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by Kevin Osborne 10.24.2011
 
 
simon leis

Sheriff Urges 'No' Vote on Issue 48

The person who often ranks in polls as the most popular politician in Hamilton County is breaking with his Republican colleagues and is appearing in a new radio commercial urging a “no” vote on Issue 48.

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. asks residents to oppose the anti-streetcar initiative that was placed on the ballot by the NAACP's local chapter and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST). The commercial will begin airing Wednesday during the morning drive time period on WLW (700 AM) and WKRC (550 AM), two stations with predominately conservative, Republican audiences.

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by Kevin Osborne 10.10.2011
Posted In: 2011 Election, Public Transit, Streetcar, NAACP at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
hinton

NAACP Icons Urge 'No' Vote on Issue 48

Although the current leader of the NAACP's local chapter is trying to block Cincinnati's planned streetcar system, two former leaders of the organization are coming out in support of the system in a big way.

Milton W. Hinton and Judge Nathaniel R. Jones have endorsed a “no” vote on Issue 48, the proposed anti-rail charter amendment that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot in Cincinnati.

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by Kevin Osborne 09.12.2011
 
 
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Seelbach Calls for COAST Resignation

By now anyone who's interested in Cincinnati politics probably has heard about the insensitive and over-the-top comment posted Sept. 11 on Twitter by a leader of an anti-streetcar group.

Mark Miller, treasurer for the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), posted the following:

3% of FDNY died 10 yrs ago by terrorism. Today Cincinnati lost 17.5% of fire companies by brownout to pay for a streetcar. Which is worse?

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by Kevin Osborne 03.14.2012
 
 
streetcar

Duke's Streetcar Claim Might be Crumbling

Ohio law has exception for wire-powered vehicles

A review of the fine print in Ohio law could spell trouble for Duke Energy in its dispute with Cincinnati about who must pay to move utility lines to accommodate the city’s streetcar project.

Readers of CityBeat’s March 6 cover story know that one of the legal arguments made by Duke Energy is that it said the system qualifies as a utility itself under Ohio law. And one utility has no legal obligation to reimburse another utility, Duke added.

City officials disagree with Duke’s interpretation, and the two sides currently are trying to negotiate a compromise to the impasse.

The city is willing to pay $6 million to relocate Duke’s natural gas, chilled water, fiber and electrical infrastructure along the streetcar route, but the firm insists it will cost at least $18.7 million and possibly more.

A close reading of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), however, reveals it is unlikely that a streetcar system qualifies as a “public utility.”

Under Ohio law, the following items are defined as public utilities:

“A motor transportation company, when engaged in the business of carrying and transporting persons or property or the business of providing or furnishing such transportation service, for hire, in or by motor-propelled vehicles of any kind, including trailers, for the public in general, over any public street, road, or highway in this state.” ORC §4905.03

But motor-propelled vehicles aren’t defined under Ohio law. The ORC does, however, define “motor vehicle” as:

“(B) “Motor vehicle” means any vehicle, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, that is propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires. “Motor vehicle” does not include utility vehicles as defined in division (VV) of this section, motorized bicycles, road rollers, traction engines, power shovels, power cranes, and other equipment used in construction work and not designed for or employed in general highway transportation, well-drilling machinery, ditch-digging machinery, farm machinery, and trailers that are designed and used exclusively to transport a boat between a place of storage and a marina, or in and around a marina, when drawn or towed on a public road or highway for a distance of no more than ten miles and at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less.” ORC §4501.01(B)

Streetcars operate using overhead trolley wires, thus they aren’t considered motor vehicles under Ohio law. But do they even qualify as vehicles? The ORC defines vehicles as:

“(A) “Vehicles” means everything on wheels or runners, including motorized bicycles, but does not mean electric personal assistive mobility devices, vehicles that are operated exclusively on rails or tracks or from overhead electric trolley wires, and vehicles that belong to any police department, municipal fire department, or volunteer fire department, or that are used by such a department in the discharge of its functions.” ORC §4501.01(A)

Of course, streetcars run on rails and use power from electric trolley wires. So, they aren’t vehicles either.

