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Property and Business Owners Fight for Streetcar

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Cincinnati streetcar supporters say their fight to keep the project on track is far from over. This despite a promise from Cincinnati Mayor-elect John Cranley to derail the project. A number of Over-the-Rhine business and property owners who would like to see a streetcar roll through their neighborhood one day, held a news conference. Local 12's Joe Webb was there

Streetcar supporters say they have 20 days to change the conversation on the streetcar and to persuade some of the new members of council to keep the $133 million project alive.

Many of the people who attended today's press conference were business and property owners on or near the route of the streetcar. They say they took risks in investing in Over-the-Rhine for the benefits of being near the streetcar line on race and elm. They claim the city can't back out. The streetcar supporters estimate it would cost more than $100 million to cancel the project.  The city has already spent $25 million dollars. The city's project engineer says $29 million is worst case scenario in shutting the streetcar down.

Derek Bauman of Cincinnatians for Progress says cancelling the streetcar would repeat past mistakes. He says if the first phase goes the way of the subway 100 years ago, it will be another 100 years before a rail project comes up again, which brings jobs, massive investment and a way for people to get to work to provide for their families.

Organizers say they'll target new council members David Mann and Amy Murray, as well as appeal to sitting council member and top vote-getter P.G. Sittenfeld.

Local 12's Joe Webb spoke to Amy Murray and she may be a tough sell. He'll have the story at 5:30.


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