Sunday, May 02, 2010

Don't 3C and the Streetcar Need to Work Together?

It's no secret that I am no more than lukewarm about the prospect of a streetcar in Cincinnati. (Though it may seem odd to some of you, some info about Kenosha's experience is perhaps bringing back to supporting the streetcar.) And I actually don't like the proposed "3C" train. (I'm not sure who decides to take a three-hour train ride to Columbus from Cincinnati when your car gets you there in half that time. I'd consider the six-hour trip to Cleveland, depending on the reason for my trip.) If federal money becomes available for the streetcar, though, it appears both will be foisted on us. My question: shouldn't they connect?

City Council recently agreed to recommend that a site on Laidlaw in Bond Hill be the Cincinnati terminal of the 3C line, at least until Union Terminal becomes a viable option--and that could be two decades away. So what happens when a passenger arrives at the Bond Hill station? Remember, that's north of the Norwood Lateral. How do you get to downtown? Or Clifton? Or anywhere else?

Given that the federal government has agreed to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to passenger rail in Ohio, wouldn't it be a good idea for the city to make a streetcar pitch that is connected to that investment? Terminating the train in Bond Hill creates a real danger of a "train to nowhere." So why not pitch the government on not only funding the streetcar, but funding an expanded version of it now, reaching all the way into Bond Hill to connect the new train line with both downtown and Uptown?

Below is my proposed streetcar route. Note that I have the streetcar jog west to Spring Grove. That's because if it went straight up Vine Street, it would pass through St. Bernard, and I have no idea whether St. Bernard would support the extension of the streetcar through its boundaries.


View Donald's Streetcar proposal in a larger map

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