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Cincinnati: Eastern Corridor

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EXCLUSIVE REPORTS

From the September 24, 2004 print edition

Cooperation, $1.4B needed for traffic fix

Lucy May

Courier Senior Staff Reporter

When Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin met with Newtown Mayor John Hammon about the billion-dollar Eastern Corridor plan to improve traffic snarls in the region, Hammon offered a specific mandate.

 

 

Dowlin recalled Hammon told him: "I buy all of this. Just don't do one thing. Don't ruin the Dairy Corner."

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Debating a bridge over the Little Miami...from the 11/20/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Eastern bridge report criticized

By Steve Kemme

Enquirer staff writer

 

Preservation groups criticized a government report released Friday that indicated a proposed bridge could be built across the Little Miami River south of Fairfax with minimal impact on the environment.

 

The report was a preliminary draft of the environmental impact statement for the proposed $1.4 billion eastern Hamilton County corridor transportation project.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041120/NEWS01/411200364/1056

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Build the thing already. I can't think of anyplace where a bridge has been built that has destroyed habitat on a river in the usa. This is not a third world country. Sometimes these people piss me off.

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This article appeared in the 11/29/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Corridor transport system requires solidarity

Communities must decide how to pay

By Steve Kemme

Enquirer staff writer

 

Many communities have invested a lot of time in the planning of a $1.4 billion proposal for expanded bus, rail and highway transportation along the eastern corridor of Hamilton County into Clermont County.

 

Now it's time for them to decide whether they want to invest a lot of money and services.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041129/NEWS01/411290336

 

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The National Park Service is against a new span over the Little Miami.  From the 12/8/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Park Service on bridge: 'Reconsider'

Feds oppose proposed span crossing Little Miami River

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

The National Park Service criticized a recently released environmental study that concluded a new bridge over the Little Miami River would create no environmental harm to the waterway, which is a National Wild and Scenic River.

 

The letter says that officials pushing for the new bridge should reconsider.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041208/NEWS01/412080388/1056

 

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How about building the bridge, then removing the Newtown Road Bridge? Net one bridge over the river. IIRC the Newtown Road Bridge has piers in/near the river. IMO the that bridge's importance will be diminished with the Eastern Corridor Bridge

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A blurb on last night's meeting from the 12/10/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Hearing offers public look at corridor plan

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

FAIRFAX - Howard Peacock and the Eastgate area of Cincinnati have grown up together.

 

The 72-year-old has changed a lot over the years, but the way traffic moves through his neighborhood has changed very little - with one exception, there's a lot more of it now.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041210/NEWS01/412100372/1056

 

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I liked this one in the 12/9/04 Kentucky Post better (what's new?):

 

 

Transportation needs for suburbs addressed

By Bob Driehaus

Post staff reporter

 

The long process to upgrade streets and possibly add rail between downtown Cincinnati and eastern suburbs stretching into Clermont County continues today with a public hearing on a smorgasbord of options for moving traffic more smoothly.

 

A joint study by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration has been completed that lays out broad options designed to meet the needs of the growing population through eastern Hamilton County and western Clermont County.

 

http://www.kypost.com/2004/12/09/corr120904.html

 

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From the 5/24/05 Enquirer:

 

 

Preliminary planning work to begin on Ohio 32

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

Clermont County is getting a $334,000 advance from the Eastern Corridor project.

 

A $1.4 billion transportation improvement project, the Eastern Corridor plan is intended to make it easier and safer to commute from communities like Newtown and Batavia to downtown Cincinnati, and vice versa. But the project is at a standstill, awaiting the Federal Highway Administration's permission to proceed with detailed engineering plans for the proposed roads, rail line, bus terminals and bridge crossing over the Little Miami River.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050524/NEWS01/505240364/1056

 

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A span over the Little Miami seems to be the only major holdup in this plan.  From the 5/25/05 Cincinnati Post:

 

 

Anderson: Park Service flip-flops

By Tony Cook

Post staff reporter

 

Anderson Township Trustees are upset about the National Park Service's criticism of a proposed bridge over the Little Miami River, accusing the park service of hypocrisy in a letter last week.

 

The park service said last month that building a bridge over the river as part of the Eastern Corridor transportation plan could strip the river of its federal Wild and Scenic River status.

 

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050525/NEWS01/505250352

 

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From the 6/23/05 Enquirer:

 

 

Sierra Club forum looks at light rail, road project

By Maggie Downs

The Cincinnati Enquirer

 

MARIEMONT - More than 100 community members attended a Sierra Club-sponsored forum Wednesday night to discuss the proposed Eastern Corridor project.

