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thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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I'm very pleased with the outcome, but still up for a recall.  Cranley has proven himself an unfit leader IMHO.

 

I say let's wait and see how he continues to conduct himself after he just got overruled. He campaigned hard on stopping the streetcar and won, after all. So let's see if he continues to be obstructive in non-streetcar areas. He can't be recalled until after a year, anyway.

 

I agree. I will still never vote for Cranley in any position. And I will actively campaign against him in 4 years if he runs again. But If the most controversial projects are settled, some form of order and good ideas may come through. Let's wait 10 months and reevaluate.

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I'm very pleased with the outcome, but still up for a recall.  Cranley has proven himself an unfit leader IMHO.

No matter what happens hence concerning the streetcar, John Cranley should be recalled and his political career be terminated. Period!

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I really think its important that as many people as possible thank our leaders for choosing to move forward.  Today could have turned out a lot different if they wanted it to.  They used their power to make a wise decision and for that they deserve to be thanked!  Copy and paste and send a quick email!

 

david.mann@cincinnati-oh.gov,

yvette.simpson@cincinnati-oh.gov,

kevin.flynn@cincinnati-oh.gov,

chris.seelbach@cincinnati-oh.gov,

pg.sittenfeld@cincinnati-oh.gov,

wendell.young@cincinnati-oh.gov,

mayor.cranley@cincinnati-oh.gov

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I think you guys may be better statesmen than I am. :-)  For me, I think the way he has conducted himself in his first few weeks speaks volumes.  The intellectual dishonesty and outright lies in the span of several days have caused me to write him off.  For me he has dug himself a VERY big hole.  Ive lost total respect for the man.

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Congratulations, Cincy!  :clap:

My crew and I out here in College Park, MD (DC area) are stoked for this recent development. Really gives me a significant confidence boost for Cincinnati's future. With that, I share some recent pictures I took of the DC streetcar construction/testing this week. I can't wait to see similar activity in Cincy soon!

 

Streetcar rails & catenary at H & 4th Streets NE

StreetcarRailsatHamp4thStreetsNE_zpsf65c36e3.jpg

 

Parked streetcar

DCStreetcar_zpsa1de0b1a.jpg

 

Track stub for potential future extension is visible

StreetcarandTrackStud_zpsefb35ba6.jpg

 

H & 4th Street S NE Streetcar Stop

StreetcarStopatHamp4thStreetsNE_zps6c3ca40a.jpg

Hamp4thStreetSNEStreetcarStop_zps8e47c107.jpg

Curb extension to tracks is visible

StreetcarStationCurbExtension_zpsf822b836.jpg

 

Track inspections

StreetcarContractors_zps218a8b3c.jpg

 

Catenary crossover section. I am impressed by the lack of visual clutter from the overheads.

CatenaryCrossover_zps12af1ff4.jpg

 

Under-construction Union Station stop

UnionStationStreetcarStop_zps02d79183.jpg

 

Here is an illustration of the construction area that I visited:

Picture-5.png

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Edited this list, so you can quickly copy it into the "To:" field on an email and just send a quick "Thank You"

 

david.mann@cincinnati-oh.gov, yvette.simpson@cincinnati-oh.gov, kevin.flynn@cincinnati-oh.gov, chris.seelbach@cincinnati-oh.gov, pg.sittenfeld@cincinnati-oh.gov, wendell.young@cincinnati-oh.gov, mayor.cranley@cincinnati-oh.gov

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Edited this list, so you can quickly copy it into the "To:" field on an email and just send a quick "Thank You"

 

david.mann@cincinnati-oh.gov, yvette.simpson@cincinnati-oh.gov, kevin.flynn@cincinnati-oh.gov, chris.seelbach@cincinnati-oh.gov, pg.sittenfeld@cincinnati-oh.gov, wendell.young@cincinnati-oh.gov, mayor.cranley@cincinnati-oh.gov

 

Done.  Dont forget haile, SORTA etc.  Haile Foundation has responded to EVERY one of my emails of support.  They are awesome.

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Statement from FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff: "Now, we can all get back to work as partners to get the streetcar project done."


