Jump to content
taestell

Cincinnati: Complete Streets, Road Diets, and Traffic Calming

Recommended Posts

Starting a new catch-all thread for complete streets, road diets, pedestrian safety enhancements, and other traffic calming projects around Greater Cincinnati, since many of these things were getting lumped into the Liberty Street thread.

 


 

New international-style crosswalks were painted at a few intersection around OTR earlier this week:

 

41131884814_a347ffe366_h.jpg

 

40950012415_fc812043b9_h.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another international style crosswalk was painted at 12th & Walnut and it looks like one is about to be painted at Central Parkway and Walnut.

 

However, the city has started grinding down parts of 14th Street to be repaved, and in the process, has destroyed parts of the crosswalk in my second photo above. It just blows my mind that the city can't better coordinate these projects to avoid destroying paint that was literally put down 1-2 days earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The City of Cincinnati has launched this new tool where people can report problematic areas for pedestrians and bicyclists, where cars speed excessively, and where people would like to see crosswalks or bike lanes added. I would urge everyone reading this who's in Cincinnati to go on this map and add areas where you would like to see improvements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any reason why this section of Clifton Avenue (between McMillan and Ludlow) should be 7 lanes wide? I can't imagine that this stretch gets enough traffic to justify that many lanes. There are virtually no storefronts along that stretch, so having 24 hour parallel parking on both sides of the street seems excessive. It seems like a road diet taking it down to 5 total lanes, with parking allowed on both sides during non-peak hours, would make the street much safer and cause virtually no disruption for drivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I have suggested for years that the streetcar should be extended in a bored tunnel from Findlay Market to Clifton Ave. in this area, where it could then either travel in a landscaped center reservation (similar to streetcars in New Orleans) or travel along the east side of the road from Straight St. to Ludlow Ave. 

 

Also, a streetcar route could easily turn east at MLK and travel on its own ROW parallel to either the north or south side of MLK aross the north edge of UC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The intersections in Mount Lookout Square take up a lot of room, especially for two relatively narrow streets. Would replacing the intersections with roundabouts on the north and south sides of the square work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there enough space to squeeze in roundabouts? I think the better solution would be to just reconfigure either end of the square so that the whole thing functions as a roundabout so that you can get rid of the left turn lanes and lights, but it would lead to significant increases if you're trying to turn left from Linwood to Delta.

 

Alternatively, you could probably do something where you reconfigure the square entirely and just put a large plaza on the western (or eastern) side where there is currently roadway, and have Linwood meet at Delta with simple T-intersections. Excuse the poor-quality Paint doodle, but I'm thinking something like this:

mt_lookout.thumb.png.993377bad631f5a846137644e7c7a9bc.png


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The current configuration makes people slow down and pay attention.  Isn't that the glorious promise of traffic circles? 

 

Look at me, I live in an area with traffic circles.  We're so damn smart. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The unfortunate thing about Mt. Lookout Square is that there's such a high traffic volume, especially in the evening rush, and the business owners are completely parking crazy.  Those awful spaces in the middle of the square are sacrosanct.  There's been proposals floated over the years for the plaza idea, except hurr durr parking.  I think it would be an interesting exploration, though traffic engineering would definitely say Linwood should be the through street instead of Delta, since the volume of drivers going home to Anderson Township from Uptown is what swamps it.  There might also be a way to do a pinched/teardrop type of roundabout like you see at highway interchanges https://goo.gl/maps/YnNtngPrZhn (assuming the geometry works out, but regardless I suspect UDF and Chase Bank would be none too happy about encroaching into their parking lots), allowing the sidewalks to be widened in the middle along with angled or 90º parking, but again traffic engineering would never allow that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so funny to me when places have a "square" like that and fill it with parking instead of public space where people can gather. Mt. Lookout Square could be another Oakley Square if they would eliminate the parking lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so funny to me when places have a "square" like that and fill it with parking instead of public space where people can gather. Mt. Lookout Square could be another Oakley Square if they would eliminate the parking lot.

 

The City had a plan to do that about a decade ago and all the Mt. Lookout businesses freaked!


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As-is it's one of the city's greatest strange intersections.  It works.  People drive slowly, even when traffic is light, which is safe for pedestrians and gives people time to look around and see what stores are in the square. 

 

The center parking lot only has 30 spaces.  Replacing it with an underground garage would be amazingly expensive for so few parking spots, so the garage would need to be bigger to make it worth it.  A bigger garage could serve as resident parking for a residential midrise, but a 10-story building would destroy (DESTROY!) the character of the "square". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People do drive slowly, but it backs up a lot.  Linwood backs up to Paxton and Delta backs up past Spencer Hill in the evenings.  Snow is a disaster and there can be a solid line of nearly stationary traffic from Madison Road all the way to Beechmont levee, but that's not the square's fault. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah it's definitely backed up a lot especially Linwood.  The funny thing I figured out if I am coming home that way from EWH is take Observatory all the way to Delta then down.  Literally no traffic from there.

 

The other thing I think they could do to fix that is take off street parking from 4-6 to 4-7. I can't tell you how many times at 6:10 cars speed down Linwood in the right only to hit a solo parked car then have to merge back in creating even more delay.

