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taestell

Cincinnati: Complete Streets, Road Diets, and Traffic Calming

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Haha, I just noticed that. I have no idea what that means, I guess it was an aspirational statement that they want to turn that storefront into hip office space!

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Not exactly a road "diet"... but the stretch of Vine St near the VA has been re-striped, removing the curbside 15' lanes, resulting in an extra lane (2 lanes northbound, 1 center turn lane, 2 lanes southbound, 1 lane parking). Previously, the western curbside lane was quite awkwardly always designated for parking, with a 5 ft half-lane next to it.

 

Streetview: https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1405141,-84.5093739,3a,75y,180.57h,67.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYBEGJtyyFPdQJbt4N0Nz2Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

Updated striping:

7xntXAtE1M4Q34nJsrKL4bhhI3EOVEck-F2MaXK6ItBOXF-xHirnXor1ePt88pPMFWZqho99s94g5jU68_rvVEAD-4iWxhol0Y6B2GbzyXgFCM1GxguWFdvElYzqyOFGAAeQjJDflNo=w951-h325-no

 

 

 

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I drive that stretch all the time, and the number of people driving in the parking lane was concerning. A lot of near misses as cars don't realize it isn't a driving lane until too late. Good change IMO.

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The "wide right lanes" are/were supposed to be bike-friendly designs that allowed room for cars to pass cyclists while also allowing those cars to keep the entire lane swept of debris and reducing the need for extra line striping.  They've been mostly deprecated now however, because the wide lanes encourage speeding and probably still run afoul of 3-foot minimum passing laws.  They also give no indication what they're there for  When cars are parked in those wide lanes, the space left over is even greater.  So I'd call this Vine Street re-striping neutral at best, but I'd actually call it road glut because it adds a lane for moving traffic while squeezing out what little accommodation for cyclists there was. 

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That's a turd sandwich vs giant douche kind of choice.  But there's no 80% wide lane, it's a 140% wide lane regardless of parking.  I think 14-feet is the standard for that, which if you have a parked car snugged up to the curb can look like there's juuuuuust enough room to drive next to it, but not really. 

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There used to be telephone poles on the left side of the road (next to the VA):

Updated striping:

7xntXAtE1M4Q34nJsrKL4bhhI3EOVEck-F2MaXK6ItBOXF-xHirnXor1ePt88pPMFWZqho99s94g5jU68_rvVEAD-4iWxhol0Y6B2GbzyXgFCM1GxguWFdvElYzqyOFGAAeQjJDflNo=w951-h325-no

 

I remember those wires because I went out for my first ride a week after breaking my ribs in a water bottle-related fall when I was 22 or 23.  I was riding on that sidewalk and I got pooped on by some birds roosting on the wires.  So I had to turn around and go back to my house to change shirts. 

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According to a construction worker, the Main Street sidewalk construction will be finished in the next 3 weeks, and the whole project (including the street repaving) should be finished by October. Also, I did not know this until today, the RedBike station at Orchard & Main will actually be moving out onto the new bumpout at that intersection.

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According to a construction worker, the Main Street sidewalk construction will be finished in the next 3 weeks, and the whole project (including the street repaving) should be finished by October. Also, I did not know this until today, the RedBike station at Orchard & Main will actually be moving out onto the new bumpout at that intersection.

 

The message from Redbike on that Orchard location change was a riot.  They really played up that the location was going to move once the bump outs were done.  They then followed that up with the change of location was to move it seven feet west.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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It's not a huge game-changer, but anything that makes the stations more visible is good. The previous location wasn't "hidden", but it was tucked back a bit more from Main St, so the new location will be more visible as you drive/walk up Main St. And the more that people see the stations, the more likely they are to use the system because they know where to pick-up/drop-off the bikes. Seeing other people use the system (checking out and docking bikes) also helps encourage other users.

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The Orchard & Main RedBike station has been reinstalled on the new bumpout. Both MOTR and The Pony have installed new outdoor areas taking advantage of the additional sidewalk space. Crews are currently grinding the road surface and putting down fresh asphalt.

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Now that they have put down the first layer of fresh asphalt and paint on Main Street, I have noticed some strange behavior from drivers. Forgive the verbosity but this is sort of hard to explain.

