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Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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Great idea in concept. And if you were able to get some places to sponsor the map then funding it wouldnt be much of a problem.

 

I know there are still lots of people (even people who frequent downtown and otr) who have no concept of where the streetcar does and does not go. It is not that they are necessarily pro or anti streetcar they just do not know.

 

 

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http://www.downtowncincinnati.com/docs/default-source/Marketing-Downtown/2013cincinnati_map.pdf?sfvrsn=4

 

This is the only map i could find on Downtown Cincinnati Inc's website and it is from 2013. They really need to update this. But the streetcar route could be easily added to this along with some more logos of destinations along the route. Could also add some sort of colored

'overlays' that are entertainment districts.

 

Note that Findlay market is not even on the right block on the map.

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I think the weird thing about Findlay Market is because on other maps, they only show up to Liberty Street. On those maps, they simply put an up arrow indicating it's further north. Weird that they wouldn't move the logo up to the actual location when possible with a larger map.

 

They better get updated maps in time for the All Star Game.

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http://www.downtowncincinnati.com/docs/default-source/Marketing-Downtown/2013cincinnati_map.pdf?sfvrsn=4

 

This is the only map i could find on Downtown Cincinnati Inc's website and it is from 2013. They really need to update this. But the streetcar route could be easily added to this along with some more logos of destinations along the route. Could also add some sort of colored

'overlays' that are entertainment districts.

 

Note that Findlay market is not even on the right block on the map.

 

Yeesh. A visitor to the city is expected to look at that map, see those red/orange lines, and understand how to get around on the bus?

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The final power substation is being delivered to the Transit Center this morning. Also, from yesterday:

 

Construction Update

Thursday, February 19, 2015

5th & Walnut Intersection Closure Originally Scheduled for This Weekend Postponed

 

Due to this week's cold and snowy weather, the closure of the 5th and Walnut Street intersection originally planned for February 20-23 has been postponed until next weekend. 

 

The closure will be rescheduled to begin Friday, February 27 after the evening rush hour and reopen Monday, March 2 before the morning rush. 

 

The closure is necessary to allow for trackwork to proceed south on Walnut Street through the 5th Street intersection.

 

More details will follow in Monday's Weekly Streetcar Construction Update


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

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Enquirer's reporting continues to be misleading Downtown streetcar construction delayed by weather

 

Snow and extreme cold have forced officials to delay Downtown construction on Cincinnati's streetcar until March.

 

The closure of East Court Street between Walnut and Main Streets is now scheduled to be completed Monday, March 2, according to a City of Cincinnati

 

 


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

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Cranley was speaking about the proposed Oasis Line bike trail and used the opportunity to take a jab at the streetcar.

 

"Cranley says biking is the greenest source of transportation. Streetcar runs on electricity via coal, cars run on gas, he says." -Chris Wetterich

 

It's pretty clear that Cranley is going to use any opportunity he's given to bash the streetcar and remind everyone that he's opposed to it.

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Well I guess he isn't in favor of green transportation in the city in general then other than redbike, since he thinks bikes should be on bikepaths and not on streets and cut funding for bike lanes. He is also ignoring the fact that, if I remember right the city is getting their power through First Energy, which though not green generated, is backed by srecs, offsetting the pollution and thus making it "green". Am I correct in this? I thought that is why Roxanne was fighting for the power aggregate choice, and why I chose First as my provider.

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Cranley was speaking about the proposed Oasis Line bike trail and used the opportunity to take a jab at the streetcar.

 

"Cranley says biking is the greenest source of transportation. Streetcar runs on electricity via coal, cars run on gas, he says." -Chris Wetterich

 

It's pretty clear that Cranley is going to use any opportunity he's given to bash the streetcar and remind everyone that he's opposed to it.

 

The new Mendahl Dam hydro plant could supply the streetcar's power, if Cranley really cared:

http://www.hamilton-city.org/index.aspx?page=653

 

 

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Photovoltaic solar is gaining efficiency and has a sort of Moore's Law in effect that is driving the cost per kWhr produced down each year. This will be the dominant form of power generation, no subsidies required, by the time I die, if I die of old age.  Bet on it! That streetcar is going to run squeaky clean & green.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Photovoltaic solar is gaining efficiency and has a sort of Moore's Law in effect that is driving the cost per kWhr produced down each year. This will be the dominant form of power generation, no subsidies required, by the time I die, if I die of old age.  Bet on it!

 

Except the utilities hate the concept of everyone putting panels that they own on their own roofs.  It completely undermines their economic model, and since we have publicly traded utilities in the United States, they have successfully lobbied against large-scale government research or tax breaks.  There is a pretty significant tax deduction for solar panels, but not enough to make economic sense for most implementations. 

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Photovoltaic solar is gaining efficiency and has a sort of Moore's Law in effect that is driving the cost per kWhr produced down each year. This will be the dominant form of power generation, no subsidies required, by the time I die, if I die of old age.  Bet on it!

 

Except the utilities hate the concept of everyone putting panels that they own on their own roofs.  It completely undermines their economic model, and since we have publicly traded utilities in the United States, they have successfully lobbied against large-scale government research or tax breaks.  There is a pretty significant tax deduction for solar panels, but not enough to make economic sense for most implementations.

