While governments tout the success of their streetcar system, the streetcar system doesn't bring development. It might be one piece that brings business to the area, but what brings the development is tax abatements and other subsidies from gov't.
Sorry, but I've read about 30 different studies that say otherwise...I'll keep that ahead of "some guy you heard on some radio show from some think tank"
So you automatically discount Think tank studies that don't agree with your point? 30 different studies, really? I mean, clearly you have Mayor Coleman's talking points memorized, but 30 studies? Seriously, you have read 30 studies and you are not somehow tied to or involved in Coleman's desire to bring streetcars to Columbus?
Meanwhile people will keep streaming out of Columbus to get out of a shitty school district, away from higher crime, and neighborhoods full of trashed, foreclosed homes.
Only they're not...the population in Columbus and the surrounding areas continues to expand while the rest of the state falls. As does the GDP.
OK I should have elaborated that point. The population will stay stable or slightly increase, while 25-40 year old white collar professionals who want to start families continue to stream out of Columbus for suburbs with better schools, taking their property taxes with them.
The Short North/Arena District is a nicely developed area that I spend a lot of time in. When I go there, I can park close enough that I don't mind walking however many blocks/miles to get to my destination. If I choose to go to the Gateway, I drive and park near there too.
1. You're not a tourist or visitor, particularly a conventioner.
2. That parking and driving mentality is exactly the reason for better public transportation.
So we are spending $100,000,000+ so people staying at the Columbus Convention Center can ride a streetcar to the Campus Gateway? Then let the fee to ride the streetcar pay for the development. Columbus has a good convention business but it isn't that great that spending this much money is worth it. The mayor should take the interests of taxpayers over a conventioneer who will be in Columbus 3 days his/her entire life.
The parking and driving mentality isn't something you can just eliminate. People need to get downtown and then home afterward. A 3 mile street car line isn't going to eliminate that. A suburban mom and her kids aren't going to drive to Campus Gateway and park when they want to go to the Arena District, just to ride the streetcar back and forth. They will drive to the Arena District and park.
After the initial investment doesn't get people downtown, we will be told how we need to spend another $200,000,000 to increase the lines. Columbus' version of Boston's big dig, a money sinkhole that never pays off.
Suburbanites flocked there for City Center for years. Regardless, it isn't necessarily about pulling in suburbanites, it's also about pulling in corporate interests who put their offices and headquarters along the line in the 36 underdeveloped acres because they see a real commitment to modern public transit.
Suburbanites flocked to City Center because they didn't have Tuttle Crossing, Polaris, or Easton. Corporate interests downtown? Have you not noticed the pattern of the last 10+ years of suburban headquarters? Companies headquarter in suburbs to eliminate traffic issues, and have their employees able to live nearby.
Between the 500,000 that OSU is contributing, fares (at the price currently forecast), the naming/advertising revenue, the operation is set to about break even...unlike roads, busing, etc.
Then why are parking fees and concert tickets surcharges being used? Because it isn't going to break even.
You are implying the best case scenario for everything, and rehashing some of Coleman's talking points that I think are exaggerated. And no one has still explained why the current COTA bus system can't work to get people down High Street.
To me it all comes down to the benefit not being worth the cost especially when there are dozens of other problems in Columbus this money could be better allocated to deal with.
Also Central Ohioans are uncultured, poor, and overweight
. They need to be out walking more.
IMPROVE THE SCHOOLS, AND THEY WILL COME!