 

And actually south from Delta I've seen it backed up almost to Kroger many times, definitely goes past Spring Hill usually daily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bunch of traffic cones recently appeared on Main Street, leading me to believe that the second phase of the Main Street road diet project is underway. The first phase was completed last fall. It's interesting that the city is now referring to the project simply as a "streetscape" ... I believe they were openly calling it a "safety improvement project" a few months ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Update: There are no parking signs in the 1200 block of Main (west side) saying no parking for the next two days. Utility crews are also doing work in front of 13th & Main.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Main Street project is in full swing. The new sidewalk is complete between the intersection of 13th & Main and Goodfella's (including the two new bump-outs), but still in progress between Goodfella's and 12th & Main. Work has also started on the bump-outs in front of Mr. Pitiful's and MOTR. During all of this construction, Main Street is down to 1 travel lane and ... it's actually quite nice. Can we keep it this way permanently? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. Main Street businesses and residents had to fight very hard for many years to get this one relatively small traffic calming project to move forward. I don't think residents of any other OTR streets are making a similar effort. Hopefully, when it's complete, it can be used as a model for other streets though. Vine especially should be getting more bump-outs and clearly marked crosswalks because of the amount of foot traffic on that street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unusual sight at 12th & Main. Old sidewalk has been removed revealing a basement that actually extends out of the building and underneath the sidewalk. I have no idea how they pour a new sidewalk on top of this.

IMG_2095.thumb.jpg.022bc2f07fb2ee8fdf3e62145c1cada6.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basements under sidewalks are super common around downtown, and the city hates them.  Previously they might be supported with steel, iron, or stone vaults.  Reinforced concrete became common around the turn of the 20th century.  Now the city wants a structural slab below with a 5" non-structural topping slab to allow them to attach things like parking meters, sign posts, and other street furniture.  Older sidewalks generally had a pretty thin topping slab of only 1"-2" like what we can see in your photo in front of the door. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The owners of that building are really lucky because as part of the sidewalk work, the city is re-building their structural slab sidewalk.  Mine was such a maintenance nightmare, I removed all the utilities from that area and filled it in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The owners of that building are really lucky because as part of the sidewalk work, the city is re-building their structural slab sidewalk.  Mine was such a maintenance nightmare, I removed all the utilities from that area and filled it in.

 

I believe that Urban Sites is the contractor in charge of the Main Street streetscape project, as well as the owner of that retail space, as well as one of the parties that pushed for the streetscape to happen in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Urban Sites has been killing it. I feel like once 3cdc steps back from OTR development, we will be in really good hands if Urban Sites decides to pick up where 3cdc left off. They seem super competent as developers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat unrelated, but that Aladdin's sign is comically small and hard to read.

 

Businesses come and go from OTR all the time and I've never heard of them thanks to the lack of signs.  I think some business owners assume that everyone is using their phones to navigate the real world, but many are not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ I think our sign laws are decidedly antagonistic to the historic character of Cincinnati. Here's 5th Street (perhaps, at the time, a "complete street?") looking north in 1907. Some of these signs are 20+ feet long. Compare them to the tiny signs currently required by code:

 

X2NfkRX.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work began this morning on the Main Street bumpouts in front of MOTR and and at the corner of 14th & Main. There is a ton of construction in the area with some sort of water main replacement happening on 14th & Clay, and the installation of the new Woodward Theater marquee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Half of the new MOTR bumpout was poured today. So they're moving pretty fast...

 

Unfortunately, the reaction hasn't been all positive. I have heard/read several community members complaining about the loss of a few parking spaces, including one woman who approached the construction crew today and chewed them out. Also, someone scrawled "3CDC+Urban Sites can bite me" into the wet concrete yesterday and crews had to buff it out this morning. ?

IMG_2170.thumb.jpg.ba320f5acb1f0304afa6868ceaaf4793.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Exactly, the Ziegler Garage never seems to be more than 50% full. So there is plenty of room for people to park in OTR. When Cincinnatians complain about a lack of parking, they're complaining about a lack of free parking directly in front of their destination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work is wrapping up on the MOTR and 14th/Main (West) bumpouts. The bumpout in front of the former Black Plastic Records space (1411) is still in progress. Work began this morning on the bumpouts in front of The Pony (still labeled H&R Block on the diagram below) and the Woodward Theater. The most dramatic change will be at Orchard & Main where the entire bus stop will be bumped out, similar to what was done in front of the New York Deli at 13th & Main.

2-15-18_Main_-_overall_parking_CityofCincy.thumb.png.016f1d23ac6068ed0fbe136d14d6cab7.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this project. I especially like the bumped out bus stop. This will be a huge improvement on the pedestrian experience on Main Street, and will hopefully be repeated on Walnut and Sycamore as development continues.

 

Hopefully they let the businesses set up outdoor seating in those bump outs as much as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Especially Motr, they have the tiny gated area where you can smoke/take beers outside but even a few tables there would be great. I also like that one of the bumpouts is directly in front of the new marquee for Woodward allowing more space for queuing for busy events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...