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Cincinnati: I-71 Improvements / Uptown Access Project (MJK Interchange)

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OKI hires San Francisco firm to study highway, transit, pedestrian options

By Dan Monk Courier Senior Staff Reporter

 

URS Corp. will conduct a $1.9 million study to improve highway, transit and pedestrian connections in the uptown neighborhoods surrounding the University of Cincinnati.  "You can't hardly get there from here," said Robert Koehler, director of transportation for the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, which is managing the 18-month study and hired URS.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2004/11/22/story4.html

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I'd like to see an interchange at MLK and I-71. It gets very congested on the streets of Corryville and Clifton with people from UC and the hospitals all trying to get on the highway from Taft.

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i don't know how much of this i'm allowed to talk about but i work for the firm that just finished up all the data collection (actually the very last of the turning movement counters is sitting on my desk right now ready to be picked up) and there already is a plan for the MLK interchange. the design has been finished for quite some time now. there is room to put in an interchange without doing any real damage, all there is left to do now is find the funding. but yeah they really need an exit there bad, the traffic counts last week saw 200,000 cars on the south 71 taft exit in 6 days.

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There was an interchange at Victory Parkway in the original plans, that was scrapped. Right of way was purchased and sits vacant today, retaining walls, "exit only" lanes to the Taft Road and Dana Exits, and the weird alignment of the Dana souhtbound on-ramp were constructed to accomodate the possible ramps.

 

I wonder how much affect the completion of the interchange would have on Uptown

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^Victory pky has to be the most under used 6 lane street in Cincinnati. I guess Xavior would get the most benefit from an interchange there. I guess the city said it was not worth it for a private college.

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Stephan Louis was quoted at the end of the article....the same guy who led the fight against the light-rail levy. Hard to access the uptown area? Gee, maybe a light-rail line would have helped.

 

KJP


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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OKI (in conjunction with the City, Uptown Consortium, SORTA, the AMOS project and ODOT) is conducting an Uptown transportation study for the areas of Avondale, Clifton, Clifton Heights, Corryville, East Walnut Hills, Evanston, Fairview/University Heights, Mt. Auburn, North Avondale, and Walnut Hills.

 

An advisory committee met February 17, and it is now moving into the community involvement phase. 

 

Their next meeting is Thursday, March 3 from 4-7 PM at Carmel Presbyterian, 3549 Reading Rd. in Avondale.

 

Bookmark this website if it interests you:

http://www.uptowntransportationstudy.org/default.htm

 

Better access to a lot of the plan info can be found here:

http://www.uptowntransportationstudy.org/library.htm

 

More to come on this soon....

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Additional interstate access at MLK and I-71 would alleviate a lot of rush hour congestion around the university and hospitals.  My guess is that's what this is really about.

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The Post reports on recent developments. Sounds like there may be growing momentum. OKI wants to do a lot of multi-modal stuff, if they can get willing partners and funding. Uptown Consortium may fit the bill.

 

Coalition proposes streetcars for Uptown

By Bob Driehaus Post staff reporter

 

Joyce Kinsley and the AMOS Project want economic justice for the residents of Cincinnati's near-north neighborhoods.  John Cranley wants a new Interstate 71 interchange at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.  Tony Brown wants it all: economic development, better traffic flow, better quality of life.

 

They've all joined forces to work with the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments to navigate an ambitious transportation plan through all the federal and state red tape to reach their common goals.  The area they're focusing on is known as Uptown - Cincinnati's Clifton, Clifton Heights, Corryville, Avondale, Evanston, Walnut Hills and Mount Auburn neighborhoods.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050616/NEWS01/506160362

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This study is probably the most interesting one going on in the Greater Cincinnati area.

 

Indeed it is.  And I've been fortunate enough to do some work on it. :)

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Is the uptown region really that large as on the map? Or is that just what they are doing the study on.  Also I think we need to get rid of those hideous "UpTown" signs that look like they were made in the 60's (ugly green, ugly orange, brown, all sorts of ugly colors on them).     

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Is the uptown region really that large as on the map? Or is that just what they are doing the study on.

 

I've never included a lot of those areas as "Uptown", especially Evanston, North Avondale, Walnut Hills....

 

It appears that this particular "Uptown" is just a study area and includes some other hoods so that they could include the I-71 corridor.

