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thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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then we can charge the people who live near I-75 for all the upcoming projects too...sure they wont be able to afford homes or businesses anymore but they should have to cover for the rest of us. these arent statistics...they're people who an unbalanced tax like that could hurt. if people want to use the streetcar they can pay to do so. as for its construction it benefits the entire city through enhancing our downtown economy so everyone can chip in or vote not to...which i hope doesnt happen. I think they're calling that democracy nowadays.

 

I don't really get your point.  I-75 is essentially a free asset, which I am proposing that the streetcar be marketed that way as well.  Nearly everything that 75 passes by through the City is conducive to its use as a major freight and passenger thoroughfare, because geographically the Mill Creek Valley has always been the most convenient route for that sort of thing.  So the incentives to focus that area for freight and manufacturing already exist as legacy infrastructure, large land parcels and great highway access.  If an infrastructure asset gets built in your neighborhood, and the value of your land increases therefrom, why shouldn't one have to pay in to the community's coffers for that?  Farms, homes and businesses get priced out of neighborhoods all the time.

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If we were starting with a MLK/Madison route first, I'd agree but too many areas along the streetcar outside of downtown are still at a very precarious stage. I wonder if we could alter the tax status of the hospitals, universities, and other gov't and non-profits along the way so they could help pay for this thing.

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They ripped up pavement on West Clifton from McMillan down the hill... I hadn't realized that W Clifton was double tracked. The rails have been exposed.

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then we can charge the people who live near I-75 for all the upcoming projects too...sure they wont be able to afford homes or businesses anymore but they should have to cover for the rest of us. these arent statistics...they're people who an unbalanced tax like that could hurt. if people want to use the streetcar they can pay to do so. as for its construction it benefits the entire city through enhancing our downtown economy so everyone can chip in or vote not to...which i hope doesnt happen. I think they're calling that democracy nowadays.

 

I don't really get your point.  I-75 is essentially a free asset, which I am proposing that the streetcar be marketed that way as well.  Nearly everything that 75 passes by through the City is conducive to its use as a major freight and passenger thoroughfare, because geographically the Mill Creek Valley has always been the most convenient route for that sort of thing.   So the incentives to focus that area for freight and manufacturing already exist as legacy infrastructure, large land parcels and great highway access.  If an infrastructure asset gets built in your neighborhood, and the value of your land increases therefrom, why shouldn't one have to pay in to the community's coffers for that?  Farms, homes and businesses get priced out of neighborhoods all the time.

 

 

I-75 is about as free as the cost of a car, maintenance, fuel and insurance. If thats free I wanna know where you're shoppin' :-o  I pay for those and I'd Gladly pay for a streetcar ride but if people outside downtown are riding it people outside downtown should pay for it the same as they would for road usage. Otherwise they should start telling people two blocks away from highways to start filling up our tanks. And your counter-analogy only proves my point...why should I have to pay for highways (which my taxes do) if I'm not immediately beside one? Beause I still benefit from a healthy downtown area. I see your point about compensating people unfairly but if we play that game then we might as well start taking away people property rights altogether. The people who live and own businesses on he streetcar route have paid their taxes for the advantage of other neighborhoods for years so its their turn to benefit which is only fair. I live in walnut hills and rent so believe me that this is not a personal feeling, I just thinks its the just thing to do. If we all believe a streetcar can support itself then we should be in favor of usage fees so the extreme renewal we all want actually occurs without anything to hold it back.

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are they just repaving clifton ave?

 

That's what it seems. They did some curb and retaining wall work at the bottom of the hill and around the bend on W Clifton also. They just today ripped up some of the old pavement.

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I-75 is about as free as the cost of a car, maintenance, fuel and insurance. If thats free I wanna know where you're shoppin' :-o  I pay for those and I'd Gladly pay for a streetcar ride but if people outside downtown are riding it people outside downtown should pay for it the same as they would for road usage. Otherwise they should start telling people two blocks away from highways to start filling up our tanks. And your counter-analogy only proves my point...why should I have to pay for highways (which my taxes do) if I'm not immediately beside one? Beause I still benefit from a healthy downtown area. I see your point about compensating people unfairly but if we play that game then we might as well start taking away people property rights altogether. The people who live and own businesses on he streetcar route have paid their taxes for the advantage of other neighborhoods for years so its their turn to benefit which is only fair. I live in walnut hills and rent so believe me that this is not a personal feeling, I just thinks its the just thing to do. If we all believe a streetcar can support itself then we should be in favor of usage fees so the extreme renewal we all want actually occurs without anything to hold it back.