 

For anyone who's not familiar with Main Street, what's odd is that none of the intersections between Central Parkway and Liberty Street line up. So heading north from Central Parkway, you have the following intersections:

  1. 12th Street - left, with traffic light
  2. 12th Street - right, no traffic light
  3. 13th Street - the left/right sides do not line up exactly, but they are close enough that they are fudged into a single intersection with a three-phase traffic signal
  4. Woodward Street - right, no traffic light
  5. 14th Street - right, no traffic light
  6. 14th Street - left, traffic light
  7. Orchard Street - right, no traffic light
  8. Melindy Street - left, no traffic light

As part of the project, a new crosswalk was added just south of intersection 5 (between MOTR and The Pony). Crews just painted the lines for this new crosswalk a few days ago. However, the temporary paint that they have put down uses transverse style markings rather than longitudinal ("zebra crossing" style) markings. (Here's a graphic illustrating the difference if you don't know what I mean.)

 

What I have noticed is that when drivers are heading north on Main Street and see a red light at intersection 6, some of them are actually stopping at that crosswalk before intersection 5, basically a half-block back from where they should be stopping, thinking that the line painted across the street is a stop line. Ultimately I do not think that this will be a major issue, as the permanent paint job for these crosswalk will be longitudinal markings, so it should not be mistaken for a stop line. If anything, this illustrates why we need to be painting all of our crosswalks as longitudinal, which drivers understand more clearly.

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Surprised to see drivers in this city understanding what the stop bar is for.


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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I noticed a few traffic signals around the city today that were put into flashing yellow/flashing red mode. For example, on Auburn Avenue, several of the minor intersections' traffic lights were put into this mode. I wonder if this is intended to be permanent or perhaps part of some traffic study that's going on.

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It could also be due to a power outage or surge.  The default fail state seems to be to go to flashing mode.  It could also be a clock issue wherein the controller thinks it's the middle of the night.  There's apparently a citywide telephone or fiber-optic interconnect that is used to synchronize all the controller clocks.  I've wondered if there's some issues with that lately because the very closely spaced signals outside my office at Sycamore/Central and Sycamore/Reading have been out of sync with each other all week. 

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^ I've noticed the signals on Plum near City Hall are out of sync, as well. My first assumption was that they were reprogrammed to favor east/west traffic as a part of some sort of traffic study, but I wasn't convinced because they mostly just seem to be wonky.

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I don't think it's related to a power failure because the Main & 14th light has been flashing for the past 2 days. And on Auburn it was only the minor intersections while the major ones were still operating normally. I think it could be beneficial to put some of these minor intersection into flashing mode permanently or even replace them with stop signs in some cases.

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City Council's Major Projects committee just got its first presentation of the findings of the downtown traffic study that has been in the works for something like 2 years. It included a number of potential changes that could be made to the downtown/OTR street grid, labeled with either "green" for ready to move forward or "yellow" for requires more study. It even included two changes that have already been implemented around the streetcar route--the redesign of 12th at Main, and the addition of a left turn lane on Race at Liberty. However, Council made it clear that they were frustrated by the report, which laid out a number of possible changes (including signal re-timing, signal priority for transit at some intersections, pedestrian walk sign head starts, moving some bus stops), but left the decision on what to implement to the city rather than actually suggesting what changes should be made. It did not include an approximate cost associated with each change, and it did not include anything about bikes, scooters, additional transit-only lanes, or the Liberty Street road diet. Landsman asked that the city and consultants to improve the report and return to the committee by the end of the year with an updated, improved version.

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I don't know if I'd go that far. Recalibrating traffic lights to give Main and Walnut more green light time will be a huge win for transit riders. Giving pedestrians a head start by turning on the walk signal a few seconds before giving cars the green light is a pretty progressive idea for Cincinnati. They even mentioned the idea of converting some one-way streets back to two-way, which surprised me, given that the DOTE typically hates that idea.

 

Where it started to get a little wishy-washy is with some of the "yellow" ideas, like the four intersections where they suggested select transit vehicles may get signal priority. It would have been great for the consultants to say, "if this is implemented, we will shave x minutes off of every streetcar round trip and y minutes off of every Metro*Plus round trip, and therefore, we recommend moving forward with this proposal." Instead they just presented the idea to council and said, "do with this what you will."