 

The Uptown Consortium defines the following neighborhoods as Uptown:

"Uptown Cincinnati generally includes the neighborhoods of Avondale, Clifton, Clifton Heights, Corryville, Fairview, Mt. Auburn and University Heights."

 

P.S> I definietly agree that those Uptown signs could use some updating.  Aside from the color scheme, some are pretty badly faded as well.

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Study urges fixes for 'Uptown' travel

Bike paths, shuttles, signs proposed

By Dan Klepal Enquirer staff writer

 

As a University of Cincinnati student in the early 1990s, Amy Carrelli always wished for a shuttle bus that would take people from campus to the hospitals and zoo in the "Uptown" area.  Uptown is considered by planners to be the neighborhoods of Avondale, Clifton, Corryville, East Walnut Hills, Evanston, Mount Auburn, North Avondale, Walnut Hills, Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview.

 

Some 15 years later, Carrelli, now a Mariemont resident, was surprised to see that very idea as part of a $1.9 million study of how to improve transportation, ease parking problems and make traveling around the 11 neighborhoods that comprise Uptown easier and safer.  Carrelli and more than 100 people attended an open-house-style meeting Wednesday to learn about, and weigh in on, ideas in the study that can be achieved in three years or less.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051117/NEWS01/511170362/1056/

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Has anyone checked out the Early Action Suggestions?  These are the result of the public meetings late last year.  If you have a moment, it might be helpful for you to send your comments in now.

 

They make it pretty easy.  All you have to do is fill in a form:

http://ca.oki.org/Uptown/EarlyActionComment.asp

 

TRAVEL DEMAND MANAGEMENT

Establish a Transportation Management Association (TMA)

    • What is a TMA?

          An association established to manage transportation resources and promote

          alternatives to driving alone

    • Why a TMA?

          Information: Provide bus and ridesharing information to employees and visitors

          Coordination: Work with regional agencies (Metro, OKI) to identify and market programs such as Guaranteed Ride Home

          Education: Help employees and visitors to plan their trip, identify options

          Benefits: -- Improve Air Quality

                      -- Reduce Fuel Consumption

                      -- Reduce Parking Needs

 

TRAFFIC OPERATIONS

Traffic Signal Timing Upgrade

    • Retime existing signal system to improve travel times in Uptown

    • Potential benefits:

          -- 25% reduction in delay

          -- 7% increase in average speeds

          -- 17% reduction in fuel consumption

          -- 14% reduction in air pollutant emissions

Parking Restrictions

    • Peak Hour Parking Restrictions on Burnet Avenue from Erkenbrecker to McMillan

M.L. King Jr./Jefferson/Vine Intersection Improvements

    • Install new traffic signals, medians and landscaping

    • Allow northbound through traffic from “Short Vine” to cross MLK and continue north on Vine Street

    • Relocate EPA driveway to Woodside and reduce number of movements at Jefferson Avenue

    • Widen MLK to allow for six through lanes through the entire intersection

 

SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDING

Design and Install a New Signage and Wayfinding System

    • Potential benefits:

          -- Improved wayfinding for visitors, employees and residents

          -- Establishes a clear identity for Uptown

 

TRANSIT

Uptown Shuttle Service

    • Add shuttle connection at Peebles Corner

    • Add Uptown Circulator

Metro Service

    • Add bus shelters with route and schedule information at major stops

    • Install new bus stop signs

    • Select bus trips on Clifton, Vine and Reading will skip stops to improve bus travel times

    • Create an Uptown transit map

 

PARKING

Review Parking Meter Locations, Time Limits and Rates

    • Consider residential parking permit programs if approved by neighborhoods

    • Improve parking marketing

    • Adopt “ambassador” program to assist parking concerns

 

PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE ENHANCEMENTS

Bicycle Improvements on Clifton and Dixmyth

    • Install “Share the Road” Signage

Install Clifton Avenue Midblock Pedestrian Crossing

    • Improve safety of crossing between UC and Stratford Heights

    • Add curb “bump outs” and add median to reduce crossing distance

    • Wide curb lanes provide continuity for bike lanes

    • Improve landscaping and campus/community identity

    • Could be a model for other high volume pedestrian crossings

 

http://ca.oki.org/Uptown/Earlyactionsuggestion.pdf

 

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We learned that in transportation planning class that the new bus stop signs in uptown are supposed to be going up this summer in time for the start of school. Apparently the signs will light up to inform bus drivers that someone at the stop wants to get on.

