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Cincinnati: Complete Streets, Road Diets, and Traffic Calming

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26 minutes ago, JYP said:

Looks like Hollister Street in Mt. Auburn could become the latest street to be converted back to two-way traffic:

 

https://city-egov2.cincinnati-oh.gov/Webtop/ws/council/public/child/Blob/55105.pdf?rpp=-10&w=doc_no%3D'201901798'&m=1

 

 

 

 

By "in Mt. Auburn" I assume that they only mean E. Hollister.  Converting W. Hollister to 2-way would be very dangerous since people would cut the Mad Frog corner.  

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43 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

 

By "in Mt. Auburn" I assume that they only mean E. Hollister.  Converting W. Hollister to 2-way would be very dangerous since people would cut the Mad Frog corner.  

 

W. Hollister also looks too narrow to convert without removing the parking, which I imagine would have objections from nearly every single property owner.

 

E. Hollister is also pretty narrow but looks just wide enough to allow two way traffic with parking on both sides. It seems a bit wider than any number of streets in CUF  - like Ohio, a street that squeezes in parked cars on both side of two-way traffic with mere inches to spare. These sorts of streets are great for areas that have lots of foot traffic because it forces drivers to slow down and pay attention.

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The widening and reworking of Auburn at McMillan will take the edge off the trickle of new traffic we'll see from people traveling uphill on Vine cutting over to Auburn on their way either to Euclid Ave. or eastbound on McMillan.  This is probably why E. Hollister was made one-way eastbound to begin with.  

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Here's why local business owners are outraged by proposed traffic flow changes

 

Colerain Township officials are considering changes designed to make Colerain Avenue a safer road, but some business owners along the busy thoroughfare are outraged by the proposals, Courier partner WKRC reports.

 

Design firm KZF recently presented a 100-plus-page plan to township trustees. Colerain Township Administrator Geoff Milz said the plan includes a lengthy list of improvements to Colerain Avenue and its surroundings, including changes to access points to businesses, wider sidewalks for pedestrians, grass medians, more trees, lane changes and redevelopment around Northgate Mall.

 

But the one thing that got businesses fired up? No more left turns at various points on Colerain Avenue between Struble Road and Byrneside Drive.

 

“This proposal to make left turns illegal on Colerain Avenue is not only ridiculous, but widely inconsiderate to all the longtime businesses on Colerain Avenue as a whole,” said Kelsey Foster of Grippo Foods Inc.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/12/13/heres-why-local-business-owners-areoutraged-by.html

 

5762543422_9f483234e2_b.jpg


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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6 minutes ago, BigDipper 80 said:

Man, these business owners would lose their mind if they ever went to Metro Detroit. 

Or Northern NJ (thinking Rtes. 3 and 46)

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2 hours ago, GCrites80s said:

The main problem I see is that Ohioans aren't used to being allowed to make U-turns -- except people in Middletown.

 

Well, U-Turns are legal in Ohio per Ohio traffic code statute 4511.37 (U-turns are prohibited on curves, or hills if the vehicle “cannot be seen within 500 feet by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction.”).  It's just that some cities i.e. Columbus ban them entirely.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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On 12/14/2019 at 1:09 AM, ColDayMan said:

 

Well, U-Turns are legal in Ohio per Ohio traffic code statute 4511.37 (U-turns are prohibited on curves, or hills if the vehicle “cannot be seen within 500 feet by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction.”).  It's just that some cities i.e. Columbus ban them entirely.

 

I am very familiar with this part of the ORC... I used it to get out of a hefty insurance claim!


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

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

It looks like 13th & Vine used to have bump-outs but they must have been removed in the early 2000s during the Gateway Quarter era of 3CDC redevelopment:

 

They threw in a handful of those bumpouts all the way up to Elder when the street was converted back to two-way in 1999.  I don't think they were particularly well done and probably caused drainage problems, as well as left turning vehicles blocking everyone behind them.  I guess I never really thought about how they've since disappeared, but they were all removed when the street was rebuilt in 2004.  I wonder if the city sold it as "you lose the bumpouts, but you get granite curbs and a strip of brick sidewalk."

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1 hour ago, jjakucyk said:

 

They threw in a handful of those bumpouts all the way up to Elder when the street was converted back to two-way in 1999.  I don't think they were particularly well done and probably caused drainage problems, as well as left turning vehicles blocking everyone behind them.  I guess I never really thought about how they've since disappeared, but they were all removed when the street was rebuilt in 2004.  I wonder if the city sold it as "you lose the bumpouts, but you get granite curbs and a strip of brick sidewalk."

I've never understood why there aren't more "no left turn" signs around town where a strong grid exists. Its no biggie to go right a few times to get to where you need to be.

