This summer is the 10th anniversary of the UrbanOhio forum, so we had a meetup in Columbus which included a walking tour of several neighborhoods.
Cincinnati Streetcar construction continued at a fast pace throughout the second quarter of 2014. Nearly all of the track in Over-the-Rhine is complete, except for major intersection at 12th and Race (a.k.a. Washington Park Junction) and the special track work near the Maintenance and Operations Facility (MOF). Several of the streetcar stops in Over-the-Rhine are nearing completion, and new traffic signals are being installed to make way for the overhead contact system (OCS) wire that will power the streetcar.
The “New Royal Palm” service was part of the 21st Century Steam program operated by Norfolk Southern.
“We’ve been admiring the Cincinnati market for a few years now but just started our search about a year ago,” Pi co-owner Chris Sommers told nextSTL. “We are amazed at the resurgence of Downtown and OTR and had to be a part of it.” [...]
Sommers said they waited out the streetcar debate before committing to a Cincinnati location.
“We choose our locations based on major transit lines and feel the streetcar will be game-changing for Cincinnati,” Sommers told nextSTL.
Pi’s original St. Louis location is located in the transit-rich Delmar Loop. The downtown St. Louis Pi sits atop a MetroLink station, and the D.C. restaurant is near both Metro Center and Chinatown Stations.
Despite a brutally cold winter, significant progress was made on the construction of the Cincinnati Streetcar system. All of the straight track on Elm and Race Streets in Over-the-Rhine is now complete. Work has also begun on the short stretch of track on Central Parkway, the border between Over-the-Rhine and the Central Business District. Crews will soon begin to work on the “special” track work, including the curve from Race Street to Central Parkway. Work is also underway on two of the streetcar stops on Elm Street.
[Jeffrey Ball of The New Republic] notes that many millennials who go carless live in a handful of mostly coastal cities. Read one way, this shows that it is not a widespread phenomenon. Read another, it proves that transportation preferences are malleable. Most of those millennials grew up in car-dependent suburbs. They stopped driving when they moved to cities because they now live somewhere denser, with fewer incentives to drive and better alternatives. Offer that same deal to Americans in other places, especially the poor, and many of them would gladly take it.