   

Updated: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 11:02 PM

Reginald Fields, The Plain Dealer

 

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — You've heard about that passenger train linking Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati that Ohio leaders have debated this year.

 

Well, forget about it, if John Kasich is elected governor.

 

The Republican hopeful on Wednesday spoke at a candidate forum hosted by six Ohio economic and development associations eager to hear the gubernatorial candidates' views on issues such as infrastructure and transportation.

 

Full story at: http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2010/08/john_kasich_yvette_mcgee_brown.html

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LaHood downplays Ohio GOP attack on passenger rail

By MATT LEINGANG, The Associated Press

12:19 PM Thursday, August 5, 2010

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is downplaying threats by Ohio Republicans to stop the state's passenger rail project.

 

LaHood says the $400 million stimulus project to connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati is an important part of a national rail program. He compared it to the development of the federal highway system, which took five decades to complete and survived numerous elections.

 

Full story at: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/ohio-news/lahood-downplays-ohio-gop-attack-on-passenger-rail-846020.html

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I'm am sick to my stomach with some of John Kasich's quotes...

 

"I don't support a 39 mph train, OK? It's not going to happen if I'm governor, OK?" Kasich said to reporters gathered for the occasion, according to published reports. "If you want the train, I hope you can get over that and vote for me anyway. But you're not going to get that train."

 

http://www.examiner.com/x-23537-Columbus-Government-Examiner~y2010m8d5-Ohio-3C-passenger-rail-plan-creates-sharp-divide-between-Strickland-Kasich

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His quote shows off his arrogance..... as if he's saying "If you like passenger rail, too bad.....but vote for me anyway." 

 

But his quote should also serve as a rallying cry for those who want passenger trains in Ohio.  John Kasich does not want any of us to have a choice of how we can travel.

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I'm am sick to my stomach with some of John Kasich's quotes...

 

"I don't support a 39 mph train, OK? It's not going to happen if I'm governor, OK?" Kasich said to reporters gathered for the occasion, according to published reports. "If you want the train, I hope you can get over that and vote for me anyway. But you're not going to get that train."

 

http://www.examiner.com/x-23537-Columbus-Government-Examiner~y2010m8d5-Ohio-3C-passenger-rail-plan-creates-sharp-divide-between-Strickland-Kasich

 

Unfortunately, the author of that article in the Columbus Examiner is every bit as anti-passenger rail as Kasich.

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Kasich isn't being a conservative. He's merely kowtowing to his preferred ODOT director: the narrow-minded president of Ohio's roadbuilders association. A basic problem with the president of the Ohio Contractors Association is that he doesn't know diddely squat about rail or transit. If he did, he would be helping his members grab as much of this rail and transit construction business as possible. Instead, they want things just as they've been for the past 60-80 years: growing amounts of driving, growing gas tax revenues and growing road construction projects. None of that is happening except the last one, which is why the highway trust fund is bankrupt. That's no one's fault except the narrow-minded, voracious road builders and their puppets like Kasich.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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The President of the OCA was also a member of the Governor's 20th Century Transportation Task Force in 2008-2009... and was a constant impediment in the process of the Task Force's efforts to change transportation policy in Ohio.  He fought every attempt to find a better way to fund and develop walkable neighborhoods, bicycle paths, mass transit and rail.

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A more detailed version of an earlier AP story...

 

LaHood stands by Ohio rail project

Kasich vows to stop plans if elected

Friday, August 6, 2010  02:54 AM

By Matt Leingang

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Ohio's train routes will be part of a national system.U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood downplayed threats yesterday by Ohio Republicans to stop a high-profile passenger rail project if they take over state government in the November election.

 

LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, said the $400 million stimulus project to connect Ohio's major cities is an important part of a national rail program, similar to the development of the federal highway system, which took five decades to complete and survived numerous elections.

 

"The reason that Ohio is connected to an interstate system that runs all over America is because it was a national plan. Ohio will be connected (to rail)," LaHood said after meeting with construction workers to talk about the impact of the federal stimulus package.

 

Full story at:http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/08/06/lahood-stands-by-ohio-rail-project.html?sid=101

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I'm am sick to my stomach with some of John Kasich's quotes...

 

"I don't support a 39 mph train, OK? It's not going to happen if I'm governor, OK?" Kasich said to reporters gathered for the occasion, according to published reports. "If you want the train, I hope you can get over that and vote for me anyway. But you're not going to get that train."

