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Old October 19th, 2007, 07:57 AM   #1
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CINCINNATI | Public Transport

Cincinnati committee endorses $102 million streetcar system
17 October 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) - A proposed $102 million streetcar line has the endorsement of the city manager and the City Council's economic development committee.

A line from the downtown business district to a nearby neighborhood in need of redevelopment could be up and running by December 2010, City Manager Milton Dohoney said, although other projects may have to be delayed to finance construction.

Committee members said they support the concept but asked for more information on what projects would have to be shelved.

"We need to do some reprogramming in order to achieve this big project, this big vision," committee member Chris Bortz said. "If we continue to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, the city will continue to decline."
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Old October 19th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #2
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Sounds great.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 09:12 PM   #3
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Any chance Cincinatti'll complete constructing its 90-year-old abandoned subway line?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
Any chance Cincinatti'll complete constructing its 90-year-old abandoned subway line?
Study: $114M needed to make Cincinnati's abandoned subway usable
6 December 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) - From time to time, city officials ponder what to do with the abandoned, unfinished subway tunnels that start downtown and go north for 2.2 miles.

A new study, the most comprehensive analysis of the subway in decades, recommends making some repairs and maintaining the side-by-side tunnels at a cost of $2.6 million over the next five years -- a much cheaper option than reviving the subway for modern transit cars.

City engineers said in the study that it would cost about $100.5 million to make the tunnels usable for modern transit. Just filling in the tunnels would cost about $19.6 million.

Either way, the city would have to spend another $14 million to relocate a 52-inch water main placed in the southbound tunnel in the 1950s, and that could require a regionwide water rate increase.

"We can't just continue to pour money into these," said Martha Kelly, a principal engineer for Cincinnati. "The subway is nearing the end of its 100-year design life. So we do need to make a decision on the future of rapid transit."

The tunnels are made of 100 concrete sections that were cast in place when the subway was built in the 1920s. Those sections are still in fair shape, but some of the joints between them have deteriorated.

"It didn't go anywhere, but it was built well," said Councilman Chris Bortz, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, which received the engineers' report.

The city has no plans to do anything with the tunnels, but reviews their condition periodically to keep them from falling into disrepair in case some use becomes viable.

In 1916, residents approved a $6.1 million bond issue to build a subway along the former route of the Miami and Erie Canal. But World War I intervened, and the project was abandoned in 1927 when the money ran out.

Pavement was laid over the tunnels, creating downtown's Central Parkway, and the concept of mass transit gave way to expressways.

As recently as 2002, voters rejected a half-cent sales tax plan that would have incorporated the tunnels into a $2.6 billion regional light rail plan parallel to Interstate 75.

But even the $114 million total cost of upgrading the tunnels and moving the water main wouldn't include the subway cars or other costs, such as tracks, utilities, ventilation systems and at least three new stations at a cost of $4.5 million each.

The engineers' report didn't take a position on the question of whether the region needs a mass transit system but recommended more study on how to get some use from the tunnels.

Although the $2.6 million in repairs will have to come from money already allocated for street repairs, housing and other needs, Bortz said it was a "no brainer" to protect the city's investment.

"Here we go again with these incredible assets that are lying fallow," Bortz said. "We keep recognizing its potential, and maybe we're getting closer to grabbing that potential."

------

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #5
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Not all aboard on streetcar notion
'Cutting-edge' transport along High Street a real lure, some say; others agog at price

29 March 2008
The Columbus Dispatch

Don't call it a trolley and don't call it a tourist ride, the mayor says.

Apparently, don't call the High Street streetcar a popular idea for everyone, either.

"What's the difference between a streetcar and a bus, except that a streetcar (system) will cost more money?" asked Sharon Adkins, a 61-year-old loan processor who works Downtown.

"I don't see the advantage."

Adkins voiced what some are wondering: Will folks be more willing to ride a streetcar down much the same route the No. 2 COTA bus already travels?

