These two old buildings are in need of a lot of work, but will make really nice living and retail space some day.
Chris Wetterich of the Cincinnati Business Courier asks why a new highway interchange on I-71 isn’t being held to the same standards as the Cincinnati Streetcar by Mayor John Cranley and several council members.
Just for fun, I’d also like to consider how the Enquirer would cover the interchange if they used the same tone as their streetcar coverage:
- They’d print a bunch of letters to the editor claiming that the new interchange “doesn’t go anywhere.”
- They would use pictures of Model T’s and other antique cars instead of modern automobiles (like they frequently use photos of vintage trolleys instead of modern light rail streetcars).
- They’d constantly refer to the interchange as “proposed” (even after contracts are signed and construction is started).
- Instead of just reporting the facts, they would get a bunch of quotes from supporters and opponents of the interchange in a massive display of false equivalence.
- They will finally come out in support of the interchange–but they’ll endorse a mayoral candidate who runs on a pledge to kill the interchange after it’s already under construction.
If I haven’t talked to someone in 20 years, the level of detail I’d like to see is what you typically see in letters from a family that accompany their holiday cards. Let me see a photo, how many kids do you have, what trips did you recently take, where are you working, how is everyone doing, and that’s about all I want to know for the next 20 years.
Even the Enquirer thinks it would be fiscally irresponsible to cancel the Cincinnati Streetcar project, which is very much under construction:
But now 200 construction workers are digging up Downtown streets, and 1,800 feet of rails are already in the ground. [...]
Project manager John Deatrick estimates it will cost another $34 million to $47 million, and take up to a year, to stop it. There are streetcars under construction, tracks to rip up, streets and curbs to restore. By city estimates, we could spend $67 million to $80 million and have nothing to show for it.
And suddenly, the Enquirer understands that the streetcar will make Cincinnati more competitive with its peer cities:
A low cost of living is no longer enough to spur growth; we must also offer modern infrastructure and amenities, especially to the millennials and baby boomers interested in urban living. [...]
To attract those kinds of jobs and workers, 20 streetcar systems are under construction or planned in the U.S., in addition to around a dozen in operation. They are in places like Charlotte, N.C.; Milwaukee; Austin, Texas; and Minneapolis – places we compete with for people and jobs.
I wish the Enquirer would have considered these arguments years ago, instead of publishing ridiculous articles about Barry Horstman power walking the streetcar route.
And finally, what does the Enquirer say about their endorsement of John Cranley, who, uhh, ran on a promise to kill the streetcar?
In endorsing Cranley, we said he would “have to rein in his dictatorial tendencies and discipline himself to be diplomatic, respectful and collaborative.” What we’ve seen so far is a matter for concern. Hurling insults at professionals like streetcar project manager John Deatrick isn’t what we need.
Lawmakers from the area have been the most ardent opponents of tolls as a primary funding mechanism for replacing the bridge, arguing that the federal government needs to pay for most of it. [...]
“I guess if we want this bridge to be built in our lifetime, it is going to have to be with some type of tolling,” said Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier. “I don’t think the federal government will be any better off in 2040 than it is today.”
Construction of the Cincinnati Streetcar kicked into high gear in September and continued to move full speed ahead during the month of October. On October 16, the first rail was installed on Elm Street, and on October 25, crews started pouring concrete and shaping the track bed. By the end of the month, 300 feet of rail had been completed. The overall construction effort stretched about a half mile on Elm Street, from Washington Park to Findlay Market. Utility work was also proceeding on other nearby streets, including Race, Walnut, and 12th streets.
Crews are on schedule to complete all of the track work on Elm Street, from 12th to Henry, by January 9, 2014.
You walk in and almost every aspect of the sheriff’s office looks, feels and behaves as if it were sometime in the late 1980s – with their policies and technology and equipment.
“The millennials and the boomers are looking for the same thing,” said Amy Levner, manager of AARP’s Livable Communities. [...]
“The spirit on the streets, there’s a kind of vitality, a regeneration,” Harold Closter said, adding that most people in their building are younger than they are. “We’ve made a lot of new friends, and we’ve found that it’s a lot easier for our friends to get to us, because we’re right on the Metro. . . . Our (adult) son and his friends think this is pretty cool as well.” [...]
“I don’t have to spend my time taking care of the house, replacing the gutter, sealing the driveway,” he said. “After you make the move, it’s like a big rock lifted off the back of your neck.”