Tuesday, July 28, 2009

a desire named streetcar

i recently returned from an awesome trip to san francisco. we were only there for 8 days but it seemed like we were there for a month, with all that we were able to do. there was an incredible exhibit of king tutankhamun at the de Young museum, and the most elaborate science museum i have ever seen, the california academy of science, san francisco.

when were were in the science academy, walking by the discovery tidepool and wishing the tickets to the planetarium weren't sold out for the day, i asked matt 'how is it that some cities have these awesome attractions and others don't?'

i am not a city planner, i have no education with this stuff, but it seems like attractions like this have to be expensive to produce, and probably rely heavily on tourism to maintain. i would think living in the city, you might visit a few times but the majority of the revenue would probably be from the 16.4 million visitors they get in a year. the 'catch 22' of it is you have to have these kind of attractions to attract those visitors, and you probably need the visitors to justify the investment of building something like that.

this is why i get so frustrated when i see progress being hindered in my home town of cincinnati. if you aren't already aware, cincinnati could soon have its own streetcar. but, not if some critics have their way. most of the critics question the funding. but the truth is much of the funding for the streetcar will come from sources only available for a big transit project such as the streetcar. the funding would not be available for other projects if streetcar is not built. the funding would simply vanish.

we need to embrace projects like the streetcar to keep cincinnati thriving. I have heard mark twain said, "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times."

whether or not he actually said it, that sentiment reflects a common view of cincinnati. we need to attract visitors and new residents to this city if we want it to flourish. if interested, here are ways you can help: http://www.cincystreetcar.com/support.html