Monday, September 12, 2016

New transit options in greater Cincinnati

This weekend, the first (and only funded) phase of Cincinnati's new streetcar system opened up. Due to the generosity of corporate sponsors, riding the streetcar was free opening weekend, and swag was being handed out. Actually riding the streetcar was a bit of a problem, though, as every one was packed to the gills. I felt like a sardine when I rode it a few blocks. I doubt the system makes sense in terms of cost-effectiveness, but it will provide a useful downtown circulator. It may even accelerate and extend gentrification of the Over-The-Rhine district. Why do I think it might do so? Because many of its supporters and detractors believe it will do so! Those owning property in the area generally supported it. Those fearing increased rent for the mainly lower-income residents, and those fearing those same residents would be displaced to their neighborhoods as new Section 8 residents, generally opposed it.

Cincinnati streetcar turning eastward onto Central Parkway after coming south on Race Street.

Not to be outdone, the City of Cheviot deployed its new mass transit option: the Barrelzer!

In reality, the Barrelzer is a ride at the Harvest Home Fair which takes place annually, the weekend after Labor Day, in Cheviot, Ohio. Pulled by a riding lawn mower with a barrel over its regular hood section, it pulls what seems like an endless train of barrels on wheels, each of which can seat a child. I had to dodge it a couple times as I walked around the fair.

The more normal fare for here, on books, and planets, and such, will resume tomorrow.

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