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Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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http://www.soapboxmedia.com/inthenews/032415-seattle-streetcar-changes-impact-national-movement.aspx

 

Thought this article posted on soapbox was interesting. Traffic downtown isnt bad now, but what will it be like in 5 or 10 yrs. The way our streetcar weaves in and out of lanes could make it slower than Seatle's, unless we changed the roads the route is on to transit, pedestrians and bikes only of course ?.

 

The Seattle streetcar and ours have little in common.  Seattle built Phase 2 before they built Phase 1.  It travels through a low-density area like Queensgate, then abruptly terminates at the edge of DT Seattle.  It would be like having a line on W. 8th come to City Hall but no farther into Downtown. 

 

There are of course plans to extend the first Seattle line into DT Seattle and connect it with another line, but critics always ignore this. 

 

That's an apt comparison, Jake.

 

It's at the edge of downtown, but the area is WAY nicer than Queensgate.  Also, I wouldn't worry about the long term success of this streetcar line.  New construction in the neighborhood is proceeding at a furious pace. My recent pics here:  http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=29963.msg749990;topicseen#new


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Just found this map I made about a year ago about how the streetcar could eventually get to Union Terminal:

 

So it would use the existing Walnut/Main pair in the CBD and hook into the existing track around Washington Park. This could really accelerate development in the West End and allow the Union Terminal parking lots to be developed.

 

With Union Terminal about to spend a few hundred million dollars on a renovation, something like a streetcar extension to increase attendance would be a spectacular idea.

 

While I don't know much about Ezzard Charles Drive, I'd wager that any costs for utility relocation would be much lower than the costs on streets like Race and Elm. It could be an extremely cheap installation cost per mile.

 

Similar to my concept from last month: Ezzard Charles Line

 

I think a streetcar could work here! Flat land with some grid structure.  Perhaps more favorable than Uptown's hilly arterial roads.  Similar to Covington and Newport which I know taestell[/member] has also suggested as a priority for expansion. 

 

 


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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There has been a ton of development in South Lake Union since I visited in 2009 and walked the streetcar line.  My guess is that one of those big buildings in your thread took the place of this used car lot:

seattle-32.jpg

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I was driving up Elm Street around noon today, and as I approached Findlay Market, there was complete gridlock. The left lane was totally stopped and the right lane was moving very slowly. As I got further north, I realized that a funeral was being held at the church at the corner of Findlay and Elm. Cars were queuing up for the procession and were totally stopped in the left driving lane for an entire block (between Elder and Findlay).

 

I want to be sensitive to the situation, but I don't understand how anyone thinks this is acceptable in an urban environment. They may have been able to get away with this in the past when there was not a lot of traffic in this part of OTR. However, with Findlay Market hopping at lunchtime and lots of other big developments starting to happen in the Northern Liberties, it is no longer acceptable to block a traffic lane like this.

 

These type of situations need to be figured out before the streetcar starts opertaing.

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Funeral processions are incredibly selfish, rude endeavors. I get that it's a rough time, but a row of 30+ cars blocking traffic traveling at a snail's pace is detrimental to the flow of everyone else. Death sucks, but it isn't really anyone else's issue. I don't really get why funeral processions are allowed anywhere.

 

I got stuck next to one on 71 north and I needed to get off at Kenwood Road to get to my bank and sat with my turn signal on as the procession members tightened together and one guy flipped me off. Completely incapable of understanding the world doesn't stop for one person's death. I know that sounds insensitive, but it's the reality of the situation. I'd be pissed if my death caused a delay to a bunch of strangers just going about their daily lives.

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Completely disagree with you guys. Coming from a funeral home family I've seen a lot of these. It's a way to honor the deceased and also to keep everyone organized. You wouldn't want to miss someone's burial because you took a wrong turn. And everyone deserves at least one parade for crying out loud! We're so preoccupied with daily life these days (literally the errands and traffic you guys are talking about) it's useful to realize death exists and will take every one of us someday. So... deal with it!


