Thursday, August 20, 2009

Streetcar Tweets: Is This What We Can Expect?


  1. This is a joke, right? Take a look at how much space 150 people in cars at a (conservative rate) of 1.5 people per car will take up vs. how much space a the same number of people in a streetcar will take up. The streetcar will help to alleviate traffic by removing vehicles from the road.

    But if you dont want to ride the streetcar, that's fine. Thank us when you have less traffic (and therefore also less pollution) on your roads. With all that room, you can drive your government-run company's car on federally subsadized roads, policed by "big government" cops and prtected by all those greedy tax-payer supported firefighters and EMTs, and plowed using you tax dollars and mine. On your way to your home serviced by miles and miles of unecessary infrastructure, you have the freedom to stop wherever you'd like so that you can ship a few dozen dollars each week overseas to help prop up the hatred that we are spending billions of dollars to erradicate.

    Yea. That streetcar is one terrible idea.

  2. Ben - The streetcar runs a short loop through downtown. How exactly will this alleviate traffic congestion? It won't. Thanks for playing.

  3. David,
    Those are actual tweets. Look them up yourself.

    Evidently the streetcar's promises of traffic reductions aren't panning out for stephenwrites, MissVOCAB, nakedknitgirl, wisehilda, meredithk115, RaychillEZERpro, and dasilva_nelia.

    JulieTyios finally caught one within the promised headway window, but it sounds like that was a first.

    Progressers paint quite the rosy portrait of streetcars. Reality appears to be mundane mediocrity, or worse.

  4. But they all choose to ride the streetcars...they don't have to.

    So, really, what's the point

  5. @ Anon at 8:41 - Ben is my last name. It alleviates traffic downtown, and allows those who would like to love, work or play downtown to do so without infringing on YOUR roads. And please sign your name. Its cowardly to hide behind a veil.

    @COAST - I don't doubt those are real tweets. Did you also come across any positive tweets about transportation? How about negative tweets about traffic? Or the taxes people pay to prop up the vehicular lifestyle? Tell the whole story.

    @ Anon at 8:58- Sure, some people choose to ride streetcars. Others cannot afford cars. Increasing transportation choices is about just that, giving people a choice. And please sign your name. Its cowardly to hide behind a veil.

  6. All the people you mentioned but one (stephenwrites, MissVOCAB, nakedknitgirl, wisehilda, meredithk115, JulieTyios and dasilva_nelia) live in Toronto. The Toronto Area is 5.5 Million and has a well used public transportation system.

    The average daily ridership in Toronto exceeds 2.46 million passengers: 1,197,000 through bus, 328,700 by streetcar, 35,300 by intermediate rail, and 901,400 by subway.

    Imagine home much worse the traffic would be if 2.46 million cars were added to Toronto roads every day.

    RaychillEZERpro lives in Portland and appears to be a transit rider of choice who took the streetcar to class.

    By the way, do a twitter search for "traffic jam"

  7. David -

    "Others cannot afford cars."

    We already have these things downtown to alleviate traffic and provide a transportation option for those who cannot afford a car. They're called BUSES! Are you too good to ride a bus?

  8. Streetcars have a higher capacity (and thereby will alleviate traffic) than buses, and also bolster business. No, I am not too good to ride a bus, but I'd rather see 1. more transportation CHOICES, 2. less traffic for everyone (even you), and 3. a more robust business atmosphere. Streetcars are one way to begin to accomplish these goals.

    And please sign your name. Its cowardly to hide behind a veil.

  9. I think my comment at 8:58 was misinterpreted. I am in favor of streetcars.

    My point is that if these people are complaining about them, it doesn't matter because they are making the CHOICE to ride them. So clearly to them, the benefits outweigh the cons.

  10. David,
    We setup a feed to continuously stream all tweets containing the word "streetcar". We found it rather auspicious that they were overwhelmingly negative, and thought that was worthy of a post.

    About 15% of them were references to the play (e.g. "just finished reading Streetcar Named Desire"). One was positive ("I just got off the light rail and am now on the streetcar - ain't it cool?"). About 5% were neutral (e.g. "meet me at streetcar stop"). And the rest were what you see here.

    Choices are a good thing. That's why the charter amendment was written to require a vote instead of an outright ban like we did last year with red light cameras.

    But you can't have choice in public transportation until you give the public a choice about supporting public transportation. The charter amendment simply lets voters decide for themselves.

    If they decide to go for rail, we're prepared to live with it.

  11. David - Manby blogs provide anonymity. If you don't like it, choose another discussion forum that doesn't provide for anonymity.

    I noticed that I don't see you calling UC Student, The Provost of Cincinnati, CAAST, Cincinnati4Progress, or the numerous anonymous pro-streetcar commentators on this blog cowards.

  12. "Streetcars have a higher capacity (and thereby will alleviate traffic) than buses"

    - Modern streetcars have a capacity of about 150 riders (standing and sitting).

    It's disengenuous to talk about capacity though, since the streetcar people at city hall are anticipating ridership that is so low that the system will run a $2 million plus operating deficit each and every year.

    On the bright side, I don't think too many people will be standing.

  13. You COAST guys should also follow @CarTrouble. It's an account that automatically retweets whenever someone mentions, well, car trouble.

    choward702: F***! I get up early and get ready on time and brave the fact that's I don't wanna get up at this ungodly hour, then my car ...

    S_J_M: Car won't start this morning... great way to start the day

    TheoAllowicious: First day of won't start. Perfect.

    chelleshell13: Wtf! Wat a way to start my gloomy thursday...stuck at the gas station cuz my car wont start

    Esco83: Ok my car won't start I need a new battery and I'm late for a meeting argh fml

    MarieDash: Ok FML!!! Car won't start and I'm stranded!!!! Wht else can go wrong???!!!

  14. The funny thing is Travis, in every single neighborhood of Cincinnati but three people will still have to get in their cars and drive to ride the streetcar.

    Sorry folks in the nearly 50 other City of Cincinnati neighborhoods. You still have to get in your cars and drive to use the streetcar.
    Westood, Hyde Park, Price Hill, Saylor Park, Roselawn, College Hill, Pleasant Ridge, Mt. Airy, Hartwell, etc., etc., etc. - tough luck.

    So much for reducing traffic congestion.

  15. Once again. The proposed streetcar system is too small for those opposed to the plan, but the regional transit plan in 2002 that included upgraded bus service, regional light rail, and modern streetcars was too big. Is there any kind of rail transit system you guys like? How about any specific plan to improve our existing bus system? I look forward to hearing your specific plans soon.

  16. Umm, can we say selectively edited?

    And what about the billions wasted on freeways, which there are even more negative Tweets about?

  17. I still haven't gotten my invitation to the COAST picnic.

  18. There are no blog entries bemoaning the taxpayer cost of the stadiums, why? Is it because it was a Republican effort that put campaign contributions into conservative coffers?

  19. Actually COAST was very much against the staudium tax, but at least the people got to vote on it and they had their say.

    CAAST, there is an open invitation on our blog for the picnic, just bring a side dish to share. Thanks.

  20. "There are no blog entries bemoaning the taxpayer cost of the stadiums, why?"

    - Gee, I don't know. Could it be because the stadiums are already built? Could that be it? Could it be because that issue is over and the money is already spent? Could it be because there's nothing that can be done about that now?

    FYI - COAST endorsed two candidates AGAINST the Republican County Commissioners who supported the Stadium Sales Tax. Nice Try though.

    Whatever you do, don't let facts get in the way of your agenda.

  21. Thanks Jason, I'm thinking Potato Salad.

  22. Yeah, I guess your right. COAST is pretty ineffectual for stopping bad decisions and really successful at killing good ones. You win, Bris. Good job.

  23. COAST rewrites history again:

    So, when you get the Anti-Progress amendment on the ballot and lie to people to get them to shut out rail for all of the southwestern portion of Ohio, you can rewrite history and claim that you made the process better. And when it is eventually built a decade from now and costs 10x as much, you can say that you helped get it on the ballot and were for it all along.