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New Uptown signage on the way

BY RANDY SIMES | URBANCINCY

May 12, 2008

 

*Article includes external links and images.

 

UPTOWN - The Uptown Consortium has been developing a wayfinding system for the Uptown area. This will be a significant improvement upon the current dated signage that you see scattered haphazardly throughout the area now.

 

The signage also seems to blend design concepts from other streetscaping elements seen throughout the City (primarily Downtown). The consortium describes the project as, "an implementation of a bold and unified Uptown wayfinding and streetscape design for pedestrians and motorists." They go on to say that this includes the development of a, "comprehensive, user-friendly Uptown map to locate key Uptown businesses, neighborhoods and institutions."

 

Hopefully this signage will be customizable and/or complimentary to signage that will need to be developed, for the Cincinnati Streetcar, when it comes to the Uptown area in the near future. I love wayfinding systems, but the last thing we need is redundant systems cluttering the sidewalks.

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So when are these wayfinders supposed to find their way to Uptown streets? 

 

I really dig the designs you provided.  It seems like I've seen a similar design and color scheme before...

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Wayfinding a priority for Uptown

http://www.soapboxmedia.com/devnews/uptownsigns0715.aspx

 

An informational meeting was held in Corryville last Wednesday to present the new Uptown Wayfinding Signage System to the public.

 

The Uptown Consortium and the City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) are teaming up to design and build the first unified directional signage in Uptown's neighborhoods since 84 signs were installed in the early 1980s.

 

The new signage is a recommendation of the 2006 Uptown Transportation Plan, which was approved by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) board of directors in January 2007.

 

That plan recommended a total of 610 vehicular, pedestrian and directory signs for the neighborhoods at a total cost of between $807,000 and $1.2 million.

 

On August 14, the Executive Committee of OKI will vote on a resolution to provide a $1 million grant for the project in its 2008-2011 Transportation Improvement Program budget.

 

Cincinnati City Council already has passed an ordinance allowing them to apply for the grant.

 

Uptown Consortium and DOTE will provide $250,000 in local matching funds.

 

No timeline has been announced for the signs' design and installation.

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I saw construction crews today removing some of the old wayfinding signs along Clifton Ave. Any ideas? Will the City finally be installing new wayfinding signage?

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New parking restrictions added to MLK Drive

By Randy A. Simes, UrbanCincy | February 16, 2010

http://www.urbancincy.com/2010/02/new-parking-restrictions-added-to-mlk.html

 

Parking just got a little tougher for students at the University of Cincinnati. Traffic Engineers from the City's Department of Transportation & Engineering (DOTE) have now eliminated on-street parking during rush hour commutes along Martin Luther King Drive heading between Woodside Drive (entrance to Burnett Woods) and Clifton Avenue.

 

The westbound stretch of roadway has been precariously without parking meters and is one of the most sought after off-campus parking locations for students at UC's College of Business and College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning. While the eastbound side does have parking meters, the rates are extraordinarily low and are not on pace with nearby parking rates on-campus, in Burnett Woods, on other off-campus streets or garages.

 

The move comes after the City completely removed on-street parking from the both directions of MLK Drive between Woodside Drive and Jefferson Avenue, and is seemingly part of the larger effort to grow MLK Drive to a much more auto-oriented street than is currently present.

 

DOTE officials state that the new parking regulations are intended to "improve traffic flow" and "reduce traffic accidents" along the six-lane stretch of roadway. The new regulations prohibit parking eastbound on MLK Drive Monday through Friday from 6am to 9am and westbound from 3pm to 6pm.

 

View photos of the stretch of impacted roadway here:

http://www.urbancincy.com/2010/02/new-parking-restrictions-added-to-mlk.html

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I searched for a thread an was surprised there was none for this project:

 

http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/pages/-44601-/

In 2006, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the City of Cincinnati, the Uptown Consortium, SORTA, and numerous community organizations, completed the Uptown Study, a comprehensive look at transportation needs throughout Uptown.

