Cincinnati's never-used subway is 100 years old this month


"In 1916, the people of Cincinnati voted to fund the construction of a subway that would revolutionize the city’s public transportation system," Scott Rodd writes at the Next City website. "One hundred years later, all that remains is a 2-mile stretch of abandoned tunnels below the declining Rust Belt city."

Rodd goes on to relate the fascinating story of how Cincinnati approved $6 million in bonds to build a subway "loop" centered in downtown only to have a subsequent mayor halt the project mid-stream, leaving abandoned tunnels and tracks under Central Parkway to this day. Foreshadowing, perhaps, for the Cincinnati Streetcar loop, which was almost halted a few years ago by newly-elected Mayor John Cranley? Instead, the streetcar starts public operations later this year.

(Note to Rodd: Cincinnati is a "declining Rust Belt city?" Dude, you need to get a clue from national reports like this, this and this of Cincinnati's renaissance and rejuvenation ...and those are from just the past week.)

The Ohio Department of Transportation eventually built large portions of Interstates 71 and 75 in urban Cincinnati on land the state had originally purchased for the subway loop, saving money by avoiding right-of-way acquisitions and eminent domain but forever destroying rail transit routes.

Read the full Next City story here.
 
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