Local community members, business owners see a reality in streetcar project

CINCINNATI -- Community members and business owners in Over-the-Rhine and nearby areas have started to rally support for the streetcar project and held a public forum Thursday at the Mercantile Library.

The push for support falls just after Mayor-elect John Cranley put a stop to the parking lease deal and promised to do the same for the streetcar project.

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Supporters said the tracks laid and the streetcar expected to run on it is an investment needed downtown. They feel the project will be a reality.

Supporters packed the Mercantile Library at 4th and Walnut streets to send a message: People realize the benefit it would create for the entire city of Cincinnati. They learned Thursday that if Cranley stops the streetcar project, it will have to pay back the federal funding it has already received - about $45 million .

On Monday, those in favor of the streetcar project announced their plans for a lobbying effort that would last for two weeks. The next morning, the group held a press conference in Over-the-Rhine and said they want to take action in pushing for the streetcar before December 1, when Cranley and a new City Council are set to take office.

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