Thursday, January 31, 2008

After reading John Cranley's 9 pages of questions about developing a streetcar route connecting Cincinnati's downtown neighborhoods, existing and future, I saw that he missed a lot more good questions.

being the civic minded guy that I am, I came up with a few more that he can use in his next round of stonewalling.

My proposed questions in red.

II. Economic Impact

b iv. If the streetcar reduces the required subsidy on a per unit basis, how much does it reduce the subsidy? Please provide specific market analysis from another city. How was that analysis made?

  Why has 3CDC never broken down their subsidy requirement estimation to detail what the cost of developing parking per unit costs ?

  Why do I not already know that ?

v. Are any developers willing to develop these units without a subsidy? Who?

  Why isn't there a line of developers waiting with baited breath for the Cincinnati City Council to DO something ?

vi. If the city alternatively spent $100 million to revitalize these 1574 units, wouldn't it be cheaper than subsidizing these units and building the streetcar?

  Is this a strawman question ?

  What would it cost to raze downown & erect subsidized housing made of concrete & cinderblock ?

c i. How much of this vacant land and surface parking is along the proposed route? Please list the addresses.

  Again, why don't I already know this ?

d. i. What is the average subsidy on a per unit basis for new construction in the city? Please answer by referring to Parker Flats.

  When you answer this I will ask you to compare subsidies to another development

iv. Will the construction wait until after the land is rezoned?

  Will we willfully violate zoning laws ?

v. How much of the vacant land is in a historic area or historic overlay district?

  Will these properties be developed with respect to historic parking lot guidelines ?

III. Ridership

a. ii. Was ridership greater for the proposed alignment than the alternatives? If so, why?

  Are there altenative stops planned for any of the proposed routes ?

  What will ridership estimates be for each of these routes be considering every feasible number and location of stops on an hourly and daily basis.

i. What percentage of trips will be internal, external, and special event trips respectively?

  Please provide figures for every porposed route & every feasible number and location of stops on an hourly and daily basis.

iv. How did the city arrive at these numbers?

  Please be prepared to answer several questions for each answer you give here.

v. Were these numbers drawn from other streetcar markets?

  Is this a loaded question ?

 For each of the other markets (Portland, etc.), how many people worked and lived near the line when it opened, how many shops, restaurants, etc. were there?

  Who owned them, what type of businesses were they, what was each & every one of their sales per hr depending on what hours the streetcars were running

i. How many people live within two blocks of the proposed route and how many will need to use the streetcar to get to work? How did you generate these numbers?

  And how is this relevant to the idea of an area that will (theoretically) increase it's opulation after the line is established.

  Please provide estimates on an hourly daily basis given the effect of seasons, weather conditions (which will be questioned at a later date) and day of the week ?

  Would estimates be different if we abolished labor laws ?

iii. How many people do you project will drive to downtown or Over-the-Rhine and then use the streetcar to complete their commute to work?

  Being as this is an icredibly stupid question, how many people are expected to take the bus downtown & use the streetcar to continue their communte to work ?

    How many bus riders who use transfers

    How many who come from outside Zone 1 zone 2 zone 3 & 4 ?

    How many bus riders who use park & ride ?

v. Will anybody park at Findlay Market? How many?

  Will anybody park at the riverfront and ride to Findlay Market ? How amy ?

    as usual, provide estimates for every day of the year & the hours they would be using the service because I am a simpleton andx am basing all my uestions on first shift workers

vii. What percentage of streetcar riders will consist of those making the trip to and from work?

  What percentage will be to visit people who live in the area ? I am drunk and keep forgetting that this idea i to promote more residency in the downtown area.

d. The second use for the streetcar is shopping: how many will use the streetcar for shopping purposes on a daily basis?
 What percentage of the total ridership does this constitute?

  What will they be shopping for ?

  How many cubic feet of goods will they be carrying ?

  What is the estimated weight of goods purchased expected to be ?

  What percentage of riders will be buying black market goods & services ?

e. The third use is entertainment: how many will use the streetcar for entertainment purposes on a daily basis? What percentage of the total ridership does this constitute?

