Saturday, December 26, 2009

Picking up the pieces in Cincinnati

I haven't been to Cincinnati since 2003. I've never attended a Bengals game, and I attended one Reds game -- late August 1973. I saw Ted Simmons hit a home run, witnessed Lou Brock stealing a base off Johnny Bench and Fred Norman, and I saw Pedro Borbon get a base hit. That last one was probably the most amazing. The only thing that could have been better would have been if I could see Jack Billingham get a hit.

Anyway, cities up and down the Ohio River keep coming up with ideas for improving or "revitalizing" their riverfronts. Some are good. Some are nonsensical; some people in Huntington WV keep talking about replacing part of their floodwall with a removable structure so people can see the Ohio River. The only problems are that there are almost no buildings in that area with windows facing the river (at least, buildings that aren't tall enough to offer a view over the floodwall anyway) , that there is a significant difference in elevation between the city and the river at that spot such that few people would see the river anyway and that no one wants to spend the millions of dollars required for such a project.

And some of these riverfront projects have financial time bombs built into them. What's going on in Cincinnati is a case in point. The New York Times has an article on this subject that's worth reading.