Tuesday, September 2, 2008
For all of you history buffs out there, the areas north of Liberty Street (which includes our building) used to be considered the outside of the city, and hence were free from taxes and public services like fire & police.
Over-the-Rhine was built long before automobiles (our building at 1700 Vine was built in 1870) and because of that, is very dense with many living spaces & people per square foot but very few parking spaces. This urban plan was perfect when travel relied solely on your own two feet and maybe a horse. However, attempting to retrofit this model with a car-centric design results in destruction of historical character and feel. Buildings are torn down and replaced with parking garages/lots and the walkability of the community is lost.
To prevent the destruction of Over-the-Rhine's charm, historical significance, and character, it is necessary to preserve walkability and density with compact contruction centered around a vibrant streetscape. To do this, people living in OTR need to be able to get around without cars.
The proposed streetcar will help preserve the walkability and character of OTR, allowing people to move around downtown, The Banks, OTR and Clifton with ease. It will also spur economic growth, as it has done in Portland, Little Rock, Tampa and Kenosha, Wisconsin, revitalizing the urban core.
Cincinnati is such a beautiful city. It's time to prepare it for the future by helping residents to consume less oil by design, promoting a convenient, green, walkable and lively lifestyle.
For your reading pleasure:
New York Times Article: Downtowns Across the US See Streetcars in their Future.