Mayor Michael B. Coleman and other city leaders are convinced they will, to the tune of the $103 million it will cost to build the 2.8-mile line between Mound Street, where the Franklin County government complex is, and the Ohio Union, about halfway up the Ohio State University campus.

Coleman says a streetcar system would stimulate development along the route while serving as a pilot for a regional commuter-rail system that proponents have touted for years as a way to ease growing traffic congestion.

To pay for the electric streetcar system, Coleman wants to add a 4 percent surcharge on tickets to most concerts and sports events within six blocks of the route. He also wants to add a 4 percent surcharge on parking-lot and garage fees along the route, and raise parking-meter rates in the area an average of 75 cents an hour.

The hope is that a new, sleek, futuristic-looking streetcar will attract those who typically don't ride the bus, bringing new customers to stores and restaurants and residents to fill nearby apartments, condominiums and houses.

"People moving into a Downtown condominium can hop on a streetcar and go to the North Market or the core of the Short North," said John Angelo, executive director of the Short North Business Association.

Count Adkins as one of the skeptics.

"It's good if you want to get from point A to point B on High Street," said Adkins, who sometimes drives and sometimes takes the bus from her East Side home to work. But she wonders whether streetcar riders will have to pay an additional fare to transfer to a bus, one of many things officials still have to work out.

Streetcar fares are to average $1.

"It's a waste if it only goes from the courthouse to campus," said Joe Sanders, 37, an unemployed Gahanna resident waiting for a Central Ohio Transit Authority bus on N. High Street Downtown.

"What's the point, other than for show?"

But up near Ohio State, several students were intrigued by the idea of a streetcar connecting Downtown and the university.

Kathryn DeLong, a sophomore from Cincinnati, already takes the No. 2 bus Downtown. She said a streetcar conveys convenience and a "cool" factor that buses don't have.

A streetcar is "fun, excitement," said DeLong, 19.

And she doesn't see it losing its novelty on campus, because thousands of new students arrive each year.

Her friend, Erik Bobbitt, 20, of Hilliard, figures many in the campus crowd will want to ride.

"I don't know how many to justify $100 million," said Bobbitt, an Ohio State sophomore.

Angelo said the proposed financing plan sounds fair, even though it would likely increase parking costs for visitors.

"I think that as we look at other cities with destinations similar to the Short North, it's a natural evolution. People expect to pay a bit of a premium," Angelo said.

His only concern is how the line's construction would disrupt business.

But Angelo believes the streetcars are cutting edge, something larger cities have that will lure riders uncomfortable with taking the bus.

David Raber, a 42-year-old lawyer from Upper Arlington who works Downtown, said Columbus needs a larger commuter system that takes people somewhere. He singled out the Metro system in Washington, D.C., and the "T" rail system in Boston.

"That's what the city really needs," he said.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #6
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thats great StreetCars is the way to go hey every transport system will be expensive at the start but it will be well worth the investment.

go Cinncitati invest on the streetcars show other cities what your made of.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #7
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Great news
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:57 AM   #8
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Streetcars resuming loops in U.S. cities
An economic benefit in looking to the past

15 August 2008
International Herald Tribune

CINCINNATI -- From his months-old French bistro, Jean-Robert de Cavel sees restored Italianate row houses against a backdrop of rundown tenements in this city's long-struggling Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

He also sees a turnaround for the district, thanks to plans to revive a transit system that was dismantled in the 1950s: the humble streetcar line.

''Human beings can be silly, because we move away from things too quickly in this country,'' Cavel said. A ''streetcar is definitely going to create a reason for young people to come downtown.''

Cincinnati officials are assembling financing for a $132 million system that would connect the city's riverfront stadiums, downtown business district and uptown neighborhoods, which include six hospitals and the University of Cincinnati, in a loop of six to eight miles, or 10 to 13 kilometers. Depending on the final financing package, fares may be free, 50 cents or $1.

The city plans to pay for the system with existing tax revenue and $30 million in private investment. The plan requires the approval of Mayor Mark Mallory, a proponent, and the City Council.

