Monthly Archives: July 2010

We don’t have a Subway on the corner, we have a Fork Heart Knife. We don’t have an Applebees, we have Neon’s. Those are the kinds of places, I think, that local people want.

Chris Seelbach (OTR resident and 2011 city council candidate) on the state of Main Street in Over-the-Rhine.

Cincinnati’s plan to build a streetcar once seemed like a dumb idea. Now that I’ve seen the effects these rail systems can have on cities like Cincinnati, I support the plan. If it were up to me, I would start building the Cincinnati streetcar tomorrow.

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis, announcing his support for the Cincinnati Streetcar plan

At Snopes.com, Rumors Are Held Up to the Light

David Pogue of The New York Times:

You would think that with the instant communications of Internet, that all this misinformation and urban legend stuff — that people would catch on that it’s not true.

David Mikkelson of Snopes.com:

The flaw in that theory is that for a good many people, it’s not important whether things are true or not. It reflects what people want to believe. It reflects a worldview. It’s their way of passing along things that concern them. Things they’re afraid of.

Like it could be, “I don’t care if Richard Nixon really did this. It sounds like something he would have done.” A lot of people are unwilling to acknowledge anything that contradicts their worldview. So telling them that it’s false doesn’t necessarily slow them down. That’s how urban legends get started for the most case.

The Result of Anti-Tax Extremism

Little Miami Schools is being taken over by the State of Ohio because the citizens of that school district have repeatedly failed to pass a tax levy to fund the schools. The anti-tax/anti-government extremists got their way and the schools will now suffer massive cuts. Students will likely not have any extracurricular activities. They will miss out on advance education opportunities. Little Miami Students will not have good educations.

Misplaced priorities

Here’s an example of how misplaced our transportation priorities are in the United States.

Cincinnati has been fighting to get funding for funding for our Streetcar project.  Today we were awarded a $25 million federal grant, which will allow us to actually begin construction this fall.  But winning this grant was not easy.  The mayor, city council, and streetcar supporters have been fighting non-stop for years just to get to this point.

Meanwhile, without even thinking twice, we’re about to spend $88 million to replace the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, Ohio’s tallest, which carries I-71 across the Little Miami River.

The current bridge must be unsafe, right?

The Warren County bridge has regularly passed safety inspections, said Smigielski.

“If it wasn’t safe, it would have been closed to traffic,” she said.

Maybe the current bridge is over-capacity?

Nope.  The new bridge will have two lanes each way, just like the current bridge.  (Although it will be expandable if future traffic warrants it.)

Why are we replacing this structurally-sound bridge with a new one of the exact same capacity?

Well, according to the designers of the new bridge, it will be:

“…a lot better-looking than the ugly old truss that’s out there today.”

Since the federal government picks up 90% of the cost of road projects, the states don’t really care whether road projects are “necessary”. On the other hand, transit projects are funded mostly by local and state governments, with very little federal support.

We spend years fighting for the Cincinnati Streetcar, which will earn the city $2.70 in benefits for every $1.00 that’s spend on the project.  Meanwhile, no one even notices $88 million for an unnecessary project that will not create any economic benefit, other than temporary construction jobs to build it.