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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I believe in Portland the streetcar is free within the basin (at least it was when I was there last).  SO if you are not paying, and you see that a streetcar is coming then it is understandable to hop on and off.  If other cities have similar plans, then I can see how it could skew the numbers.

 

Portland got rid of the free fare zone downtown in late 2012, found out the hard way, but was able to get by with a warning.

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Completely disagree with you guys. Coming from a funeral home family I've seen a lot of these. It's a way to honor the deceased and also to keep everyone organized. You wouldn't want to miss someone's burial because you took a wrong turn. And everyone deserves at least one parade for crying out loud! We're so preoccupied with daily life these days (literally the errands and traffic you guys are talking about) it's useful to realize death exists and will take every one of us someday. So... deal with it!

 

I get what you're saying, but everyone knows death exists. But someone else's random death, though sad, shouldn't stop completely random, unrelated people from doing what they need to do. There are tons of ways of honoring someone without holding up other people's days. Say what you will, but if people are "preoccupied" with their daily life, that's really nobody else's business nor is it someone else's place to stop that from occurring because of their personal beliefs on the ceremonies of death.

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What the church should have done is contact the police and get them to put "no parking" signs up on the left side of Elm Street. Then the procession could have queued up in the parking lane and both driving lanes would have remained unblocked.

 

In any event, isn't this church trying to sell their property?

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According to state law, even the streetcar would have to yield to funeral processions:

 

4511.451 Right-of way of funeral vehicle.

 

Excepting public safety vehicles proceeding in accordance with section 4511.45 of the Revised Code or when directed otherwise by a police officer, pedestrians and the operators of all vehicles, street cars, and trackless trolleys shall yield the right of way to each vehicle that is a part of a funeral procession.

 

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You guys should hang out in New Orleans and take part in a Second Line parade. They know how to shut down a street and honor the dead in the Big Easy.

 

(In the urban grid, a backup is pretty easily avoided by just going a couple of blocks out of your way. Not so much on a highway and suburban interchange.)

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According to state law, even the streetcar would have to yield to funeral processions:

 

4511.451 Right-of way of funeral vehicle.

 

Excepting public safety vehicles proceeding in accordance with section 4511.45 of the Revised Code or when directed otherwise by a police officer, pedestrians and the operators of all vehicles, street cars, and trackless trolleys shall yield the right of way to each vehicle that is a part of a funeral procession.

 

You mean, even the Southbank Shuttle and Hop On Trolley would have to stop?!

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Completely disagree with you guys. Coming from a funeral home family I've seen a lot of these. It's a way to honor the deceased and also to keep everyone organized. You wouldn't want to miss someone's burial because you took a wrong turn. And everyone deserves at least one parade for crying out loud! We're so preoccupied with daily life these days (literally the errands and traffic you guys are talking about) it's useful to realize death exists and will take every one of us someday. So... deal with it!

 

Completely agree with this.  It's sad that death has become so removed from society.  A funeral procession is a very minor inconvenience.  And it's hardly a blip on the radar compared to other traffic issues the streetcar might face. 

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I remember coming upon one on Interstate 270 in Columbus. The procession proceeded to merge in without speeding up (at around 30 MPH) and cutting off traffic in the right lane (then two lanes) and causing an incident. It doesn't matter if it's a minor inconvenience; if it holds up traffic and queues up on interstates and other high speed roads, it needs to be separated. I'm sure we can all give directions and addresses in the year 2015. But that's a completely different topic.

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Yeah, I drove to Findlay Market today for lunch too, and while the funeral traffic did slow me down a bit, it was only maybe 30 seconds tops.  It was frustrating, but once I realized all the cars and traffic were due to a funeral I felt like and asshole.  I agree that issues such as these will have to be resolved once the streetcar begins operations, though.

