Jump to content
thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

Recommended Posts

The public housing was torn down in phases 1999-2000 but was replaced in phases with the housing that is there now.  I'm not sure how many fewer people now live in the area but it's probably a similar number.  Plus, all of the junky small apartments between Linn St. and I-75 weren't touched so there really hasn't been a complete change.  Meanwhile some other public housing blocks *have* been completely demo'd and not replaced with anything, especially English Woods. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Henry to Race curve should see rail installation soon:


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 days without a post! Has that ever happened before?

 

Tonight at 7PM 8th street will be closed for the entire weekend for the 8th Street pour, reopening early Monday Morning.

 

The first week of September still had 1 week left in the Central Parkway to 9th St construction.  At the end of next weekend there will be track all the way to the 7th street intersection. 

 

That means they went from 9th to 7th in 3 weeks.  Things will get more complicated now as they get further into the core and the blocks are longer, but assuming a slightly slower 2 blocks in 5 weeks schedule, the Streetcar track will be entirely laid through to the beginning of the 5th street intersection by the end of October.

 

Assuming an even slower more conservative speed of 6 weeks for the blocks of 5th to 3rd street (potentially crappier weather, increased delays etc.) we could be seeing rail all the way to 3rd Street by mid December.

 

The section on Race from Henry to the north side of Findlay market should be done in about 3 weeks as well. I'm not sure of the timeline on the Findlay Market to Green Street section that is also not finished.  That would be the first lane change to be finished. Streetcar will go from right against the curb to left lane there (transition of 3 lane widths).  There is also a lane change on Main at Government Place (same thing, 3 lane width transition).  I'm not counting the Central Parkway lane change because that goes into a transit only lane. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Water & sewer are definitely between the tracks. There are some Cincinnati bell manholes within inches of the track Slab, but all duke electric manholes seem to be at least several feet away. Haven't paid attention to duke gas fixtures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gee.  Is that a utility access in the middle of the tracks?  Memba when that was a big deal?

 

I'm sure that Duke's hissy fit over manholes had everything to do with their concern for the safety of the workers and nothing at all to do with the fact that Johnna Reeder, the VP of Duke Energy Ohio, was the president of the Build Our Bridge Now Coalition. :rolls eyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got back from another trip to Portland where we dug deeper into how they pay for operating expenses.

 

I'll be putting something out on this soon, but guess the percentage of the operating cost that is paid by property owners along the streetcar lines there. Not capital costs, but operating costs.

 

100%?

 

50%?

 

You'd be wrong.

 

The correct answer is ...

 

... 0%.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^The city gets away with shirking any responsibility for operating expenses because opponents refuse to acknowledge the streetcar as legitimate.  Even though streetcars are an increasingly prevalent means of transit and economic development in the US, the deadbeats regard it as a bothersome novelty, characterize it as a toy choo choo (Smitherman), a rolling homeless shelter (Murray) - none of which are worthy of support.  Include in this group Mark Policinski of OKI:

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/09/28/prof-exit-highway-health-problems/16410437/

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still digesting everything I learned on my trip to Portland with John, and I will write something up within the next few days. But one interesting tidbit is that Tri-Met (the regional transportation agency) has agreed to take on a portion of the streetcar operating costs, because they understand that in addition to the streetcar being an economic development initiative, it is a transit initiative as well. And if Portland shut down the streetcar today and Tri-Met had to run additional buses to carry all those passengers... well, it would be way more expensive than paying to operate the streetcar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still digesting everything I learned on my trip to Portland with John, and I will write something up within the next few days. But one interesting tidbit is that Tri-Met (the regional transportation agency) has agreed to take on a portion of the streetcar operating costs, because they understand that in addition to the streetcar being an economic development initiative, it is a transit initiative as well. And if Portland shut down the streetcar today and Tri-Met had to run additional buses to carry all those passengers... well, it would be way more expensive than paying to operate the streetcar.

 

That implies that Trimet has reorganized their routes to account for ridership pattern changes...something that Metro isn't able to budget for at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Remember the streetcar goes south of Fifth Street, which almost no Metro bus routes do. Altering the bus routes to offer the same frequency and capacity to the Banks as the streetcar would surely be very expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydrodemolition now occurring on 2nd at Main St.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Help me out, what is hydrodemolition? Because it sounds awesome but I'm pretty sure what I'm picturing isn't what it actually is.

 

Edit: Just looked it up, my mental image was correct. How did I not know this term before?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop the Presses:

 

"A streetcar is not a bad situation. They work!"

 

-Charlie Winburn

 

Chrissie Thompson ‏@CThompsonENQ

.@charliejobs1st: Would advocate for state to pay for parts of "comprehensive plan" including #cincystreetcar, Brent Spence Bridge, rail etc

 

 

Is this a case of change of heart or just clear pandering?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's encouraging. I have a feeling that those who are adamantly against rail regardless of the data you throw at them aren't going to be swayed by the streetcar whatsoever. But thankfully those people, though vocal, don't seem to make up the majority when I talk to people about rail. The average person might not understand the streetcar currently but this is in the same way they didn't understand the renovations of Fountain Square and Washington Park, or the construction of The Banks, but after seeing them in person being successful, change their minds. These are the people we should be focusing our energy on. The population might be hesitant at times, but when people see something turned out nice in person they're likely to better understand it. Most people here haven't ever used rail transit and it's still a foreign concept to them so it's not surprising many people misunderstand or don't initially support projects like the streetcar. The future looks bright though for expansion regardless of our awful leadership at the mayoral level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That and people are generally selfish (and I don't mean that in a bad way). When one neighborhood thrives and people are riding the streetcar en masse through OTR and Downtown, people in adjacent neighborhoods are going to be of the, "hey, I want that here it isn't fair it stops right before entering our neighborhood" mindset. Then you have places like Uptown, Walnut Hills, Price Hill, etc. all wanting to get in on it too so they aren't left out. It always seems like after the first phase of any streetcar or rail project these days that subsequent phases happen significantly sooner/faster. Is there any compiled data anywhere to support that theory?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still digesting everything I learned on my trip to Portland with John, and I will write something up within the next few days. But one interesting tidbit is that Tri-Met (the regional transportation agency) has agreed to take on a portion of the streetcar operating costs, because they understand that in addition to the streetcar being an economic development initiative, it is a transit initiative as well. And if Portland shut down the streetcar today and Tri-Met had to run additional buses to carry all those passengers... well, it would be way more expensive than paying to operate the streetcar.

 

That implies that Trimet has reorganized their routes to account for ridership pattern changes...something that Metro isn't able to budget for at the moment.

 

In Cincinnati, streetcar opponents in the past have asked, "Is this a transportation project or an economic development project?" What Portland now understands is that new streetcar routes start out as an economic development project (fewer destinations along the route, lower ridership) and over time transition into a transportation project (more residents and businesses locate along the route and ridership increases). As streetcar routes go towards "transportation" in that continuum, TriMet picks up more of the operating costs. SORTA should do the same for the Cincinnati streetcar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we are using light rail grade materials unlike other cities I'm still not sure why we cant leverage the subway tunnels on that federal match and create a sloping entrance somewhere on/right off central parkway to run a subway line at least to the cincinnati state/northside area.  We could have a whole city of light rails terminating in streetcar loops!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is he's done some polling and found support for rail -- perhaps due in part to Cincinnatians getting comfortable with the streetcar.

 

Charlie is running for state rep in a district that is 30+ Dem. It's one of the most democratic in the state. He's saying these things to get elected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cincy gets a mention...

 

Hey, Streetcar Critics: Stop Making 'Perfect' the Enemy of 'Good'

 

Even when they're not ideal, streetcar projects can still benefit cities. Here are five ways how.

David Alpert@ggwash

 

 

American streetcar projects have gotten some tough love recently. Writers who advocate for walkable, transit-oriented urban neighborhoods are questioning whether streetcar investments really enhance mobility, and whether they’re worth the money, if, as is often the case in the U.S., a new line has no dedicated lane or runs infrequently.

 

Matthew Yglesias wrote at Vox that streetcars aren’t worthwhile unless they have a dedicated lane. He called the streetcar on H Street in Washington, D.C. “the worst transit project in America.” Respected transit expert Jarrett Walker agrees, proclaiming that “streetcars mixed with private car traffic are overrated.”

 

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/10/hey-streetcar-critics-stop-making-perfect-the-enemy-of-good/380913/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris Finney and COAST are at it again lying

 

Finney said he believes SORTA is considering a tax increase now to help cover the cost of operating Cincinnati's streetcar.

 

"This is just another streetcar tax," Finney said.

 

Hilvers said that's not the case. She said the SORTA board has promised that the agency will not use public money to operate the streetcar, and that all costs will be covered by the city.

 

"Our current board has absolutely no plan to use any transit dollars that we have for streetcar operation," she said.

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/01/transit-agency-sales-tax-hamilton-county-sorta/16528633/

 

They are proven wrong over and over again, they literally fought for their right to lie in court.  Yet the media keeps running to them with open arms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How Cincinnati's Pro-Streetcar Campaigners Won in the End

 

Ryan Messer and his grassroots group Believe in Cincinnati never took no for an answer.

 

    Chris Bentley @Cementley

    Sep 23, 2014

 

Before last fall's municipal election, Ryan Messer's engagement in local politics amounted to little more than a seat on the board of the Cincinnati Opera. A few months later he was taking a phone call from Peter Rogoff, who was then head of the Federal Transit Administration.

 

"He was calling to ask very specifically, 'What do the people of Cincinnati want?'" Messer recalls. "That was a very interesting moment."

 

What the people wanted, Messer told Rogoff, was for the city to continue building its 3.6-mile streetcar loop. Messer was speaking on behalf of the grassroots advocacy group he founded, Believe in Cincinnati, which after sprouting almost overnight had become a political force in the city.

 

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/09/how-cincinnatis-pro-streetcar-campaigners-won-in-the-end/380452/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In several areas around Findlay Market they are replacing the entire road base. At first I thought it might be for reinforced slabs at bus stops but now they're doing it on the left side of one way streets. Was that always planned for or are they fixing issues they caused/found during construction of the rails? I thought they were just repaving streets at the end of construction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Meant to ask that question as well. From yesterday:


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's awesome. So we're getting a full rebuild, not just a resurfacing.

 

The city just completely rebuilt Woolper Ave. in Clifton with a new 20"~ thick concrete base set in a mesh of rebar and new curbs, cutouts, and sidewalks.  It's taken about a month but it looks like it'll last for at least 50 years.         

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They did remove the old tracks. Rebar is in as of today so we should see a concrete pour tomorrow.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The city just completely rebuilt Woolper Ave. in Clifton with a new 20"~ thick concrete base set in a mesh of rebar and new curbs, cutouts, and sidewalks.  It's taken about a month but it looks like it'll last for at least 50 years.       

 

Jake - any idea why Woolper got the 20" concrete/rebar base? Seems like a relatively low traffic road, so do you think it's just because of the topography along the hillside? It rises ~120' over that .4 mile section, which is ~6% grade. I'm curious if that means that the rest of Cincinnati's 6% (or greater) roads should get that same treatment. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...