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Streetcar vs. Downtown special events

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The latest controversy with the Cincinnati streetcar project involves what happens to special events along the Downtown and Over-the-Rhine route.  

A report from WCPO Digital Wednesday said a city memo from last year indicated “no special event will be permitted to halt, close, delay or otherwise disrupt streetcar service.”  

City manager Harry Black, who was not on the job when the memo was written, said the issue will be reviewed.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, the discretion resides with the city manager,” Black said.  “We’ll work with all of these organizations to try to coalesce with the streetcar from an operating standpoint.  But the integrity of these events will not be materially impacted in any way.”

Mayor John Cranley said the streetcar will take a back seat to events like the Taste of Cincinnati.

“If they can work compatibly, that’s great,” Cranley said.  “But if they can’t, well, then we have options.  And that option is to shut down the streetcar in Downtown during the course of the event.”

The streetcar is scheduled to begin passenger service in September 2016.  The route of the 2014 Opening Day parade was shifted because of work on the project.