 

http://www.examiner.com/x-23537-Columbus-Government-Examiner~y2010m8d5-Ohio-3C-passenger-rail-plan-creates-sharp-divide-between-Strickland-Kasich

 

Uh.... yeah... he's officially not getting my vote. 

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I'm am sick to my stomach with some of John Kasich's quotes...

 

"I don't support a 39 mph train, OK? It's not going to happen if I'm governor, OK?" Kasich said to reporters gathered for the occasion, according to published reports. "If you want the train, I hope you can get over that and vote for me anyway. But you're not going to get that train."

 

http://www.examiner.com/x-23537-Columbus-Government-Examiner~y2010m8d5-Ohio-3C-passenger-rail-plan-creates-sharp-divide-between-Strickland-Kasich

 

Uh.... yeah... he's officially not getting my vote.

 

Hey, C'mon.  He did say "I hope you can get over that and vote for me anyway" ;)

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The President of the OCA was also a member of the Governor's 20th Century Transportation Task Force in 2008-2009...

 

Now we have proof Ohio really IS behind the times!!!  :lol:

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Uh.... yeah... he's officially not getting my vote. 

 

Yep.  The man doesn't want me to have any freedom of choice as to how I want to travel around Ohio.  No way I'm voting for him either.

 

The President of the OCA was also a member of the Governor's 20th Century Transportation Task Force in 2008-2009... and was a constant impediment in the process of the Task Force's efforts to change transportation policy in Ohio.  He fought every attempt to find a better way to fund and develop walkable neighborhoods, bicycle paths, mass transit and rail.

 

Someone needs to tell this to Matt Leingang at the AP.

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The President of the OCA was also a member of the Governor's 20th Century Transportation Task Force in 2008-2009...

 

Now we have proof Ohio really IS behind the times!!!  :lol:

 

Sorry...I should have said "21ST Century"....but yeah... the head of the OCA is just trying to get ready to party like it's 1999.  :wink: :roll:

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Yes. All resistance is futile, so say the Republican Borg. When God execises his option and places Kasich in power to watch over us ne'er do wells, we will have to board the Amtrak train pod for new destinations. :roll:

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Seriously, what is this idealogue (Kasich) going to have for an answer when oil starts spiking (again) and starts driving gasoline prices back up at the pump?  Build more highways? Direct income taxes to subsidize low gasoline prices..... oh wait, he wants to do away with the state income tax...so that's out.  Kasich does not deserve the vote of anyone who wants transportation options other than always having to drive.

 

But let us not forget....there are a lot of seats up for grabs in the Ohio House and Senate....and we all need to be asking those candidates what their stance is on developing passenger rail.  If the "D's" lose control of the House.... you can bet the 3C Quick Start will greatly delayed, if not derailed alogether.

 

Make your votes count.

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Been a long time since I have been on this forum.  Miss it!  I came across an article just a few days ago about Kasich and how he will refuse to let rail happen!  Seriously?  I love how in the article I read he was saying nobody will ride it and it will only go 39mph... it will average 39mph, AT FIRST, then once improvements are made, will speed up.  If he is ignorant of this, then I we have a lot more to worry about than just not getting a rail line.

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it will average 39mph, AT FIRST, then once improvements are made, will speed up. If he is ignorant of this, then I we have a lot more to worry about than just not getting a rail line.

 

I think comprehension of such a basic principle is a good litmus test for anyone's ability to be a leader.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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it will average 39mph, AT FIRST, then once improvements are made, will speed up. If he is ignorant of this, then I we have a lot more to worry about than just not getting a rail line.

I think comprehension of such a basic principle is a good litmus test for anyone's ability to be a leader.

 

It's my impression that he's approaching the issue with the attitude that "any increased spending" = "bad". Normally I'd be fine with that, but I'd much rather see this rail system get off the ground than sink another dollar into the interstate highway system. It's hypocrisy.

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Yep, we're clearly spending too much on rail. Granted, this is federal funding. Showing a similar chart for state transportation funding would be pointless because the shaded area for rail would be too small to be visible...

 

USfundingfortransportation.jpg


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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^ That chart is shocking.

 

I propose we lay rail on interstate highway right-of-ways. Heck, when we run out of oil, nobody going to use them anyway.

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What is most disturbing about the chart posted by KJP is that the Blue and Yellow portions have moved steadily upward over the long-term.  One could attribute this to inflation but the Railroad numbers are essentially static!

