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  #21  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2013, 1:12 PM
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congrats, cincinnati!!!! we are glad to see that over here as we try to move forward with streetcar plans in st louis and kansas city.
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  #22  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2013, 5:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin10000 View Post
Using streetcars are a development tool rather than an actual transit system is my big criticism
ALL transportation projects are means to some other end, and the end is different depending on the location. Sometimes the desired end is to move the largest number of rush hour commuters into some area as cheaply as possible. Other times the end is to revitalize an important part of town, or to support car-free & car-light living, or to get drunk bar crowds home late at night. No matter what the desired end(s), you pick the tool that best accomplishes it. Insisting on a one-size-fits-all approach would be foolishness in the extreme.

Development tools are important sometimes. That's not a criticism, it's a fact of life.
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  #23  
Old Posted Dec 25, 2013, 6:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post

KC, indy, and columbus are the other major midwestern cities without any rail transit, but their inclusion in the "rust belt" is more ambiguous.
KC is most definitely not a 'rust belt' city, though it has alot more industrial history and characteristics than Columbus or Indy. With regards to rail, KC is laying tracks in the ground for a nearly identical (to Cincy's) first phase streetcar, and is going to put phase 2 on the ballot in '14. Phase 1 operations to begin in spring of '15.

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  #24  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2013, 3:34 AM
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Nice to hear finally.
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  #25  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2013, 1:32 PM
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bravo cinci and kc.

the cinci streetcar was the knockdown bloodiest political battle you can imagine, they should call this initial section the streetcar war memorial route or something.
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  #26  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2013, 3:32 PM
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Specific question about the KC project: what kind of rail are they using there? It looks like girder rail except there is no web or foot to the rail. Is this new? What anchors it besides the concrete on three sides?


Edit

Just did a little research on the old wiki. These are called block rail or the proprietary LR55 rail.
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  #27  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2013, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Specific question about the KC project: what kind of rail are they using there? It looks like girder rail except there is no web or foot to the rail. Is this new? What anchors it besides the concrete on three sides?


Edit

Just did a little research on the old wiki. These are called block rail or the proprietary LR55 rail.
That segment is also on a bridge over a freeway gulch. Don't know if that affects it or not, but obviously there less room for footings and below grade structural elements.
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  #28  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2013, 3:13 PM
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Originally Posted by volguus zildrohar View Post
Nice to hear finally.

Finally is right. It hasn't been as hard/ugly of a fight here as Cincy, but its been just as long. If our Mayoral election timeline staddled the streetcar project ina similar way, I'm sure we would have seen similar tactics.
KC has the, in this case, fortunate circumstance of being a very linear city, long and narrow - at least the core urban part of the city - so one moderately long streetcar spine (5 mi.) would really be transformative, and would link the major economic and population centers of the city in way that would be harder for Cincy or a similarly laid out but comparably sized town. Urban KC and Cincy proper are about the same size and density, but KC is basically a N/S corridor of neighborhoods and districts, whereas Cincy is tucked in between its geography is a little more hodge-podge fashion.
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  #29  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 3:21 AM
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The streetcar started operating in 2016. It went fare-free in 2020 and ridership is trending sharply upward, even though downtown and evening entertainment is still pretty sleepy as compared to pre-pandemic. It appears to me that a lot of people who used to take Metro buses short distances are instead riding the free streetcar, even if it doesn't go as close to their destination as a specific bus.

Here is a new video:
https://fb.watch/9CEKY31z2X/
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  #30  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 5:08 AM
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Cincinatti's transit ridership was 20% lower in 2019 compared to 2013, when this fareless, circulator streetcar was announced. Kansas City lost 23% of its transit ridership during that same time period.

Maybe it's time for these places to build real transit systems? And real system means a complete system, not only with parallel routes closer together so that riders can travel more directly and thus faster, but also covering the entire urban area so that everyone has a transit stop within walking distance of both their origin and their destination. Reduce the demand for parking, allow for intensification through the redevelopment of parking lots and garages, and so bring people even closer to transit. Then you can build more higher capacity transit options like light rail and subways and attract even more riders and even more development. And the beginning of this entire process is with buses, with fares, not free streetcar service.

You cannot build a complete system with rail alone. Even NYC has a massive bus fleet and bus network, with over 50 times the bus ridership of Cincinatti. Thousands of buses to fill in the gaps, to reduce the walking distances to transit, that is one of main principles of TOD, and these gaps and the long walking distances they create is the number one reason transit in places in Cincinatti and Kansas City and so many other places in the USA fail. And that is the problem that these streetcars in turn fail to solve.

You can see all over the USA and Canada, the common feature of every successful system is lots of people using buses, not streetcars. NYC, Washington, SF, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Portland, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas - big bus networks and complete systems, with fewer gaps, for more direct travel and reduced walking distances, not lots of rail and incomplete systems with more gaps. Time to follow the lead of the successful cities and stop making better transit more complicated than it actually is, build a complete transit network, fill in those gaps. And in the case of Cincinnati, we are talking about some huge gaps.
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  #31  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 7:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Cincinatti's transit ridership was 20% lower in 2019 compared to 2013, when this fareless, circulator streetcar was announced. Kansas City lost 23% of its transit ridership during that same time period.

Maybe it's time for these places to build real transit systems? And real system means a complete system, not only with parallel routes closer together so that riders can travel more directly and thus faster, but also covering the entire urban area so that everyone has a transit stop within walking distance of both their origin and their destination. Reduce the demand for parking, allow for intensification through the redevelopment of parking lots and garages, and so bring people even closer to transit. Then you can build more higher capacity transit options like light rail and subways and attract even more riders and even more development. And the beginning of this entire process is with buses, with fares, not free streetcar service.

You cannot build a complete system with rail alone. Even NYC has a massive bus fleet and bus network, with over 50 times the bus ridership of Cincinatti. Thousands of buses to fill in the gaps, to reduce the walking distances to transit, that is one of main principles of TOD, and these gaps and the long walking distances they create is the number one reason transit in places in Cincinatti and Kansas City and so many other places in the USA fail. And that is the problem that these streetcars in turn fail to solve.

You can see all over the USA and Canada, the common feature of every successful system is lots of people using buses, not streetcars. NYC, Washington, SF, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Portland, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas - big bus networks and complete systems, with fewer gaps, for more direct travel and reduced walking distances, not lots of rail and incomplete systems with more gaps. Time to follow the lead of the successful cities and stop making better transit more complicated than it actually is, build a complete transit network, fill in those gaps. And in the case of Cincinnati, we are talking about some huge gaps.
Oh damn, I wonder why Cincy never thought about having a bus system! They should totally get on that!

The streetcar was intended to be a pedestrian circulator for the downtown core, not a complete transit system. It was originally supposed to be twice as long, and connect the urban basin with the university up the hill, but politics got in the way and that part of the system was scrapped.

Going forward, Cincinnati could really benefit from an expanded streetcar to the University/Uptown, and some BRT lines along key arterials feeding into both Uptown and Downtown. But even with a limited route, political sabotage, and a pandemic, the streetcar has helped attract tons of development along its route which largely would not have happened without it. As OTR repopulates, the streetcar's importance as a transit tool will rise.
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 8:22 PM
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Oh damn, I wonder why Cincy never thought about having a bus system! They should totally get on that!
Where the fuck did I say Cincinnati does not have a bus system? Tell me. Where?
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  #33  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 8:54 PM
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Where the fuck did I say Cincinnati does not have a bus system? Tell me. Where?
What the fuck is up with you huh? Calm down
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  #34  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 9:39 PM
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Where the fuck did I say Cincinnati does not have a bus system? Tell me. Where?
Well you droned on about the importance of buses and said "you cannot build a complete system with rail alone". That's obviously not the situation in Cincinnati, which has a bus network that covers much of Hamilton County, so I really don't know what the hell you were trying to say.

Cincinnati, like many US cities, had an extensive streetcar network that operated until ~1960. Since that time, it has exclusively used buses for transit until the downtown streetcar opened a few years ago. The decline in ridership has more to do with job sprawl and the dispersion of low income people from the central city to the suburbs than any changes to the bus system. The city is finally growing its population again, but it's becoming whiter and wealthier-- and the new demographic is less likely to ride the bus.

