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Streetcar Could Stop Running For Most Special Events Through 2018

First streetcar being tested on the tracks in Over-the-Rhine.
First streetcar being tested on the tracks in Over-the-Rhine.
First streetcar being tested on the tracks in Over-the-Rhine.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday on an ordinance that would suspend streetcar operations during seven special events in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

The Major Transportation Committee discussed the issue Tuesday for nearly three hours before approving the proposal

OTR resident Julie Faye said the streetcar should operate during special events.

"I'm just hoping that there's a better way to work this out without having no streetcar running during Oktoberfest or Taste or the other events," Faye said.

The streetcar would not operate during the Flying Pig Marathon, Taste of Cincinnati, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, the Heart Mini Marathon, the Thanksgiving Day 10K, and the Center for Closing the Health Gap expo at Washington Park.

The ordinance would expire for all events in December 2018 except for the Opening Day Parade and the Thanksgiving's day race.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Chamber which produces the Taste of Cincinnati and Oktoberfest said it will consider other locations for those events, which are currently held along Fifth Street.

"In the coming months, the Chamber will evaluate Taste of Cincinnati and Oktoberfest Zinzinnati with the goal of reviewing the current space for potential reconfigurations and considering other locations, ensuring the more-than-one million annual guests of these iconic festivals a safe environment and a world-class experience, in harmony with the streetcar, in time for 2017's festivals," the Chamber said in a written statement presented to city council.

The streetcar operating agreement between Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority gives the city the right to halt streetcar operations for four special events lasting up to three days. City council can approve additional suspensions for other special events.

The city and various event organizers will be meeting after each event once streetcar operations begin in September to analyze ways to minimize disruptions of streetcar service during such special events.

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