 

The project includes a light-rail line that would run on existing tracks from downtown Cincinnati to Milford, a complete overhaul of the Ohio 32-Interstate 275 interchange in Eastgate, and a 10-mile highway that would link Interstate 71 and Ohio 32.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050623/NEWS01/506230360/1056/rss02

 

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Eastern Corridor gets $500K

Study will look at impact on the region

 

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

 

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation will pay for a $500,000 study of the Eastern Corridor plan that will try to quantify how much the project will mean to the region's economy.

 

ODOT Director Gordon Proctor made the announcement Monday during a Transportation Improvement District meeting at the Hamilton County Administration Building. Proctor said the state is behind the $1.4 billion project and is willing to do whatever it takes to move it from the drawing board to reality.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050802/NEWS01/508020378/1077/NEWS01

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I will post this in the Banks thread also....

 

Garages could help fund light rail

Banks might be catalyst for $450M line to Milford

Lucy May

Senior Staff Reporter

 

 

Ohio and Hamilton County officials are working to parlay $24.5 million in federal money earmarked for riverfront parking into funding for what would be the region's first light rail line.

 

Planning is in the early stages. But the potential is so strong that Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor recently declared the project the region's best shot at building light rail.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2005/08/08/story6.html

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"If the funding can be structured as planned, the money would represent a huge boost to the $1 billion Eastern Corridor plan to improve gridlock throughout the eastern part of Greater Cincinnati.

 

And Hamilton County commissioners view that as one of the most important elements in The Banks project, said Commissioner Todd Portune."

 

 

I wasn't even aware that they considered it a priority.  That's good to hear!

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I can't imagine that line to Lunken generating almost any passengers, hopefully they could build a first phase at least to Newtown.  I would assume that the terminus would be in the Transit Center, but of course any line in the transit center can't easily join the proposed line to UC and Xavier and beyond.  I'm a bit worried about post-game traffic as well, since it doesn't seem that trains running down Pete Rose Way are going to have much luck.  I think for Riverfest they'd just want to have the trains terminate in the actual park where they put all the port-o-lets now. 

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Seems to me that too many agencies are tied to either the parking garages, The Banks, or a light rail line.  Can someone explain to me why the garages aren't built yet?  Who is in charge of putting those in?

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I wasn't even aware that they considered it a priority.  That's good to hear!

I had no idea that Hamilton County Commissioners were working on this.  Very exciting.

I had always thought the milford line would be commuter rail. This is news to me.

 

What, you guys think you know everything that's going on in Cincy?  :wink:

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^ I wish!

 

(It would be great if the county commissioners would make their minutes available on the web.)

 

Your wish has been granted......

 

http://www.hamilton-co.org/commissioners/

 

Click on "meeting minutes"...

Then view information...meeting agendas (will have minutes "agenda and disposition"), will be available by expanding the particular date and time for completed meetings, allowing time for them to be posted

 

Dig in!

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Road, rail plan nears decision

$1.4B project includes controversial bridge

 

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

 

Related PDF File

http://news.enquirer.com/assets/AB7327822.PDF

 

 

FEATURES OF THE EASTERN CORRIDOR PROJECT

Light rail: A passenger train to be build on the "Oasis" line, running from Milford to the Cincinnati riverfront, connecting to the Transit Center near the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Cost: $411 million.

 

Ohio 32: Expanded to four lanes and realigned, with a new bridge crossing the Little Miami River east of Newtown, connecting to Red Bank Road. Cost: $506 million

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050822/NEWS01/508220342

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From the 8/31/05 Cincinnati Post:

 

 

Sierra Club to discuss highway project

Post staff report

 

The Sierra Club will host a public forum to discuss the Eastern Corridor Highway Project from 7 to 9 tonight at the Oakley Community Center, 3882 Paxton Ave.

 

The club says it's a chance for Oakley and Hyde Park residents to learn how they can protect a natural treasure and work for better transportation alternatives.

 

The highway project involves relocating State Route 32 to connect with Interstate 71 by building a multi-lane highway over the Little Miami River.