In a city like Cincinnati, where it's pretty easy and cheap to own and park a car, it's going to be a tough sell to convince choice riders to take the bus. Rail is more palatable-- free rail is even better. The streetcar at least helps introduce 'real' (fixed) transit to a population that hasn't had it in generations. If it can help further the urban renaissance and generate some modicum of a transit culture, at least in the core, it will be a much better transit investment than a similar investment is buses would ever be.
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  #35  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 9:41 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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The thread is about the streetcar system, not the bus system. But for some background, the bus system's service level was cut by maybe 20% around 2011 since tax receipts + ridership revenue declined sharply during the recession. A new bus tax passed in 2020 (the bus system is now supported by the county with a sales tax, not the city's earnings tax) and service levels have now been restored to pre-2011 levels, plus 24-hour service has been added on several main routes.

We're pretty overdue for someone to take updated photos of Over-the-Rhine, which we see a few glimpses of in the new video. There is simply no question that the streetcar motivated the redevelopment of Race and Elm St. near and above Findlay Market ahead of surrounding streets. Vine St., Walnut St., and Central Parkway north of Liberty St. are all pretty much the same as they were before the streetcar was built.

OTR today at the end of 2021 is one of the greatest city neighborhoods in the United States, light years beyond where it was just 15 years ago, and far beyond anything that exists in Nashville, Austin, or any of the other trendy cities.
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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 10:09 PM
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What the fuck is up with you huh? Calm down
Me calm down? Edale is the one who responded to me aggressively with a strawman argument and ridicule. I saw Cincinnati's major decline in transit ridership, and I saw looking at the system map of Cincinnati that there are lots of gaps in the system, the coverage of the bus network not much farther than the former streetcar network, many places in the urban area with no bus service at all, so I just suggested they focus on filling those gaps instead of building rail. Why do people find my suggestion so funny and feel a need to mock me because of it, and suggest that I am so stupid that I don't even know that Cincinnati has a bus system? Who is the one who is overreacting? Where did I say that there is no bus system in Cincinnati?

Last edited by Doady; Dec 1, 2021 at 10:46 PM.
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 10:40 PM
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Your point was obvious...it's about a good bus system, not just the existence of buses.

And you're right. Buses can be done well, or done badly. And that's often the main difference between a bad transit city (even some with lots of shiny rail) and a good one. Good, btw, would typically be a mix of trunk lines and other routes that spider web everywhere else. And lots of HOV or bus lanes, queue jumps, and so on. And covered stops.
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  #38  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Me calm down? Edale is the one who responded to me aggressively with a strawman argument and ridicule. I saw Cincinnati's major decline in transit ridership, and I saw looking at the system map of Cincinnati that there are lots of gaps in the system, the coverage of the bus network not much farther than the former streetcar network, many places in the urban area with no bus service at all, so I just suggested they focus on filling those gaps instead of building rail. Why do people find my suggestion so funny and feel a need to mock me because of it, and suggest that I am so stupid that I don't even know that Cincinnati has a bus system? Who is the one who is overreacting? Where did I say that there is no bus system in Cincinnati?
Oh yeah, a laugh emoji is straight up aggression


Your suggestion on 'filling the gaps' of the bus network vs building a downtown streetcar doesn't make sense, because buses and streetcars serve different purposes. The streetcar is a development driver and an urban pedestrian circulator. It serves a totally different purpose than a bus route. No bus route is going to focus development attention to a city neighborhood that's been neglected for decades. A bus route isn't going to lead to the elimination of parking requirements along its route like the streetcar has done. Buses are impermanent-- the routes can and do change all the time. With rail, you know that asset isn't going anywhere, and you can build around it with more confidence than a bus route would ever provide. Rail also attracts choice riders.

The streetcar isn't a tool for commuting or cross-town trips. Buses are better suited for those purposes and many others. It shouldn't be an either/or conversation. The bus system in Cincinnati could certainly be improved. As Jmecklenburg posted, it recently was revamped following a new funding source, but I'm sure additional improvements could be made. As I said upthread, BRT makes a lot of sense for Cincinnati's main arterials to the west, north, and east. None of that means the streetcar shouldn't have been built.
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  #39  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 11:36 PM
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Oh yeah, a laugh emoji is straight up aggression
Yeah, ridiculing me and suggesting that I am so stupid that I don't even know that Cincinnati has a bus system is the friendliest response ever.
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2021, 11:46 PM
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While one bus route won't trigger many people to give up cars, a bunch of buses sure can.

It's common for new market-rate buildings to go up with a lot fewer parking spaces than units, even without rail.
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