plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” Fred Kent
Cincinnati Streetcar
I would really like to forget about the Cincinnati streetcar until its built I really would, but a couple of our leaders, the mayor and two council people have forgotten the election is over and they are still on the campaign trail. Councilperson Murray has been ranting and raving about the burden the streetcar will put on the operating budget that she is trying to balance. She does realize it won't be built for two more years right? And that the Haile Foundation is picking up the tab for the first 10 years? That gives her 12 years before it costs the city another penny. Well except for the $3 million the mayor racked up pausing construction.
People do a quick informal survey of SUV driving neighbors in their cul-de-sac and armed with that anecdotal evidence decide no one will ride a streetcar around downtown/OTR. The state auditor, who is also campaigning against the streetcar is claiming no more than a hundred people a day will ride it. Interestingly ODOT estimated 6,000+ a day and HDR estimated 5,000 to 7,900 trips a day.
UPDATE: SORTA has said very clearly in the December hearings that it was comfortable with 3,000 rides a day, not including Reds games and special events.. Actually, they'll do better because the OKI Travel Demand Mode doesn't capture non-work trips very well. And there will be a lot of those.
But what do these trained professionals know anyhow.
I have to wonder if the obsessive safety culture that exists is partly to blame. How many times have you heard it will spread crime. Or what if you have to sit next to "one of those people".
Downtown I watched two couples get into a car as I walked past, they drove two blocks and pulled in at another spot getting out as I again walked past.
I suppose they too believe no one will ever ride a streetcar.
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