Monday, October 24, 2011

No on Issue 48

We just returned from a few days in Washington, DC. I'm sure I've been to our nation's capital at least 10 times in my life. Each time I'm there, I marvel at how easy it is to get around using the city's Metro system. The system is color-coded, inexpensive, runs regularly, and features a friendly support staff more than willing to help the visitor figure out how to purchase a ticket or get from one place to another.
Each time we visit DC, we're amazed by the traffic. Cars are everywhere...from the interstates to the urban core. Locals think nothing of commutes lasting more than an hour. Gridlock seems to be at every corner. Stop-and-go is the only way to move on the interstate. And parking, if you're so lucky to find a spot, costs as much as a tank of gas!
As typical Washington, DC tourists, we never considered driving anywhere. Instead, we parked our car at the hotel in suburban Arlington and never touched it until it was time to go home. Why would we want the expense, uncertainty, and stress of driving around the city? It was so much easier to just walk to the Metro stop, purchase a ticket, get on the train, and get off at our destination. I'm sure when traffic and time were considered, no trip on the train took any longer than a similar trip would have taken by car.
As Cincinnatians consider Issue 48, I hope voters realize the true implications of this issue. Whether or not you're in favor of the Cincinnati streetcar that will run initially from Downtown Cincinnati to Findlay Market, a "Yes" vote would prohibit "spending any money on a system of passenger vehicles operated on rails constructed primarily in existing public rights of way"...until December 31, 2020. In other words, a "Yes" vote will prohibit any spending, public or private, on any sort of public rail transportation system that may be developed for the next 9 years! A "Yes" vote will handcuff Cincinnati so that no alternative means of transportation can be considered until 2020.
Imagine the traffic. Imagine the time wasted. Imagine what might be invented in the next ten years. Imagine what Cincinnati might miss. Imagine going backward instead of forward.
I urge you to vote "No" on Issue 48. Let's keep Cincinnati moving...

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