Want shorter trip? Move closer

Let the awesome letters-to-the-editor keep coming. This one is from Paul Haffner, a Mariemont resident and opponent of the Eastern Corridor highway expansion proposal. He has a very simple piece of advice for Clermont County residents who complain about their commute into Cincinnati: move closer, or stop complaining.

I need someone to now please enlighten me on what gives you the right to pave over my limited green space so you can have an easier commute for yourself or your goods to the urban core from which you have chosen to distance yourself? […]

I personally think the absolute worst thing we can do as a region is encourage more people to live/work 20-plus miles outside the city. We need to continue to pursue policies that bring people into the urban core which I will loosely define as Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky. Population density is a good thing, and public transportation even better.

We all make choices in life and have to deal with the consequences. If you choose to live 45 minutes away from the city where you work so that you can pay lower taxes, have a bigger yard, or for some other reason that you see as advantageous, you also have to deal with the downsides that come along with that decision.

Chutzpah meets ignorance

In what may be the best letter-to-the-editor that the Enquirer publishes all year, former judge Mark Painter rips apart the Hamilton County commissioners for not even letting us vote on a plan to preserve two our our region’s most iconic buildings, Music Hall and Union Terminal:

The people of Hamilton County want to restore Music Hall and Union Terminal. But our good intentions have been frustrated. […]

But our commissioners won’t even let us vote on it. […]

Instead, in a breathtaking display of chutzpah compounded by ignorance, two Commissioners, Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann, at the last minute concocted a back-of-napkin alternate scheme that even they can’t explain. And Monzel is not even sure he will vote for his own plan!

What Happened When My Small-Town, 50-Something Parents Moved to the City

My parents, who had spent much of their adult life in relatively rural and exurban landscapes, adapted quickly. […]

“Maybe after years in the exurbs or a small town you get tired of it. To be able to walk to three or four restaurants and two or three basic amenities like grocery stores instead of having to get in your car all the time. Well, that sounds pretty good to people.”

Why America Stopped Driving

The most shocking thing about this driving decline is that it doesn’t seem to be caused by the weak economy. […]

Some say higher gas prices have caused drivers to stay home. It’s a nice story, but there’s not much evidence backing it up. Gas prices are lower today than they were six and a half years ago. And average fuel efficiency has surged over the last decade, putting the real cost of gasoline usage today no higher than it was a decade ago. […]

Remember, Americans drove 918 billion fewer miles over the last eight years than they would have if 2006 driving trends hadn’t changed. If a car has a lifespan of 200,000 miles, that ultimately means demand for vehicles over the last eight years was about half a million cars per year lower than it would have been at old driving rates.

Ford CEO: More Cars in Cities “Not Going to Work”

But [Ford CEO Alan Mulally] also said he wasn’t sure what role Ford would play in the future of transportation in big cities. According to the Financial Times, Mulally said that adding more cars in urban environments is “not going to work” and that he was interested in developments in “personal mobility” and “quality of life.” Then he seemed to indicate Ford is interested in getting into transit, car sharing, or other models that don’t align with private car ownership.

When Ford gets it…

St. Louis pizzeria to open in renovated AT580 building

In a cross-post between nextSTL, UrbanCincy, and the Cincinnati Business Courier, Alex Ihnen reports on Pi Pizzeria‘s expansion into Cincinnati:

“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.

What we can learn from millennials who opt out of driving

[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.

Love of local brew fuels rapid rise of Cincy’s beer market

Soapbox covers the growth of craft breweries in Cincinnati:

“Knowing what I know now, I certainly would have done things a little bit different,” says [MadTree] owner Brady Duncan. “In our original business plan estimates, we underestimated it so much that our monthly estimate is now like an average Saturday night.” […]

“We’re only in our eighth month, and we’re brewing right now at the rate we thought we’d be brewing about three and half to four years into the business,” says Rhinegeist co-founder Bob Bonder.

Tim Cook Rejects Conservative Group’s Politics, Suggests They Sell Apple’s Stock

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing [Apple CEO] Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.