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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There is something about the total cliff-hanger nature of this Streetcar Saga that has brought about what must be regarded by any standard as THE most engaged, wide-ranging and heated discussion of a mass-transit project ever to be held in the history of the United States, never mind Cincinnati!

 

Today's events in city hall mark a turning point for transit in many respects. It's amazing how a modest little starter line of a streetcar could have become the object of such fiercely-determined opposition from so many fronts and still survive. It has weathered numerous blows ranging from COAST's forcing two referenda to the Governor of Ohio quashing the state's share of funds for it (despite its having been rated the state's most highly qualified transit project) to the shutdown resulting from this most recent mayoral election.

 

From my vantage point in Chicago I found myself drawn into this fray as much as I would have been if I actually lived in Cincinnati. I couldn't bear to see this already-started project canceled. Many times I thought it didn't stand a chance of surviving this latest round of opposition - the forces of darkness seemed too powerful to overcome.

 

I hope that today, Thursday, December 19, 2013, marks the end of divisive bitterness over the streetcar and the beginning of a renewed determination to make Cincinnati a city that many, many people will eagerly want to call, home. May the ghost of the incomplete subway cease to haunt the Queen City!

 

Those furloughed streetcar construction workers can't wait to get back to their jobs. I hope they're fully compensated for the month of lost wages. Christmas feels a little bit brighter now for me, anyway.

 

Bravo! and Brava! to everyone who worked so hard to make today a success. And, thank you, Peter Rogoff and the FTA, for standing behind us this December.

 

One last-but-hardly-least thought: A number of streetcar and tram projects have a tradition of naming their streetcars after notable local personalities and historical figures. Case in point: the city of Besançon, France, which has named one of their new trams after its native son, the famous author Victor Hugo. http://www.globalrailnews.com/2013/09/25/besancon-tram/

 

I'm sure I won't be the only one to suggest that the first of Cincinnati's five new streetcars be named "John Schneider."

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From the Haile foundation in response to my email on contributing to their fund in appreciation of their work

 

Thank you. Eric Avner has informed me that streetcar donations need to be made to the "Everybody Rides Metro" Foundation.

 

Thanks again. Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Awesome news, I have been so nervous about checking the status!  I am overjoyed that saner heads prevailed and we can start moving forward.  I also can't wait to see what Cranley acts like in the future, I do think he took a big hit, but maybe he is a hero to the Kasich and Boehner republican supporters in the State of Ohio for single-handedly facing down the liberal agenda and wringing some additional changes to the financing. 

 

Kudos especially to all those who worked tirelessly to make this happen, especially John Schneider and the Haile Foundation (I am sure there are many others)!

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So is WLW melting down yet?

 

I listened during most of the council meeting.  They broadcast a tip about 1:30PM that Flynn would vote to restart.  They kind of did melt down.  They were going off on Flynn, PG, and Mann for being "flip flops."  But most of the conversation was not about the streetcar.  Mostly they were talking about somebody's colonoscopy in the crudest possible terms, and about how to avoid getting an OVI over the holiday season.

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From the Haile foundation in response to my email on contributing to their fund in appreciation of their work

 

Thank you. Eric Avner has informed me that streetcar donations need to be made to the "Everybody Rides Metro" Foundation.

 

Thanks again. Happy Holidays!

 

Great name for the foundation!

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I can't begin to tell you how overjoyed I am today. I'm in Utah and I want to hug someone when I get back to Cincinnati next week for the Holidays! Congrats to everyone back home who fought so hard.

 

Now, use that energy to get the streetcar finished by the All Star game and to get regional light rail!

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From my vantage point in Chicago I found myself as drawn into this fray as I would have been if I actually lived in Cincinnati. I couldn't bear to see this already-started project canceled. Many times I thought it didn't stand a chance of surviving this latest round of opposition - the forces of darkness seemed too powerful to overcome.

 

I'm going to second this, though part of me was dreading having to head into town next week for the holidays, I really didn't want to see the state of Cincinnati's already deeply bruised psyche after this failed.  I was hoping for something positive not a return to the cynicism that pretty much chased me out of town a few years back.

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Hey, whatever happened to that New York Times article?  Were they waiting to see how this played out?

 

They were waiting. Hope to see it over the weekend. Maybe it'll make the Sunday Times.

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Congrats guys! Let's hope this is the last of the hurdles for this project.

 

This. Don't be overly confident this is the end, people. We've seen a ton of "ends" to this.

 

I'm willing to stake my personal and professional opinion that this is the end of the streetcar construction debate. You've already seen significant voices in the community start to change their tune based on the enormous amount of money that would have been wasted had they stopped now. Stopping next year would be a non-starter.

 

Truly the only challenge now will be to make it a successful project.

I would love to believe that the sound I hear is the fat lady singing...but it might just be the sound of the opposition shifting gears into Plan B.  Without handing him a playbook by posting specific strategies, remember there are still things the Mayor can try to do.  We need to be ready.

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I'm going to second this, though part of me was dreading having to head into town next week for the holidays, I really didn't want to see the state of Cincinnati's already deeply bruised psyche after this failed.  I was hoping for something positive not a return to the cynicism that pretty much chased me out of town a few years back.

 

If the opportunity ever presents itself, please consider moving back.  I have several friends and acquaintances who chose to relocate citing the same reasons.  If all the Cincinnatians who left for that reason had decided to stay and try to improve the region, we'd have a much easier time getting things like rail completed.

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Congratulations for all those who worked so hard to keep this project on track (pun intended) ;)

 

Next thing to stop - CO  trying to stop any more passenger rail spending

Next thing to do - doing everything we can to make this project succeed; develop Uptown and OTR/Downtown SIDs....who knows, maybe that could help support completion of a line all the way to Uptown (Findlay Market to the Cincinnati VA)

"Big" hopes - improving bus service (BRT lite a la MAX in KC), building area transit centers (a la Greater Dayton RTA), and maybe...maybe...regional rail or LRT...

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Some tweets from the enquirer story (love the festivus one and Nick Lachey is always there with something positive to say about Cincy)...

 

 

Streetcar Nati  @StreetcarNati 

It truly is a Festivus miracle

The airing of the grievances is finally over

 

 

 

Nick Lachey        ✔  @NickLachey 

I want to commend the city council here in Cincinnati for getting it right!! Better late than never. #cincystreetcar #forwardthinking

 

 

2:31 PM - 19 Dec 2013

 

 

 

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If the opportunity ever presents itself, please consider moving back.  I have several friends and acquaintances who chose to relocate citing the same reasons.  If all the Cincinnatians who left for that reason had decided to stay and try to improve the region, we'd have a much easier time getting things like rail completed.

 

The city still has a long way to go, and being single and almost 30 makes it not an option.  In spite of what Forbes says its a pretty terrible place to marry late.  There are a lot of bizarre social cultural things that make it tough to live in as a young single person.

 

I would like to see Cranley and his ilk politically beaten into submission, I think this is their last stand, but we'll see how it unfolds in the next 4 years (or less).  I'm happy to be a strong cheerleader and to promote Cincy as a weekend tourist destination in Chicago though :)

 

Also I think living in a positive social environment makes a lot of my arguments stronger than if I was constantly surrounded by strong cynicism - I actually got in a discussion on the enquirer boards with a streetcar opponent who conceded that he couldn't believe how positive I was about what its effects would be on the city.  I think Cincy needs that and its best served (for now) outside of the bubble ;)

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Enquirer advocates for Uptown extension & beyond in the final paragraph of their editorial:

 

I think they were always okay for the streetcar in its extended form - from downtown to uptown.

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I may no longer live in Cincinnati, but I'm super pleased (and not just a little bit surprised!) that this worked out for the best.  Great job... 

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I am extremely happy and excited.....this was quite a turn of events.  Let's hope this was the biggest hurdle for transit because once people see the development around it I have to believe future phases will be added and hopefully light-rail after that.

 

Interestingly, I think all of the Dems voted in favor to continue construction.  I still have my suspicions about you know who.

