I was recently walking around 801 Plum St. — otherwise known as the address of City Hall — and I saw the incoming mayor and council members walking out the front door. Some looked really happy, while others looked a little worried. Charlie Winburn looked hungry and crazy. Anyway, as they were walking from the hallowed halls of our city building, I saw a sheet drop from John Cranley’s briefcase. Across the top, it said this: “Novel Ideas to Spur Interest and Economic Growth in the City of Cincinnati as proposed by the Novel Idea Think Tank.”
As I read through the list, I became increasingly more astonished by the unadulterated creativity of the incoming mayor and some of his council members. Not only had they come up with a solution to the streetcar controversy — a “trolley bus” — but they had also made a list of interesting and new ways to further grow the urban core.
First off, Mayor-elect Cranley’s rubber-tire trolley is genius for a number of reasons. Even though the vehicle is essentially only a little bus shaped like an old-fashioned streetcar (and its $4 million annual operating cost is at least as much as it will take to operate the streetcar), many are praising its virtues. They say that they welcome the familiar “put-put-put sound” of a combustion engine over the “rolly-rolly-rolly sound” of the streetcar wheels. Others say the inclusion of TVs on the rubber-tire trolley will afford them the luxury of ignoring other people just as if they were in their own living rooms. Still others think that a rubber-tire trolley to Mount Adams is a great idea because the “One for Fun” Metro really just isn’t that much fun.
In the interest of stirring further public excitement, I am releasing to CityBeat a few other ideas the mayor-elect’s think tank is expected to unveil in the coming weeks:
The Jelly Bus: This is not actually a bus wrapped in jelly, as the name suggests. It is a bus dressed up like a jet whose route connects to CVG airport. Of course, Northern Kentucky’s 2x TANK already services the airport, but just imagine the novelty of a trolley bus that looks like a jet airplane — a Jelly Bus! Because air travellers often are in a rush and don’t have time to eat before their flights and also because it goes along with the theme, tiny jelly doughnuts will be served for a nominal fee. Satisfied tourists and business travellers alike will marvel at the lack of potholes in the area roads as they imagine that they are flying first class on the Cincinnati Jelly Bus!
A Non-Alcoholic Beer Zone: What is better than a cold refreshing beer on a hot summer day? A cold refreshing beer without the alcohol, that’s what! With this plan, Cincinnati will be able to attract the young creative types without all the fun and sex that comes with alcohol. By the time young professionals wake up on Saturday morning, alone in their bed with no hangover after a night of drinking Hudy Delight N/A in the city’s Non-Alcoholic Beer Zone, they’ll surely have already signed a mortgage and committed themselves to a career under the crown of the Great American Insurance Building.
Year-Round “Skating” on the Square: A genius idea that will definitely bring on the fun and save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. As it stands now, the Fountain Square ice rink goes up in November and comes down in February. The whole process seems like such a hassle, doesn’t it? Anyone who grew up in house with a smooth concrete basement floor knows that with the spraying of silicone, the floor becomes as slick as ice if walked upon by the sock-footed. Why not save all the time and money of rink construction, skate rental and loudspeakers playing Christmas music and just spray the entire square down with silicone and sell some socks with bells sewn on them? It can be ice-skating season all year long for a fraction of the price. Happy holidays!
Crystal Pepsi Instead of Brown Pepsi at Great American Ball Park: Although Great American Ball Park is not run by city powers, Mayor Cranley and the Novel Idea Think Tank offer their creativity to the Castellini family in this way: Crystal Pepsi tastes exactly like brown Pepsi and some people even think it looks way cooler than the brown type. What’s even better is that red color can be added to the drink for promotional purposes. GABP will be known and visited by locals and out-of-towners alike and wonder at the pride of the Reds and the city: Clear or, possibly, Red Pepsi!
There were more ideas on the list but many were designated as “Election-Year Surprises for Green Township,” so I’m going to leave those for the mayor-elect to unveil in due time. For those who are skeptical of these ideas, keep in mind that the incoming mayor and his think tank have a vision for the city, or the benefits far outweigh the costs, or something like that.
CONTACT JEFF BEYER: