Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This past week Reid and I ripped the old "Used Color TVs" sign off the front of the building! Reid unhooked the sign and tore it from the brick while I made sure noone walked underneath. The result was pretty loud and totally therapeutic. Time for another trip to the scrap yard...
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Speaking of streetcars, soapboxmedia.com had an interesting article in their newsletter today about the economic impact of streetcars on an area. Below is the article and it's URL.
Downtown - Proposed streetcar plan is economically worthwhile, economist reports
Cincinnati is on the right economic track in considering a streetcar system, says University of Cincinnati economist George Vredeveld. Vredeveld and his Economics Center for Education and Research scrutinized a study of potential streetcar benefits done by consulting firm HDR. The likely average net economic payoff of $315.8 million, as estimated by HDR over a 35-year period, is sound, as is HDR’s most conservative net economic payoff estimate of $186.8 million over 35 years. Even if this most conservative payoff comes to pass, “the proposed streetcar system is economically worthwhile," says Vredeveld.
The current proposal for a Cincinnati streetcar system calls for a four-mile looped system that travels from Cincinnati's riverfront, near the stadiums and the Banks project, through downtown north into Over-the-Rhine, with stops at Music Hall and Findlay Market, and then on to UC. The UC report says the proposed route is a plus because systems that link major activity centers (employment, shopping and recreation) generally experience higher levels of ridership.
Writer: David Holthaus
Source: M.B. Reilly, University of Cincinnati
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.