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If the opportunity ever presents itself, please consider moving back.  I have several friends and acquaintances who chose to relocate citing the same reasons.  If all the Cincinnatians who left for that reason had decided to stay and try to improve the region, we'd have a much easier time getting things like rail completed.

 

The city still has a long way to go, and being single and almost 30 makes it not an option.  In spite of what Forbes says its a pretty terrible place to marry late.  There are a lot of bizarre social cultural things that make it tough to live in as a young single person.

 

I would like to see Cranley and his ilk politically beaten into submission, I think this is their last stand, but we'll see how it unfolds in the next 4 years (or less).  I'm happy to be a strong cheerleader and to promote Cincy as a weekend tourist destination in Chicago though :)

 

Also I think living in a positive social environment makes a lot of my arguments stronger than if I was constantly surrounded by strong cynicism - I actually got in a discussion on the enquirer boards with a streetcar opponent who conceded that he couldn't believe how positive I was about what its effects would be on the city.  I think Cincy needs that and its best served (for now) outside of the bubble ;)

 

I lived in Chicago for a year and barely made any friends, dated a guy who turned out to be already in a relationship, and dated a guy who turned out to be mentally ill.

 

Several years later I had to move back to Cincinnati with family when I got laid off and was applying to grad schools, and within a year met the person that I may turn out to spend the rest of my life with.

 

I don't believe in the "cities for singles" rankings. Mass transit does many amazing things, but trains do not poop out wives and husbands.

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I'm going to be relocating to Detroit (where they just broke ground on their streetcar) in two weeks and I consider myself to be blessed to be in chambers when the final vote came down today. I thought I'd be leaving a city ashamed of itself and I'm glad I'm not. Thank you to everyone who busted their ass to make this happen. I'm proud of you all.

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The hyperbole on am radio is already reaching hysterical levels.  Marc Amazon called it a sad sad day for Cincinnati.  Smitherman and murray will be on soon to completely make up random lies I'm sure

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I wonder if Ditherman will mention his brothers cancelled streetcar contract.  I still believe he cajoled his brother into backing out in order to remove any conflict as far as  Councilman Smitherman being able to vote.  Bet his brother hates him now.  Maybe as much as I hate him. 

Has Smitherman DONE anything while on council other than complain?  He wasn't even present for the first reading vote today.  Very disrespectful.  That, or he was hiding under Cranleys desk in a fetal postion, crying uncontrollably.

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Hey, whatever happened to that New York Times article?  Were they waiting to see how this played out?

 

They were waiting. Hope to see it over the weekend. Maybe it'll make the Sunday Times.

 

Word is the article will run tomorrow.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Dear Friend of Cincinnati,

 

Today our city confirmed its will to continue along the path to a balanced transportation system. Our path has been up and down with lots of twists and turns and leaps of faith that took us to unknown places. But we soldiered-on, and now the path is wider and flatter for others to follow, not only here but in other cities that want to gain more citizens and become more competitive.

 

So many people to thank, but first and foremost, I want to thank former Mayor Mark Mallory, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and City Manager Dohoney. Even though we reached our goal today, we wouldn't have even been in the game were in not for their leadership of the Cincinnati Streetcar over many years. Their support cost them dearly, and we should be forever grateful.

 

And to our long-time champions on City Council -- Chris Seelbach, Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young whose eloquence and persistence following the election, working with PG Sittenfeld, brought their colleagues, Vice Mayor David Mann and Councilmember Kevin Flynn along to enable us to continue along our path.

 

Mayor John Cranley was very gracious today in offering his congratulations to me and to others. I hope this period of divisiveness now passes and that we can all join with him and Christopher Smitherman, Charlie Winburn and Amy Murray to foster the city we all want to have.

 

Were it not for Ryan Messer, who parachuted in to lead this effort forty or so days ago, we would not have succeeded. He brought new energy to our movement. He's the kind of leader who emerges every ten years or so here. Early-on, he recruited our attorney, Paul DeMarco, who used his contacts at the highest level of our nation's government to bring about the result we saw today, to assure the Feds we knew where we were going. Early-on, without a hint of hesitation, Karen Blatt volunteered our spiffy campaign office, and Ryan hired Scott Allison to execute the flawless campaign to gather signatures. Others -- Jean-Francois Flechet, Sean Lee, Rob Richardson, Jr, Margy Waller and Brad and Karen Hughes -- did whatever had to be done and were the wisest advisors and best team-players anyone could have. If I'm leaving someone out, and I probably am, I really apologize.

