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Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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Are officials trying to get the Governor to change his mind? Have they traveled to Columbus lately?

 

Officials trying to change Ohio Governor's mind about WHAT, exactly?

About taking the state funds away from the streetcar. Nothing can be done now since the money is spent, but at least get inline for when the next state transportation bill is signed. Guess what happens when you do nothing? NOTHING.

 

How can a governor allow $400 million to be spent on a bypass for 24,000 people, but not $52 million for mass transportation for over 100.000 workers?

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^Its all about the funding. The gasoline tax is supposed to be used for highway construction, not transit. I'm not saying that's the way it should be, but that's the way it is.

 

Not quite. Kasich is wedded to the automobile and he pulled $52 million in state administered federal funds for the streetcar, which are not subject to the state constitutional restriction on the gas tax.

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In case y'all didn't notice, I updated the map to more accurately reflect the proposal.  Taking the Kirk Alley route as I'd drawn earlier would require too steep of a grade for the streetcar to climb.  The streetcar would have to follow the path of Ohio Ave a little further North to accommodate a 6% grade. 

 

StreetcarBrewDist.jpg

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I like this modification as well.  One thing I've never understood though, is how the clifton route would interface with the CBD-OTR loop.  Does one train run the entire thing, or do passengers ride down from clifton and transfer onto the CBD-OTR loop at a stop?

 

It will be a one-seat ride from Corryville to The Banks.

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In case y'all didn't notice, I updated the map to more accurately reflect the proposal.  Taking the Kirk Alley route as I'd drawn earlier would require too steep of a grade for the streetcar to climb.  The streetcar would have to follow the path of Ohio Ave a little further North to accommodate a 6% grade.

 

In all seriousness, given the political realities in Cincinnati (Mayor Cranley & Co.) and Ohio (Governor Kasich and his fervent Tea Party supporters), how likely is it that the Streetcar could be extended (Phase Two), no matter how promising the route modification you've shown here is in offering potential savings over the original route's cost?

 

Should streetcar planners and advocates hold off on pushing for an extension of the Streetcar until AFTER the 2014 Midterm Elections - with the hope that a new more transit- friendly Governor of Ohio is elected - as well as until AFTER a more streetcar-friendly mayor is elected in Cincinnati?

 

What is your take on how potent these two obstacles (our present mayor and governor) are at being able to interfere with the streetcar's getting the green light to be extended anytime soon, even if Federal help becomes available?

 

Is it realistic to expect that we're probably in for a longish wait of at least several more years at a minimum before the streetcar could get the nod to be extended to the U. of Cincinnati and the Medical Center?

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Jos, that might be realistic, but if the phase 1a battle taught me anything, it's to expect the unexpected and that determination pays off.

 

During the pause, David Mann frequently cited the concern that phase 1b would be necessary to make 1a a success. If he and Kevin Flynn are on board, assuming the mayor sticks to his promise not to pocket veto (maybe a stretch, who knows), Cranley might not matter. We already have seen Kasich's opposition rendered impotent once, but he may be gone prior to this idea really picking up stream anyway.

 

Sitting on our hands would be stupid, if only because morale and unit cohesion would nosedive among supporters. But also because we might miss opportunities for grants and to get the damn project started (and completed).

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^ Cincinnati will likely be applying for Federal funding to build the Uptown extension by April 28th. I suspect there are six votes to do this.

 

By the way, Jules Rosen has come up with a clever alternative to the Clifton Shortcut, as I've been calling it. He would extend the line from Elm and McMicken diagonally up the hill to the northeast, curving it a little to get the grade down to a feasible level, cross Lower Clifton at grade and then thread its way through the buildings east of Lower Ohio Avenue to Vine. He's re-work Mulberry where it contacts Vine.

 

I know the hillside south of Lower Clifton is very unstable He would put a retaining wall along the north side of the tracks. It would unlock beautiful views of OTR and the CBD as the line ascends and descends the hilllside.

 

I'm senidng his drawing to Jake to post here.

 

I told Jules to send his idea to Deatrick.

 

Off to Portland with a bunch of Cincinnatians.

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^ Is there any reason why the downtown bound streetcar track cannot veer southwest from Kirk Alley, go under Clifton and use Ohio Ave to reconnect to Race Street?


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

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That little spur of Ohio Avenue off of McMicken is very steep, probably too steep, so cutting the inbound track down that way would likely make it unworkable.  I agree the above solution isn't as elegant in plan as the previous one, but these hills are bastards.

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^ Is there any reason why the downtown bound streetcar track cannot veer southwest from Kirk Alley, go under Clifton and use Ohio Ave to reconnect to Race Street?

 

Cost. If you're building a tunnel under Clifton, you'll want to send both sets of tracks through the tunnel. If you're building a retaining wall on the hillside, you'll want to send both sets of tracks on that right-of-way.

 

The tunnel seems like more of a straight shot, without crazy rollercoaster curves. But I am not an engineer...

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It would also go by one of Roy Rogers' suspected childhood homes.

 

FWIW, Roy Rogers childhood home has already been demolished.  It was directly behind the St. Phillipus Church at 1913 Ohio Avenue.

 

 

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Would the second image require any demolition?  I am strongly opposed to demolition of the vine street curve, its a unique part of the urban fabric and should be preserved.  Oh its just another building is not acceptable in Cincinnati's case, because that is the prevailing attitude for ALL buildings.

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The design which goes down the hillside to Elm and McMicken can be done at a 6.3% grade, avoiding a costly tunnel and historic building demolition and going against traffic by streetcars on Race. Also, most of the property is already owned by the city, and the ride will afford some pretty awesome views of the city..While I think the incline idea is elegantly presented, I think it misses the opportunity for a development corridor along Vine and passes through an area that is strictly residential to get Uptown, whereas Vine is mixed use and primed for redevelopment.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't the inclines only carrying one car at a time?  I don't don't see how this would be possible given the length of modern streetcars.

