At the urging of Mayor-elect John Cranley and seven members of the new council, the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati has agreed to stop the controversial lease of Cincinnati’s parking meters and five city garages.
Cranley and seven members of the council that will take office Dec. 1 wrote a letter to Port Authority president and CEO Laura Brunner Monday night saying it is “not in the community’s interests or the long-term interests of the Port Authority to proceed.”
Over-the-Rhine Community members and business owners are rallying support for the streetcar project in the wake of last week's election. They're calling on the mayor-elect and new council members to keep the streetcar moving forward.
Derek dos Anjos owns a seafood restaurant near the streetcar route.
"I moved here two years ago from New York, NY and I've seen first hand what light rail can do for a city," says dos Anjos. "It would be a big shame if we didn't continue the streetcar. My business is depending on it. Mr. Cranley, please don't do this."
Cincinnati mayor-elect John Cranley has a lot of big plans for his upcoming tenure but no topic is more dominating than his desire to halt the streetcar project. It was the main focus of a meeting with press Wednesday in his Hyde Park home.
"Look," Cranley said, "This isn't an ideological thing for me. I don't relish stopping the streetcar... The fact is it's just not worth the money. It's worth cancelling as long as that's the cheapest option as opposed to continuation."
Clearly, the majority of Cincinnati voters who went to the polls Tuesday were determined to shake up Cincinnati City Hall, electing John Cranley as their new mayor and changing the face of the nine-member city council.
Cranley, a 39-year-old Hyde Park resident who grew up in Price Hill and a former council member, easily defeated a fellow Democrat who has been one of the top vote-getters in the Queen City over the past three decades, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls.
In the unofficial vote count, Cranley took 58 percent to Qualls’ 42 percent.