Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Streetcar arguments that make me laugh.

Criminals will wait at stops to make their getaway from crime scenes on a streetcar (that will probably have internal cameras) along a fixed route at 25mph (tops) while making frequent stops.(Criminals are more likely run down a maze of alleyways and backyards or use an old junk car (likely stolen) that is easily discarded.)

Dope dealers and hookers will hang out on streetcars and sell their goods and services. (These people need some privacy to do their work which is why they use fairly deserted neighborhoods to ply their trade.)

People will be shot at like targets in a shooting gallery while riding streetcars because that is what inner city people do. (Disgruntled suburbanites are more likely to fire from wooded hillsides at passing motorists on the highway. People engaged in the black market (that our vice laws provide them) are more concerned with enforcing their illegal deals than in murdering prospective customers.)

Streetcars will be subsidized. (As opposed to a subsidized road/highway system, trash pickup, police service, fire departments, public schools.....)

People don't use a goofy looking bus that is supposed to look like a 19th century trolley car, so nobody will use a modern streetcar (Which has much better entry and exit and actually goes places people want to go all day instead of for a few hours on Fridays.)

It doesn't go anywhere. (As opposed to a system of cul-de-sacs? Points of interest along the proposed streetcar route include Great American Ballpark, Paul Brown Stadium, Music Hall, The Aronoff, Findlay Market, The Contemporary Art Center... no, no Applebee's along the way.)

It only serves a small segment of the population. (As opposed to YOUR neighborhood?)

It's too expensive. (The estimated ROI is greater than 2:1 and de-blighting a central neighborhood and subsequently reducing the blight of the surrounding neighborhoods is priceless. It is an investment to provide opportunities for current and new residents.)

It will be full of bums. (These guys save every penny for dope/booze. They would rather walk 5 miles for a fix than spend a dime on transit.)

We need to eliminate crime before we invest in anything new. (A lot of the crime in the downtown area exists elsewhere but is not out in the open. Anyway, we haven't solved crime in about 6000 years of human history, so whatchagonnado ?)

It doesn't serve enough people. (It is an investment in growth. Ridership will likely be lower in the beginning than later as more housing and business come online.)

The streetcar is a step backwards. (Right. It is, but it's an old neighborhood we are talking about. We are in a position of having a basketful of lemons & we should commence to making some goddamned lemonade NOW. The downtown area was designed prior to the automobile and, to make this old area work, we need to use the transit method that worked before. Communities need to work and compete on their unique strengths and qualities. Streetcars in downtown Cincinnati make sense - streetcars in Springdale make no sense.)

1 comment:

Chris S said...

I love all those arguments too... so much fun :) (or not as the case may be)

As for the last comment, what makes the idea especially unique for OTR is that OTR was designed as an immensely dense neighborhood for people not cars. The only way it can reach its full potential for density is if we make it more accessible in the way it was designed (for pedestrians). If we could fill OTR to level it was built for, we would be adding 50,000 residents to the CBD/OTR area. And it is possible, but there has to be something to spur it. Right now, the area could not support the number of cars required to support the number of residents the area could have.