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Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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Personally I ride either in between the tracks or in the other lane.  Travis is right, one momentary lapse in concentration and the person in that photo could wipe out.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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The official recommendation would be to ride in the other traffic lane. If you're experienced, you could probably ride in the middle of the tracks and be fine. But don't ride 3 inches away from the groove.

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Thanks! In my limited urban biking experience, it's the interaction between more than two modes of transportaion that I found most dangerous. Cars themselves didn't feel so dangerous, but car pedestrian bike, bike bus car, and bike pedestrian segway were prone to chaos. So I think I'd stay in the open lane.

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Thanks! In my limited urban biking experience, it's the interaction between more than two modes of transportaion that I found most dangerous. Cars themselves didn't feel so dangerous, but car pedestrian bike, bike bus car, and bike pedestrian segway were prone to chaos. So I think I'd stay in the open lane.

 

You're basically deciding between two games of chicken. In the game with the cars, drivers, while they sometimes won't be thrilled about it, almost always will lose. In the game with the streetcar tracks, the tracks will win every single time.

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If someone happened to take a picture of any college's bike racks in the 90s, you would see that virtually every bike was a mountain bike.  People were using mountain bikes as casual bikes which meant that they hardly ever had to worry about bike tires getting caught in sewer grates, expansion joints, streetcar tracks, etc.  Unfortunately the biking trend has moved toward skinnier tires since about 2005 and that's led to long-forgotten biking hazards once again being a factor, like the reappearance of some disease that was thought to be eradicated.

 

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Thanks! In my limited urban biking experience, it's the interaction between more than two modes of transportaion that I found most dangerous. Cars themselves didn't feel so dangerous, but car pedestrian bike, bike bus car, and bike pedestrian segway were prone to chaos. So I think I'd stay in the open lane.

 

Bikes and pedestrians move much more erratically than do cars.  This is why bike lanes and protected bike lanes are often just shifting one set of problems for another.  People tune out and make a false assumption of safety when biking in bike lanes. 

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Thanks! In my limited urban biking experience, it's the interaction between more than two modes of transportaion that I found most dangerous. Cars themselves didn't feel so dangerous, but car pedestrian bike, bike bus car, and bike pedestrian segway were prone to chaos. So I think I'd stay in the open lane.

 

Bikes and pedestrians move much more erratically than do cars.  This is why bike lanes and protected bike lanes are often just shifting one set of problems for another.  People tune out and make a false assumption of safety when biking in bike lanes. 

 

That's why well designed Cycle Tracks are an ideal situation, as there is some kind of barrier between bicycle and auto traffic. Problem is in downtown Cincinnati the roads are generally too narrow for them (other than Central Parkway, 2nd Street and 3rd Street).

 

On the flip side I've found biking in Downtown Cincinnati to be very safe, as the traffic lights are so close to each other that you essentially move at the same speed as car traffic - those streetcar tracks though are problemmatic, particularly since they shift all over the place, if they were more of a straight line it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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It's a shame that the tracks swerve as much as they do.  The swerve at 5th & Walnut is pretty annoying.  The one near Findlay Market appears to have been created to enable construction of phase 1b.  In addition to the swerve, there are two turnouts that will probably never be used but will annoy cyclists for the next 50 years. 

 

 

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Come to think of it, if Cincy had a more enlightened mayor, Eggleston would be a great location for a cycle track - the road is absurdly over powered for the amount of traffic it gets and there would be no issue at all if it received a road diet...

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It's a link from Newport to Downtown/OTR that I use pretty frequently. I agree, but the traffic is pretty calm (unlike Central Parkway) that I don't feel uncomfortable or unsafe biking on it. But I would welcome a cycle track on that road.

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​EXCLUSIVE: Transit union will sue over streetcar operations contract

Chris Wetterich - Cincinnati Business Courier

 

The Amalgamated Transit Union will sue the city of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority with the aim of stopping SORTA from awarding the contract to operate Cincinnati’s streetcar to a private company, union officials told me on Monday.

 

The ATU expects to file the lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court this week, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Peter McLinden said.

 

The union will seek an injunction to prevent SORTA from awarding the contract on the grounds that the Cincinnati City Council has not yet told the transit agency what type of operations pact it should sign as required by a motion council passed in 2014. It will also ask the judge to order council to make a decision.

 

Cont


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

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Too bad we are dealing with these four year Council terms.  We've had nothing but silliness from the four Cranleyite members of Council regarding the Streetcar over these past two years; and a new election this year had the possibility of removing one of them (likely Amy Murray) for a veto-proof majority.

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Too bad we are dealing with these four year Council terms.  We've had nothing but silliness from the four Cranleyite members of Council regarding the Streetcar over these past two years; and a new election this year had the possibility of removing one of them (likely Amy Murray) for a veto-proof majority.

 

If we had a functioning media, dingbat figures like Smitherman and Winburn wouldn't have political careers.  For example, the footage of Smitherman flipping out and being restrained by security back in 2011 would have been aired instead of suppressed.  Up in College Hill somebody would go and film one of Winburn's exorcisms. 

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​EXCLUSIVE: Transit union will sue over streetcar operations contract

Chris Wetterich - Cincinnati Business Courier

 

The Amalgamated Transit Union will sue the city of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority with the aim of stopping SORTA from awarding the contract to operate Cincinnati’s streetcar to a private company, union officials told me on Monday.

 

The ATU expects to file the lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court this week, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Peter McLinden said.

 

The union will seek an injunction to prevent SORTA from awarding the contract on the grounds that the Cincinnati City Council has not yet told the transit agency what type of operations pact it should sign as required by a motion council passed in 2014. It will also ask the judge to order council to make a decision.

 

Cont

 

“The city authorizes SORTA to subcontract any of its rights, duties or obligations under this agreement to a third party contract or contractors,” the agreement said.

 

It doesn't seem like they have much of a case, unless their suit is referencing some other document aside from what it claims to be referencing.

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​EXCLUSIVE: Transit union will sue over streetcar operations contract

Chris Wetterich - Cincinnati Business Courier

 

The Amalgamated Transit Union will sue the city of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority with the aim of stopping SORTA from awarding the contract to operate Cincinnati’s streetcar to a private company, union officials told me on Monday.

 

The ATU expects to file the lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court this week, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Peter McLinden said.

 

The union will seek an injunction to prevent SORTA from awarding the contract on the grounds that the Cincinnati City Council has not yet told the transit agency what type of operations pact it should sign as required by a motion council passed in 2014. It will also ask the judge to order council to make a decision.

 

Cont

 

“The city authorizes SORTA to subcontract any of its rights, duties or obligations under this agreement to a third party contract or contractors,” the agreement said.

 

It doesn't seem like they have much of a case, unless their suit is referencing some other document aside from what it claims to be referencing.

 

Hopefully it's dealt with swiftly. If this holds back any decision, couldn't it cause more delays?

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Seems like we have plenty of time to resolve this issue and hit our target opening date. But yes, hopefully it will be dealt with quickly.

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Oh really?

"The ATU argues that its employees could do the job within the streetcar budget if SORTA were not charging the city management fees. Such fees are assessed under both the union and turnkey options."

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So the ATU is arguing that the administrative cost of running the streetcar should come out of SORTA's general budget instead of the being a special item funded by the city? Sounds good to me... good luck making that happen...

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As has been discussed in the Cincinnati: Crime & Safety Discussion thread, Kathy Harrell will say anything at anytime. From this morning's Law & Public Safety Committee, WCPO's Paula Christian tweeted:

 

"Kathy Harrell, FOP president, suggests city council make streetcar "armored," if they don't hire more police officers soon"


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

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Looks like Transdev will be getting the contract. Anyone know what other systems they operate?

 

I'm slightly surprised that Cincinnati-based First Transit either didn't bid or came in too high.

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Different topic, but what's up with the power wire pole in the middle of the sidewalk at the corner of Main and 12th? 10 feet away they bumped out the sidewalk to make room for the poles around the curve. But then they placed one in the middle of the sidewalk!

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Looks like Transdev will be getting the contract. Anyone know what other systems they operate?

 

I'm slightly surprised that Cincinnati-based First Transit either didn't bid or came in too high.

 

First Transit has been taking a beating lately. They're having MAJOR issues with their yellow bus service.

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Looks good, especially their experience helping New Orleans with getting funds for expansion of their network.

 

They've helped a lot of the best systems ramp up for operation. I like the contract a lot.

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They put up the shelter on 5th and Walnut today.  Looks like it won't be much of a nuisance for pedestrians at all.  I really wish the Elder and Race stop was more like this one.

 

50AC9AB2-EEE5-4502-81D2-4D9CDF5971F6.jpg

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It looks like right now they're either severely cutting back or even possibly removing the trees on Race Street between Central Parkway and 12th.  I'll give an update once I hear more from XUMelanie who's watching the work from our window.


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

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They're more than likely just trimming them to not interfere with the wires. They did the same along other parts and had to trim quite a bit in order to avoid the overhead wires.

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I guess they could be, but the trees are pretty much looking like poles right now.  I doubt they'll be staying at this point, but I'll let you know as I get more updates on the ground.


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

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Cunningham seemed completely surprised yesterday when he was talking about the Government Square incident.  He pointed out that not only will we have rails in the streets but we will have overhead wires along the complete length.  In his words, it will be "an architectural disaster."

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Cunningham seemed completely surprised yesterday when he was talking about the Government Square incident.  He pointed out that not only will we have rails in the streets but we will have overhead wires along the complete length.  In his words, it will be "an architectural disaster."

 

Took my 65 year old suburban parents down to Findlay and the new park last Saturday. One is a little Fox News clone so I don't listen to anything he says, but mom is pretty fair, and she almost wept at how ugly the overhead wire system has made Race and Elm. I didn't prime them for it or anything. It was their unsolicited reaction.

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I don't think it's ugly at all.  I think it's neat how it's visible all the way into the distance down Elm and Race.  Moreover I view it as a symbol of a bustling city.  And there will be nothing ugly about the revitalization it brings to the corridor.  To me busted out windows and trash strewn vacant lots are ugly.  (Well some neglected buildings are strangely beautiful in their own way but not as beautiful as they are when restored to their former glory and form a walkable neighborhood inhabited with people.)


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Exactly. People will moan about the overhead power line and the power substations, but to me those are non-issues compared to vacant lots, parking lots, and other overhead utilities along the route. And over time, due to the streetcar, those empty lots along the route will be developed, and most other overhead utilities will be buried as streetscapes are redone around those developments.

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It looks like the trees are staying on Race albeit quite a bit cut up.  I don't have pictures, but I'll try to get some after work.


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

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Also don't forget that you're trading some visual pollution for very real air and noise pollution that you'd get from running standard buses or fake "tacky trolleys."  Don't get me wrong, removing all other overhead utilities and doing a span-wire setup rather than the bracket arms would be less visually distracting, and with OCS poles on both sides of the streets then you can use them all for mounting street lights.  That of course does require twice as many poles and footings, while also limiting the height clearance of the whole street rather than just one lane.  I do wish the bracket arms were painted black like the poles, but as others have mentioned once they weather a bit they'll just be gray rather than shiny chrome.  Still, the bracket arms seem needlessly complex, more like what you'd see on some European high speed rail line than an urban streetcar. 

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Cunningham seemed completely surprised yesterday when he was talking about the Government Square incident.  He pointed out that not only will we have rails in the streets but we will have overhead wires along the complete length.  In his words, it will be "an architectural disaster."

 

Took my 65 year old suburban parents down to Findlay and the new park last Saturday. One is a little Fox News clone so I don't listen to anything he says, but mom is pretty fair, and she almost wept at how ugly the overhead wire system has made Race and Elm. I didn't prime them for it or anything. It was their unsolicited reaction.

 

It's just new. And for now you'll either love it or hate it (or probably be indifferent). Once the streetcar itself is running, nobody will think twice about the lines.

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Did anyone catch this great quote in yesterday's Business Courier article?

 

Transdev officials said they were not worried about Cincinnati’s political climate, in which the project remains controversial and the source of drama along each step towards its planned opening day in September 2016.

 

“This is not unusual,” said Michael Setzer, a Transdev vice president and former SORTA CEO. “Almost every rail project that I’ve ever been associated with starts out in controversy and ends up being a tremendous community asset that almost everybody embraces. I think that will be what happens here as well.”

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And as Travis mentioned, more and more utilities are being buried as projects move throughout the neighborhood. Eventually we'll be left with a neighborhood that has very few (if any) overhead lines other than the streetcar wire which is definitely the most organized of all the overhead lines. Powerlines and telephone lines are generally quite ugly and the use of the wood poles is far more offensive than the streetcar arms will ever be. We just aren't quite used to seeing them yet.

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Cunningham seemed completely surprised yesterday when he was talking about the Government Square incident.  He pointed out that not only will we have rails in the streets but we will have overhead wires along the complete length.  In his words, it will be "an architectural disaster."

 

Took my 65 year old suburban parents down to Findlay and the new park last Saturday. One is a little Fox News clone so I don't listen to anything he says, but mom is pretty fair, and she almost wept at how ugly the overhead wire system has made Race and Elm. I didn't prime them for it or anything. It was their unsolicited reaction.

 

It's just new. And for now you'll either love it or hate it (or probably be indifferent). Once the streetcar itself is running, nobody will think twice about the lines.

 

Living on the route on Elm Street between 14th and 15th, I agree. The look of the lines are at least clean and organized and I'd much rather have those than the existing power and other utility lines still above ground. I'd point those out to your Mom next time and get her thoughts on how those look. My daughter looks out her bedroom window directly at a large transformer on the line...The streetcar lines are absolutely no worse than what else is there already.

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Cunningham seemed completely surprised yesterday when he was talking about the Government Square incident.  He pointed out that not only will we have rails in the streets but we will have overhead wires along the complete length.  In his words, it will be "an architectural disaster."

 

Took my 65 year old suburban parents down to Findlay and the new park last Saturday. One is a little Fox News clone so I don't listen to anything he says, but mom is pretty fair, and she almost wept at how ugly the overhead wire system has made Race and Elm. I didn't prime them for it or anything. It was their unsolicited reaction.

 

It's just new. And for now you'll either love it or hate it (or probably be indifferent). Once the streetcar itself is running, nobody will think twice about the lines.

 

Living on the route on Elm Street between 14th and 15th, I agree. The look of the lines are at least clean and organized and I'd much rather have those than the existing power and other utility lines still above ground. I'd point those out to your Mom next time and get her thoughts on how those look. My daughter looks out her bedroom window directly at a large transformer on the line...The streetcar lines are absolutely no worse than what else is there already.

 

Besides, could be worse. Have you ever seen San Fran's overhead wire? https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Muni_trolleybus_wires_at_Haight.jpg

 

And that's nothing against San Fran's transit system (I like it a lot). It's just the reality of the system.

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Looking at Portland on google streetview, they have nearly identical cross arms, but for some reason I never really noticed them when I was there. I'm assuming once they dull and the trees grow in more around them they will blend in more.

 

It does make it easier to find the system though.

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Looking at Portland on google streetview, they have nearly identical cross arms, but for some reason I never really noticed them when I was there. I'm assuming once they dull and the trees grow in more around them they will blend in more.

 

It does make it easier to find the system though.

 

In Portland, I always base finding the system on the tracks, not the wire. Don't think I've really ever habitually looked up while there. But yeah, Portland has the luxury of decades-older trees pretty much everywhere downtown. The amount of greenery in the core tends to hide a lot.

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^^ yeah seattle is much the same. Taut double wires everywhere. Weird at first but then you get used to it.

 

I'm finding it amusing that Main is being painted right now, when it will just get torn up in a couple weeks so new pavement can go down. Wouldn't it be great if the local rag ran a piece on this? Except that they'd somehow manage to make it look like Deatrik and co's fault, rather than rightly blaming it on the drivers who can't figure out how to drive down a one-way street.

 

still, it's a shame, because it is a total waste of money.

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