Thursday, February 10, 2011

A downtown area with densely built multi purpose buildings can uniquely benefit from the unique infrastructure of a modern streetcar. Most other neighborhoods with separated business and residential areas and single family homes spread apart with large yards would see no benefit at all from such a conveyance. It is not a one size fits all solution and we do not live in a one size fits all world.
The modern streetcar is not a bus on rails. It is designed to get people traveling relatively short distances on and off quickly. It is a people mover. It is designed to promote spontaneity in the rider to stop and go that a bus or car cannot duplicate. It will make a downtown area that is dang near car hostile a more livable area. It will make it more attractive to new tax paying residents and businesses in an area where a car frequently becomes an albatross around the neck.
The streetcar is expected to have a ROI of 3 to 1.
The streetcar is expected to have an economic impact of 15 to 1.
The streetcar is expected to cost 2-3 million a year to operate and funding is being targeted from casino revenue in addition to the user fees.
Ohio's TRAC gives the development it's highest rating. link
The goal of the streetcar is to enable the private sector to create new jobs, new business, new residents, an improved tax base and a better quality of life.
The Cincinnati streetcar connects 3 very different areas in the heart of Cincinnati on a 4.5 mile loop, the Central Business District, the developing riverfront Banks & the fairly abandoned northern area called Over the Rhine. The three areas offer different business and residential opportunities. The Banks will likely be more oriented to big box businesses moving into the city. The CBD hosts larger more Fortune 500 type businesses, government and law practices as well as upscale retail and services. The northern area should offer a lower rent area which will make it more attractive for investment by local middle class entrepreneurs.
The three areas will offer residential opportunities to new and existing upper, lower and middle class residents.
In addition to raising the tax base of the city, repopulating the northern end will reduce the frequent need for fire and police services by putting eyes on the street and responsible residents in restored buildings. Currently, it is a prime haven for squatters and vice activity. This results in violence and frequent fires. Aside from the drag on the community in public service spending, citizens are also hit on their insurance bills.
I lived in OTR for 7 years and worked there for 25. I have visited friends and patronized the businesses there. I have declined the products and services of pushers and prostitutes. I have traveled through the area using cars, bicycles and buses. I have studied the history of Cincinnati and it's downtown.
Many of the opponents of this development do not have this first hand experience with the area or of the strengths & weaknesses of buses v streetcars on any kind of ongoing basis.
Again, streetcars everywhere is as absurd as suburbia everywhere. We need to make maximum use of our resources and offer new residents and businesses the choices of different safe and vibrant neighborhoods and communities to create jobs.
Support this investment in the people of Cincinnati and Ohio.

1 comment:

CityKin said...

agree pretty much word for word