 

I suppose I could have made myself clearer and say that I-75 feels like a free asset.  Clearly it isn't free, and clearly the way it seems to be a cheaper investment than public transit is that the cost of the transit vehicles are off the books of the agency that runs the road.  But as we both know, these are still costs.  I'm saying that because we want people to ride the streetcar, we should make barriers to riding it as few as possible.  Also there is opportunity cost in not charging fares- you don't have to charge for fare equipment, people to collect the money and process it, etc.  In my opinion, the thing should be funded in a way that promotes its use- that's what I'm talking about.

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COAST hits the streets this weekend

Posted by jessicabrown at 4/9/2009 9:58 AM EDT on Cincinnati.com 

 

The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes is calling on volunteers to circulate petitions Saturday on the Cincinnati trolley issue. COAST is trying to gather enough signatures to force a public vote on Cincinnati City Council's plans to build a trolley system in the city. The organization wants to get 1,000 signatures by the end of the month. Here are the details:

 

Gather at 10 a.m. Saturday at 2623 Erie Ave. (behind the law firm of Finney, Stagnaro Saba and Patterson) in Hyde Park. Volunteers will receive instructions and petition forms. Only Ohio residents are allowed to circulate. Petition drives will also take place April 18 and April 25For information on the petition drive click here.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=blog02&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3aec38bb2b-982e-46ba-819a-da01a547e8eaPost%3a33d58f95-33f0-4af5-a8fb-74d066bb178b&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

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^ I love how she calls it a "trolley" and conveniently forgets to mention that this would affect every rail project in the city, not just the streetcar.  That's the Enquirer for you...

 

Is there any kind of opposition event planned?

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better idea would be to have ineligible people circulate and sign petitions, then challenge in court.  Not that anyone should do that. 

 

 

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Better yet, why don't we pass out information along side the people collecting petition signatures? 

 

Where are the Cincinnatians For Progress.  Time is a-wasting.  The time for action is now.

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Better yet, why don't we pass out information along side the people collecting petition signatures?

 

Where are the Cincinnatians For Progress. Time is a-wasting. The time for action is now.

 

definitely need to have some coherent counter-programming on hand. 

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I guess it all depends on strategy.  Is the effort to educate enough people to keep the issue showing up on the ballot, or is it to assume they will get the relatively small number of signatures needed to get it on the ballot and just run a general education campaign from now till November?

 

As an aside, there is no need to engage in unethical tactics that people like Jason are using.  Behaving that way will do nothing but create additional opposition to the project.  Along these lines we should be highlighting his methods (like terrorist instruction against public transportation) to show exactly the type of people who are against streetcars in Cincinnati.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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You may sign the petition now or you may not.  Point is the naysayers are louder than us.  We seem to be confined to message boards and blogs.  We NEED to get out there.

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I recieved a telephone poll yesterday, and many of the questions were about the streetcar and whether I would vote for it.  Then there were arguments and counter arguments that I had to rate "somewhat effective, very effective or not effective at all".

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Cincinnatians for Progress needs to make a pamphlet explaining what this petition will really do, and we need to hand them out next to the petitioners.  They need to be not as pro-streetcar, just explaining that this amendment would hinder all future rail, lock us into a car-centric city, etc. I would gladly follow the COAST folks and hand out these pamphlets.  Let's get on it.

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COAST is reporting that the city has recieved $0 in private contributions to the streetcar project.  Does anyone know if this is true?  I won't believe a word that COAST prints until I see something to back it up.  What about Duke's contribution of several million dollars?  And on a smaller scale, the wedding party that raised several thousand dollars?  And what about the Cincinnatians for Progress fundraiser (or was that to cover operating costs for that group)?

 

http://coast-usa.blogspot.com/2009/04/after-entire-year-private-money-raised.html

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Have any recent polls been taken to gauge public support for the streetcar project? Would this ballot initiative apply only to the city of Cincinnati, or all of Hamilton County? If the (unscientific) results in the recent Enquirer poll about streetcar service in NKY are any indication, there seems to be fairly broad public support for the project.

