Stop the Eastern Corridor: Participate in the Enquirer On-Line Poll!

The Cincinnati Enquirer has come out in opposition to the Eastern Corridor.   Sierra Club likes this!!!

Please participate in their online poll.

quoting in part “Preservationists oppose the highway, though, because of its potential impact on Mariemont, designated a National Historic Landmark as an example of early 20th-century town planning. Though that possible route avoids the developed portion of Mariemont, it crosses South 80 Park, the undeveloped portion along the river that was an integral part of planner John Nolen’s vision for the town.

Archaeological excavations have also uncovered evidence of a 17th-century Native American village in the area. University of Cincinnati students have found tools, pieces of pottery and arrowheads, and the site warrants further exploration.

On Wednesday the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Mariemont on its annual 11 Most Endangered Places list because of the threat posed by the relocated 32. The trust joins other national groups that oppose the proposed highway such as the Cultural Landscapes Foundation and the national Sierra Club, which has named it one of the worst transportation projects in the country.”

and

“The new 32 would also disrupt businesses and houses through Newtown, potentially eliminating a large chunk of the village’s tax base and harming its historical integrity. Depending on how it’s built, the new road could also hurt businesses in Cincinnati’s eastern neighborhoods by giving motorists an easy way to bypass them.

The project requires building a bridge over a river and through a floodplain, and at considerable expense. It would attract more auto traffic through a low-lying valley, increasing both air and noise pollution. Stormwater runoff from the roadway would degrade water quality in the river. And wherever the 32 bridge would cross the Little Miami, it seems likely to threaten the river, which has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River.

There are parcels of land in the eastern portion of Hamilton County that could be commercially developed, but topography makes economic development a difficult proposition in other sections of it. The new 32 would make it easier for people to move farther from the region’s core, thereby encouraging sprawl. Perhaps the benefits from a new roadway would outweigh one or two of these potential drawbacks. Taken together, though, they constitute a threat not justified by the prospect of shaving a few minutes’ time off the commutes of East Side residents. Many Mariemont and Newtown residents and officials oppose the project, and Mariemont has hired an attorney to help lead its opposition. We join them in urging the Ohio Department of Transportation to choose the “no-build” option for the relocated 32.

Cynics have long maintained that the proposed Oasis rail line is a way of greenwashing the Eastern Corridor project, a sop to environmentalists to help get the new roadway built.”

and

“The advantages to the Oasis line are sometimes overstated, while the disadvantages are real. Yes, the tracks do exist, but they would need a significant upgrade to accommodate commuter trains. The limited hours of operation, concentrated most days to commute times, give potential riders a good reason not to use it.

The Oasis line could bring East Side commuters Downtown, but it does nothing to bring the increasing numbers of Downtown residents to any significant job centers. Several of the stops lack residents and businesses within walking distance, which would limit the amount of development the train could be expected to encourage.

Perhaps most importantly, the Oasis line would be the first leg of light rail in a region with significant opposition to rail development. In such an environment, the first example must be unimpeachable, connecting jobs and population centers all along the way. The Oasis line fails to do this.A much better alternative is the Wasson line, which could attract up to 20,000 daily riders through a populated swath on the East Side, although there’s a bike path proposed along the same route. Perhaps the best route in the region is the I-71 line proposed in the 2002 MetroMoves ballot initiative. It runs along an existing spine from Kings Island through Blue Ash, Kenwood, Norwood, Walnut Hills and Downtown, then into Northern Kentucky through Covington and terminating at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. It would be much more expensive than the Oasis line, but it would also be more useful and ultimately a more persuasive argument for extending light rail throughout the region. ”