At least 40 other U.S. cities are exploring streetcar plans to spur economic development, ease traffic congestion and draw young professionals and empty-nest baby boomers back from the suburbs, according to the Community Streetcar Coalition, which includes city officials, transit authorities and engineers who advocate streetcar construction.

More than a dozen have existing lines, including New Orleans, which is restoring a system devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Denver, Houston, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, North Carolina, have introduced streetcars this decade.

''They serve to coalesce a neighborhood,'' said Jim Graebner, chairman of the American Public Transportation Association's streetcar and vintage trolley committee. ''That's very evident in places like San Francisco, which never got rid of its streetcar system.''

Modern streetcars, like those Cincinnati plans to use, cost about $3 million each, run on an overhead electrical wire and carry as many as 130 passengers per car on rails flush with the pavement.

Having doors on both sides enables streetcars to pick up passengers on either side, making for shorter stops than buses.

Streetcar advocates point to Portland, Oregon, which in 2001 built the first major modern streetcar system in the United States and has since added new lines interlaced with a growing light rail system.

Since Portland announced plans for the system, more than 10,000 residential units have been built, and $3.5 billion has been invested in property within two blocks of the line, according to Portland Streetcar, which operates the system.

Critics, including Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research organization in Washington, and a specialist in urban growth and transportation issues, counter that growth along streetcar lines depends on public subsidy and is of little use.

''It looks like it's going to take you somewhere, but it's only designed to support downtown residents,'' he said. ''If officials fall for the hype and don't ask the hard questions, voters should vote them out.''

Streetcar enthusiasts counter that they serve to consolidate residents' everyday world of work, shopping and entertainment by bringing services and businesses to one area.

''One happy consequence will be that streetcar customers who live in the area will be less mobile by choice,'' said John Schneider, a Cincinnati real estate developer and downtown resident who championed an unsuccessful 2002 county sales tax proposal that would have financed a regional light rail system.

Since then, gasoline prices have risen sharply, and advocates have started emphasizing streetcars' ability to revitalize urban neighborhoods.

''In years gone by, people would move to cities to get a job,'' said the Cincinnati city manager, Milton Dohoney. ''Today, young, educated workers move to cities with a sense of place. And if businesses see us laying rail down on a street, they'll know that's a permanent route that will have people passing by seven days a week.''

After looking into streetcar systems in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington; and Charlotte, North Carolina, Dohoney became convinced that they spur growth.

''Cincinnati has to compete with other cities for investment,'' he said. ''We have to compete for talent and for place of national prominence.''

A hundred miles northeast, Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus, Ohio, has come to the same conclusion and is hoping to build a $103 million streetcar network along the city's High Street connecting Ohio State University with the downtown business district. The loop would be paid for through a 4 percent surcharge on concert tickets, sporting events and downtown parking and a $12.5 million contribution from Ohio State.

''It is directly tied to economic development, and when times are tough in Ohio, we need an additional tool to create jobs,'' Coleman said.

While critics question whether scarce city money would be better spent elsewhere, Coleman argues that streetcars are important to the city's growth.

''We have to plan for the future,'' he said. ''I believe in 10 years, we would ask, 'Why didn't we do this?' It will be 10 times more expensive, and the cost of gas will be unaffordable.''
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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hm... since there are no pictures in this topic i really can't imagine what is a Streetcar? is that something like tramway or?
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJZG View Post
hm... since there are no pictures in this topic i really can't imagine what is a Streetcar? is that something like tramway or?
Streetcar = tram

Just a different use of language on that side of the world.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 11:52 PM   #11
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The term "streetcar" specifies the kind of tram that shares its track with automobiles.

Philadelphians did not like my calling their --uhm-- trollies (i.e., off-street trams) streetcars.




