Development News Politics Transportation

Time to fight for light rail and streetcars in Cincinnati – AGAIN

Cincinnatians may have thought they voiced their opinions, and support, for passenger rail transit in November 2009 when they defeated Issue 9. Those who thought so were evidently wrong as special interest groups are working once again to deny Cincinnatians the passenger rail transit they want.

It appears as if the special interest group that led the effort to require a vote on all passenger rail transportation in Cincinnati is now leading an effort to outright ban all passenger rail transportation in Cincinnati.

The anti-spending group COAST evidently did not get the message from Cincinnatians who voted nearly 2:1 in November 2009 when they voted in support of passenger rail. So, after asking if city residents wanted to vote on every passenger rail investment, and getting a resounding no, they are doing what they want and asking city residents to vote on passenger rail investments. Specifically at hand would be any investments in streetcars or light rail for the next decade.

The vote that will decide whether or not to ban passenger rail in Cincinnati for the next decade, whether it is fully funded by whatever funding source, will more than likely occur this May in a special election that will cost taxpayers $400,000.

So for those that have yet to see a modern streetcar, you can check out this video on the modern streetcar design that may be used for Cincinnati’s fully funded streetcar system that is about to begin construction and be operational by 2013. If you need more information on Cincinnati’s streetcar project, check out the CincyStreetcar Blog for regular updates and information or for official project details, studies and reports.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.