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Guest jmecklenborg

Cincinnati: Eastern Bypass

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Lol...I honestly don't even know how to respond to this...so we get 408 lane miles of new highway (4 driving lanes and two shoulders) that costs $1.8 billion to construct and brings with it endless maintenance costs when we, as a country, can't afford the highway infrastructure we already have.

 

The goal of this is a tad thinly veiled. Of course a suburban developer wants to have more land to easily have access to develop.

 

It also disregards the money already spent on 75 and the money that has to be spent on a bridge plan regardless of what happens, even if that's just the 100 million or so to bring the Brent Spence up to snuff. This project is only cheaper if it was conceived of over a decade ago and the current plan never happened. But as it is now this wouldn't be saving us money and would just be introducing significantly more infrastructure to worry about in the future.

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There is no evidence that this highway would do anything to reduce congestion on the Brent Spence Bridge (which is how it was framed when it was originally proposed). It is so out of the way that it will not cut any time off of anyone's commute. If this was built in the 1980's or 90's, it may have encouraged more suburban growth to the east side rather than the north. But in 2015, with the region's population barely growing and the sprawl machine slowed to a crawl, this would result in barely any new development.

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$1.1 billion for 68 miles of highway?  That's a bargain!  Let's do it.

 

Maybe they forgot about bridge crossings over the Ohio, Licking and the Little Miami at Morrow? Or all the land acquisition and environmental studies? 

 

The Jeremiah Morrow bridge replacement over the Little Miami has cost almost $90 million, and I think we can assume a similar structure would be needed at Morrow.

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Well, at least their slogan at the bottom of the page makes some sense, with just a minor adjustment:

 

Why spend $3.8 billion of public money on a highway project when you can accomplish more by spending half that amount? The answer seems simple, and yet it will take the efforts of individuals like you to convince our government leaders to build the Cincy Eastern Bypass now regional rail mass transit.

 

 

Edit: Is that the Solid Rock Church Touchdown Jesus in the logo? Is this page a parody?

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^Pretty sure that's the Fountain Square fountain.

 

Ironic considering this project would allow people to just bypass the city entirely and never afford them the opportunity to see sights like Fountain Square.

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^Pretty sure that's the Fountain Square fountain.

 

Ironic considering this project would allow people to just bypass the city entirely and never afford them the opportunity to see sights like Fountain Square.

 

The arms on the replacement Jesus are very similar in position.

 

The proposed route is so circuitous that it would actually allow people to bypass Solid Rock Church.

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The idea of bypassing Cincinnati while on 75 taking you beyond the furthest east suburbs is comical. It makes no sense from any "better good" standpoint and only makes sense for greenfield developers.

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I-275 is already the largest circle freeway in the country. It's so big that we can't even force trucks to use it as a "bypass" because it would add too much time to their route. And yet this solution proposes adding an even bigger ring around it!

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If you look at the mileage charts included as part of the map, you will see that this bypass actually does compare well to the existing routes because of the peculiarities of I-75 and I-71 inside and outside the I-275 loop. 

 

http://cincyeasternbypass.com/files/cvg_region_map.pdf

 

So from I-71 at Lebanon to I-75 in Warsaw, KY, the mileage is actually identical to traveling on I-71 through the city to that point.  So no doubt the travel time would be faster and during rush hour significantly faster than existing expressways. 

 

So that's the biggest distance/time advantage, with I-75 near Middletown to I-71 near Walton the least advantageous.  That route adds 14 miles, but would probably still beat existing travel times except on Sunday mornings. 

 

 

 

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If a new connection were to be added between I-75 and I-71, the logical way to do it would be extending the Butler County Veterans Highway east to I-71. I seem to recall that this was proposed at one point, but I don't know how seriously it was pursued. However, I'm not sure what purpose that would actually serve other than giving Hamilton/West Chester residents a little bit quicker access to I-71.

