Monday, May 24, 2010

A Streetcar Undesired

After Issue 9 failed last November and voters failed to throw a roadblock in the path of Mayor Mallory's pet project, it looked like smoother sailing for the Cincinnati Streetcar project. However, obstacles still remain in the form of funding and public support.

Funding arrived to the tune of $86 million (including $64 million in bonds to be issued by the City) of the $128 million needed for the project. Mallory and Streetcar supporters hope that the issuance of the bond by the City will prompt the federal government to add to that total. Rather than condition the issuance of the bonds on the receipt of federal funding, City Council choose to dive in, hoping that the federal government will reward the risk.

Mallory continues to tout the Streetcar as the potential savior of the City, however his praise seems to have fallen on deaf ears. In a recent Cincinnati Enquirer poll 48% of participants thought the project was a waste of taxpayer money, while 20% felt it was risky. Only 24% supported the Mayor's view that the Streetcar would revitalize the City's core. The people aren't dancing to Mallory's tune.

The Cincinnati Streetcar is just another example of big government waste. While Issue 9 was overly broad, it's failure didn't indicate support of the Streetcar. Between the need for the City to borrow funds and the lack of public support, the Streetcar is a project that should be scrapped before we end up with another debacle like the Cincinnati Subway.

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