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thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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Re: Streetscape in photos 1-3

 

Will they be adding more trees to the streetscape at some point?  Anyone know if they have plans for this?  The infrastructure looks fabulous, but I think it will give it a better feel if they add trees.  It just seems a bit barren...

 

FYI: Love the pictures

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Does anyone have an updated map of the segments of track that have already been laid? I'm curious if we can get a quick visual representation.

 

Basically everything except for Main Street [3rd-Court] and Walnut [3rd-4th] is complete.

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Main and Court intersection scheduled for this weekend. Walnut and Third scheduled the following weekend. Quick & dirty:


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

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17103792527_6b22a25ea9_c.jpg

 

It doesn't look like there is a streetcar stop where the rails jog over to the left there. Is there one? If not, why does the track jog over?

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Why do the lanes shift on that block though? Isn't Race the exact same width through that stretch?

 

I think John has mentioned it on here before. But I belive the shifting lanes go back hundreds of years to poor assessments way back when.

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Interesting. I wonder why they didn't just remedy that by striping straight since the right lane doesn't exactly come close to the curb since they've removed parking on that side. Seems like it isn't really necessary in this situation to shift the lanes even if the ROW does.

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I did some investigation into this. Basically, the sidewalk was expanded when Washington Park was renovated, and this caused the traffic lanes to be shifted over slightly (notice the dotted white line indicating the two traffic lanes). The streetcar moves slightly to the left for this block to stay in the center of the lane. The shift has nothing to do with incorrect surveying or a missing streetcar stop.

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I did some investigation into this. Basically, the sidewalk was expanded when Washington Park was renovated, and this caused the traffic lanes to be shifted over slightly (notice the dotted white line indicating the two traffic lanes). The streetcar moves slightly to the left for this block to stay in the center of the lane. The shift has nothing to do with incorrect surveying or a missing streetcar stop.

 

Good to know. Although I do believe incorrect surveying has been mentioned for other shifts in the rails elsewhere. Could be wrong.

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I did some investigation into this. Basically, the sidewalk was expanded when Washington Park was renovated, and this caused the traffic lanes to be shifted over slightly (notice the dotted white line indicating the two traffic lanes). The streetcar moves slightly to the left for this block to stay in the center of the lane. The shift has nothing to do with incorrect surveying or a missing streetcar stop.

 

Although there is, incidentally, a ton of errant surveying around Cincinnati.  In fact Cincinnati is cited as having the most surveying errors in the United States in Andro Linklater's book "Measuring America": http://www.amazon.com/Measuring-America-United-Greatest-History/dp/0452284597/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1430337061&sr=8-2&keywords=measuring+america+book

 

This book details much of the purposefully botched surveying that went on in the 1790s through about 1810 which gave land speculators and sometimes even entire states hundreds of square miles of extra land for free.  The problem became so widespread that the federal government had to step in and start surveying the borders between states like Ohio and Indiana.   

 

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The ROW width changes a little through here.  According to CAGIS the ROW width changes by about 4 feet in the middle section of the segment of Race between 14th and 12th.

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Why do the lanes shift on that block though? Isn't Race the exact same width through that stretch?

 

I think John has mentioned it on here before. But I belive the shifting lanes go back hundreds of years to poor assessments way back when.

 

I asked John Deatrick once why our downtown streets don't line up 100%. His answer: drunk surveryors in the 1800's.

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Surveyors sure due have a reputation for that. I thought it had to do with having to stand next to scary speeding traffic all day... but apparently it goes back further than that.

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Surveyors sure due have a reputation for that. I thought it had to do with having to stand next to scary speeding traffic all day... but apparently it goes back further than that.

 

This is what happened when two surveying crews working in opposite directions met to form the Butler/Warren County border back in 1790~:

survey_zpshu3q6mj8.jpg

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^Not exactly true. The Miami Purchase was laid out by private surveyors hired by John Cleves Symmes. To save money, he instructed his men to lay out the north-south lines only, setting markers at every mile. The purchasers of the land were supposed to lay out the east-west lines between the markers.

 

If you look at a map of the section lines, the north-south lines are much straighter. The error lies in the distance between the markers; not all of them were 5280 feet. Keep in mind, the technology of the time was the compass and chain, and they weren't sophisticated enough to allow for slope distance up and down the hillsides, much less curvature of the earth. In those days, surveyors were often chosen for their military experience rather than their technical expertise, since the threat of Indian attacks was still real.

 

But back to Race Street: can anyone confirm that Race Street was even intended to be a straight line? Downtown Cincinnati up to 7th street was laid out in one plat, but north of 7th street the grid does not stay regular, as private land owners subdivided their property. Then, 200+ years of development have taken their toll on the original street right of way.

