Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)


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Those subway tunnels, never finished, never filled with the screeches of trains and the busy commotion of commuters. Just there. You've heard of the subway's demise.

The tunnels were too narrow. The city was too broke. A grand miscalculation. Well, most of what you've heard is, sorry to say, untrue. The popular story of the subway's demise is myth-laden and as incomplete as the original plan. The full story, long buried in mounds of public records dispersed in libraries, is now revealed.

Largest Abandoned Subway - Cincinnati Subway! (HAUNTED!!)

Local author Jacob R. Mecklenborg emerges from those dusty tomes with a fresh, thought-provoking, full examination of the subway's demise and what its future might hold. Read more Read less. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. From time to time someone gets in, takes video and posts it to You Tube. I think the book does a very good job disposing of some myths about the subway and does an excellent job showing just why the subway was doomed almost from the start.

I'm one of those people that wishes it had been built and I think it would have benefited the city.


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Apr 07, Geoff McKim rated it really liked it. I have been fascinated by stories and legends of the incomplete Cincinnati subway for most of my adult life. I am so excited to have tickets this May to one of the two tours given of the abandoned subway tunnels each year. Around 7 miles of this subway were graded or dug between and -- 2 miles of which lays below what is now Central Parkway. Despite an enormous investment in this infrastructure, for a variety of reasons -- the Great Depression, World War II, unsuccessful bond referenda I have been fascinated by stories and legends of the incomplete Cincinnati subway for most of my adult life.

Despite an enormous investment in this infrastructure, for a variety of reasons -- the Great Depression, World War II, unsuccessful bond referenda, and the Charterite reforms of the Cincinnati City Council, the subway was never put to use. Not a single subway car was purchased, no track was laid, and no passengers ever rode the subway.

To this day, the Cincinnati subway stands as the largest abandoned subway tunnel in the country. Jacob Mecklenborg's book provides an unparalleled history -- a political history -- of this fascinating chapter in American transportation. Mecklenborg explains, blow by blow, referendum vote by referendum vote, how this rapid transit system for Cincinnati was conceptualized, built, and never used.

His history covers mass transit in Cincinnati from the early s all the way to the present, in which a fixed-rail streetcar system is actively being proposed. The book is not perfect. Mecklenborg assumes an extremely close knowledge of Cincinnati geography, streets, and neighborhoods.

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He also has a definitive narrative of the subway and its detractors that comes across too strongly in some of the text. However, despite these flaws, this book provides an amazing history of one of the oddest and most fascinating stories in American transportation. More importantly -- it provides some lessons to all of us advocating for mass transit about the difficulties in building a consensus for large-scale public infrastructure.

Oct 31, Mick Parsons rated it liked it.

Cincinnati, Ohio

There are things about this book to recommend it; Mecklenborg does a good job discussing the bare bones facts of Cincinnati's taciturn relationship with public transportation, and he tries to avoid laying blame on any one group -- whether it's the old Republican guard, the charterites, or the various business interests that has as much to do with the eventual failure of any public transit except for the metro buses that are barely hanging on.

Mecklenborg also tries to place the discussion in the There are things about this book to recommend it; Mecklenborg does a good job discussing the bare bones facts of Cincinnati's taciturn relationship with public transportation, and he tries to avoid laying blame on any one group -- whether it's the old Republican guard, the charterites, or the various business interests that has as much to do with the eventual failure of any public transit except for the metro buses that are barely hanging on.

Mecklenborg also tries to place the discussion in the context of current events and ends with brief statement about how the as of yet unused subway tunnels could still be of use. And while the author's passion for the topic is undeniable, it reads as if he is trying to write about a historically contentious issue without offending anyone. While that aim is politically expedient, the fact is that current events Cincinnati is a city experiencing decline: jobs and population are going elsewhere, and not just to the suburbs and and beyond.

They are moving to cities with a better grasp on public transit -- not just as a way to haul poor people around, which is how Cincinnati treats the bus system.

Cities with a common sense approach to public transit are doing better and there hasn't been a real discussion regarding the cultural and socioeconomic impact of having a functioning subway or light rail. Oct 02, Rob Withers rated it liked it. Why did Cincinnati dig subway tunnels, but never finish a subway? Why is the "Cincinnati" airport in a different state than Cincinnati?

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Read on for details Mar 08, Mark rated it really liked it. Incredible depth. Great pictures. So much information! May 19, Randy rated it it was amazing. The most insightful look into Cincinnati's transportation history. The book really excels at connecting otherwise separate pieces of historical information to help tell this story.

Jeff rated it really liked it Nov 26, Nora rated it really liked it Feb 16, Dec 14, Peter DeSilvey rated it really liked it. Neil rated it liked it Mar 31, Travis J rated it liked it Jun 16, Eric rated it really liked it Jan 18, Rick Wolf rated it it was amazing Feb 08, Using bonds issued before the outbreak of the World War I, construction was started however after being halted for a time, the costs had doubled and even though construction resumed following the war, the money ran out with 11kms of subway tunnels dug out but with no tracks laid.

The subway was constructed in a disused canal on top of which the Central Parkway boulevard was built.

Is Cincinnati's streetcar on the same track as abandoned subway?

It opened in To date there have been no solid plans to finish construction however lots of photos and videos exist as the underground tunnels have become a favourite destination for urban explorers. Where is the subway? The main subway tunnel runs under Central Parkway for two miles, between Walnut St.

Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)
Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)
Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)
Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)
Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)
Cincinnatis Incomplete Subway: The Complete History (OH)

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