Metro receives $700k grant for Uptown Crossings transit hub

Representative Steve Driehaus (D-OH) has announced another large chunk of money for transportation projects in the Cincinnati region. Funding in the amount of $677,160 has been awarded to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) for a new transit hub in Uptown Cincinnati.

SORTA operates the largest transit service in the region, Metro, and will be using the nearly $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for their planned Uptown Crossing Project that will construct a new transit hub with restrooms and facilities for bus drivers, shelters, and a pavilion located near the Cincinnati Zoo.

Representative Driehaus believes strongly in the transit investment saying that, “as we work to improve our transportation infrastructure, we need to modernize transit facilities and expand access for riders. This funding will help SORTA move forward on this critically important project.”

Image provided by Metro

Don’t Outlaw Choice

Often, those seeking to pass Issue 9 base their skepticism for rail transit on the idea that the success of such a system is unknowable. They claim that there is no way to tell the specific impacts an integrated transportation system will have on our city. Their argument is only true to a point. While pin-point specific data cannot be known until after a system begins operation, there is an ocean of data available from the scores of cities that have chosen to invest in this technology.

Look, if Cincinnati were the first city to come up with the idea of rail transportation, the opponents’ skepticism would be legitimate and welcomed. But we have already seen the effects in literally DOZENS of cities. The results are in and these systems work. The vast majority of their skepticism is baseless, unproductive, and downright ignorant when considering the amount of data that exists supporting rail transportation in its various forms.

Why would they attempt to ban all funding for a public good? Transportation is a public good with public benefits. Because transportation has public benefits and is considered a basic public service, transportation in ALL its forms (including roads) is publicly funded. Just as I-75 wasn’t funded by an individual or a company, neither should rail be. Local leaders need options of how to pay for this public service.

So where does the money come from? In many instances, the large public benefit of transit encourages federal and state funding. But if Issue 9 passes, the ability for Cincinnati leaders to obtain that funding becomes impossible. Federal dollars are highly competitive, and only the cities with the strongest and fastest applications will receive those dollars. Requiring a public vote will slow the process to the point where Cincinnati is taken out of the running. This leaves no choice for local leaders but to fund these projects with just local dollars.

Therefore, to pass Issue 9 is to eliminate choice. It eliminates the choice of city leaders to find funding. But more significantly, it eliminates the choice of how Cincinnatians live.

Passing Issue 9 will outlaw the choice to either drive or take a commuter train to work in the morning.

Passing Issue 9 will outlaw the choice of Cincinnatians to either drive or ride high-speed rail to that conference in Chicago, that protest in DC, that OSU game in Columbus, that concert in St. Louis, that holiday in New York City.

Passing Issue 9 would outlaw the choice to take a train to Bengals game, or pay for $3/gal gas and $15 for parking on top of $80 dollar tickets and $8 beers.

Passing Issue 9 eliminates the choice between having a worry-free night on the town, or having to call it an early night so as to not drive while intoxicated.

Don’t outlaw choice. Vote No on Issue 9.

For more information, visit Cincinnatians for Progress. There you can see who else wants to preserve choice, check out their blog, see other reasons why Issue 9 leads to ineffective governance, sign up to volunteer, request a yard sign, or even donate to the cause.

Image credit here.

Popopolis bringing great local music to Fountain Square this weekend

If you weren’t able to get your fix of live music at Midpoint Music Festival last weekend, or if you’re itching for more, then this weekend on Fountain Square is for you. On Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3 Fountain Square will play host to the first Popopolis music event.

The new Fountain Square event will start off with a reunion of bands who played in the Southgate House Popopolis days from 1998 to 2002. The event will be hosted by WOXY’s program director Matt Sledge and will have plenty of food and drink available to keep everyone happy.

Each night will feature seven different bands on two different stages so that the music keeps on going without delay for setup and breakdown procedures. The music will start at 7pm with the last band taking the Main Stage at 10pm and playing until around 11pm. The official after party each night will be just around the corner at the recently opened Righteous Room in the Backstage Entertainment District.

If you’re into the local music scene, and must choose between Friday or Saturday night, then Saturday night is definitely for you with a full card of local bands including big names like The Seedy Seeds, Wussy, and Bad Veins (view the full list of bands for each night below).

The event is free and open to the public. There is plenty of easily accessible parking available in the Fountain Square Parking Garage located directly underneath Fountain Square, and Metro bus service is available from virtually every route to the Government Square bus station located across the street from Fountain Square’s southeastern corner. To find out which route is most convenient for you, and to play your trip now, use Metro’s Trip Planner.

FRIDAY
Main Stage | Acoustic Stage
7:00pm, Saving Ray | 7:40pm, Bri Love
8:00pm, Clabbergirl | 8:40pm, Messerly & Ewing
9:00pm, Rockets to Mars | 9:40pm, Mike Landis
10:00pm, Throneberry

SATURDAY
Main Stage | Acoustic Stage
7:00pm, State Song | 7:40pm, The Seedy Seeds
8:00pm, Wussy | 8:40pm, Jason Snell (The Chocolate Horses)
9:00pm, Pomegranates | 9:40pm, Dan Mecher (Turnbull AC’s)
10:00pm, Bad Veins

New renderings of UC’s Jefferson Ave. Sports Complex

New renderings of the University of Cincinnati’s “Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex” have been released. This complex will feature a full-sized 100-yard field which the lacrosse team will use for home games, and a smaller 50-yard practice field. During the winter months, the large field will be covered by a “bubble”, providing an indoor practice space for football, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer. The indoor facility will maintain a temperature of 50-60 degrees, even in the harshest of Cincinnati’s winters.

In constructing the new complex, the University will be removing a maintenance facility and a parking lot, one of only two large lots remaining on campus. The new facility will be adjacent to the University’s existing Varsity Village complex, which includes Nippert Stadium, Fifth Third Arena at the Shoemaker Center, Gettler Stadium, Marge Schott Stadium, and Sheakley Lawn.

See more renderings at GoBearcats.com.

Additional reading: