Up To Speed

A decade later, Cincinnati still debating streetcar issue

A decade later, Cincinnati still debating streetcar issue.

More than a decade has passed since Cincinnati’s debate over building modern streetcars began. During that time Cincinnatians have consistently voted in a majority of City Council and a Mayor that support the idea of building a modern streetcar system, regional planning, Cincinnatians have cast their votes in favor of not one but two public votes on the project, national acclaim, completion of 100% designs, purchasing agreements, operation agreements, an official groundbreaking, and city officials have secured the necessary funding to build the first phase of the project from the central riverfront to the northern reaches of Over-the-Rhine.

After all of this, we think it is time to move on and focus on other issues facing our city. Issues like pension reform, public safety, bicycle infrastructure, zoning code reform, economic development in all 52 neighborhoods, the enhancement of public services Cincinnatians have grown to love, and many more. Mayoral candidate John Cranley (D), however, does not seem to agree. More from CityBeat:

The public spotlight is nothing new for Cincinnati’s $125 million streetcar project, but it’s a factor supporters are getting increasingly tired of dealing with. Facing new delays and political controversy, the streetcar is once again in the news — and, for better or worse, this year’s mayoral campaign will keep it there for much of the coming year.

Despite the streetcar’s momentum — which proponents admit was literally slowed by recent news of the project’s delay until 2016 — the project will serve as one of the main talking points for former council member John Cranley in his attempt to beat out current vice mayor and council member Roxanne Qualls, a streetcar supporter, for the mayor’s seat in November.

But should it? At this point, most of the funding for the first phase of the streetcar is set, and voters have approved the project twice through the 2009 and 2011 referendums.

By John Yung

John joined UrbanCincy in 2011 and immediately established himself as a key member of the UrbanCincy team. A native of Chicago, transplanted to Lebanon, Ohio in his teenage years, John currently resides in Cincinnati’s historic Mt Auburn neighborhood. John earned a Masters of Community Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2013.