 

Regardless, this is one of those cases where we see the pitfalls of direct democracy: As we've seen in anti-immigrant, anti-tax, and anti-gay initiatives out in California pushed by well-financed interest groups, it becomes too easy to whip people into a frenzied mob and enact senseless laws that do more harm than good. There's a reason we were founded as a representative republic.

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COAST is reporting that the city has recieved $0 in private contributions to the streetcar project.  Does anyone know if this is true? 

 

http://coast-usa.blogspot.com/2009/04/after-entire-year-private-money-raised.html

 

This is untrue.

 

Any ideas as to when the city may announce how much money they have thus far received in private funding. They could also just announce that they have secured an appreciable amount of private funds.. they don't necessarily have to say who or how much... This would certainly help to shut up that part of the naysayers. In addition, they could further voice the argument that there would be no new tax for/because of the streetcar because of the proof of private funding lined up.

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Didn't Duke pledge about $8 million to the streetcar in a recent rate negotiation?  Didn't a recently married couple ask that their wedding gifts be donations to help fund the streetcar?  Isn't that private funding? 

 

Distortions such as what COAST, NAACP, Haap, and their ilk prey on the small minded and uninformed voters out there.  It's sad that they are bent out of shape over something that is so obviously good for the City.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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COAST claims that "the special account set up to receive donated streetcar funds continues to have a zero balance."

 

I'm not sure if Duke has made their payment yet.  Are they still waiting for approval from PUCO, or some other regulatory body?

 

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Regardless, this is one of those cases where we see the pitfalls of direct democracy: As we've seen in anti-immigrant, anti-tax, and anti-gay initiatives out in California pushed by well-financed interest groups, it becomes too easy to whip people into a frenzied mob and enact senseless laws that do more harm than good. There's a reason we were founded as a representative republic.

 

Just to be fair, Californians (in major cities especially) are oppressively taxed, so it's understandable that they're finally screaming about it.  Otherwise, I agree with you 100%.

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COAST is reporting that the city has recieved $0 in private contributions to the streetcar project.  Does anyone know if this is true? 

 

http://coast-usa.blogspot.com/2009/04/after-entire-year-private-money-raised.html

 

This is untrue.

 

I commented on COAST's blog about this, and I have now been challenged to prove them wrong.  I've contacted the "streetcar couple" to see where their wedding donations went, and I'd like to talk to someone at Duke about the status of their donation... does anyone have any recommended contact?  Or know of other donations that have been made?

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Distortions such as what COAST, NAACP, Haap, and their ilk prey on the small minded and uninformed voters out there.  It's sad that they are bent out of shape over something that is so obviously good for the City.

 

Agreed.... These type of people seem to crop up for any transit-related project in any city, and they're almost always proven wrong every single time. My biggest complaint is the attention they receive in the mainstream media, usually by reporters and editors too lazy to do any real journalism. Instead, in a misguided effort to appear "balanced", the media gives you the classic false duality:

 

A large number of Americans believe the earth is round. But is it really? Some argue that the earth is flat, and we'll talk to one such person after these commercials. Back to you, Tom...

 

Fact is, there will always be a vocal minority of small people with small ideas, who want to keep their world small and simple. These people build nothing, and only exist to tear down what other people have worked hard to build. If Cincinnati is ever to move forward as a city, it needs to stop listening to these people who insist on telling the city what it can't do, and start listening to the people who have real ideas.

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I commented on COAST's blog about this, and I have now been challenged to prove them wrong. I've contacted the "streetcar couple" to see where their wedding donations went, and I'd like to talk to someone at Duke about the status of their donation... does anyone have any recommended contact? Or know of other donations that have been made?

 

LOL!  So they've put the onus on you to prove them wrong?!  Just out of curiosity, did they reference WHY they stated that no private funding has been established?  (I haven't a chance to read through that page yet.)  It seems like if they're going to make a broad statement like that, they should be able to easily point to facts A, B, and C instead of copping out with the old "well, prove us wrong then!"

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I commented on COAST's blog about this, and I have now been challenged to prove them wrong. I've contacted the "streetcar couple" to see where their wedding donations went, and I'd like to talk to someone at Duke about the status of their donation... does anyone have any recommended contact? Or know of other donations that have been made?