  24. Believe it or not Anonymous, the Phoney Coney Blog is not exactly a reputable news source. It provides you with opinion, which you happen to agree with. (big surprise)

    The fact is that COAST endorsed a third party candidate against pro-stadium tax Bob Bedinghaus in the 2000 Commissioners' Race. That candidate, Paul Naberhaus, took 9.25% of the vote. Bedinghaus lost to Portune 47.54% to 43.01%. You do the math.

    COAST also endorsed Pat DeWine against pro-stadium tax John Dowlin in 2004. DeWine defeated the long-time commissioner.

    Those are facts, and not the opinion of some blogger.

    Also, where is David Ben calling these anonymous pro-streetcar posters bloggers for not signing their names?

  25. I do enjoy a good potato salad so that will be great, will be nice to meet you.

  26. Bris,
    Like you are using your real name? I think we can assume you are just as anonymous as I am.
    And I would say that quoting the Phoney Coney is at least as reputable as quoting the COAST blog.
    I applaud you on being against the stadium funded with taxpayer dollars.
    My point is this: That was a gigantic private venture funded with public funds and Bedinghaus was a Republican. This is a public venture funded with funds allocated for public services that extends to the state and national level.

    There is a huge difference and I see just about every other blog entry about the streetcar, never mentioning the impact to all rail in Ohio.

    COAST is usually deriding a Democrat, linking democratic leadership with rail as wasteful spending.

    I would just like to see a blog entry that goes into the history of the stadium and the players in that game. Why no mention?
    Under the section listed "About COAST": it never even mentions an effort to stop the stadium.
    I just feel you guys are not being genuine in who you are and what your true intentions are.

    I look at the list of things you guys have successfully shot down or are trying to shut down and I think it is a sad list. Things like the Underground Railroad Museum that is gaining national attention for Cincinnati. Whose pocket are you in?

  27. "Whose pocket are you in?"

    I'm not in anyone's pocket. I'm not a member of COAST. COAST's finance reports, however, are a matter of public record. Feel free to look it up and see who their contributors are for yourself. I think you'll find that most of their contributors are regular people who gave small amounts of money.

    If you want to see where the big money comes from look at those opposed to COAST. Look at the money spent against COAST in the jail tax campaign (COAST was outspent 25-1). Look at the money the John Pepper spreads around to local politicians to get them to vote to give taxpayer money to the Freedom Center. Look at the big business contributions that will go to fund the pro-streetcar campaign.

    Whose pocket are those folks in???

  28. Bris,
    Hold on one minute! One day you are saying that no private money is going toward the streetcar and that should tell us how much of a failure it would be, now you are saying that the streetcar is backed by big money?

    Which is it? Are you the 'little guys' or are you with private interest, private money funded projects? You can't have it both ways.

    You can't be for private only ventures and then complain when private money starts influencing politics. Less government, more business right? You somehow must think that big business is always benevolent and that government is corrupt.

    I mean corporations are based on the almighty dollar which has proven to lead to healthy societies right? That's why our health care is ranked between Costa Rica and Slovenia. That's why our people eat fast food and drive everywhere are the most obese nation in the world.

    Don't get me wrong, government is NOT the answer, but when you start complaining about Big Money influencing things, you should really rethink your concept of the free market and what that really means. I think you should embrace what Big Private Money is doing, that is your platform.

  29. Anon -
    We were told at the outset that tens of millions of dollars in private corporate contributions were going to be used to help pay for the streetcar. I have no problem at all with that. The problem is, it never panned out. Just another broken promise by a broken government.

    Now, that being said, the aforementioned non-existant private money is much different than the big money that will be used to fund the pro-streetcar POLITICAL CAMPAIGN. This isn't money that is being spent to lessen the burden of a huge capital construction project on the taxpayers. It's being used to make sure that government money from this project goes to line the pockets of those who would benefit from its construction.

    See Parsons Brinkerhoff.

  30. By the way,

    Where is David Ben? I thought for suer he'd stck to his guns and call the 8 anonymous pro-streetcar bloggers on this post cowards for not posting their names.

    Where are you David? Or is it only cowardly to "hide behind a veil" if you're against the streetcar?

  31. Uh, if the streetcars are so terrible, why are every one of the tweeters riding one???


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