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The fact is that that area totally blew it in the 1990s.  There were three big issues in that area:

 

1. Construction of the Fox Highway and possible extension to I-71

2. Decommissioning of the Voice of America grounds and its turnover to the township

3. Development of Tylersville Rd. at Cox Rd.

 

They completely screwed up each of those three issues.  Currently there is no direct interstate highway access across to I-71, Tylersville Rd. is massively over-developed between I-75 and Cox Rd., Voice of America Park is ugly, and a big chunk of the park was sold off for a strip mall. 

 

 

 

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I was looking at that map on the website: http://cincyeasternbypass.com and the bypass just looks really out of the way.  It doesn't look like it would save anybody any drive time heading north.  It looks like it would be easier to just have I-71 head NE over I-75 instead of being combined as 71/75 and have it connect in with I-471 which would actually get renamed as part of I-71 since it would no longer be a bypass.  People going up I-71 would stay on I-71. Although that would add a lot of traffic to the Big Mac bridge and that could cause another issue and the existing I-471 section that is currently there would probably have to have at least another lane added to that section. 

 

Then there is the issue of why there isn't a bridge just north of the airport.  The airport is practically right next to the Ohio river. There could be a new section of Interstate that could go just as far as crossing the river or have an entirely new section that could go the entire length from the airport and head up to the I-74/I275 area.  That way that would feed a lot of local west side drivers off of I-75.   

 

There is no doubt that a new bridge needs to be built, but these two options I'm sure would take a lot of that traffic off of the BS bridge so it doesn't take on so much of the Ohio river crossing traffic. 

 

Also while looking at the map of the area, it makes me wonder why 32 between I-275 and just East of Batavia doesn't have all of those lights removed and overpasses put in to make that area more functional.  I thought this was supposed to be done.  It's been a while, but every time I would have to drive through there it just amazes me that was not done correctly in the beginning. 

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Cincinnati: builds Washington Park, leads to massive revitalization around that part of the city

 

Blue Ash: passes new tax to fund the purchase of the former Blue Ash Airport and turn it into Summit Park

 

West Chester: uhh, I guess let's just sell off a chunk of this land and turn it into a strip mall...

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Cincinnati: builds Washington Park, leads to massive revitalization around that part of the city

 

Blue Ash: passes new tax to fund the purchase of the former Blue Ash Airport and turn it into Summit Park

 

West Chester: uhh, I guess let's just sell off a chunk of this land and turn it into a strip mall...

 

They probably used the argument that the sale of the land would pay for the park improvements, but sadly what has been built there is pretty weak.  The VOA buildings themselves still haven't been turned into the museum that has been promised for going-on 20 years now.  The only "bad" part of the gift was that the land had absolutely zero mature trees.  But we're not 20 years into it and hardly anything has been planted. 

 

 

 

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Bevin the next Kentucky governor

 

The election also has importance for the  proposed $2.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge project. Bevin's election make tolls on the bridge even less likely, said Boone County Republican and county clerk Kenny Brown. [...]

 

Bevin opposes tolls and has advocated that the Eastern Bypass proposal should get a second look.

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I hope that NKY politicians continue to oppose BSB tolls and waste a few years studying this Eastern Bypass idea. When the results come back, it will be clear that the Eastern Bypass will do absolutely nothing to reduce congestion on any existing highways or bridges. The federal government isn't going to provide any money for its construction. Maybe if current trends continue, we will be able to re-evaluate the whole BSB concept in five or ten years and decide that ultimately, we don't need a 14-lane river crossing.

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This Eastern Bypass concept, if pursued, would be the single greatest waste of resources in our region since ever.

 

I don't know how they expect to get both DOT's to coordinate on this. 

 

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IF we actually pretended a bypass was a better option than a new Brent spence, it should go around the West side starting by hitting Hamilton, following the Miami cutting between lawrenceburg and Delhi and connecting to the airport and going south to 75 in Boone county. The new bridge could then have designated r.o.w. for a light rail line which would start at the riverfront transit center, run along the river and use the new crossing to end at the airport. However neither bypass option is going to happen.