The conclusion: Either “motor-propelled vehicles” mean the same as “motor vehicles” (in which case it doesn’t apply to streetcars) or “motor-propelled” is an adjective to “vehicle” (which also doesn’t apply, as streetcars aren’t vehicles).

In each instance, a streetcar system doesn’t fall into the legal realm of a “motor transportation company” and therefore isn’t a “public utility.”

 
 
by 02.03.2011
 
 

Bus Workers Threaten to Strike

Now that the agency that operates Cincinnati's Metro bus system has rejected a state fact-finder's recommendations about a labor contract with its workers, the union says it might go on strike.

The board that governs the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) voted 11-1 Tuesday to reject the fact-finder's recommendations, calling them too expensive and vague. The agency's contract with its 676 bus drivers, maintenance and support employees expired a day earlier, although that agreement remains in effect until a new deal is reached.

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by 02.01.2011
Posted In: News, Public Transit, Spending, Labor Unions at 05:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Metro Rejects Fact-finder's Report

Trustees who oversee Cincinnati's Metro bus system voted today to reject a state fact-finder's recommendations for a new labor contract.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) said the fact-finder's recommendations were too expensive and vague. The agency's contract with its 676 bus drivers, maintenance and support employees expired Monday.

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by 05.13.2010
Posted In: Charter Committee, Public Transit, Community at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

They've Got Gumption

For the first time in its history, the Charter Committee has selected three winners for its Gumption Award. All three people were involved in defeating Issue 9 — which Charter describes as the “anti-progress charter amendment" — in last fall’s election.

This year’s winners are Bobby Maly, Rob Richardson and Joe Sprengard, all of whom were the founders of Cincinnatians for Progress (CFP). The group was formed last year to campaign against Issue 9.

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by Danny Cross 04.11.2012
Posted In: Streetcar, Mayor, Public Transit at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 
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View Renderings of Cincinnati Streetcar

City chooses vehicle models and vendor

Mayor Mark Mallory last night announced during his State of the City address that the city has chosen the model and vendor for the first batch of streetcars.

The mayor's office today released details about the vendor, along with renderings of the streetcars Cincinnatians can expect to see traversing the 4-mile loop that will cover 18 stops connecting The Banks, Government Square, Fountain Square, Broadway Commons, the Gateway Quarter and Music Hall.

According to the release, the vendor, CAF USA, has produced light rail vehicles for Pittsburgh, Sacramento and Houston and streetcar vehicles for the international cities such as Besançon and Nantes, France; Belgrade, Serbia; Antalya, Turkey; Stockholm, Sweden; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Spanish cities Zaragoza, Granada, Sevilla, Bilbao and Vitoria.

Officials in February broke ground the Cincinnati Streetcar system, and the city hopes to add additional phases connecting the Uptown area near the University of Cincinnati once funding is secured.

The following are renderings released by the city:


 
 
by Jaleen Francois 07.02.2009
Posted In: Public Transit, NAACP, 2009 Election at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 

'Choo-Choo Trains' and Hidden Motives

The COAST/NAACP anti-streetcar petition crew is causing all sorts of debauchery and grabbing headlines for its attempt to garner support for a sweeping, all-inclusive anti-rail ballot initiative. And it is exhausting.

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by Danny Cross 06.28.2011
 
 
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Queen City Bike Asks Cyclists to Complete Survey

The city of Cincinnati is planning to restripe a section of Martin Luther King Drive between Reading Road and Victory Parkway and would like input from cyclists who commute into Clifton and Walnut Hills. Queen City Bike today sent out an email asking anyone who regularly uses the route to fill out an online survey to help planners determine which infrastructure improvements to make.

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