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I guess one thing you can say about Cincinnati is that when we finally stop fighting, we get the job done right.

 

Absolutely. I can say with pretty confidently that we're getting the best streetcar system in the US to date. (Tucson is debatable, but the rest are inferior.)

 

So there's nearly a year in between procurement and operation, presumably for all these test runs. Most other cities would've sped through that to get the thing operational. I agree that the tortoise wins the prize, but there is also a value in getting the public's buy-in ASAP..

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Ya. One funeral every few months slowing things down for 5 minutes doesn't bother me. I'd rather see people slowed down by a funeral than flying up an empty street at 35 mph.

 

Things that slow vehicles down make me happy. :)

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Here are two pics of the progress in OTR..

 

CBMMYVyU8AAYzak.jpg

CBMMYVqUIAEtogX.jpg

 

Apologies for my tendency to over-expose iPhone pics so that lighting highlights intricate design features...

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...and the operators of all vehicles, street cars, and trackless trolleys shall yield the right of way to each vehicle that is a part of a funeral procession.

You mean, even the Southbank Shuttle and Hop On Trolley would have to stop?!

 

The Southbank Shuttle and Hop on Trolley are Motor Coaches, a subset of Motor Vehicles, not Trackless Trolleys. Trackless Trolleys, also known as Trolley Buses, are powered by overhead wires.

 

...But a row of 30+ cars blocking traffic traveling at a snail's pace is detrimental to the flow of everyone else.

 

There are many uses for streets, other than to drive cars on. Funeral processions are a form of parade. Parades and street festivals have been legitimate uses for streets for thousands of years. In fact, most traditional streets, as opposed to roads or trails, are actually designed to facilitate parades.

 

 

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Yeah, I drove to Findlay Market today for lunch too, and while the funeral traffic did slow me down a bit, it was only maybe 30 seconds tops.  It was frustrating, but once I realized all the cars and traffic were due to a funeral I felt like and asshole.  I agree that issues such as these will have to be resolved once the streetcar begins operations, though.

Odd. And now this. http://www.wlwt.com/news/police-officer-on-motorcycle-struck-while-leading-funeral-procession/32066594?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=FBPAGE&utm_campaign=News&Content%20Type=Story&linkId=13193524

 

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There was an event going on at People's Liberty, and I have honestly never seen the Findlay Market parking lot so busy on a weekday.  The funeral also appeared to be quite large, and a number of cars were parked on the left side of Elm, and one was kind of pointing diagonally out at Findlay St., essentially blocking the entire intersection.  Combined with the presumably higher than normal level of activity in the area, it caused a bit of a mess. 

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...and the operators of all vehicles, street cars, and trackless trolleys shall yield the right of way to each vehicle that is a part of a funeral procession.

You mean, even the Southbank Shuttle and Hop On Trolley would have to stop?!

 

The Southbank Shuttle and Hop on Trolley are Motor Coaches, a subset of Motor Vehicles, not Trackless Trolleys. Trackless Trolleys, also known as Trolley Buses, are powered by overhead wires.

 

 

Yup, you nailed it.  This is a trackless trolley.  Ohio law groups trackless trolleys and streetcars together applying more/less the same requirements.  But, trackless trolleys and streetcars are not motor vehicles...which explains why the one pictured here carries no plates.  Just to keep on topic, much older versions of this technology were used to replace streetcars in Cincinnati 60-70 years ago.  (Apologies for the strange way this iphone pic. posted-or failed to post).

 

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Is the $54 million the state pulled enough to finish the uptown segment? IS it true there is an underground  water main and electrical system under  vine street that will cost $100 million alone to move?

 

Well we got our answer. $38 million for only 1.2 miles just for utilities.

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That says for the replacement of a whole transmission circuit from Charles St. in the West End to Glendora and Rochelle in Corryville.

 

Surely there is some work around that wouldn't require all that.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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^No doubt, since the whole system is aging and needs to be replaced anyway.

 

Including the Charles St. substation itself, which needs to be moved underground or at the very least out of its soul-destroying location at the Central Parkway bend.  That substation is where it is because one of the city's first coal power plants was built next to the canal at this location to make use of the canal water.  The plant was demolished soon after the canal was drained in late 1919 but the utility has made uninspiring use of this prime land ever since. 

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Motion could drive up streetcar costs

 

Cincinnati Councilwoman Amy Murray is chair of the transportation committee.

 

Whether you are for the streetcar or against it, a motion is coming before the Transportation Committee on Tuesday that might be the only streetcar-related issue that we can all agree on. The issue to be discussed is who will operate the streetcar and at what cost.

 

If you are a supporter of the streetcar, this should be concerning because if this motion passes it could potentially drive up costs. This could impact the future of the streetcar, including how often it runs.

 

If you are an opponent the streetcar, this motion could unnecessarily require more taxpayer dollars to operate the streetcar.

 

Cont


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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I agree with Amy Murray on this one. Besides, the streetcar still needs to pick its battles wisely. That whole "the perfect is the enemy of the good" thing.

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I may not agree with her on a lot of things, but I do appreciate her professionalism in handling the streetcar, Cranley could learn a thing or two from her.

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Let's pick the proposal with the lowest operating costs, and use that as leverage to extend the system's operating hours as late into the evening as possible.

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The Cincinnati Business Courier reported fresh statistics today on the number of workers in Cincinnati's downtown and uptown areas:

 

218,181 people work in the city of Cincinnati with an average income of $59,368.

 

60,028 people work in downtown, Over-the-Rhine or Pendleton, while 53,492 work in Avondale, Clifton, Corryville or Mount Auburn where the University of Cincinnati and the medical community is located. Uptown added nearly 3,000 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2013. "A lot of the growth has come from the Uptown area," Jones said.

 

42 percent of Cincinnati residents work in the city, down from 46.5 percent in 2002.

 

77 percent of people who work in the city live somewhere else, up from 71 percent in 2002.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/03/30/uc-economics-center-city-of-cincinnati-population.html

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^ This is Cincinnati's main problem. We have all these great jobs, and we get the taxes from the people who hold them. But that just pays for government.

 

What we don't get is their spending of the people who don't live in Cincinnati, since most people spend most of their disposable income near where they live. And private spending is what drives investment and employment.

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Some ridiculous Cranley quotes in this recent Enquirer article,

 

"Everyone should cease and desist on this silly talk about expanding the streetcar."

 

"It's totally unworkable and financially impossible," Cranley said of expanding the streetcar. "Let's not waste any more time on this."

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/03/29/cincinnati-streetcar-utility-cost-duke-energy/70626318/

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Some ridiculous Cranley quotes in this recent Enquirer article,

 

"Everyone should cease and desist on this silly talk about expanding the streetcar."

 

"It's totally unworkable and financially impossible," Cranley said of expanding the streetcar. "Let's not waste any more time on this."

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/03/29/cincinnati-streetcar-utility-cost-duke-energy/70626318/

 

The Man doth Protest too much, Methinks.

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Well considering almost 40 million just for utility relocation on vine, this might bode well for the tunnel alternative right?

 

I suspect we will flail around on this for several years and then finally realize that a city which has lots of hills and valleys is going to have some tunnels and bridges.

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A can-do spirit is an American spirit. Or at least it used to be.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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What happened to the alternate Vine Street hill routing idea (through the forest on "paper" streets, IIRC)? Wouldn't that massively reduce the cost of utility relocation? Wasn't the "forest" routing also faster and less expensive? And didn't someone think of combining it with a short tunnel somewhere?

 

I remember a lot of discussion on this forum about another route to Uptown some time ago.

