In 2002 Hamilton County voters decided to vote down a half-cent sales tax measure that would have fundamentally changed the way in which Cincinnatians move about the region with a regional transit plan that included light rail (system map), streetcars (integrated map with regional rail plan) and a completely revamped bus system.

As Cincinnatians continue to be restricted to automobile travel and limited bus service, Seattle is now celebrating the opening of their light rail system. Having fewer transportation choices is a negative and it is no wonder that the talented young professionals and creative class are choosing cities like Seattle, Portland, Charlotte, Atlanta, D.C. and San Francisco over places like Cincinnati.

These individuals are choosing life styles and social experiences over household size, affordability and even job opportunities. The jobs are following the talent, and it’s only a matter of time before Cincinnati starts feeling the heat from its companies that are having trouble attracting the young talent they need to stay competitive. In this global marketplace Cincinnati can no longer afford to rely on its history and foundational strength – Cincinnati needs to be competitive and learn how to start creating a city and lifestyle that appeals to our nation’s changing demographics and urbanizing population.

The scenes from Seattle with more coverage here: