Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Ohio Gov. John Kasich vs. the Cincinnati Streetcar

false

Ohio Governor John Kasich is reverting to form with his backwards-looking, anti-rail ways, and this time his target is the Cincinnati streetcar.

The Republican governor is trying to get his hands on $52 million allocated to a transit project that is expected to yield $1.5 billion in new investment in central Cincinnati. Problem is, the money comes from a federal grant and can't be used to plug the state's $8 billion deficit. Moreover, Ohio's Transportation Review Advisory Council -- which was developed to remove politics from the funding allocation process -- is solidly behind the streetcar.

Randy Simes at Network blog Urban Cincy has the details:

Local officials close to the Cincinnati Streetcar project believe Governor Kasich is attempting to strip the funds from the streetcar and reallocate them to the $2 billion Brent Spence Bridge replacement which scored a paltry 44 points on TRAC’s transportation list. The other reality is that the money could go to the Eastern Corridor plan which had three components scoring 34, 39 and 48 points – all well below the Cincinnati Streetcar’s state-leading 84 points.

According to [Ken] Prendergast [executive director of All Aboard Ohio], the end result may be a another legal battle for the controversial governor. He says... that Cincinnati officials would have legal grounds to sue the state for not following its own criteria in awarding federal transportation funds.

“Why is our governor against redeveloping Cincinnati’s downtown and Over-the-Rhine areas with the streetcar? Steel rails offer a far superior path to jobs and growth and clean air than yet another asphalt road pitted with potholes,” concluded Jack Shaner, deputy director of the Ohio Environmental Council.

Kasich's militant anti-transit stance is all the more troubling given Census figures announced yesterday that nearly every major city in Ohio has suffered steep population losses, including Cincinnati, which shed 10.4 percent of its population. Cities like Cincinnati -- which are the linchpins of the metropolitan areas that drive Ohio's economy -- are in desperate need of investments that will add vitality, not highways that will continue to suck away jobs and residents. The fact that Ohio's governor doesn't seem to understand that is more bad news for the embattled state.

Elsewhere on the Network today: PubliCola reports that education and density helped Seattle grow while many other cities shrank, according to one analysis. Grist summarizes the sometimes surprising statistics on which cities lead in the nation in green commuting. And Matt Yglesias highlights a zoning squabble in Washington D.C. to illustrate the kind of expense-producing headache that discourages developers from investing in the city.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024

Deal Reached: Hochul Says ‘Sammy’s Law’ Will Pass

The bill, though imperfect, has been four years in the making.

April 18, 2024
See all posts