Streetcar passes FC, poised to pass Council

There was an emergency Finance Committee session held today at 9am to hear the compromise motion put forward from Mayor Mallory. This motion puts forth everything that was presented in the original study (Downtown/OTR Circulator route), but also includes the connector piece to Uptown. Essentially the connector piece is now included with Phase 1 and will be built at the same time…adding an additional $35M to the project cost that must be secured now prior to the start of construction.

There was lengthy discussion and John Cranley belabored the finance portions of the plan. Qualls seemed to ask a few questions just to get the responses ‘on the record’ from City Manager Milton Dohoney and City Architect Michael Moore. Chris Bortz spoke in favor of the project and described this time as, “a time for Cincinnati to be bold.”

Jim Tarbel was the only public speaker and referred to the streetcar project as, “the single most important development project right now and over the past decade.” John Cranley made sure to quickly point out that he “respectfully disagreed” with Mr. Cincinnati and that he wishes the project success.

When all the dust settled the votes came in and it was a unanimous vote (7-0, Laketa Cole was absent). This will now go on to the full Council today at 2pm at City Hall. When it is approved there the project is given a green light and the legislative approval from City Council. The City will then be able to enter into negotiations with private entities to pay for portions of the project. The snowball has begun its proverbial journey down the hill. Be there at 2pm and afterwards there will be celebrations at City Cellars (908 Race Street) around 5:30pm.

Additional reading on UrbanCincy:
Clyffside, Streetcars, Moerlein…oh my
A challenge for those who demand better
Cincinnati is ready to GO
Cincinnati sleepy no more
Streetcars/Transit should be #1 priority for Cincinnati – Reader’s choice