MetroMoves: A Decade Later

Jake Mecklenborg for UrbanCincy:

The election held earlier this month marked the 10-year anniversary of MetroMoves, the Hamilton County ballot issue that would have more than doubled public support for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA). Specifically, a half-cent sales tax would have raised approximately $60 million annually, permitting a dramatic expansion of Metro’s bus service throughout Hamilton County and construction and operation of a 60-mile, $2.7 billion streetcar and light rail network.

Unfortunately, the 2002 ballot initiative failed, largely due to an anti-tax attitude following the county’s 1996 stadium sales tax fiasco, and Cincinnati’s five light rail lines never came to be.

But in the decade since, gas has jumped from $1.50 to around $4. Downtown Cincinnati has improved significantly, and been transformed into a place where so many people want to live that hardly any apartments are available and new condos are sold out before they’re finished. The city and affiliated groups have proven that they can handle large projects like The Banks, Fountain Square, Washington Park, and the Gateway Quarter.

Even with those factors, I agree with Jake that a county-wide transit tax would be unlikely to pass today, with the resurgence of anti-government furor from the Tea Party crowd. But Cincinnati will continue to move forward — we’re building the streetcar with city and federal funding, and it didn’t require raising taxes — and maybe in a few years the city will be able to launch a new light rail plan.

Are all power lines in Switzerland really underground?

“[We] are baffled by the phenomenon of the US constantly losing power, whenever there is a storm. Why aren’t US power lines underground? Nobody here in Switzerland has seen a power line above ground since their childhood–they’ve all been placed underground, so they are safe from the elements. And there are no power losses in the country…no matter how heavy a snowstorm or a windstorm!”

Survey finds locals feel really good about downtown, Over-the-Rhine

Local residents are feeling better than ever about downtown Cincinnati, according to a recent survey by booster group Downtown Cincinnati Inc., with 90 percent of those polled saying their overall impression of downtown was either extremely or somewhat positive.

Those are the best results DCI has ever received for its Downtown Perceptions Survey, said Mindy Rosen, senior vice president of communications and marketing at DCI.

Visitors also said that parks were one of their top reasons for coming downtown, thanks to the brand new Smale Riverfront Park and revamped Washington Park. That’s in addition to the other top reasons, which include restaurants and bars, Fountain Square, and Findlay Market.

We can thank Mayor Mallory and 3CDC for having the vision to transform Cincinnati’s urban core from a place that shuts down at 5 p.m. to a place that people want to live and spend time.

Nation Suddenly Realizes This Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On

Following Hurricane Sandy’s destructive tear through the Northeast this week, the nation’s 300 million citizens looked upon the trail of devastation and fully realized, for the first time, that this is just going to be something that happens from now on.

Sometimes, The Onion is the only publication to accurately report how our nation feels about the big issues.

Why Young Adults Don’t Want Your House

They are waiting until they are older to get married. Waiting longer than ever to start a family. They are saying no to expensive cars and yes to jobs with more flexibilty. The American Dream does not always include buying a house, nice car and high salary. It means being free to do what makes you happy. Older generations need to recognize younger generations may have a better idea of what happiness means than they ever did. Most importantly, young Americans are not going to let the Federal Reserve or anyone else tell them when they should buy a house.