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Also, very conservatively speaking, this consultant probably could have afforded an entire staff member for 2 years (salary, benefits, etc) due to this "study". Literally someone could have had at least 4,000 billable hours to this project.

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One of the more discouraging things from the presentation was Juech's response to Seelbach's question about Liberty Street. He basically said that Liberty Street was not part of this traffic study since it was being studied as part of its own project, and that the city was "looking at it again" (or something to that effect) because of the ordinance that Council passed two month ago. Council did not pass an ordinance directing the City Administration to "look at it again"... they directed the City Administration to actually move forward with building the Liberty Street Road Diet which has already been studied to death over the past few years, and they appropriated the funding to do so.

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

Giving pedestrians a head start by turning on the walk signal a few seconds before giving cars the green light is a pretty progressive idea for Cincinnati.

 

This is so sad but true. 

 

I was in Cleveland last weekend and the Euclid Avenue BRT made me so jealous and ashamed of our stupid version of a bus-only lane. 

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

Giving pedestrians a head start by turning on the walk signal a few seconds before giving cars the green light is a pretty progressive idea for Cincinnati.

22 minutes ago, DEPACincy said:

This is so sad but true.

 

Well this is the city where pedestrians are given early DON'T walk signals in preference to turning vehicles. 

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26 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

People just need to quit worrying bout this stuff.  Nothing's going to change until Cranely is out of there. 

 

It only takes the six democrats on council to stick together to override a veto

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^He's going to intimidate these people into doing what he wants since he appears, at least for the time being, to rank higher in the local and state D party.  As long as that's the case and he can threaten to end their political careers while rewarding his allies (all of whom seem to be Republicans), the status quo will prevail. 

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20 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

^He's going to intimidate these people into doing what he wants since he appears, at least for the time being, to rank higher in the local and state D party.  As long as that's the case and he can threaten to end their political careers while rewarding his allies (all of whom seem to be Republicans), the status quo will prevail. 

 

You are probably right.  Remember who runs the Dems in Ohio :(.

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22 hours ago, neilworms said:

 

You are probably right.  Remember who runs the Dems in Ohio :(.

Idiots?


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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11 minutes ago, Cygnus said:

Idiots?

 

David Pepper, who pretty much was handpicked by Luken to succeed him and we all know how good Luken was as mayor....

 

Thank goodness Mallory won, the city would be in far worse shape if that didn't happen.

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Traffic Study Leaves Cincinnati City Council Wanting More

The interim version of a draft traffic study was not enough to appease members of the Cincinnati City Council seeking concrete action on congestion in Downtown.

December 17, 2018, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell

 

"After a two-year wait for the results of a Downtown traffic study, members of City Council were left with more questions than answers Tuesday after a preliminary presentation from transportation officials," reports Pat LaFleur.

The "Downtown Traffic Signal Timing Study: Interim Report" [pdf] left city council members wanting more specifics on proposed congestion improvement projects, like traffic signal timing, transit stop locations, lane striping, and curbside management, according to LaFleur.

 

MORE...

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Councilman Greg Landsman is saying on Twitter that City Council will soon be voting on a Vision Zero program. My question is, will this be a pure symbolic gesture in light of all of the recent pedestrian fatalities; or will it actually allocate resources where they need to be allocated in order to make our streets safer? Will CPD actually be required to ticket drivers for speeding, making illegal right-on-red turns, blocking crosswalks, driving or parking in transit-only lanes, etc.? Will DOTE be required to consider pedestrians and transit riders with every street design going forward, instead of only considering drivers? What mechanisms will be used to hold these departments accountable?

 

 

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The problem of pedestrians (including many children walking to/from school) being killed on Cincinnati streets has gotten so bad that even our Mayor can't ignore it anymore. He has proposed funding for several traffic calming projects that neighborhoods have been begging for. There's a very vague reference to "Vision Zero" but no details. And of course, no mention of the Liberty Street Safety Improvement Project which the Mayor simply doesn't want to happen.

 

 

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This a great start. However, two questions: What is the impact to the ongoing (never ending) Downtown Traffic Study? How does one get a street added for consideration (I'd like to see Broadway extended two-way)?

pat_laFleur_2019-Feb-15.thumb.jpg.2dc7ad4f4e8972b7df1913a9a8548196.jpg


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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