 

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22 minutes ago, TheCOV said:

I've never understood why there aren't more "no left turn" signs around town where a strong grid exists. Its no biggie to go right a few times to get to where you need to be.

 

 

In OTR it's hard enough to navigate east-west as it is even without that sort of restriction.  However, in general Cincinnati seems to be way over-signaled compared to other cities.  Four-way stop signs are incredibly rare here because...traffic flow I guess?  Instead, they're either one/two way stops, or traffic signals.  And yet, there's no real reason for any signals in OTR aside from at Central Parkway and Liberty Streets.  Maybe also the mess of Vine/McMicken/Findlay.  Go to Chicago and there's four-way stops everywhere, even as close to the Loop as Streeterville and River North.  Also, an interesting point made by Jeff Speck that I never really thought about but which makes perfect sense, is that if you have four-way stop controlled intersections, you don't need turning lanes anymore.  In fact it's better if you don't, because then everyone just has to take their turn and there's less confusion.  So there's never the problem of one person blocking the intersection for a whole "phase" of the signal waiting to make a turn, and you don't have to restrict movements either.  Like check this out, this is basically the same cross section as Vine Street, with massive density, but just simple stop signs:  https://goo.gl/maps/BBg5ddcriGUu6E8D6  

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Many if not most of Cincinnati's bus routes travel north/south through Over-the-Rhine.  Making it all stop signs would slow down all of those bus routes (and the streetcar) and consume more fuel.  

 

 

 

 

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On 2/10/2020 at 7:23 PM, jmecklenborg said:

Many if not most of Cincinnati's bus routes travel north/south through Over-the-Rhine.  Making it all stop signs would slow down all of those bus routes (and the streetcar) and consume more fuel.  

 

Would it though?  The presence of a traffic signal doesn't guarantee a GREEN traffic signal.  It's about 50:50 at best.  So yes every stop sign is a guaranteed stop, but if your average stop time is only half as long as at a typical red traffic signal, then it's a wash time-wise, and you don't have to worry about turning vehicles like I mentioned before.  I bet it's one of those things that feels slower, but actually isn't.  

 

Also, for the streetcar specifically, I bet you could set up the existing signals to be all-way flashing red most of the time, but when a streetcar approaches, it turns the cross street solid red and the main street solid green.  Basically it's in the equivalent of "night mode" most of the time, and the streetcar triggers "day mode" temporarily.  That way you get the benefits of a simple 4-way stop as well as transit preemption that always works because it never has to wait for a signal phase to time out.  

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I'm not sure if this is better suited for this thread or the EWH/Walnut Hills thread (feel free to move). The Cincinnati Art Museum is building their Art Walk ~here which has led to a temporary closing of the turning lane at Gilbert and Eden Park. My loose understanding is that the Art Museum is in discussions with the city/parks to reconfigure the intersection as a whole and they are hoping to have at least some patrons utilize the already-existing street parking on Gilbert to walk up to the museum. And they're also fairly open to suggestions to make the area more equitable and accessible as a whole. 

 

I'm fairly new to urbanism and UrbanOhio for that matter but my gut instinct is that this general area doesn't feel overly walkable, and if you park on the southbound side of Gilbert with a couple of kids, there's a zero percent chance you're going to want to cross Gilbert with its current configuration. There's also the magic bike lane that appears further down Gilbert but certainly doesn't inspire a lot of hope if you're a novice rider like me, and there's these suckers here and here showing there's at least some desire for bike lanes. But there's also the bus stop factor with the 4 and 11 both stopping nearby and high-use routes. 

 

I guess I'm wondering if this would be a good candidate for a parking-protected protected bike lane that helps connect downtown to Walnut Hills, or if anyone has any ideas that could improve the street (intersection/road diet? bump outs?). I feel like if the Cincinnati Art Museum, and maybe even the ballet site further down, can get on board it would make it politically more viable - but maybe I'm naive. 

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12 hours ago, jjakucyk said:

 

 

Also, for the streetcar specifically, I bet you could set up the existing signals to be all-way flashing red most of the time, but when a streetcar approaches, it turns the cross street solid red and the main street solid green.  Basically it's in the equivalent of "night mode" most of the time, and the streetcar triggers "day mode" temporarily.  That way you get the benefits of a simple 4-way stop as well as transit preemption that always works because it never has to wait for a signal phase to time out.  

 

Yeah that could work.  It's not important for the streetcar to travel at a steady 30mph+ through the area - what's important is for it to not stop completely.  User perception of the overall utility of the service is damaged every time the streetcar comes to a complete stop between stations. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, shawk said:

I'm not sure if this is better suited for this thread or the EWH/Walnut Hills thread (feel free to move). The Cincinnati Art Museum is building their Art Walk ~here which has led to a temporary closing of the turning lane at Gilbert and Eden Park. My loose understanding is that the Art Museum is in discussions with the city/parks to reconfigure the intersection as a whole and they are hoping to have at least some patrons utilize the already-existing street parking on Gilbert to walk up to the museum. And they're also fairly open to suggestions to make the area more equitable and accessible as a whole. 