 

I wasn't trying to say it wasn't possible just that it would require a much larger structure. A quick google search revealed no modern incline.  Does anyone know of any modern examples?

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Hi Jules. Welcome to UO.

 

Here's the streetview where Jules's proposal crosses W. Clifton and Ohio Ave., and enters Kirk Alley:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.119226,-84.518122,3a,75y,256.4h,78.64t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sujTJcL83fOcXFXz5H5IRtA!2e0

 

It is appealing to avoid demos on the Vine curve.

 

jjakucyk, the grade on Ohio Ave at McMicken wouldn't have to be a concern (assuming you're right that it would be), if the property across Ohio Ave from the church were used for tracks. Though I doubt it's city-owned.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't the inclines only carrying one car at a time?  I don't don't see how this would be possible given the length of modern streetcars.

 

I wasn't trying to say it wasn't possible just that it would require a much larger structure. A quick google search revealed no modern incline.  Does anyone know of any modern examples?

 

I think you're right that it would be clumsily large. Plus there would be no option of running larger (e.g. LRT) vehicles on it, should that need arise. Though I don't think any of these solutions being discussed are great for LRT (John's would be the best, though). I'm settling into the idea that we're back to shooting for a cheaper solution, which is good for streetcars but not expandable to quality LRT later on. For a while, I was fantasizing about Jake's Mt. Auburn tunnel or some other tunnel to Short Vine.

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^ That's the achilles heel for an incline proposal IMO, that it's limited to a fixed length car.  Even if it's made large enough to accommodate the current streetcars, making it work for light rail would be troublesome at the very least.

 

As for modern replacements for inclines, it seems new street alignments are the main one.  McMillan Avenue was built down the hill from Ravine to McMicken by the Cincinnati Street Railway specifically so the Fairview Incline could be retired.  In more harsh terrain, tunnels are another solution, though I think the most directly related situation would be a hill-climbing cog railway, which has its own set of problems. 

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There are a few modern hill-climbing cog railways around the world. I think one climbs Pike's Peak, and there are some in Switzerland. The technically fascinating thing about these is that the same gearbox that drives the main traction wheels also drives the cog gear.

 

Historically, the Cincinnati inclines were a long ride. Would passengers today tolerate the very slow climb and descent, especially when buses can do it faster?

 

 

 

 

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Is there a lot of a damage to the CAC as shown on slide 25 of the powerpoint above or is that a photo glitch?

 

There was an art exhibit of an arm ripping away paper that itself has been slowly coming off the building.  I'm not sure if that was intended as part of the art exhibit, or if it was poorly installed.  I'm thinking more the former than the latter.


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

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The design which goes down the hillside to Elm and McMicken can be done at a 6.3% grade, avoiding a costly tunnel and historic building demolition and going against traffic by streetcars on Race. Also, most of the property is already owned by the city, and the ride will afford some pretty awesome views of the city..While I think the incline idea is elegantly presented, I think it misses the opportunity for a development corridor along Vine and passes through an area that is strictly residential to get Uptown, whereas Vine is mixed use and primed for redevelopment.

 

Can someone clarify if this idea proposes crossing W. Clifton at grade?  A grade crossing would require leveling a 30-foot section of W. Clifton, meaning the slope would have to be increased for some distance uphill and downhill from the crossing.

 

I walked around the area last night and took some photos but didn't upload them yet.  The main issue with meeting Vine St. at or around Kirk Alley is that turning onto a sloped street might require some regrading Vine St. through the curve in order to level out the merge and void having the streetcars tilt outwards as they turn.  The second is that the slope of Vine St. lessens significantly just north of the Mulberry St. intersection.  If the streetcar line could be made to merge with Vine St. north of Mulberry, all of the issues with the curve could be avoided. 

 

The easier option is simply to have both streetcar tracks rise diagonally from Ohio at McMicken to W. Clifton at Vine.  There is a small building in this corner but I believe a 5-way intersection could be created without having to tear this building down.  The streetcars could enter Vine St. here without too much regrading of the intersection.  There are a few 1-story warehouse building that would be partially or fully demolished to make this possible.  However, one of them is currently heavily damaged and is often the site of illegal parties. 

 

Also, turning both tracks from Henry onto Race means the uptown/downtown tracks would have to cross each other, but this is not a big deal.  They already will do this at 12th & Race. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is there a lot of a damage to the CAC as shown on slide 25 of the powerpoint above or is that a photo glitch?

 

There was an art exhibit of an arm ripping away paper that itself has been slowly coming off the building.  I'm not sure if that was intended as part of the art exhibit, or if it was poorly installed.  I'm thinking more the former than the latter.

 

Yeah, that pic was from the JR exhibit.  The CAC continuously impresses me with their artists.  JR did a fantastic job incorporating everyone in the diverse OTR population into his work. 

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Jake,

 

Yes, the proposal is that it crosses at-grade across Clifton.

 

If indeed a 30 ft. flat section is needed for crossing at Clifton, it would require a ~3ft vertical regrading, which could could be spread out a long distance up the hill before the crossing.

 

If a 30 ft. flat section is needed for crossing at Clifton, it would require a ~2ft vertical regrading that could easily be accomodated with the pending demolition of the elementary, which could offer more space to work with.

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Is the vine st route going to have stops or not going to have any stops? I know the argument for going up vine is always the redevelopment potential of the land around vine, but that seams limited if you don't have any actual stops on vine.

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