 

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050831/NEWS01/508310351

 

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$1.4B plan to link town, far East Side

Includes controversial bridge over Little Miami

 

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

bilde?Site=AB&Date=20050927&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=509270353&Ref=V1&Profile=1056&MaxW=600&title=1

 

 

 

TIMELINE FOR THE EASTERN CORRIDOR PROJECT

The Ohio Department of Transportation will pay for a $500,000 study to determine how much each of the 17 communities in the Eastern Corridor would benefit from expected development that would come with the improved transportation systems. This will help establish how much each community should pay for the project. The study will take a year or more.Construction on the Eastern Corridor Project is still years away, perhaps even a decade. Here are some of the next steps:

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050927/NEWS01/509270353

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Planners will try to decide on a route to connect commuter light rail from the Montgomery Inn Boathouse restaurant downtown to the Transit Center. Commuter rail will run on existing tracks from Milford to downtown Cincinnati. This will happen over the next few months.

 

Wow :D


"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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I think they will run the track directly south out of the Transit Center on old Broadway between the baseball stadium and the Coliseum and then across the riverfront along the existing tracks.  To me this seems like both the least expensive route and the one that causes the fewest grade separation problems.

 

<img src="http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/stadium7.jpg"><br>

The Transit Center exits at right.  I'm saying run the track perpendicular to Pete Rose Way.  This causes mild problems for those exiting 2nd St. on the ramp at right before games but causes far fewer problems after games. 

 

<img src="http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/stadium6.jpg"><br>

This area is way too congested at rush hour and before and after games to run rail in the street.  Running rail here means you've got to both cross the Broadway/Taylor-Southgate Bridge intersection and get to the other side of Pete Rose Way eventually, probably down where the Montgomery Inn Ribs is, while an endless stream of cars exits the East Riverfront Garage after games.  You can see here though how easily a line terminating at the Transit Center could be run over the Taylor-Southgate Bridge into Newport.  I've been thinking that a single-track trolley line from Newport to Covington via the Transit Center & T-S and Clay Wade Bailey bridges might be both relatively inexpensive and fairly successful.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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State weighs downtown light-rail routes

 

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will pay for a $400,000 study to find the best route for a light-rail track across downtown Cincinnati's riverfront.

 

The light-rail project is part of a $1.4 billion transportation improvement plan for the eastern suburbs in Hamilton and Clermont counties, called the Eastern Corridor Project. A portion of that plan includes so-called light commuter rail, running on existing tracks from Milford to the Montgomery Inn Boathouse restaurant downtown.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051026/NEWS01/510260406/1056/CINCI

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^Ted Hubbard, chief assistant engineer for Hamilton County, said there are a lot of challenges in taking a rail line across the riverfront - namely how to cross busy city streets, how to safely operate around pedestrians, and how to build it without disrupting major buildings such as the Freedom Center.

 

Unless the line is going to travel west along the riverfront, underneath the Suspension Bridge, loop around Paul Brown Stadium and enter the Transit Center from the west side it won't affect the Banks at all, and I wouldn't see much benefit at all to it doing that.  I don't think that light rail poses a significant threat to pedestrians in the riverfront parks, although some clown will go on and on about it.  Magically Europeans are able to largely avoid mishap with the trams that run through their city streets and parks.  School children cross (GASP!) the suface green line tracks in Boston going to and from school every day. 

 

 

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Also posted in the Cincinnati Light Rail thread.  From the 10/26/05 Enquirer:

 

 

State weighs downtown light-rail routes

By Dan Klepal

Enquirer staff writer

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will pay for a $400,000 study to find the best route for a light-rail track across downtown Cincinnati's riverfront.

 

The light-rail project is part of a $1.4 billion transportation improvement plan for the eastern suburbs in Hamilton and Clermont counties, called the Eastern Corridor Project. A portion of that plan includes so-called light commuter rail, running on existing tracks from Milford to the Montgomery Inn Boathouse restaurant downtown.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051026/NEWS01/510260406/1056/rss02

 

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Seeing that photo makes me wonder, is that set of steps built up to the old colisium bridge permanent? They are just gross. They had another set of these built temporarily when they took the chunk out of Riverfront. Does anyone know. Have they started work on cleaning up that area yet, I remember a thread where that was being bid.

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No they aren't "permanent" but they're about five years old now and I haven't heard anything about them being replaced.  I actually find that exact area, at ground level, to be pretty visually interesting because it's a mix of styles from the past 30 years but nothing was built with any regards to anything else.  To me it seems to have a sense of place despite there being no conscious intention of creating one, there being no residences, street retail, etc. 

