Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The Cincinnati Fantasy Transit Map That Could Have Been Reality

I’ve previously posted some fantasy transit maps for various cities. This older post included a Columbus one by Michael Tyznik. He’s back with a fantasy transit map of Cincinnati. Only this case, the fantasy is the actual completed 2031 train system that would have been funded by a reject ballot referendum in 2002.

Now I’m not sure a massive regional rail system would really be a wise use of funds for Cincinnati. Nor do I believe the full system could have been built without follow-on tax increases as costs are always underestimated. Nevertheless, this represents a major road not traveled for Cincinnati, as it were. Instead, there’s billions of dollars in highway improvements slated. Time will tell how this and other choices the community has made will pan out.

Topics: Transportation
Cities: Cincinnati

8 Responses to “The Cincinnati Fantasy Transit Map That Could Have Been Reality”

  1. My first thought was, “why would Cincinnati need such a massive transit system?” But you hit that point in the paragraph below the map.

  2. The billions of dollars in highway “improvements” are raining down from on high at the state level. It’s not really the choice of the Cincinnati community, but ODOT.

  3. Eric Salyers says:

    Wow… knowing the city as I do, this would have been revolutionary in retaining brain drain, attracting start ups, and super charging the revitalization of the community. As so many modern cities are showing and doing, the tax spend would truly be a wise investment. As a former home owner, worker, and college student in the community… I can’t help but think what a huge positive an effective rail transit solution would be for the greater Cincinnati region.

  4. Matthew Hall says:

    Is it better to have had plans and failed to achieve them than never to have had plans at all?

  5. John Yung says:

    One thing to point out is that the downtown loop of three of those light rail lines is coincidentally the same path the streetcar is being built on today. Also since the technology is basically the same light rail standards it is entirely possible for a future light rail line to plug into the built system if county voters eventually decide to support a regional rail plan.

  6. David says:

    I spent 6 years in Cincinnati, and in that time earned bachelors and masters degrees. The day after I completed the latter I moved to Washington DC, turning down 2 Cincinnati jobs offers in the process. I didn’t have a job lined up in DC at that time. It would be ridiculous for me to claim that a robust transit system would have kept me in Cincinnati, but the lack thereof and the presence of one in DC was definitely one factor in my choice to move. Since leaving in 2011, I watched proudly from afar as Cincinnati continued her push on making the streetcar a reality, built up the Banks, and strengthened the momentum of transformation occurring in OTR. By the time I am ready to have kids, Cincinnati will likely top my list of cities where I would want to raise them.

  7. EJ says:

    By 2031, if shifting generational attitudes about transport and living bear out as trends, there will likely be widespread public support for something like this in Cincinnati and other Midwestern metros including Columbus, Ohio. How unfortunate that most of us now reading this blog will be senior citizens or otherwise dead by the time a plan like this would reach full build-out, if its start is delayed until then.

    The legacy of the Boomer generation is a shortsighted and cruel one indeed.

  8. This map is not accurate. Nothing whatsoever on the Kentucky side of the river would have been funded by the MetroMoves tax. On the Ohio side, MetroMoves was only going to fund the light rail lines (and bus improvements), *not* the three commuter rail lines shown by the thin double lines.

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