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Cincinnati - February 2011

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Cincinnati — Study Slows Streetcar Construction

Rail Transit Online, February 2011

An environmental study of a proposed 4.9-mi. (7.9 km) streetcar line connecting the downtown riverfront to the Uptown area near the University of Cincinnati is taking longer than expected to complete, delaying the start of construction. The $128-million project must prove to federal agencies that, under the terms of the National Environmental Policy Act, the streetcar won't harm historic aspects of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Meanwhile, streetcar opponents are making another effort to cancel the scheme. A 2009 ballot measure that would have required a citywide vote before any rail system could be built was soundly defeated. The latest effort is still in the signature-gathering phase and if successful won't be presented to voters until November at the earliest.

Among the groups spearheading the effort are the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, the Coalition Against Streetcar Swindle and the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless.

'This is about protecting the city's operating budget that supports basic services like police, fire, sanitation and health clinics," said Cincinnati NAACP President Christopher Smitherman. "Council continues to push a project while the city is facing the largest financial crisis of its time."


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