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Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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Are the physical passes just paper, or are they plastic or some other material that might make them something of a collectible?

 

My understanding is that they're plastic passes if purchased online, at City Hall, or the Metro sales office. Obviously just digital if through the app.

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Lokita Matthews, of East Price Hill, wasn’t exactly sure Tuesday was Primary Day in Cincinnati. It was her day off, she was taking a walk, and she saw a sign posted near the driveway of her precinct at the Price Hill Recreation Center. “Vote Here,” it read.

 

She bolted inside with her mind already made up, driven by anger over Cincinnati’s street car. “Mark Mallory started the street car and he was supposed to stop it,” Matthews said, referring to Mayor Cranley. “The city is already crowded enough. We have the buses. We have TANK. We did not need a street car.” She volunteered that she voted for Simpson, whom she hopes will "get rid of the street car," she said. (Actually, Simpson is an ardent supporter of the streetcar.)

 

“I’ve seen her issues and she has my vote. It’s not because she is a woman. It’s never about that. This is about issues.” Matthews said. “I’ve been a citizen of Cincinnati all my life, so my opinion matters.”

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Lokita Matthews, of East Price Hill, wasn’t exactly sure Tuesday was Primary Day in Cincinnati. It was her day off, she was taking a walk, and she saw a sign posted near the driveway of her precinct at the Price Hill Recreation Center. “Vote Here,” it read.

 

She bolted inside with her mind already made up, driven by anger over Cincinnati’s street car. “Mark Mallory started the street car and he was supposed to stop it,” Matthews said, referring to Mayor Cranley. “The city is already crowded enough. We have the buses. We have TANK. We did not need a street car.” She volunteered that she voted for Simpson, whom she hopes will "get rid of the street car," she said. (Actually, Simpson is an ardent supporter of the streetcar.)

 

“I’ve seen her issues and she has my vote. It’s not because she is a woman. It’s never about that. This is about issues.” Matthews said. “I’ve been a citizen of Cincinnati all my life, so my opinion matters.”

 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the average voter.

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The city is installing electronic LRV signs at special intersections along the route. These signs will flash a LRV signal (see below) when cars have a red light but a streetcar is allowed to proceed through the intersection.

 

1305.jpg

 

I feel like this will really eliminate much of the confusion that occurs when drivers see a streetcar proceed through a red light. With the new signals, the cars will have a red light but then the train symbol will start to flash as the streetcar proceeds through the intersection. This should really make it much more obvious to drivers that "oh, the streetcar gets to go now", and reduce the number of people who end up blocking the tracks, as well as the false belief that streetcar "run red lights" because people don't understand that the streetcars have their own signal phase.

 

I'm actually a bit surprised that the city is installing these. I wrote to the city and suggested they install these signs while the streetcar was still in its testing phase. I'm guessing it took awhile to convince some traffic engineers that they were truly needed, but...here we are. Also of note: these signs are typical for LRT systems but not as much on streetcar systems. It really goes to illustrate that our streetcar is just a short light rail system.

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I assume these are just augmenting the streetcar signals already in place (seen in the twitter photo)?

 

Right, the vertical and horizontal bars will stay and will continue to be used as the signal to the streetcar operator when it's safe to go. The new signs are just to alert car drivers that there may be a streetcar proceeding through the intersection.

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I think the streetcar should by default stop at every station.  Get rid of the stop request button.  Many times I've forgotten to press the button because I was talking with someone.

 

Today during a heavy rain at 4th/Main the streetcar sped past me as I stepped up onto the platform.  This driver is much faster than the others and as a result there is a long gap between him and the next streetcar. Its like he's trying to catch up to the third one.

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At peak hours or during inclement weather I see the argument for stopping at every stop (maybe not opening the doors if no one is getting on/off) to make sure you don't miss someone. Off peak though, you are going to go much faster if you fly past some of those stops and greatly decreases the time between cars.

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I think the streetcar should by default stop at every station.  Get rid of the stop request button.  Many times I've forgotten to press the button because I was talking with someone.

 

Today during a heavy rain at 4th/Main the streetcar sped past me as I stepped up onto the platform.  This driver is much faster than the others and as a result there is a long gap between him and the next streetcar. Its like he's trying to catch up to the third one.

 

Disagree. The street car is so much faster when it only stops when people are getting on/off. I'm still surprised how fast it can get between 12th/Vine and Rhinegeist due to the small number of streetcar stops and stoplights. It's extremely annoying when you're riding and stopping at every stop because a little kid is constantly pressing the stop request button, and their clueless parents are like, "Press the button Tommy! Yay! You pressed the button!"

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I think the streetcar should by default stop at every station.  Get rid of the stop request button.  Many times I've forgotten to press the button because I was talking with someone.

