Texas Liberal

All People Matter

$800K For Streetcar Study In Cincinnati—More Warped Priorities At The Expense Of Average People

Cincinnati City Council has allocated $800,000 for the study of streetcar routes in Cincinnati.

This despite failing schools and failing neighborhoods.

You the blog reader know this racket from what I’ve already told you.

Street cars will revitalize the city and make Cincinnati a fun place to visit!

( Above you see that while Cincinnati is considering streetcars, it is falling behind Tokyo in bullet trains.)

The gains from installing street cars will trickle down from Downtown and the inner-core to the entire city!

We need street cars just as we needed taxpayer subsidized department stores Downtown, and taxpayer subsidized stadiums!    

Sure.

These street cars are proposed to run only Downtown and in a very small number of areas close to Downtown. 

You can bet property owners along possible streetcar lines are excited.

When you oppose these types of projects you’re told you lack vision. 

Yet so often the so-called civic boosters and rah-rah types who advocate this nonsense, urge pragmatism and restraint when it comes to addressing the needs of the poor.       

It is hard not to be angry at the city councilmembers who enable this stuff at the request of their corporate donors and owners.

It is a difficult and life-long lesson to direct your efforts at the right people 

You have to realize it is structural and that in most cases when you get rid of one bad councilmember, he or she is replaced by another one responsive to the same interests. 

These priorities are set by people who have little contact with the day-to-day facts, for both good and ill, of living in Cincinnati.

This kind of thing goes on in cities across the nation.

But you can’t give up.  

Citizens must establish the civic priorities by voting, remaining informed and speaking out.

Citizens must be able to imagine a better and more just future than that offered by the same people who have brought the urban decline of recent years.

Otherwise, what you get are underused streetcar routes to Nero-like stadiums while neighborhoods decline and clear out.     

March 20, 2008 - Posted by | Cincinnati, Lousy People, Politics | , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. What if those streetcar routes actually served working people and working neighborhoods rather than simply connecting the corporate headquarters to the “Nero-like” coliseum?

    I know you’re an advocate of investing in infrastructure; isn’t public transportation part of that infrastructure?

    Is your argument with the interests being served by such investment (corporations), or with the streetcar system itself?

    Wouldn’t better public transportation reduce the need for cars for those living in areas served by such public transit, and thus encourage planners to build for pedestrians, rather than for SUVs?

    Is your argument based on the idea that there are very limited resources now for government services, and that we shouldn’t divert those resources from essential (and underfunded) services (education, for instance) for a less essential service (public transit)?

    Or, are you arguing that this streetcar system isn’t really about public transit, but is about something else altogether? (attracting tourists? lining the pockets of corporations?) Is the “public transit” line really a front to distract us from some other agenda?

    I ask all this because I’ve lived in or spent time in a number of cities with excellent public transportation, and I only saw it as a benefit when I lived or spent time in these places (Boston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City).

    I’ve also lived in several places without such transportation, including Cincinnati and El Paso. I’ve often found myself wishing that these cities had better public transportation. El Paso’s system, like much of its infrastructure, is especially lousy.

    Would you be an advocate of improved bus service? Or, Are city bus services draining resources that could be used for education?

    Can’t we have both public education and public transportation?

    Or, again, is the proposed Cincinnati streetcar system about something other than public transportation?

    Comment by Jeff Sirkin | March 20, 2008

  2. If you closed vine street from the unversity area to downtown and made bike lanes and street care lanes you might have a good start. if you took the street care along the rail tracks that already run from norwood/pleasant ridge and made a couple of park and ride staitions it might work as well. If you had plasma tv’s and hooters waitresses along with a gun store at the back of the train you would be set. cincinnati needs to start from scratch and the voters need to encourage better choices for local government. we have the number 36 ranked public high school in the country. so if you can make through the first 7 years and pass the test and maintain the gpa you have not been prepared for you can go far here.

    Comment by bill brady | March 21, 2008

  3. Jeff–The proposed routes would serve only a small portion of the city. It seems that it would be geared towards tourists and vistors. There has been project after taxpayer subsidized project in Cincinnati geared towards everybody but the people who really live there. Any review of where people really live in the city would show more important concerns going unaddressed year-after-year.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 25, 2008

  4. but the tourist money benifts the people the poor people that work in hotels and kitchens the most as they saw with the rediculous boycott that only hurt the avg or below avg worker in downtown. it fucking killed mullanes and places like it that could not afford to go without the convention business. the big money places will always stay afloat like hilton and hyatt because they have the bankroll behind them. they need to look at both solutions as one instead of dividing it like everything in our country is divided.

    Comment by bill brady | March 25, 2008

  5. Cincinnati needs reliable mass transit. They city voted down a big light rail plan a few years back, so the city is now starting SMALL in Downtown and will work their way out once the idea gains more support from the suburbs. After the first 2 phases are built, people that live in Downtown, OTR, and Clifton (including a lot of low-income people and thousands of UC students) will be able to get around without driving. The next phases will connect it to all the local hospitals, the zoo, Northside, and Northern Kentucky. Low-income people living in these areas will have more options than ever as to where they can work.

    Lot’s not make it political. If you oppose this very realistic streetcar proposal, you are holding back Cincinnati from becoming a world-class city.

    Comment by Travis | April 1, 2008

  6. Travis—Thank you for the comment.

    That “world class” line has been around for years in Cincinnati. I’ve never understood what it meant except to serve as a pitch for more money for more big projects. It never seems to mean better lives for people in Avondale or Lower Price Hill.

    If the goal is better mass transit, why not just expand existing bus service?

    I now live in city of 2 million in a llrger area of over 5 million and I can tell you that in relation to Paris or Tokyo or New York this is not a world class city. I don’t mean that for good or ill–it’s just that a few cities are world class and the rest are what they are.

    Cincinnati is lucky enough to keep up with Columbus. The focus of government should be the daily lives of people in Cincinnati. Not another boondoggle big-ticket item.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 1, 2008

  7. we just passed cleveland for the metro area and cincinnati is the largest. they need to get safe clean transportation where everyone can use it. right now the buses force is rundown thought its running off biodeisel is still not as fast and effective as it could be, i think if you are running fast trains from clifton, norwood and montgomery you might find more people would come downtown and not use their cars as much. i agree the money can better spent on just about anything the city needs which is everything.

    Comment by bill brady | April 2, 2008

  8. They should maybe stop studying them and just implement them. I think they’re a great idea, and if put in properly would help out so many people.

    Comment by Bigger in Texas | October 22, 2008


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