 

All that said, I agree that the streetcar track offset doesn't really look professional. It makes me wonder why it was laid out that way. It's only noticeable when one looks down the line, though.

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Surveyors sure due have a reputation for that. I thought it had to do with having to stand next to scary speeding traffic all day... but apparently it goes back further than that.

 

This is what happened when two surveying crews working in opposite directions met to form the Butler/Warren County border back in 1790~:

 

 

Well, basically what I've been told is to not try to drink with surveyors.

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All that said, I agree that the streetcar track offset doesn't really look professional. It makes me wonder why it was laid out that way. It's only noticeable when one looks down the line, though.

 

So that the streetcar stays in the dead center of the lane, to minimize the chance to getting hit by motorists. The same reason that the streetcar swings over about a foot to meet the stops...which allows the stops to be recessed an additional foot, to reduce the chance of getting hit by motorists.

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A few more photos from Main Street...

 

Completed curve at 12th & Main. Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

 

17135125679_f0ee508e5a_b.jpg

 

Expanded sidewalk at 12th & Main (4/24):

 

17321353695_4b21c678dc_b.jpg

 

Moving south on Main Street (4/24):

 

17319497382_00f372e201_b.jpg

 

Crossing Central Parkway (4/24):

 

17320932071_bd00b909c9_b.jpg

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A few more photos from Main Street...

 

Completed curve at 12th & Main. Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

 

17135125679_f0ee508e5a_b.jpg

 

 

Stough group is gonna love when that goes up.

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Completed curve at 12th & Main. Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

 

Noticed the prep for this yesterday. It appears it'll put an end to any vehicular traffic on Wilkymacky Alley. Not that I've ever seen it used much...


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

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Completed curve at 12th & Main. Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

 

Noticed the prep for this yesterday. It appears it'll put an end to any vehicular traffic on Wilkymacky Alley. Not that I've ever seen it used much...

 

I think it has wood pavers

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Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

17135125679_f0ee508e5a_b.jpg

 

Will the streetcar stop be bumped out all the way to the streetcar line there? Are there any other examples of "full lane bump outs" for street car stops? It seems like most of the other stops are right in line with the sidewalk. 

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Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

17135125679_f0ee508e5a_b.jpg

 

Will the streetcar stop be bumped out all the way to the streetcar line there? Are there any other examples of "full lane bump outs" for street car stops? It seems like most of the other stops are right in line with the sidewalk. 

 

with the exception of the Banks, 4th and Walnut and Findlay Market East, the rest are full lane bump outs.

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Streetcar stop will be built on the right side of the image, in front of the Davis Furniture building (4/18):

17135125679_f0ee508e5a_b.jpg

 

Will the streetcar stop be bumped out all the way to the streetcar line there? Are there any other examples of "full lane bump outs" for street car stops? It seems like most of the other stops are right in line with the sidewalk. 

 

The vast majority of stops bump out into the parking lane. Only a few (like Toby Keith's, 5th & Walnut, and Findlay Market southbound) are in line with the sidewalk.

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Yes. Well, at least south of 12th. Same with basically all of Race in OTR. Those will forever be one ways. Walnut and Elm could easily become two-way though at some point if we're looking for conversions in the future.

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Doesn't the placement of the tracks on the left side of Main preclude the street from becoming two-way?

 

Yes, it could only become two-way between Liberty and 12th. Traffic southbound would have to turn right onto 12th.

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Doesn't the placement of the tracks on the left side of Main preclude the street from becoming two-way?

 

Yes, it could only become two-way between Liberty and 12th. Traffic southbound would have to turn right onto 12th.

 

Well I'm definitely pulling for two-way conversion wherever possible.

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Not to throw things OT here but what is the planning/traffic management rationale for two-way vs. one-way or vice versa?  Answer in a more appropriate thread if need be.

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One way streets move more cars faster so that's what traffic planners prefer. Two way streets slow traffic, which makes it safer for bikes and pedestrians, and makes it easier to access businesses, so that's what urbanists and business owners prefer.

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San Francisco used to have a cable car that travelled in the opposite direction as traffic on a one way street.

 

Some traffic planners, urbanists, or business owners prefer one-way streets, and some prefer two-way streets. There are pros and cons to each.

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San Francisco used to have a cable car that travelled in the opposite direction as traffic on a one way street.

 

Some traffic planners, urbanists, or business owners prefer one-way streets, and some prefer two-way streets. There are pros and cons to each.

 

I think urbanist consensus is forming in favor of two way streets.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/17/why-one-way-streets-really-are-the-worst/

 

Jeff Speck also talks about this in Chapter 5 of Walkable City. 

 

Business owners are just like the general public, some will oppose changes of any sort, even if it would help them in the long run. And a lot has been written about how the numeric goals of traffic planners can be at odds with the well being of a city overall.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Early in my real estate career, I worked for a large developer with operations in many states. We had a project in Lexington where the state highway department wanted to improve the four-laner in front of the project I was managing, a combination of apartments and retail. The planning study promised that if the improvements were made -- I think turning lanes and maybe some widening, can't recall -- then the speed of the roadway would increase to, say 35 mph from 25 mph. Again, can't recall, just remember that it was a significant increase. And my company, as a major property owner fronting the road, was asked to make comments on the plan.

 

I wrote a report to the CEO of the company, saying I thought it was a good idea, that the more traffic the road moved, the better for the retail part of our project. A few days later, I was traveling with the CEO and asked him what he thought. His answer: "I'll tell you, John, one thing I've learned in real estate over the years .... if you can slow traffic in front of your land, you will increase its value." That simple, confident Texan response -- he was from Dallas -- has kind of stuck with me over the years.

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Looking for an editorial cartoon called Old Cincinnati (I think) and had some old curmudgeon who kept saying no every time anyone had an idea, probably five or six times before saying "what part of no don't you understand?"

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Looking for an editorial cartoon called Old Cincinnati (I think) and had some old curmudgeon who kept saying no every time anyone had an idea, probably five or six times before saying "what part of no don't you understand?"

 

It was in the Business Courier in 2013.

 

 

hoffecker-03-01-13-cincy-progress-color*600.jpg

 

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Looking for an editorial cartoon called Old Cincinnati (I think) and had some old curmudgeon who kept saying no every time anyone had an idea, probably five or six times before saying "what part of no don't you understand?"

 

It was in the Business Courier in 2013.

 

 

hoffecker-03-01-13-cincy-progress-color*600.jpg

 

 

THANKS!!!!

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Enquirer sues SORTA over streetcar information

 

The Enquirer filed a Wednesday lawsuit asking the Ohio Supreme Court to force the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority to provide the public with access to documents regarding the operation of Cincinnati's streetcar.

 

The suit accuses SORTA, a transportation entity in charge of deciding which company will operate the controversial streetcar project, of violating Ohio's Open Records laws by refusing to provide Enquirer reporter Jason Williams with the documents when asked in a March 30 letter.

 

Williams filed his request asking to review documents submitted by companies responding to a SORTA request to bid on the estimated $4 million per year contract to maintain and operate the 3.6-mile, $148 million streetcar. Bidding is done in an attempt to encourage competition to control costs.

 

Cont


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

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^ From the looks of it the Enquirer is trying to use a bit of a loophole. Ohio Revised Code allows counties and other governments to keep competitive bids secret until a contract has been signed, however the language specifically regarding transit agencies is a bit vague and doesn't seem to have that exception.

 

I could see the suit going either way - it's obvious that state law allowed for competitive bids to be free from public disclosure prior to a contract being awarded, but the laws governing transit agencies don't duplicate that specific item, as they probably should.

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Anytime the enquirer can use the word streetcar in a headline they will do it. And suing SORTA certainly does that...the city/county/state gets bids for many different kinds of projects that are not released to the public.

 

But this will be/is spun so that "the city is holding secrets back" about the streetcar and make it look bad just to keep spinning the wheels on the subject.

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Enquirer is not likely to win this case. Governmental agencies are allowed to have a RPF process and are not required to release bids while the RFP is in progress. This is simply a stunt to get attention and another chance for them to use the phrase "controversial streetcar project".

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Enquirer is not likely to win this case. Governmental agencies are allowed to have a RPF process and are not required to release bids while the RFP is in progress. This is simply a stunt to get attention and another chance for them to use the phrase "controversial streetcar project".

 

The memo they posted alongside the filing shows their claim is that "Ohio Revised Code Chapter 307 applies specifically to Boards of County Commissioners —not Regional Transit Authorities."

 

They're trying to find a loophole to get around the fact that bids don't have to be made public until a contract is awarded, for reasons that should be obvious to all. There's no logical reason a transit authority would have to publish bids while the rest of the government doesn't, and hopefully that's how a judge sees it.

 

 

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I don't even click on The Enquirer's streetcar articles anymore.  I don't care what they report, it always serves the agenda to purposefully roil public opinion.  Besides, usually the same six people make comments and talk past each other.  The Enquirer's worked hard to make the issue controversial because they've never been on our side.  They wouldn't have endorsed Cranley if they were, or allowed Barry Horstman to get away with his hack reporting about it.  So the agenda must come from On High. 

 

As far as this public disclosure issue goes, I'm cynical enough to believe they want to help cause operating costs to increase, or cause any other trouble whatsoever that they can.  They probably consider talk radio as major competition since so many knuckleheads around the region rely on it as a news source.  Thus the inflammatory reports, over and over, year after year.

 

 

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I thought the Enquirer was broke. Where did they get all this money to file frivolous lawsuits?

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