 

Eric Avner of the Haile Foundation raised $9,000,000 in a little over 48 hours, enough to make City Council comfortable that the cost of operating the streetcar was assured for the first ten years. This was the keystone of the plan to save the streetcar.

 

There were many memorable moments in this campaign. One I'll never forget was the December 10th meeting at First Lutheran Church near 12th and Race, the one where 450 people showed up to sign out petitions. Chris Heckman and Kristen Myers are members of the congregation, and they graciously arranged for the church to open its doors twice to us. I'm certain this set the tone for the whole campaign.

 

Speaking of the campaign, we now have 11,000 Cincinnatians' names and addresses for our efforts going forward. The planning and execution of the signature-gathering was orchestrated with great precision by The Strategy Group and its able leader, Ian James, who made a critical judgment early-on that the number and intensity of our volunteers was more than adequate to gather the signatures. We wouldn't need paid signature-gatherers. Plus, it gave us all an opportunity to tell the streetcar's story in the way we know it. And by the way, we registered a bunch of streetcar supporters to vote in the process.

 

Our thanks go well beyond Cincinnati to the many people in many cities who have been watching our project intently including especially Portland's mayor, Charlie Hales and his wife Nancy, who have joined us on many of our trips there over the years. He has been a guiding light for me over the years. We're not finished with the Portland trips. They have an early spring there.

 

Most of all, we should all thank our spouses, families, employers and co-workers for tolerating our absences over the past days and nights. They were soldiers in this too.

 

I've received many notes and texts from you guys, and I'll be getting back to you individually over the next few days. Suffice it to say that this effort could not have been sustained over all these years without the people on this list.

 

I hope you'll rest and enjoy the holidays and that you'll return in the new year to work harder than ever to bring transportation choices to our city or to the city where you live.

 

Meanwhile, I hear there's a party at Rheingeist Brewery tonight at 6:00p. Dunno the address, but if you follow those almost-abandoned streetcar tracks north on Elm Street to the end of the line, you're there.

 

Thanks for everything,

 

John Schneider

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I wonder if Ditherman will mention his brothers cancelled streetcar contract.  I still believe he cajoled his brother into backing out in order to remove any conflict as far as  Councilman Smitherman being able to vote.  Bet his brother hates him now.  Maybe as much as I hate him. 

Has Smitherman DONE anything while on council other than complain?  He wasn't even present for the first reading vote today.  Very disrespectful.  That, or he was hiding under Cranleys desk in a fetal postion, crying uncontrollably.

 

I believe he was also the sole dissenter in fast-tracking the streetcar vote today so it wouldn't be dragged out in multiple council sessions. And his commentary before the vote was hostile. What a class act.

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Speaking of actual class acts, I think congratulations are in order to John Schneider on behalf of the forum. You have persisted in this campaign far longer than I would have. Every time I see a streetcar go by in Cincinnati I will think of the years you have put into this.

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John, Thanks again for everything you did to make today happen! This has rippled throughout the rail/transit advocacy community in Ohio and throughout the nation. Your ability to stay focused and, above all, classy at a very difficult time was exceptional. You've inspired all of us, for younger generations and helped provide a model for future grassroots efforts to follow. Indeed, it will likely take a similar but statewide effort for ODOT and the Ohio General Assembly to finally support creating a more diversified, interconnected transportation system for all of Ohio. But let's enjoy the victory and the holiday season now. Thank you again, John.

 

KJP


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I've been very interested in this the last couple days and I learned a lot about the city. After committing hours watching all of the press conferences and questions, reading all of the tweets and comments on here, I feel like I really got a good look into what the city is all about. When the line is complete, ill have to make my first trip down there and check the city out! I really look forward to it. Cincinnati really seems like a great city, even if I always spell it wrong!

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