Quote:
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StreetCars is the way to go hey every transport system will be expensive at the start but it will be well worth the investment.
It'd be less meddlesome were the intended streets laced with trolley catenary instead.....besides, trains don't belong in streets, ever.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:23 AM   #12
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Streetcar on the right - LRT (MAX) on the left

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Old October 24th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #13
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$114 million is really not that bad, at least compared to what it would cost if the tunnel wasn't already there.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #14
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Cincinnati streetcar supporters say debate could effect future Ohio rail projects
7 August 2009

CINCINNATI (AP) - An already heated November ballot issue campaign could derail plans for a Cincinnati streetcar system, and streetcar supporters say it also could put the brakes on the city's involvement in future rail projects across Ohio.

"If you want to take yourself out of the game when it comes to competing for any kind of state or federal funding for passenger-rail systems in the future, this is the way to do it," said Don Mooney, a lawyer and treasurer of a group called Cincinnatians for Progress, which opposing the ballot proposal.

But those behind the proposed city charter amendment want to stop a $185 million streetcar system that would connect the city's riverfront with other downtown areas and neighborhoods near the University of Cincinnati. They dismiss claims that streetcars would boost the ailing local economy, calling the idea a bad one as city layoffs loom.

"It would be an expensive toy that would do nothing to solve the crises facing the city," said Christopher Smitherman, leading the push for the charter amendment. Smitherman, who also is president of the local NAACP chapter, says it's particularly bad timing with the city facing a worsening budget deficit.

Opponents of the amendment note that it requires public votes on all passenger-rail plans. They say that could leave Cincinnati out of competition for state and federal funding.

Mayor Mark Mallory has made the streetcar project a high priority, with supporters saying it would bring new development and jobs, attracting companies and young professionals into the city. But he said the ballot issue has potential effects beyond his city.

"If that measure passes, it's the end of streetcars in Cincinnati, it will be the end of the conversation about light rail, it will be the end of the conversation about passenger rail between Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland," he said.

Those supporting the amendment and opposing the streetcars say that taxpayers will probably get stuck with spending even more for the system than projected and that they should get a chance to vote.

"What's so wrong about giving voters a say?" Smitherman said. "Why is democracy inconsistent with progress?"
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Old August 11th, 2009, 05:22 AM   #15
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Nowadays, most streetcars are not constructed to be in mixed traffic, but I consider that stupid. The mixed traffic configuration makes much more sense.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #16
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you need pictures
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #17
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^I need pictures?
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Old August 13th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #18
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The tunnel should be made into a geothermal heat pump power station.

How about PCC second generation?

- A
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Old September 8th, 2009, 04:48 AM   #19
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Cincinnati city council OKs streetcar issue for ballot, though most members oppose measure
3 September 2009

CINCINNATI (AP) - Cincinnati's city council is recommending that a streetcar issue be placed on the November ballot, though most council members oppose the measure.

Voters would be asked to approve a charter amendment requiring public votes on a proposed $185 million streetcar system or any other passenger rail plans for the city.

While only Republican Councilman Chris Monzel supports the measure, the council voted Wednesday to ask the county elections board to place the issue on the ballot. City Solicitor John Curp advised the council to take that action because the measure's anti-streetcar backers gathered almost double the required number of petition signatures.

Streetcar supporters say the charter amendment could cut the city out of future rail projects across Ohio.

------

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer
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Old November 17th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #20
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MISC | New book on Cincinnati's abandoned subway

Hi all, I'm the author of a new book on Cincinnati's abandoned subway. I did the research and wrote the book during the first half of 2010 and it's in print as of November 5. I found a lot of new information on it, in part because the electronic indexing of library materials has advanced enough to where a lot of "lost" stuff has reappeared. Also, I am a professional photographer so I've got lots of color photos in it.

Here is a promo video I put together (this site appears to not permit embedding):




The cover:


A photo of the Race Street Station:


A photo of the Brighton Station:


View of 2010 repair work:


1916 Ballot:


And the book is available here at Amazon with a "look inside":
http://www.amazon.com/Cincinnatis-In...0023994&sr=8-2


I'll answer any questions anyone has.
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