 

LOL! So they've put the onus on you to prove them wrong?! Just out of curiosity, did they reference WHY they stated that no private funding has been established? (I haven't a chance to read through that page yet.) It seems like if they're going to make a broad statement like that, they should be able to easily point to facts A, B, and C instead of copping out with the old "well, prove us wrong then!"

 

COAST says: "Now after an entire year COAST inquired as to exactly how much the City has raised from private donors. The answer: Zero, zip, nada, zilch. A big goose egg."

 

They did not specifically say who had given then "the answer."

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COAST will be on the Bill Cunningham show on 700 WLW today. I think it'll be on at 1 or 2. Willie wasn't clear at noon when his show started. He's going to be interviewing people from the Widmer family before talking about the "Streetcar named Desire"

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^Thank you So it Goes!

 

You get through? Give us a full report (ha!)!

 

I did, but I'm about to go out the door for work. Cunninghams podcast will be up later tonight and you will be able to listen in case you missed it. Basically I don't think I changed his opinion but he was respectful and listened to my comments and I hope others out there heard me. He challenged me to go down to 15th and Vine tonight at midnight....so I will....and I'll take photographs and update my website later.

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^Thank you So it Goes!

 

You get through? Give us a full report (ha!)!

 

I did, but I'm about to go out the door for work. Cunninghams podcast will be up later tonight and you will be able to listen in case you missed it. Basically I don't think I changed his opinion but he was respectful and listened to my comments and I hope others out there heard me. He challenged me to go down to 15th and Vine tonight at midnight....so I will....and I'll take photographs and update my website later.

 

I don't know if it will show up on film, but you can see the clock tower of St. Francis Church from 15th and Vine, that would be a good way to show it is 12:00am

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I guess I don't understand what that has to do with anything other than feeding the fear/race factor? 

 

The streetcar is a development and transportation tool, the whole point is improve and develop what is there, not just ride from Smittys to Vine St Kroger and down to Fountain Square.

 

 

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^Thank you So it Goes!

 

You get through? Give us a full report (ha!)!

 

I did, but I'm about to go out the door for work. Cunninghams podcast will be up later tonight and you will be able to listen in case you missed it. Basically I don't think I changed his opinion but he was respectful and listened to my comments and I hope others out there heard me. He challenged me to go down to 15th and Vine tonight at midnight....so I will....and I'll take photographs and update my website later.

 

 

When you say "he", do you mean Cunningham or the guy from COAST?

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Yes, Ronny was well-informed.

 

Some rebuttals of "facts" presented by the clown from Portland are in order.

 

He said he was talking from the 30th-something floor of the US Bank Tower on Portland's Fifth Avenue and that the streetcar goes right by it. The problem is, the streetcar never gets within five blocks from the US Bank Tower -- it travels on 10th and 11th. It does turn east and cross Fifth Avenue maybe a mile south of the US Bank Tower. What he's looking at is the new light rail line to Clackamas County, which doesn't open until September. Show us, Jake.

 

He said Portlanders have voted down the streetcar time after time, and they still keep building it. This is false. There has never been a vote on any of the four completed phases of the Portland Streetcar. And the city of Portland has never voted against a light rail project. Suburban jurisdictions have voted against light rail there, and a statewide initiative to fund light rail in Portland lost 2:1. But the city has always supported rail. They were one of the last American cities to dismantle their streetcar system. I think the streetcar line to Lake Oswego never went away.

 

The guy said Portland voted against density in 2002. Actually, precisely the opposite is true. In 2002, there was a regional vote to expand the Portland's Urban Growth Boundary, and it lost 2:1. They seem to like compact, transit-oriented development there.

 

He complained that few people pay to ride the Portland Streetcar, a not-totally-unexpected outcome since most of its ridership is in a free-fare zone.

 

He also said no one rides the Portland Streetcar. In fact, they are up to 13,000 riders per day on Saturdays (the busiest day). They achieve this on a single route that measures four miles end-to-end. By contrast, our Metro bus system carries about 70,000 passengers per day on dozens of routes and hundreds of route miles. Which seems more productive?

 

Jason Gloyd was weak, calling the Cincinnati Streetcar a "coal-burning locomotive." Even Cunningham choked on that one.

 

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