Kaid Benfield Archive


All aboard: Cincinnati voters emphatically reject anti-streetcar measure

Kaid Benfield

Posted November 4, 2009 at 5:38PM

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  America rediscovers the streetcar (by: the Infrastructuralist)  Portland streetcar (by: Ed Ruttledge) 

Cincinnati voters have rejected "Measure 9," an anti-streetcar initiative, by a 56-44 percent margin.  The measure was aimed at killing a streetcar plan approved earlier this year by the city council, and would have required further referenda on any city spending on rail transit.

This is great news for Cincinnati and the recovery of urban neighborhoods like the potentially wonderful Over-the-Rhine, shown below with the proposed streetcar routes in blue:

  Over-the-Rhine, with streetcar route in blue (underlying image by Google Earth, the rest by me) 

As I wrote in a series of previous posts, Over-the-Rhine is a badly deteriorated neighborhood with amazing assets and a restoration underway, positioned right between the city's two largest concentrations of employment, downtown and the University of Cincinnati.  The streetcar will link the neighborhood with both.

And there was more good news for urban investment in the Queen City.  Randy Simes writes in UrbanCincy:

"Cincinnatians showed their support for strong public assets even during tough economic times. Levies for the Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library System, and Cincinnati Public Schools all passed along with others. Mayor Mallory won his reelection bid and the Anti-Passenger Rail Amendment was defeated."

Go here for more information about the streetcar and here for an informative slideshow on the project.