This is an expansion of the Ezzard Charles Icon Line idea. It would add another leg to the Ezzard Charles line serving the western half of downtown. This is desirable because a lot of our major facilities for conventions and tourism, such as the Convention Center and major hotels, are not located directly on the existing streetcar line but instead a few blocks to the west. Also Cincinnati is trying to develop a Race Street retail corridor near this tourism cluster.
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As we expand our intercity rail connections, this streetcar line would provide direct transportation for conventioneers arriving by rail at Union Terminal to our Convention Center and Hotel cluster downtown.
This streetcar line incorporates another concept, a new Arena on mostly vacant land on the northwest corner of Ezzard Charles and Linn Streets. The reasoning behind a new Arena in this location is as follows:
- US Bank Arena on the riverfront is in need of a major renovation. This was cited as a reason that Cincinnati was not considered for the 2016 Republican National Convention. However that location is not strongly tied with transit to the convention center and hotel complex mentioned earlier.
- A new West End Arena could directly connect to the convention center with this new streetcar line. The new line would serve a lot of landmarks geared towards tourism (Convention Center, Paul Brown Stadium, Hotels, Music Hall and Union Terminal, new Arena.)
- An arena could help spur redevelopment in the West End. An “Arena District” could develop in vacant Linn St. storefronts and help complete the City West project with higher density mixed use infill. (A word of caution here though, as we are discovering sports facilities are not great at driving traffic to an area when there is no event going on- see the early years of the Banks.)
- Close to I-75, and another Cincinnati icon, Union Terminal
- If the new arena had UC basketball as a tenant, it would be quickly accessible from campus via Ravine and Linn