Streetcar opponents testify in Columbus hearing

Four local people went before the TRAC board Tuesday morning, asking the board to pull $52 million in state funding for the streetcar. They pointed to an ODOT survey taken from December 9th through February 11th in Cincinnati that found people were against the streetcar two to one.

Arguments by the opponents of the streetcar spared the TRAC board nothing, calling the streetcar an albatross. They also likened the streetcar to a nostalgic throwback, devoid of any modern-day practicality.

"It's like a Kings Island ride, except the problem of getting up the hill has not been solved, that's why Cincinnati had 6 inclines, which I rode as a kid," said a member of COAST, a local coalition opposed to additional spending and taxes.

He also says a loss of parking in front of businesses the streetcar was supposed to help was another reason to drop it, saying "the state is broke, the city is so broke it can't even figure out how to pay its pension indebtedness, let alone maintain this theme park ride. I'd prefer they fill the potholes, please don't stick us with this albatross."

Thomas Sherman of College Hill pointed to a shift in council. Sherman says council no longer has the majority to accept the grant, now that Councilman Jeff Berding resigned and had a change of heart over the streetcar.

Opponents also say the weather was one big reason the streetcars went away. They couldn't navigate well through snow, or around car accidents.

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