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This article is somewhat old, but not time-sensitive.  It appeared in the HCRPC Planning Partnership's issue of Update, September 2005:

 

 

A Sneak Preview:

Red Bank Road Area - Year 2020

By Abhishek Dayal

 

The Eastern Corridor Initiative was spearheaded by OKI as a comprehensive planning process to create multimodal transportation solutions in the metropolitan region.

 

From December 2000 through April 2002, a study, "The Eastern Corridor Land Use Vision ," was conducted to create a unified

land use vision that will guide environmentally and economically sustainable development in jurisdictions in Hamilton and Clermont Counties.

 

http://www.planningpartnership.org/update/2005_09.pdf

 

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<b>Eastern Corridor To Include Light-Rail Route</b>

 

POSTED: 5:39 pm EDT June 7, 2006

UPDATED: 6:17 pm EDT June 7, 2006

 

CINCINNATI -- Big changes could be down the road if you're a commuter on the East Side.

 

The proposed Eastern Corridor project includes 17 miles of light rail, among other transportation improvements.

 

"There's a tremendous demand for transportation in the eastern part of the Greater Cincinnati area, and this addresses those demands," Hamilton County engineer Ted Hubbard said.

 

The rail line, at a cost of $1.4 billion, would be done in bits and pieces along existing stretches of track -- and, according to planners, without raising taxes.

 

"If it were something I could use, I think it would pay for itself," East Side resident Connie Roenker said.

 

Project planners said they hope developers and businesses see it the same way as Roenker. They're projecting an economic boost of $23 billion.

 

If the plan is approved, construction is at least four years away.

 

http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/9337346/detail.html

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Isn't there enough people complaining about the East side being favored? If we install rail it should be something that connects downtown to Clifton before anything else. Those two areas have the greatest economic impact.

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Isn't there enough people complaining about the East side being favored? If we install rail it should be something that connects downtown to Clifton before anything else. Those two areas have the greatest economic impact.

 

It would be wonderful to have a rail going from downtown to Clifton.

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Isn't there enough people complaining about the East side being favored? If we install rail it should be something that connects downtown to Clifton before anything else. Those two areas have the greatest economic impact.

 

I believe (please don't quote me if I'm wrong...) one of the main reasons for focusing on the east corridor now was that the ballot results were much more favorable in the east side communities (hyde park, mt. lookout) than other areas of the city.

 

Of course I agree the downtown/clifton connection would be the most important  - and I can't see any feasible proposal ignoring that (at least for very long).

 

Oh well, let's all keep our fingers crossed...

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Check out www.easterncorridor.org

 

A main reason the East side is favored in this case is that conditions are favorable. And the EC plan isn't just commuter rail lines or light rail. There's a whole host of transportation involved -- reconfigured roads, a new (controversial) bridge crossing, bike paths I think, and rail. There's also a land use component.

 

The driving force may be the poll results, but there's also the issue of need. OKI studies showed that distances traveled along the eastern corridor are far lower than anywhere else in the region in the same amount of time. Since traffic engineers love nothing more than system efficiencies, this is where they focus.

 

We're lucky, I think, that the transportation planners on the job have included a rail component and didn't just recommend ramming x number of highway lane miles through. It's my hope that if the EC rail line can be built, it can serve as the first taste of rail for the region, and everyone else will want to (I can't resist) jump on board.

 

IIRC, this is a unique model for the US, both in including land use and transport in one plan, and in the funding sources. If they can actually build this without a tax increase, all the better.

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It's my hope that if the EC rail line can be built, it can serve as the first taste of rail for the region, and everyone else will want to (I can't resist) jump on board.

 

Groan.  It's terrible punsters like you who give bloggers such a bad name, as far as I'm aware.  By the way, we're still going antiqueing on Sunday, right?

 

Certainly Cramer's right that the reason the Eastern Corridor has had progress is because the conditions are most favorable.  This project has been in the planning and prep stages for quite some time as well.  If it bothers you that it happens to be located on the east side of town, think of it as their due after River Road improvements and Cross-County Highway (which unfortunately was built relatively recently and yet with no thought of rail in mind).

 

I like both the Wasson Route and the Oasis Route.  I'm a bit skeptical of the Norfolk Southern Route, because it's proximity to Mariemont is very deceptive (it's at the bottom of a very steep hill, making it essentially unusable for people in that town).  I'm also curious as to why the rail portion doesn't seem to proceed with the Rte. 32 alignment all the way to Eastgate.  That seems like a great place for Park 'N Ride.

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