 

That is true, the biggest obstacles will be from rent-seekers in charge of the current system delaying change legally and politically. Also, fossil fuels will become cheap cheap cheap if it looks like they are in danger of becoming obsolete. OPEC will really turn on the spigots which may delay a changeover for awhile.

 

But I think the technology can and will improve to the point where it's basically providing free and clean power to humanity. I didn't always think it would be technically possible but now I do.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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It's somewhat erroneous to focus on the energy source. We should make them focus on something that makes sense, like the energy required to transport one person one mile. Presumably the streetcar (and most any public transit) will be significantly more efficient than the standard of the automobile carrying one person, no matter what the energy source.

 

And whenever I read about Cranley saying such these sorts of things, I'm surprised that a politician would do that. What is going to happen when the Streetcar is running and he is Mayor? He's boxed himself into a corner where he can't ever be seen riding the streetcar. Isn't that going to be pretty weird? How will he avoid sounding petty whenever someone asks him why he hasn't ridden the streetcar, and he just reiterates that it's a bad thing for the city? I just can't picture how that is going to be good, but maybe that's cause he's a politician and I'm not.

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It's somewhat erroneous to focus on the energy source. We should make them focus on something that makes sense, like the energy required to transport one person one mile. Presumably the streetcar (and most any public transit) will be significantly more efficient than the standard of the automobile carrying one person, no matter what the energy source.

 

Totally agree.

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It's somewhat erroneous to focus on the energy source. We should make them focus on something that makes sense, like the energy required to transport one person one mile. Presumably the streetcar (and most any public transit) will be significantly more efficient than the standard of the automobile carrying one person, no matter what the energy source.

 

Totally agree.

 

I agree with the following caveat: with the streetcar, you're going to have a dense mix of uses along the line, so people aren't going to have to travel as far to complete the tasks of their daily lives. That's why they say the streetcar is about access and not distance or speed. So I think the streetcar would both win the energy per one person one mile metric against the automobile and obliterate it at the same time: traveling five streetcar miles might let someone accomplish just as much as traveling sixty automobile miles would.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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^ This summarizes the great debate that's being going on in transportation planning for the last few years. Do we value mobility measured in VMT, or do the value access to services close together so that we don't have to travel very far? The streetcar is more about access than mobility. I wish I could say the access argument is winning. It's certainly not winning in Ohio, although it appears to be gaining traction in Cincinnati.

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Cincinnati's streetcars will be operated and repaired here: ​SLIDESHOW

Feb 25, 2015, 12:57pm EST Updated: Feb 25, 2015, 1:21pm EST

Chris Wetterich Staff reporter and columnist- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

 

The Cincinnati streetcar project's maintenance and operations facility at Race and Henry streets is all but complete, except for a few finishing touches.

 

The 12,000-square-foot facility is essential to testing the streetcars when they arrive later this year. The facility is designed to be expandable as the streetcar line grows, the possibility of which is still a political fight waiting to happen.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2015/02/cincinnatis-streetcars-will-be-operated-and.html

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Construction Update

Thursday, February 26, 2015

5th & Walnut Intersection Trackwork Closure Postponed Until March 6 Weekend

 

Weather conditions have postponed trackwork on Walnut Street through the intersection at 5th for a second week.  This work was originally scheduled to be performed last weekend, but was rescheduled due to weather.  The work is rescheduled to start Friday, March 6 at 7:00pm. The 5th and Walnut intersection will close at that time until Monday, March 9 at 6:00am.


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

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Sandwiched between the Walnut and Main St tracks, this 80,000 sq ft class B office space is for sale (undisclosed price) and seems like it'd be a prime target for redevelopment. It's being marketed for its potential conversion into residential: http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/18719963/126-130-E-6th-St-Cincinnati-OH/

 

The north side of the building would look pretty cool if they rebuilt those industrial windows, with views overlooking the Aronoff.

16509146558_3da1bfc9ea_b.jpg

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You could easily get 75 units out of that building. You could push for closer to 100 if you went with a mix heavy on studios and small one bedrooms.

 

I was at Pi and was wondering about this building. Hopefully it gets picked up by someone who can make use of its unique location and architecture.

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These buildings are in a great location.. i would have to think only a matter of time before they get bought up. I wonder what the asking price is?

 

Aornoff is right to the west, AT580 across the street and the streetcar is 1/2 a block away. Getting buildings like these and the Ingalls building and the ones on 7th across from Macys headquarters turned into residential would add a few hundred residential units to downtown without building anything new.

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Rail reaches Fountain Square:


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

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From the Streetcar update to City Council today:

 

Track is approx 70% complete

 

Utility Completion:

Duke Electric 90%

Duke Gas 99%

Cincinnati Bell 99%

Water approx 85%

Level 3 100%

Chilled Water 100%

Time Warner Cable approx 95%

MSD (Sewer) approx 95%


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

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How is this project still 18 months from completion? It sounds like it could open in 12 at the longest. I would love to see the actual schedule. Is that visible somewhere? What's the holdup I'm not seeing?

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Trains won't be completely delivered until 10-11 months from now, so there's that. Then there's testing said trains, getting certification from the state (and federal certification? I forget) which apparently takes a long time and has tied up other cities.

 

Isn't there also a good amount of contingency time built into the schedule? Some of which has been used up for various reasons such as the "pause" by the mayor which also ate up a good portion of the contingency fund.

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Seelbach just tweeted that all trains will be delivered by end of 2015:

 

First @Cincy_Streetcar vehicle will be delivered in September of this year.  All vehicles delivered by end of 2015.

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Trains won't be completely delivered until 10-11 months from now, so there's that. Then there's testing said trains, getting certification from the state (and federal certification? I forget) which apparently takes a long time and has tied up other cities.

 

Isn't there also a good amount of contingency time built into the schedule? Some of which has been used up for various reasons such as the "pause" by the mayor which also ate up a good portion of the contingency fund.

 

According to the report back from Cygnus[/member] trains should all be here in 9 months (January 1). I imagine all track work, utility relocation, centenary lines, and stations will be finished. It also sounds like the operations facility will be complete by then. That leaves an additional 9 months for testing, certification, and training. Is that right? That seems like an awfully long time.

 

I assume there will be a big pause with the southern end work during the All Star Game festivities, but that can't push anything back too long. One month at the most.

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9 months to do all the testing/certification does seem like a lot, but maybe they're just trying to be as safe as possible with their estimate because they know the crap storm that'll occur if they go over their time schedule.

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DC has been trying to get certification for over a year now, but their system is a hot mess. The last FTA meeting we had was all thumbs up. At this rate we might open sooner than Seattle and DC. (Seattle is approaching breach of contract with their cars being two years behind schedule and DC...well they had a streetcar catch fire last weekend, so they're about to start the entire process over AGAIN.)

 

Both of these hold ups are issues with Inekon though. CAF is a far superior rolling stock and they have about 90 years of experience over Inekon.

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Also stated during the meeting, each streetcar will go through a 500km (311 miles) burn in period to identify any potential production defects.


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

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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.)

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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.)

 

That is the amazing thing. With these projects, you get what you pay for. Cincinnati is paying for a world-class system.

 

It's frustrating because there are groups here in Louisville that want streetcars, too. Some of these groups want to expose and renovate some existing rail (and fill in the gaps where necessary) and run surplus streetcars from Toronto as they replace their fleet. I just don't feel that's is the best way to build a new system. The ride would be subpar and you're buying Toronto's maintenance problems. Nevermind that I don't believe Toronto's fleet is low-floor/ADA compliant.

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Some interesting comments from City Council today. Flynn keeps repeating his statement about "we can't plan for Phase 2 until Phase 1 is successful," which is ridiculous because as soon as Phase 1 is up and running, people are going to be begging for Phase 2 to break ground. We need to start the planning ASAP. Seelbach also stated that "the streetcar won't be successful until Phase 2 is built" which I don't believe at all. More extensions will make it more successful, but the highest ROI will be on Phase 1.

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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.)

 

I agree, it's probably going to become recognized as the best of the new systems, even without a connection to UC.  I think we will start to see a lot of the sort of civic tourism that has been traveling to Portland for the past 15 years coming here instead. 

 

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I think the best thing about Cincinnati's streetcar, really something no other city has, is the diversity of ridership -- linking jobs in the CBD with OTR housing and OTR and CBD housing with entertainment, major league sports, two-thirds of the region's cultural resources, parks and our regional transit system. Plus circulation for visitors. No other city's system does all that.

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There's something to be said for starting simply and less expensive to get the ball rolling and grow with the neighborhood.  That made more sense a century ago when streetcar lines were being built into what were the hinterlands of the city and streets were merely dirt.  However, that also meant that rails installed in the 1890s were horribly decrepit by the 1920s.  Just look at this shot of Erie and Delta from 1927.

 

picture-23.jpg

 

That looks rickety to the point of being dangerous.  It's also part of what killed the interurban railways too.  Their cheaply built tracks in dirt roads were wearing out after only 20 years, even with constant maintenance.  That rough track also beat the cars up too.l

 

When the Cincinnati Street Railway rebuilt these tracks in the 1920s through the 1940s they used extremely heavy rail set in concrete with steel cross braces, essentially making a super reinforced concrete block that remains under the streets to this day, and which are massively difficult to cut through because they're so well built.  The amount of investment poured into the system and then thrown away in barely a generation is criminal.  That said, building tracks in the dirt on the cheap isn't appropriate for a downtown location or developed neighborhood like OTR.  That's more in line with a system like Kenosha's. 

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I think the best thing about Cincinnati's streetcar, really something no other city has, is the diversity of ridership -- linking jobs in the CBD with OTR housing and OTR and CBD housing with entertainment, major league sports, two-thirds of the region's cultural resources, parks and our regional transit system. Plus circulation for visitors. No other city's system does all that.

 

Your forgetting the fact that 3 breweries with taprooms or pubs are along the route (and hopefully more soon - *glares at Sam Adams)

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