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Request for Streetcar design is put on hold

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The Dispatch wrote Request for streetcar design is shelved

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

BY ROBERT VITALE

Bowing to criticism from council members who’ve complained about being left out of the debate and responding to concerns of residents and businesses, Mayor Michael B. Coleman removed a request to begin design of a High Street route and acknowledged he has more selling to do.

In a memo to Council President Michael C. Mentel pitching his $103 million idea as a catalyst for economic development, Coleman said, “While these issues are clear to me, our public needs more information.”

Council kept $2 million in the 2008 capital-spending plan that Coleman had requested for design and engineering of a 2.8-mile streetcar line from Downtown to Ohio State University. But it took the streetcar label off the money at the mayor’s request.

Councilman Kevin L. Boyce said last night’s decision to remove streetcar references from the $1.1 billion capital budget shouldn’t be interpreted as a rejection of the mayor’s plan. Leaving in $2 million without an earmark shouldn’t be interpreted as an endorsement, either, he said.

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