 

As part of an overall transportation strategy, this study included a recommendation for consideration of improved access to and from I-71 in the vicinity of Martin Luther King Drive, Taft Road, and McMillan Street. The goals of this study are to reduce travel times, simplify wayfinding to and from I-71, and promote economic vitality within the Uptown area and surrounding neighborhoods. Please visit the project website at to learn more: UptownAccessStudy.com.

 

Meeting Materials here:

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/meetings.html

 

3 alternates on the table:

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_MLKB.pdf

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_MLKBex.pdf

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_MLKBexLOOP.pdf

 

Alternates Discarded:

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_ConsideredDismissed.pdf

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Wow.

 

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_MLKB.pdf

- Closes the existing Taft ramp. Could be great for Clifton Heights but I'm not sure if this one will fly.

 

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_MLKBex.pdf

- Am I looking at this one correctly, there is no connection from SB I-71 to MLK (Taft would still be used)? Seems like a waste if that's not included.

 

http://uptownaccessstudy.com/Images/PDFs/Open_House2%20materials/UptownOH2_MLKBexLOOP.pdf

- Seriously? This loop is terrible.

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MLKB seems the obvious choice.  Although, flaring the MLK exit out over Van Buren Ave like it does seems kinda silly when you look at it compared to the alternatives presented that don't do that.

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Is it just me, or do all the proposals shown eliminate the possibility of the CL&N right-of-way being used for light rail?

 

It looks like they didn't even consider it, but I don't know if it entirely eliminates it as a possibility.  I was under the impression the bigger problem with the CL&N was that the existing tunnels aren’t wide enough to allow for two trains to pass through at the same time (on a related note, the smaller tunnel under McMillan has been caving in for the past 3 years but looks to be being shored up now).  It’s odd they didn’t consider rail with any of these studies, as a lot of the interchange studies I’ve seen for I-75 have rail included, even if the layer is eventually turned off when the drawings are made fully public.

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MLKB seems the obvious choice.  Although, flaring the MLK exit out over Van Buren Ave like it does seems kinda silly when you look at it compared to the alternatives presented that don't do that.

 

Civil engineers these days are absolutely dedicated to making every intersection occur at a 90 degree angle whenever possible, even if it means knocking down a dozen buildings.  Roads are designed to protect bad drivers at the expense of the tax payer, when the easiest, cheapest, and safest way to protect bad drivers would be to make license exams harder and get them off the road.

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The loop one would be awful especially since it would preclude the use of the ramp by both directions if McMillan is ever returned to two-way traffic.  What gets me are the right turn slip roads like at eastbound MLK to southbound I-71.  Those are bad for pedestrians and worse for cyclists, yet they keep designing them.  There's no consistency with them either.  In the redesigned I-75 Mitchell Avenue interchange, only one of the four ramps has that slip road for instance.  It's the same with these MLK proposals. 

 

It also looks like they're planning for a shared ped/bike side path on the south side of MLK.  Of course they don't deal at all with how such a thing would connect with the existing bike lanes east of Gilbert or how it works west of Reading.  The whole thing is really vastly over-engineered.  Look at how wide the existing bridge over I-71 is and note that they're planning to add a good 30' more to it.  They're actually planning to make MLK 10 lanes wide near Reading.  I don't deny that the plan improves access, but damn does it really need to be bloated so much, especially if they go with the MLKBex plan that keeps the ramps to Taft and McMillan? 

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Wonder if they analyzed the traffic if the Victory Parkway interchange was completed, as the original construction was designed for. Would that pull enough Avondale and Walnut Hills traffic to allow the Taft interchange to work better? The interchange would make a nice back way to University Hospital, the VA and Children's via Rockdale and Forest. All the walls and R/W is in place at that never-constructed interchange.

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MLKB+EX is the best in my opinion.

 

Why close off the ramps at Taft & McMillan? There is minimal work needed to keep them there/fix them up, and all that would do is overcrowd Madison.  With all the added traffic at Madison that would be caused by adding new ramps & closing the other ramps (all traffic from Clifton Heights, Walnut Hills etc would have to drive up to Uptown rather than having it semi-split by keeping both options) I can't imagine how the bike lanes would stay in the plan when the road becomes packed. 

 

The loop is by far the worst, and MLKB is good, but why close off those options, just forcing more cars onto reading and up to madison when you could keep both options available for negligible cost increases.

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