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Covington's drunk doorman-puncher councilman Steven Frank was just on 700 going full blast on this concept.  The nutty Nky tea partiers have been emboldened by the rise of their man crush, Matt Damon.

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Yeah, it's absolutely incredible how Northern Kentucky leaders remain completely oblivious to changes taking places in almost every major city across the country. You'd think Covington and Newport would be trying to revive their historic urban neighborhoods and create a renaissance similar to OTR or Northside. But instead Steven Frank pushes a highway expansion plan straight out of the 50's.

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All things equal... i dont understand how an 'eastern bypass' would in anyway alleviate traffic congestion on the BSB? Its proposed start is in Springboro then goes down to Crittenden KY. If people wanted to bypass the BSB from the north or south they can already to that with 275... its not like a bypass already doesnt exist.

 

Any from NKYs perspective... why would leaders from NKY be advocating that billions be spent on infrastructure several counties away? Makes no sense. 

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I love the Clermont Commissioner's comment about how he doesn't care if the BSB is fixed or not because it's "in another region."

 

Dude, right back at you for anything in your county.

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All things equal... i dont understand how an 'eastern bypass' would in anyway alleviate traffic congestion on the BSB? Its proposed start is in Springboro then goes down to Crittenden KY. If people wanted to bypass the BSB from the north or south they can already to that with 275... its not like a bypass already doesnt exist.

 

Any from NKYs perspective... why would leaders from NKY be advocating that billions be spent on infrastructure several counties away? Makes no sense. 

 

The people proposing the Eastern Bypass do not actually believe that it would reduce congestion on the BSB. They just want the money to be spent on a new sprawl-inducing highway instead of fixing the existing infrastructure. Henry Fisher, who is proposing the idea, owns Fischer Homes and would love nothing more than a whole bunch of new interchanges in exurban Cincinnati where he can buy up cheap farmland and build new subdivisions... like it's 1950 all over again!

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All things equal... i dont understand how an 'eastern bypass' would in anyway alleviate traffic congestion on the BSB? Its proposed start is in Springboro then goes down to Crittenden KY. If people wanted to bypass the BSB from the north or south they can already to that with 275... its not like a bypass already doesnt exist.

 

Any from NKYs perspective... why would leaders from NKY be advocating that billions be spent on infrastructure several counties away? Makes no sense. 

 

The people proposing the Eastern Bypass do not actually believe that it would reduce congestion on the BSB. They just want the money to be spent on a new sprawl-inducing highway instead of fixing the existing infrastructure. Henry Fisher, who is proposing the idea, owns Fischer Homes and would love nothing more than a whole bunch of new interchanges in exurban Cincinnati where he can buy up cheap farmland and build new subdivisions... like it's 1950 all over again!

 

I love the double standard: it's ok for an exurban home builder to be pro infrastructure that will raise the value of his property, but heaven forbid someone buy a building on race street and then be pro streetcar

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^ Highways are incredibly destructive and have been net-negative in ROI for quite a while now.  It's apples and oranges compared to the streetcar. 

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I love the Clermont Commissioner's comment about how he doesn't care if the BSB is fixed or not because it's "in another region."

 

Dude, right back at you for anything in your county.

 

Well, that's just a dumb comment by the Commissioner.  I wonder if he knows that Clermont County is part of the Cincinnati Metropolitan area.  Clermont County has 200k people living in it.  To be a part of a metropolitan area, there has to be at least 25% of the people commuting to the county (Hamilton), which means at least 50k people work in Hamilton County, which is in the same region as the Brent Spence.  So, what would happen I wonder to Clermont county if we flopped it in the middle of New Mexico?

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Yeah, it's absolutely incredible how Northern Kentucky leaders remain completely oblivious to changes taking places in almost every major city across the country. You'd think Covington and Newport would be trying to revive their historic urban neighborhoods and create a renaissance similar to OTR or Northside. But instead Steven Frank pushes a highway expansion plan straight out of the 50's.