 

Today during a heavy rain at 4th/Main the streetcar sped past me as I stepped up onto the platform.  This driver is much faster than the others and as a result there is a long gap between him and the next streetcar. Its like he's trying to catch up to the third one.

 

Disagree. The street car is so much faster when it only stops when people are getting on/off. I'm still surprised how fast it can get between 12th/Vine and Rhinegeist due to the small number of streetcar stops and stoplights. It's extremely annoying when you're riding and stopping at every stop because a little kid is constantly pressing the stop request button, and their clueless parents are like, "Press the button Tommy! Yay! You pressed the button!"

 

Last weekend the streetcar was bogged down in traffic along all sides of Washington Park for the health expo.  The big problem was nobody driving there seemed to know that Washington Park has a garage underneath it or where those entrances were.  So people were sort of drifting around looking for a place to park.  Plus, people (uber and otherwise) were blocking the streetcar tracks letting groups get in and out of their car. 

 

Music Hall has been closed for the entire time that the streetcar has been operational.  When it reopens, it could turn what is now the fastest section of the route into a major choke point during events. 

 

 

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It depends where they put the valet parking. There is a whole extra lane right in front of Music Hall that is blocked off for the construction right now. If they use that for valet, there will be plenty of room and it shouldn't disrupt the streetcar.

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How in the world does this happen?!

 

C_Ug7sNWsAAb_Rf.jpg


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

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I am not surprised that a streetcar was routed onto the wrong track or even hit another one in the storage yard (such accidents are fairly common in freight railroading and in trucking) -- I am amazed that a streetcar could be traveling fast enough while entering the storage tracks to cause "extensive" damage.  Hopefully that word choice was made out of an abundance of caution and both of these streetcars will be running again in a few days. 

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Streetcar ridership, still below projections, rises

 

Boardings on the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar rose significantly in April, hitting about 50,000 riders for the month for the first time since Christmas.

 

That level is still below the projected 82,325 boardings for the month, but the overall budget is $139,683 in the black.

...

Streetcar monthly ridership

 

April 2017: 49,966

March 2017: 34,679

February 2017: 36,681

January 2017: 35,334

December 2016: 52,209

November 2016: 33,066

October 2016: 95,286

September 2016: 133,323

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/05/09/streetcar-ridership-still-below-projections-rises.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I am not surprised that a streetcar was routed onto the wrong track or even hit another one in the storage yard (such accidents are fairly common in freight railroading and in trucking) -- I am amazed that a streetcar could be traveling fast enough while entering the storage tracks to cause "extensive" damage.  Hopefully that word choice was made out of an abundance of caution and both of these streetcars will be running again in a few days. 

I listened to a little of the discussion at the council meeting today. The easy one to fix, for which they have parts, is out of commission for "weeks". the other one will take longer.

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So with the new budget cut proposal of 'booting' cars vs. towing them, do you think they will boot cars interfering with the streetcar tracks or is that still going to be a tow-able situation? From what i read most cities still tow for something like this but who knows what will go down here as it relates to the streetcar and the current administration. I was told when my driveway was blocked once in CUF that the towing comes out of the police budget and they just ticketed the car and i had to wait till the dude came back in the morning to park at home so maybe this is a Cranley concession to the Police for their support in November disguised as a budget maneuver? 

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Yesterday I entered the Fountain Square visitors center for the first time, to pick up some maps for a couple guests. The two nice ladies staffing the place told me to have my friends stop by for a chat. They could, for example, tell them how to "ride the trolly" up to over the rhine. I explained how that would be great, as I live "up there" right across from the Liberty and Elm streetcar stop. They blinked, and smiled.

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In Europe & Canada, when cars are in the way of #trams, they remove the cars. In the USA, we blame the #streetcars....

 

Toronto Has a Plan to Clear the Way for Streetcars Stuck in Traffic

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/05/15/toronto-has-a-plan-to-clear-the-way-for-streetcars-stuck-in-traffic/


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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Metro just announced that half a million rides have been taken on the Connector. So much for Dusty's prediction that only 50 people per day would ride...

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Metro just announced that half a million rides have been taken on the Connector. So much for Dusty's prediction that only 50 people per day would ride...

 

Kansas City is still getting 10,000+ riders every Saturday and had 17,000 on May 6.  That didn't stop Citylab from lobbing another anti-streetcar/pro-BRT hit piece that conveniently ignored the KC phenomenon: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/05/the-streetcar-boondoggle-continues-this-time-in-detroit/526878/

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So around 2,000 people/day. Not really that great but hopefully that picks up dramatically with the better weather and all the events that occur over the next four or five months.

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And on Twitter, BillGRhinehart says that according to Cincinnati Metro, there have been 511,196 passenger trips since last September. That would mean there have been 40,652 passengers in May.


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

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It's pretty packed on nice weekends, last weekend every time I saw it go by it was either partly or completely full.  The weekday crowd is what they need to get figured out.  The winter months are obviously going to be lower then when it's nice so I'll love watching the average daily number climb over the summer.  I expect big crowds for Taste weekend. 

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It's pretty packed on nice weekends, last weekend every time I saw it go by it was either partly or completely full.  The weekday crowd is what they need to get figured out.  The winter months are obviously going to be lower then when it's nice so I'll love watching the average daily number climb over the summer.  I expect big crowds for Taste weekend. 

 

Too bad they can't run 2-car trains on those really busy days. That would help with weekend crowding.

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I predict that the Taste of Cincinnati situation will be a disaster.  There is going to be total gridlock on Main and Walnut for many hours each day. We know the solution to this is to cone off the streetcar tracks or simply close several blocks of those streets, but we all know Cranley isn't going to let that happen. 

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It's pretty packed on nice weekends, last weekend every time I saw it go by it was either partly or completely full.  The weekday crowd is what they need to get figured out.  The winter months are obviously going to be lower then when it's nice so I'll love watching the average daily number climb over the summer.  I expect big crowds for Taste weekend. 

 

Too bad they can't run 2-car trains on those really busy days. That would help with weekend crowding.

 

Our streetcars are not able to be connected together in multi-car trains. They should start running more streetcars to meet the demand though. Most weekends they should run 4 streetcars to adequately meet the demand. Of course, if we're going to do that, we need to purchase additional streetcars because you can't run 4 out of the 5 on a regular basis...

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I predict that the Taste of Cincinnati situation will be a disaster.  There is going to be total gridlock on Main and Walnut for many hours each day. We know the solution to this is to cone off the streetcar tracks or simply close several blocks of those streets, but we all know Cranley isn't going to let that happen. 

 

Or to have some cops directing traffic on downtown streets and ushering the streetcar through... but we know that's not going to happen under this administration either...

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I predict that the Taste of Cincinnati situation will be a disaster.  There is going to be total gridlock on Main and Walnut for many hours each day. We know the solution to this is to cone off the streetcar tracks or simply close several blocks of those streets, but we all know Cranley isn't going to let that happen. 

 

Or to have some cops directing traffic on downtown streets and ushering the streetcar through... but we know that's not going to happen under this administration either...

 

The Cranley admin certainly has a huge distraction now. We may actually see things improve since the brainpower will be used to navigate his campaign off life support instead of subversion of the streetcar. ?

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Judging from online chatter and what I saw in person over the Memorial Day Weekend, things appeared to run smoothly and ridership was quite high.  The police appeared to be actively directing traffic near the Taste of Cincinnati and waving the streetcar through.  I had feared that Cranley was going to allow the situation to devolve into chaos.  Seems like during a special event like this they could cone off the streetcar tracks in order to keep people from attempting to pick up and drop off passengers on the tracks.  Also, the Lytle Tunnel exit ramp is closed so much of the east side traffic came from Reading or Gilbert rather than up from the riverfront. 

 

I spent several hours at Washington Park and no doubt the many people visiting from out-of-town at the park and on the streetcars left with a positive impression of Cincinnati that they aren't going to get from any of our neighbors. 

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^@jmeck...as far as you know, did they manage to maintain continuous schedule as planned throughout the event, or were there periodic delays/ interruptions due to crowds, parked vehicles, etc.  BTW, hope someone can post May ridership stats soon.

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^Can't speak firsthand since I'm not in Cincy anymore, but from what I was hearing on Facebook they were regularly hitting 12 minute intervals and most everything was working perfectly all weekend with only minor problems here or there that were resolved quickly.

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^@jmeck...as far as you know, did they manage to maintain continuous schedule as planned throughout the event, or were there periodic delays/ interruptions due to crowds, parked vehicles, etc.  BTW, hope someone can post May ridership stats soon.

 

I wasn't around enough to say anything definitive, although I kept seeing stations showing the wrong arrival time.  I'm in disbelief that about 6 months have passed since the time when we were told it had been "fixed" and the signs are still routinely showing wildly incorrect times.  Is there any effort underway to fix this?  Or do we have to wait until Cranley is voted out in November? 

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David Beckham’s Miami soccer stadium won’t include parking

https://archpaper.com/2017/05/david-beckham-miami-soccer-stadium/

 

Don't know whether to start this conversation here or in the FC thread... so both for now, mods can delete where appropriate.

 

With FC Cincinnati talking about stadiums in Newport and at Taft, it might be worthwhile to discuss how they could avoid having to build structured parking and instead, contribute to a Northern Kentucky loop or an Uptown loop that could make existing parking garages useful for streetcar stops at Elm & Liberty/Washington Park (two blocks to the Taft Stadium) or new stops at the Ovation project.

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