Inflation. A rising cost of supplies due to delays. A scaled-back design. Re-evaluations by transit experts. Changes in local politics.

A description of the current situation facing the Cincinnati Streetcar sounds a lot like the story of the Cincinnati Subway, a project that was left incomplete nearly 100 years ago. As a result, businesses moved away from the urban core, and eventually out of the Queen City. A river town which was once known as the Paris of America, Cincinnati fell behind the times as our glory fled to progressive cities like Chicago and St. Louis.

 The subway failed because it was a project of the previous city administration. When a new political party took office, they wanted to eliminate anything with prior relation as it was viewed as an impediment to reform. Just like today, it was a hot-button issue during an election year.

And yet, here we are again. The streetcar project is at a critical crossroads and it all boils down to money and politics. Do we find more funding and continue with the project, or do we let a transit project fail...again?

Cincinnati is already home to one abandoned rail project. What did the community gain from giving up? A car-dependent city. Struggles with economic development. The 2.2 miles of unfinished concrete tunnels which the city maintains as infrastructure that supports Central Parkway. Of course, we also have the honorable title of "America's Largest Unfinished Transit Project."

As a society, we have not had the opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves. Let's learn from our history. Build the Cincinnati Streetcar and watch our city thrive.