 

I'm fairly new to urbanism and UrbanOhio for that matter but my gut instinct is that this general area doesn't feel overly walkable, and if you park on the southbound side of Gilbert with a couple of kids, there's a zero percent chance you're going to want to cross Gilbert with its current configuration. There's also the magic bike lane that appears further down Gilbert but certainly doesn't inspire a lot of hope if you're a novice rider like me, and there's these suckers here and here showing there's at least some desire for bike lanes. But there's also the bus stop factor with the 4 and 11 both stopping nearby and high-use routes. 

 

I guess I'm wondering if this would be a good candidate for a parking-protected protected bike lane that helps connect downtown to Walnut Hills, or if anyone has any ideas that could improve the street (intersection/road diet? bump outs?). I feel like if the Cincinnati Art Museum, and maybe even the ballet site further down, can get on board it would make it politically more viable - but maybe I'm naive. 

 

You're right. Gilbert is way over-built... and certainly doesn't need 7 lanes at that intersection. Anything that narrows the street and slows down traffic would help. In terms of ease of implementation, here are some ideas starting with the easiest/cheapest: remove the slip turn lanes, add bumpouts, add bike lanes, move the curbs in (making larger sidewalks).  

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Indeed, Gilbert has no traffic.  It was the primary route to the east side back in the day, along with Victory Parkway which feeds into it at Eden Park Drive, but Columbia Parkway and I-71 sucked all that traffic away.  Since Gilbert already has a median/turn lane, you can easily just scoot the parking in one lane and make the current parking lane a protected bikeway.  No curb modifications needed, and the parking lane can become bus stops and right turn lanes as needed.  It's below Elsinore that things get ugly.  The highway ramps casino entrance along with the slope makes it a biking disaster.  Reading is no better. 

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^Yeah, I ride down Gilbert so rarely that I always forget about that bad merge south of Elsinore.   It's a fairly bad situation since there is usually some gravel distracting you as you try to figure out if there is a gap or not.  

 

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:15 AM, jjakucyk said:

Indeed, Gilbert has no traffic.  It was the primary route to the east side back in the day, along with Victory Parkway which feeds into it at Eden Park Drive, but Columbia Parkway and I-71 sucked all that traffic away.  Since Gilbert already has a median/turn lane, you can easily just scoot the parking in one lane and make the current parking lane a protected bikeway.  No curb modifications needed, and the parking lane can become bus stops and right turn lanes as needed.  It's below Elsinore that things get ugly.  The highway ramps casino entrance along with the slope makes it a biking disaster.  Reading is no better. 

It seems like it would make sense to run Wasson Way into Eden Park then connect it to downtown with a protected bike lane on Gilbert if possible. 

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I don't know what the relative counts are, but I would posit that 90+% of bikers go through Eden Park rather than taking Gilbert all the way up to McMillan.  Even those heading to UC tend to do that since it's a much more pleasant ride and you end up just two to three blocks east of Gilbert at the top anyway.  Still, Gilbert could be made much more friendly than it is, and a much better multi-modal link to Walnut Hills.  If they can just get the last mile to downtown fixed.  This https://goo.gl/maps/Sjx8egihpNo1W7H88 represents a complete misunderstanding of how bikes work.  They want you to scrub all your downhill momentum into a turn with maybe a five foot radius.  If this was on an uphill, maybe, but not on a fast downhill.  Instead, cyclists just merge left to maintain speed, then try in vain to look behind and to the right for any vehicles flying down the offramp at highway speed while also trying to look ahead for cracks in the pavement.  By the time all is sorted out, the bike lane has ended.  This whole stretch needs to be re-engineered, perhaps in conjunction with removal of the Gilbert Avenue Viaduct too, that has been discussed before.  The massive I-71 wall and blank parking garage/lot and bus station are all negatives, but at the same time, the lack of much "there, there" means it could be treated more like an actual multi-modal parkway or allé than a highway.

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On 2/10/2020 at 7:23 PM, jmecklenborg said:

Many if not most of Cincinnati's bus routes travel north/south through Over-the-Rhine.  Making it all stop signs would slow down all of those bus routes (and the streetcar) and consume more fuel.  

 

South Philly is one of the densest neighborhoods in the US and has like 20+ bus routes running through it. The vast majority of intersections are controlled by four way stops and it works quite well. A much better experience for cyclists too.

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If the City of Cincinnati ever finishes installing the new high-tech traffic control system that they have allegedly been installing for several years...will we be able to do this?

 

 

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