  Seriously, doesn't this need to be broken down into time & day of the week ?

iii. How long would it take the average downtown worker to leave work, get to the restaurant, eat lunch, and return to work? Will a worker have enough time to take the streetcar to lunch during a typical one-hour lunch break?
  Be sure to break this down by the average serving time of each and every restaurant along the route and all proposed alternative routes.

iv. What is the expected loss to downtown restaurateurs as a result of the streetcar, if downtown workers take the streetcar to Over-the-Rhine for lunch?

  What is the expected loss to Over-the-Rhine restaurateurs as a result of the streetcar, if Over-the-Rhine workers take the streetcar to downtown for lunch?

v. How long does it take to walk from Fountain Square to Findlay Market?

  In the snow

  Pushing a baby carriage

  pulling a grocery cart

  If you are obese

  If you are 3' tall

  If you are 4' tall

  If you are 5' tall

  if you are 6' tall

  if you are an Olympic marothoner

  if you are a 75 year old with one leg

  How long on a rascal

  How long in a wheelchair

  How long for an obese 60 yr old blind grandma in a wheelchair being pushed by an obese 40yr old mother trying to keep track of her kids while carrying groceries on the snowy streets that the city does not enforce the laws concerning clearing of ?

  How long for an obese 60 yr old blind grandma in a wheelchair being pushed by an obese 40yr old mother trying to keep track of her kids while carrying groceries on the snowy streets that the city does not enforce the laws concerning clearing of at night ?

  How long for an obese 60 yr old blind grandma in a wheelchair being pushed by an obese 40yr old mother trying to keep track of her kids while carrying groceries on the snowy streets that the city does not enforce the laws concerning clearing of with a tailwind ?

  How long for an obese 60 yr old blind grandma in a wheelchair being pushed by an obese 40yr old mother trying to keep track of her kids while carrying groceries on the snowy streets that the city does not enforce the laws concerning clearing of with a headwind ?

vi. Wouldn't it be quicker and cheaper to drive or ride a bike?

  Nevermind that the city has inadequate parking and charges a premium for what it has.

  Nevermind that there is basically no dedicated bicycle parking.

vii. How long does it take to walk from the Kroger building to Fountain Square?

  How long does it take to walk from Music Hall to City Hall ?

  How long does it take to walk from the DIC to 3CDC ?

  I can keep these up all day long - it's kinda like filibusterng. See, I am up to holding a federal office !

viii. If it is faster to take the streetcar, how much faster?

  Have you deduced that I am batshit crazy ?

In all honesty he had some good questions - he just had a lot of dumb ones that indicate he isn't doing much to keep up on what's going on in the city he is supposed to be running.

oh wait, that's the city manager's job.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ladies and Germs, I give you the Obama yard sign !

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why can't Cincinnati Bell come up with ads like this ?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ohio's lead position in fighting ghoulism is frequently overlooked. In fact, in no less than Springfield (The Champion City), a major coup in the battle was made about the turn of the century.

Locking out the grave robbers
By Tom Stafford
Springfield News-Sun
Monday, January 14, 2008
The threat would disappear in years to come.
But to Springfield's Champion Co. of 1879, the danger was both clear and present: Graves were being robbed to provide cadavers for use by medical students.
The solution envisioned by a Springfielder named Boyd, was "a receptacle to make the grave safe from ghouls and grave robbers" — the burglar-proof vault.
An Oct. 18, 1930, letter describing the development of Champion vaults says improvements were incorporated into the subsequent designs of mssrs. Armstrong and Baker, the latter of whom likely crafted the vault used for Buffalo Bill's grave.
But for conjuring up the bad old days of grave violation, it's hard to imagine anything more effective than the undated advertisement for the improved version of the original Boyd vault — an ad that survives in the company archives.
Available in regular and extra sizes, the vault was touted as "the great grave robber foiler."
In a time when —according to the ad — more than 40,000 human bodies were "mutilated every year on dissecting tables in medical colleges in the United States," the vault represented the perfect solution to the problem "that has long agitated the public mind."
With a heavy angle iron framework, a steel plate on the bottom and a sheet steel casing on top, the security of the vault was assured by rivets and bolts "concealed by additional iron, so that it would be absolutely impossible to locate their exact position, even if the ghouls should go to the trouble of doing the additional amount of excavating that would be necessary."
To hold the top in place "six heavy spring hooks ... attach themselves to lugs on the inside of the top casing as it is placed in position," the ad says.
Once closed, "it is impossible to open the vault except to cut the top casing entirely open, which would require a mechanic to work at least 24 hours with the best of tools, which, of course, would render any attempt at grave robbing futile."
On the ends of the vault, "letters finished in gold bronze" added a handsomeness to complement a compartment the company promised would protect "both the casket and body from dampness, mould and decay, and from burrowing animals and vermin."
That last bit of information is what we today might call TMI (too much information). And whether it was included to reassure customers or drum up businessis unclear.
As to cost, the vaults ran $15 for child sizes, $30 for most adults, and $40 for the largest, which required special orders. And, promising to pay special attention to telephone and telegraph inquiries, the company said it stood ready to handle orders "every hour in the year."`N`NUObNXUbTTUWUXUaUZTZU\UWU^UbUZUaU[UcTYWVVZV

The Champion company

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mandating bicycle helmets for kids on a state level is ridiculous in Ohio. The residential areas of Ohio are vastly different, ranging from rural to small to large urban areas with a healthy dose of suburban areas as well. If mandatory bicycle helmet laws are to be passed at all, they should be passed on a municipal level.
The notion that a $10 helmet is worth a crap is ridiculous at best & dangerously misleading at worst.
The cost of a helmet is prohibitively expensive for poor urban kids who frequently don't have the money for a bike to begin with.
Bicycling should be promoted in Ohio for reasons of personal health, economy, social awareness and energy independence as well as personal independence.
The state's efforts would be better spent concocting a bicyclist education program that could teach the "Rules of the Road" to kids 8 - 12 that they might otherwise not learn til they turn 16 and begin to learn how to operate a motor vehicle. With any luck the reinforcement of this education will also improve the quality of drivers in the state.
While on the subject, driver's education should be more rigorous & drivers should be re-tested every 12 years or so to break bad habits.
This comes down to feel good, "Look what I did to protect our children" grandstanding, nanny statist pooh. The city of Cincinnati pased such legislation several years ago & it is hardly enforced. It is not enforced at all in Over the Rhine where kids ride around on bikes acting as lookouts for the vice lords.

What I'm babbling about:
State bills require bicycling minors to wear helmets
If law passes, offenders face warnings in first year, then a $25 fine.

By Laura Bischoff
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

COLUMBUS — Ohio may join 32 other states that require minors to wear bike helmets while riding a bike or in a seat or trailer.
Two bills are pending in the General Assembly that would require cyclists under the age of 17 to strap on a proper bike helmet or face a $25 fine. (Some cities, including Centerville, already have local laws requiring children to wear bike helmets.)

Only warnings would be issued the first year of the law, but after that, parents would be ticketed. Money from the tickets would be put into a fund to pay for helmets, which cost as little as $10, to low-income children.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reports that 45 percent to 88 percent of reported head injuries in bike accidents could be prevented with helmets.
Ohio has 2.8 million children. Even if only half bike, the bill would affect 1.4 million Ohioans.
State Rep. Mike Skindell, D-Lakewood, an avid bicyclist, will give sponsor testimony on the House bill Wednesday.
Skindell was hit by a vehicle while cycling last year and credits a helmet for reducing his injuries.
State Sen. Tom Roberts, D-Dayton, is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Did the Obama campaign clear this with Pepsi ?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Well, the results of the much ballyhooed Iowa caucus are in. The result ?
Apparently the majority of Iowans like presidents who are friendly, have an "aw shucks" demeanor, nice smiles & offer little substance.
An American president has to be able to negotiate or not with the powerful leaders of countries like Russia, France, Pakistan & N. Korea. I see any of these guys having Huckabee or Obama for an appetizer.
If this vote is going to sway people's opinions nationwide, we are screwed.