I attended a meeting at City Hall today.  That’s the first time I’ve ever done that…

Brought to us by the Ohio Board of Transportation, today’s topic for discussion happened to be the “3C” plan–a proposed rail line that runs from Cincinnati, through Columbus, to Cleveland (hence, the three “C”s), which I think is the best idea ever!  

Let me begin to elaborate on that with another point of embarrassing honesty:  I didn’t learn to drive till this past summer…which is kind of sad given that I am 26.  I still don’t own a car, and so my family puts up with long rants about the state of pubic transportation in:  a. Cincinnati, b. Ohio, and c. America.

Especially when I need to get to the Dayton airport!

A lot of people have my circumstance; add this to the fact that cars both pollute and create an unhealthy dependency on oil products which we as a nation do not control.  See the economic mess we are in?  Part of it is due to the spike in oil prices in 2007-2008.

PLUS nearly every other advanced nation on this earth has a high-speed, efficient railway, or at least some type of  mass transport.  Now, if I want mass transport around Cincinnati, I have to either take a slow, decrepit, and expensive Amtrak train; or I have to go down to the Greyhound bus station and risk life and limb to get to Destination of Choice. 

(Really.  This one time I took a bus from Phoenix and watched a woman kidnap another woman’s baby right there in the station.  I also sat near a pregnant woman who vomited the whole way, and got crushed by a fellow passenger who mistakenly decided I was his pillow).

So now you too have heard my rant.  And you know why, besides for environmental reasons, I strongly support this project.

But I guess no good idea will go unpunished.  The planners have determined, for practical and *ahem* political reasons, that the new passenger rail system can’t CURRENRTLY be run out of Union Terminal, so they are considering a new station along the riverfront.  Well, the thing is, Mount Adams is along the riverfront.  (For those of you who are not native Cincinnatians, Mount Adams is one of the more upscale areas in our city, with many patrons of the fine arts).  So Mt. Adams residents showed up to complain that the proposed station might ruin their sense of community and disrupt the tranquillity of the area.  

To me, this is the same story my Uncle Fred told me about the DC subway system (the METRO).  They were originally planning to run the Orange Line through Georgetown–as a benefit to the students.  But Georgetown is DC’s upscale area, and there was a massive outcry by the residents.  They didn’t want “The Rabble” moving through their neighborhood.  So, call it paranoia…but I think I see what certain residents of Cincinnati really mean.

The moral of this story, however, is that the DC planners rerouted the Metro subway system through Virginia instead (in another upscale area)…and every area the Metro passes through has had an upsurge in economic activity.  The Metro was built in the 70s or so…and these areas are still doing good business today.

I think I’d rather have The Rabble and their Train in my neighborhood!

Wow, two rants in one day…and this is getting quite unnecessarily long.  In other news, I visited Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich’s people again today, and I networked with some awesome folks at Arnold’s pub.  My regards to all of them! 


PS–I don’t actually think rich people are stupid, nor do I have anything against the residents of Mt. Adams…I just needed a hook!