The streetcar system that has been proposed for Cincinnati is a good way to connect the city. The current proposal connects Fountain Square with Findlay Market, two hubs of activity in our city. Connecting these areas is a first start at bringing people in these areas together. However, although I like the streetcar plan, we must not implement it blindly. Building this system with the mentality “build it, and they will come” is not what this city needs. A full plan should be in place to make the streetcar line a WALKING line, too. Businesses and restaurants should be encouraged to locate along the line, and they should be committed to locating here before ground is broken on the streetcar system. Only if there are stops along the line that are appealing, will the streetcar truly serve its purpose of revitalizing the city and encouraging people to move back into the city. Only then, will it be a true success.-- George Zamary Response - Streetcar System (Today at the Forum)
I think "build it and they will come" mentality is the wrong way to think about it. I think some people are getting a little bit ahead of themselves in thinking it will be some kind of cure all. Check out this quote from Mitch Painter:
We must bring the streetcars here immediately in a surge to make Cincinnati the next young, hip, urban, green city that is user-friendly. We must also bring them to decrease our reliance on the automobile, thus lessening our impact on the environment. Furthermore, we must bring them to retain our young professionals and attract new businesses and home buyers.
The streetcars will be an investment that will pay great dividends through new development and new jobs. We must elect leaders that have the ability to generate this forethought if we expect to evolve as a city from conservative to growth-oriented. We must also elect leaders that will fight tooth and nail to obtain state and federal and private money to fund these essential projects. -- Painter on Streetcars (Today at the Forum)
I just hope we're really sure that it will be a net benefit before we start dumping money into it. I still want it to be pursued, believe me. I think more transit options is a Good Thing. I'd definitely ride a streetcar if it went from downtown to Newport (or from downtown to The Banks if The Banks ever get built.)