 

Your Ohio Republicans keep citing the cost of maintaing a rail system down the road as to why they don't want take the Federal money.  If Washington insisted that Ohio build a new freeway between points A, B and C where one currently doesn't exist, would they turn the money down?  After all, they'd have to maintain it!

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Here is something I posted on another forum where folks were discussing the I-70/71 interchange vs 3C passenger rail....

 

The $1.7 billion for I-70/71 equates with the $400 million for 3C. Those are one-time capital construction costs. The year-to-year operating and maintenance costs are what you're talking about with the $17 million for 3C. The issue that no one is asking is what is the year-to-year operating and maintenance costs for highway projects like I-70/71. What will it cost to operate and maintain this larger highway infrastructure? How will it be paid for? Do we have the money to pay for it?

 

The answer clearly is "NO -- we do not have the money to pay for the added operating and maintenance cost." The answer is in ODOT's 2010-11 Business Plan....

 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/policy/2010-2011BusinessPlan/Documents/ODOT2010-2011BusinessPlan-WEB.pdf

 

Please turn to page 37 at the above link. Look at the line "Total Fix it First Programs" and note that highway operating and maintenance costs will rise from $1.4 billion this year to $2.17 billion in 2017. That isn't just an increase of $730 million over FY2010. It's a cumulative increase each year totaling $3.321 billion over all years between now and 2017. So while phony fiscal conservatives complain about the $17 million for 3C trains, they turn a blind eye to $3.321 billion that ODOT does not have and does not know where it come from. But yet they are pressing ahead with major highway expansion projects statewide, including I-70/71, that will create this enormous burden on Ohio taxpayers.

 

When fiscal conservatives are more worried about $17 million than they are about $3.3 billion, then this isn't about conservatism. It's about campaign contributions and other kinds of puppet strings being pulled by Ohio's highway builders, petroleum marketers, truckers and other protectors of the status quo.

 


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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If you think that's bad, KJP, wait til you check out the cherry-picked info they use to invent a perceived need for split reconstruction. Citizens of Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland should all be enraged at a plan that is going to end up in the pockets of a happy few. I've brought this to light to Columbus residents who really don't care about this, but do care about higher parking rates and got the city to halt that plan due to public pressure. It's up to the other Cs and Ohio residents to get this out into the open and put pressure on ODOT and Columbus City Council.

 

I'm pretty sure $1.7 billion would be better used to increase the speed of the 3C rail corridor, rather than thrown at a problem that has already solved itself. An ODOT official admitted at the last city council meeting that their high number of overcapacity vehicles on the split was taken when they closed I-670 and that traffic (75,000-118,000 along different stretches bordering Downtown) overburdened the capacity of 125,000 vehicles a day that the split was originally built for. When you take either recent ODOT figure of 175,000 or 167,000 and take this into consideration, the real number of average daily traffic is much lower. According to their 2006 data, when I-670 traffic was not being routed onto the split, it saw around 133,000-144,000 annual average daily traffic (that includes weekends which is less accurate for practical purposes than ADT which counts weekdays only when it's most heavily used) and keep in mind this is before the severe decline in driving in recent years due to the recession which threatened highway funding and continues to do so.

 

http://columbus-ite.com/2010/07/22/groundbreaking-news-odot-may-have-lied-to-city-council-to-make-case-for-split-reconstruction/

 

 

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I just don't understand why the Republicans picked this issue to have a hard on about.  What is wrong with getting $400 million in federal dollars to impove a frieght rail corridor.  Ralph Perk would have been all over this touting how he ad brought home the bacon. 

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^ This is the libertarian influence coming through to try to curb runaway spending. That they had to pick on this favorite project of ours is unfortunate and seems unjustifiable in light of the truckload of money we're about to dump into the worthless and wasteful interstate highway system. Unfortunately, the highway lobby is one of the most powerful in the country, and by contrast, the national rail system has relatively few powerful supporters.

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^ This is the libertarian influence coming through to try to curb runaway spending. That they had to pick on this favorite project of ours is unfortunate and seems unjustifiable in light of the truckload of money we're about to dump into the worthless and wasteful interstate highway system. Unfortunately, the highway lobby is one of the most powerful in the country, and by contrast, the national rail system has relatively few powerful supporters.

 

It's too late for that now.  That train has already, er, ah, left the station!  HA HA

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Somebody has got to get him turned arround about this train thing.  Maybe after the election there can be some face saving change that will allow him to embrace it and take all that government $?

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