Believe in Cincinnati Streetcar Townhall

Right out of the gate Ryan Messer exclaimed "Cincinnati - it’s about to get RAIL!" to a rambunctious and enthusiastic crowd.
Whats next for the streetcar? Three city and community leaders were there to detail just what is going on. Vice Mayor David Mann was first up. He came right out and threw a few fellow council members under the bus. Vice Mayor Mann is getting tired of the continual untrue statements that the streetcar is flawed because the fare box won't cover expenses. of course not he said, and it shouldn't be expected too. The reality he pointed out, is gas taxes don't come close to paying for city streets. Vice Mayor Mann is convinced that within 3-5 years the additional taxes the streetcar is pulling into the city will easily cover its expenses. Expenses that right now are 0.085% of the city budget.
Next up was Eric Avner, the CEO at People's Liberty. Mr Avner laid out his plans for a new nonprofit, the Cincinnati Street Railway. For a little backstory the Cincinnati Street Railway was the public operator of Cincinnati's streetcars from 1859 to 1952. In keeping with other People's Liberty goals, CSR will focus solely on community engagement. Among the CSR's focus will be maximizing ridership. If you increase ridership Mr. Avner feels, everything else will follow. With more people comes more money and more investment and jobs.
Last but definitely not least was the Godfather of the modern Cincinnati streetcar Mr. John Schneider. Mr. Schneider started out talking about how investments along the line are years ahead of projections. And how Cincinnati's streetcar system is one of the best designed systems in the country. There are professional anti-rail speakers that tour the country bashing streetcars. Yet they've avoided Cincinnati. Can this be an implicit endorsement Mr. Schneider wondered. Mr. Schneider also noted that there is still plenty of time for skeptics to jump on the streetcar bandwagon.

Streetcar Town Hall
So what is happening with the streetcar? Here is the basic time line for the rest of the year.

The actual streetcars will arrive in September.
The trackwork will be complete in October.
A dead pull will commence in late October running late at night. A streetcar will be towed around the loop checking clearances, including the streetcar stops and trees and what ever else hangs out over or projects into the streets.
By the end of the year it will be getting very rail indeed!
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Elm & Iron OTR

Elm & Iron, located at Vine & Mercer St is the latest addition to Vine St.'s growing retail scene. Elm & Iron carries a mix of vintage, reproduction and new home goods. Besides all the cool goods they carry we were pleasantly surprised that the price points were all reasonable. We've already found pieces that would be perfect for upcoming weddings and birthdays. Welcome to the neighborhood Elm & Iron.

Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
These are pretty cool, if you see vintage items you really like you should grab them, stuff like this, when its gone its gone.
Elm & Iron
Elm & Iron
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Sid Saturday

Sid
[where: 45202] sid kitty cat Cincinnati Ohio parker flats lilac point Siamese Oriental Siam
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once upon a time in Key West

Just like everyone we usually have an agenda when we go on vacation.
We went to Portland to check out the streetcars and transit related developments.
New York was the subways, buildings and history.
The agenda in Paris was, well, its fucking Paris of course.
But the whole point of going to Key West was to not have an agenda and do as little as possible which was more challenging than you would imagine. But I think we made a slam dunk. We toured Hemingway's House and petted some six-toed cats but that was it. Every time I got tempted to explore we'd head immediately to a bar, drink and stare at the ocean.
Sometimes that is exactly what you need and nothing more.
I did hop off the bike to snap some streetart however.


#graffiti #streetart #keywest #florida
#graffiti #streetart #keywest #florida
#graffiti #streetart #keywest #florida

and this cool guy

#streetart #graffiti #keywest #florida #wheatpaste[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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Collective Espresso Northside

I finally made it to the Northside to check out Collective Espresso's new(ish) location. Thier address is 4037 Hamilton Ave. but you'll recognize it as the old Cluxton Alley Roasters location. A nice shady outside patio and warm interior and all the coffee goodness you love at their other two locations downtown and OTR.

Collective Espresso
Collective Espresso
Collective Espresso

A hot day calls for a espressoade, a shot of espresso in a lemonade.

Collective Espresso

I love that the baristas are geeky enough to debate the merits of their favorite tampers.

Collective Espresso
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Sid Saturday

Sid
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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Bus detective

Bus DetectiveBus Detective
You know I'm a fan of alternative transit, I'll bike or bus given the opportunity. But lets face it, riding the bus, or waiting for the bus to be more specific isn't the greatest experience in the world. First off you don't want to miss the bus so you show up ten minutes early. Then on the odd day, usually when its below freezing, the bus is 10-20 minutes late. The worst part of the whole ordeal is you don't know how long the wait is. I could deal with a late bus if I knew.
Cincinnati Metro released the API for their database in late January opening the door for developers to use the information how ever they wanted.
The first App I've seen is Bus Detective, I'm so excited about it I contacted the developer and got a short interview to find out more about them and it.


1) Can you tell me a little about Gaslight and yourself
Gaslight is a small software design and development shop. We're passionate about open source, and we specialize in delivering awesome software. Our projects span everything from educational software to automating the SUBWAY spending and gift card program to working locally with Enjoy the Arts to bring their ticketing process online. You can check out our work at Gaslight.
I've been a developer with Gaslight for 3 years now. I moved here from Wisconsin so my wife could attend grad school at UC. We live in Hyde Park and use Metro every day. You can read my official bio here: Kevin Rockwood

2) I thought it was awesome when Metro opened up their API to developers, what made you decide to create Bus Detective?
We moved our office downtown in February, and most of are taking the bus. There are a few transit apps out there, but we found that they're either spammy or don't work well for everyday riders. We found the realtime API stuff on Nate Wessel's blog and spent an afternoon hacking an app together.
It started out pretty simple. I just wanted to know if my bus was ahead or behind schedule. Then everyone in the office started using it and we put some more design and development time into it. I started showing it to people at my bus stop, and they would get really excited. So we decided it polish it more and share it with the whole city. Now you can use it online (busdetective.com) or download the app for iPhone or Android.

3) Metro started experimenting with real time info late last year and have a beta Info line to call. I've been using that but it has many downsides, Gaslight's app is light years better. But there is always room for improvement, any plans to develop Bus Detective farther?
We use the app everyday, and there are a ton of features we want to add. We're really excited that people are using it and we plan to continue adding adding new features as quick as we can.
There's a lot of excitement around what we've built and that's cool to see. We recently partnered with Metro Now, a People's Liberty grant winner who's going to provide tablets to local businesses with realtime departure data. We also have a meeting planned with Metro's ridership and PR folks to talk about the best way to promote the app.

4) Anything else you want to add?
We're really passionate about open source software, so we're making Bus Detective as open as possible. All the code is available on Github, and we've made our development Trello board public as well. We'd really like to get the community involved in the process.
This was a big team effort in the Gaslight office. A bunch of us have worked on the code, user interface design and even the super cute Bus Detective logo.We're having stickers printed right now!
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red light cameras: the answer to the wrong question

red light running
When it comes to roads and traffic people are always asking the wrong questions. And once they become fixated on the wrong question they hang on to it like Captain Koons hung onto that watch in Pulp Fiction.
What is the best way to enforce red lights? Seems like a logical question. But its the wrong one.
I've been thinking about this because every time a light turns red downtown, up to four cars blast through it. 5th St and 7th St in the morning are particularly bad, you have to keep your wits about you.
I can think of two right questions, how about...

1) Why do drivers feel entitled to run red lights endangering pedestrians, bicyclist and other motor vehicle operators?

or

2) Why do traffic engineers design intersections that encourage drivers to run red lights?

Lets find the right question before we debate and outlaw the wrong answer.
red light running
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
4 red lights ran

Carol Ann's Carousel

Carol Ann's Carousel Ribbon-cutting is this Saturday 11am-Noon with free rides until 7pm.
I'm going to be out of town so take a ton of instagrams for me.
Carol Ann's Carousel
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Interior shots of the new 84.51 building (formly dunnhumby)

I knew the interior of the 84.51 building at 5th & Race was going to be dramatic and it didn't disappoint. From the expansive views out its windows to the wide open spaces and canyons inside I kept having to remind myself I was in a building downtown. The closest building I can even compare it too would be DAAP on UC's campus but that doesn't even come close. It is a building with a seemingly single purpose. To expand the minds of the people working in it.
With that said allow me to go off in a slight tangent. When ever you have a ribbon cutting like this its going to attract politicians claiming credit and hoping some of the glory will rub off on them. Exhibit #1 Cincinnati's accidental tourist of a mayor waxing poetic about attracting creatives to the city as if he had a clue what he was talking about. It amazes me how our relentlessly ill equipped mayor can claim credit for attracting young workers to the city while being completely tone deaf to what they want. For one, he helped negotiate down an apartment deal one block away from 84.51 completely ignoring the fact that these creatives he takes credit for want to live in dense walkable neighborhoods. The kind of neighborhood he is pitting against the rest of the city.
The mayor doesn't have a clue, he's never had a clue, and he's not about to get one anytime soon.
That said, all this will outlive him, so enjoy some pictures of this incredible space.
First thing you encounter is 84.51's street level lobby before an elevator takes you to the 9th floor.

84.51 (dunnhumby)
84.51 (dunnhumby)
84.51 (dunnhumby)
84.51 (dunnhumby)
84.51 (dunnhumby)
84.51 (dunnhumby)
Notice these small placards hanging down
84.51 (dunnhumby)
In a demonstration of their computing and analytic power if yoou stand in just the right spot..............
84.51 (dunnhumby)
84.51 (dunnhumby)
These two little stainless steel guys could almost me driods out of Star Wars. If you don't have the right badge for that area they will throw a barrier in your way, take your picture and call security. And you thought they looked kind of friendly.
84.51 (dunnhumby)
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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