Monday, August 10, 2009

Bonehead of the Week: All Aboard Ohio

AllAboardOhio is a rail advocacy organization based in Delaware, Ohio. They recently issued a denouncement of the anti-boondoggle charter amendment that contained this:
"...prospects for building a new, city-owned train station in Cincinnati will be severely complicated and even the smallest future improvements – e.g. adding non-slip surfaces to handicapped ramps, replacing conventional light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs, etc. – to such a station in the future might all be subject to a public vote;"
Forget for a moment that we already have two or three train stations that are barely used. How does AllAboardOhio expect anybody to take them seriously with such a blatant nonsensical over exaggeration?

Let's review the language again:
"The City, and its various Boards and Commissions, may not spend any monies for right-of-way acquisition or construction of improvements for passenger rail transportation (e.g., a trolley or streetcar) within the city limits without first submitting the question of approval of such expenditure to a vote of the electorate of the City and receiving a majority affirmative vote for the same."
It only requires a vote prior to spending for two things:
  1. right-of-way acquisition, and
  2. construction of improvements for passenger rail transportation.
It doesn't limit maintenance, repairs, studies, design, operations, or anything to do with freight, and certainly not changing light bulbs. It reasonably restricts local government from encumbering citizens with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, without their permission.

Let's deal with the real problem. What is AllAboardOhio really afraid of? Delays? Rail projects aren't impulse purchases. They take years and years to plan and construct. There's plenty of time to utilize the normal election cycle. No, they're afraid of the vote itself. Because voters examine the benefits they stand to receive from rail, and carefully weigh them against the costs. And most times rail projects come up woefully short. That's why rail advocates think voting=death.

Unfortunately their solution isn't to design better projects, but to subvert your right to vote. Don't let them insult your intelligence with boneheaded statements. Enact the pro-vote charter amendment.


  1. We've seen how COAST calls every project it doesn't like a "boondoggle".

    I wouldn't be surprised COAST starts claiming that any routine maintainable to Union Terminal qualifies as "construction of improvements for passenger rail transportation" and therefore must be blocked until we can vote on it in November. Next you will be pushing for filling in the subway tunnels to save on maintenance. Etc, etc.

  2. We streetcar advocates are afraid of voters. We know the people aren't with us, and that's because they're too dumb to know what's good for them. We can't afford to allow the voters to vote on this because they aren't intelligent enough to vote correctly.

  3. "two or three train stations that are barely used"

    really, I have only lived here 5 years and have never seen a train station in Cincinnati.
    Where are they and what do they have to do with the streetcar?

  4. The Riverfront Transit Center currently is not a train station. It could be used as a train station one day and would save costs on having to build one for future projects like the Eastern Corridor, but your little amendment would further complicate that and continue to let it be underutilized.

    Also, Union Terminal does not serve merely as a train station, one small section of it does with the rest of it being used as the Museum Center. The section of it that does serve as a train station sees regular amtrak passenger service three times a week via the Cardinal Line.

  5. "The Riverfront Transit Center currently is not a train station."

    True, currently it's a dust collector.

  6. Ha, the only people who comment own coast's blog in support of them are Bris Chortz and a spam bot.

  7. "Ha, the only people who comment own coast's blog in support of them are Bris Chortz and a spam bot."

    - Yeah, as opposed to the self-congratulatory "dialogue" on the pro-streetcar blogs. Each and every pro-streetcar blog I read is nothing more than an internet exercise in mutual masturbation.


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