 

Um... not to start a fight, but leave Newport out of this.  We are trying hard and making gains toward reviving our historic neighborhood; we just don't have anywhere near the clout or the funding that Cincinnati has, and the divisive attitude of our region doesn't help.  Steven Frank aside, most of the energy against tolls is coming from the suburbs, not Covington and Newport.  A new Brent Spence Bridge or Eastern Bypass just pushes more development out to the burbs, which would hurt Covington and Newport even more than Cincinnati.

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Yeah stupid provincial ****ing match is happening between the core cities, it should stop.

 

Bellevue seems to be the one that is the most on track towards revitalization, I'm hoping other communities in NKY take notes from them.

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All things equal... i dont understand how an 'eastern bypass' would in anyway alleviate traffic congestion on the BSB? Its proposed start is in Springboro then goes down to Crittenden KY. If people wanted to bypass the BSB from the north or south they can already to that with 275... its not like a bypass already doesnt exist.

 

Any from NKYs perspective... why would leaders from NKY be advocating that billions be spent on infrastructure several counties away? Makes no sense. 

 

The people proposing the Eastern Bypass do not actually believe that it would reduce congestion on the BSB. They just want the money to be spent on a new sprawl-inducing highway instead of fixing the existing infrastructure. Henry Fisher, who is proposing the idea, owns Fischer Homes and would love nothing more than a whole bunch of new interchanges in exurban Cincinnati where he can buy up cheap farmland and build new subdivisions... like it's 1950 all over again!

 

Developers know that 275 is approaching capacity for moving workers into job centers from Clermont. They will hang their hat on any proposal to increase that capacity, otherwise they aren't getting their highway "subsidy."

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most of the energy against tolls is coming from the suburbs, not Covington and Newport

 

The biggest complaint I see from Covington re: BSB is that they are eliminating the 5th Street Exit in Cov. That will be detrimental in the short term for Covington and I understand their opposition to that. Most in Covington could take the Roebling or Clay Wade Bailey instead anyway and skip the highway altogether like they do now.

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^ All that 5th Street really serves is a bunch of very low-value fast food chains and hotels that are 80% paved parking lots anyway.  If real value and "economic development" came from the highway then downtown Covington would have shifted over to that area, but it obviously hasn't.  Instead we get Taco Bell and Holiday Inn Express, which *newsflash* don't even come close to paying their way for the infrastructure that serves them due to low-value buildings, low-value sites covered with parking, and low-paying jobs.  So if all that land by the CWB Bridge can be repurposed for something a bit less dependent on large traffic flows then all the better, even if they don't know it yet.  Just so long as they don't pull an MLK Blvd on Pike Street or something to try to "improve access" to downtown. 

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Exactly. Long term, eliminating the 5th Street interchange will encourage a denser urban form since it won't be reliant on access to 75 and will instead focus on the neighborhood and easy walking/biking distance to downtown Cov and Cincinnati.

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most of the energy against tolls is coming from the suburbs, not Covington and Newport

 

The biggest complaint I see from Covington re: BSB is that they are eliminating the 5th Street Exit in Cov. That will be detrimental in the short term for Covington and I understand their opposition to that. Most in Covington could take the Roebling or Clay Wade Bailey instead anyway and skip the highway altogether like they do now.

 

Yes, they are definitely concerned about that.  Covington lost one set of exits already when "Death Hill" was redesigned and became "The Cut in the Hill".  From a functionality standpoint, I think that the BSB would work a lot better if the southbound exit and northbound entrance nearest to the bridge were eliminated.  Those frequently cause cars to merge across 2-4 lanes on the bridge itself, which is dangerous and slows down traffic.  This would also open what is essentially a dedicated lane for that northbound entrance for a 4th lane of traffic which could extend backward as far as St. Elizabeth Hospital, minimizing the BSB as a bottleneck during morning rush hour.

 

Covington won't allow this to happen though, because it would impact access to the office towers that exist near the Licking River.

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