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What happened to the alternate Vine Street hill routing idea (through the forest on "paper" streets, IIRC)? Wouldn't that massively reduce the cost of utility relocation? Wasn't the "forest" routing also faster and less expensive? And didn't someone think of combining it with a short tunnel somewhere?

 

I remember a lot of discussion on this forum about another route to Uptown some time ago.

 

It's still out there and would be much better than going up the hill through the ROW of Vine Street. But with the development that's projected to happen in Mt. Auburn near Christ Hospital and in Corryville east of Vine, we should be revisitng the Mt. Auburn tunnel plan but with less tunnel and more surface-running. Plus, extending streetcar tracks north on Main and Walnut from 12th would add a lot of value to the eastern half of OTR and Pendleton. Also, Walnut Hills is starting to push for a Gilbert alignment. That's even a faster route to UC than the current double-back route up Vine. Drive both of them someday, you'll see.

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So many questions about this underground transmission line. Does it run up the middle of Vine St. all the way up the hill? If so, can they kick the tracks out over to the outside curbside lanes and would that create enough clearance? You could widen the street and create side lots where possible to make up for the parking you give up. Then, dedicate the lanes for added speed and reliability!


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Probably up Main and Walnut would be the best it seems.  It would definitely hit the most potential it seems on it's way up.  Vine Street is a bit isolated with where it is up the hill.

 

But dang will Cranley ever stop?  He can't stop won't stop protesting, it's like in his DNA!!  His pandering is amazing, just think if he put all that energy into making sure it worked!

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Cranley is either stupid or crazy.

 

Cranley: Release streetcar documents

Jason Williams, jwilliams@enquirer.com 12:25 p.m. EDT March 31, 2015

 

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is demanding the regional transit authority be transparent and release streetcar bid documents.

 

SORTA, however, is refusing to release the information – potentially setting the stage for yet another battle over the controversial streetcar project.

 

Cranley and transit authority CEO Dwight Ferrell exchanged memos on Monday, which was the deadline for companies to submit applications to SORTA to run and maintain the city-owned streetcar.

 

MORE:

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/03/31/cranley-streetcar-transparency/70718778/


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Does he require Cincinnati Public Schools to release all the proposals for the teachers union every time they are working a contract?  Because the public pays for that as well, or am I wrong?  What difference does it make if the public looks at all the bids, does the public then decide on a vote what bid it wants to take on based just on cost? 

 

Come to think of it, he is probably doing this so firms are less inclined to bid because they don't want proprietary information public so he can drive up the costs and reduce operating hours... it all makes sense now.

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Cranley is either stupid or crazy.

 

 

They're not mutually exclusive.

 

And no one click on that link.  Let's stop sending hits the Enquirer's way.  They've been stirring up "controversy" over this project to drive hits for far too long.

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Jason Williams ‏@jwilliamscincy  36s36 seconds ago Cincinnati, OH

In '12, CAF & other firms bidding on CincyStreetcar[/member] project tried to keep bid docs from public. We went to court. @Enquirer (public) won.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Streetcar hearing in today in City Council was really pitiful. Council opponents got brushed-back several times by streetcar supporters. Not a single person showed us to testify against the streetcar. A first.

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Streetcar hearing in today in City Council was really pitiful. Council opponents got brushed-back several times by streetcar supporters. Not a single person showed us to testify against the streetcar. A first.

 

COAST has been awfully quiet after Cranley ordered the solicitor to settle all of Finney's frivolous lawsuits. 

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Streetcar hearing in today in City Council was really pitiful. Council opponents got brushed-back several times by streetcar supporters. Not a single person showed us to testify against the streetcar. A first.

 

If orange is the new black, then is "pitiful" the new "beautiful"?? :)


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Streetcar hearing in today in City Council was really pitiful. Council opponents got brushed-back several times by streetcar supporters. Not a single person showed us to testify against the streetcar. A first.

 

If orange is the new black, then is "pitiful" the new "beautiful"?? :)

 

No, pitiful is pitiful. You had to be there.

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