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Cincinnati: Downtown: Fort Washington Way Cap Project

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There was a story about the caps on Fox 19 last night. Nothing spectacular, but one "concern" was that drivers would lose the view of the buildings lol.

 

I'd swear I've heard that one before, years ago.  It's pretty stupid.  The view worth having is the one coming down the cut in the hill in Kentucky.  Anyone trying to enjoy the view from the trench is not paying attention to traffic like they should.  If it's that important, they can exit to one of the surface streets. 

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There was a story about the caps on Fox 19 last night. Nothing spectacular, but one "concern" was that drivers would lose the view of the buildings lol.

 

That is just laughable.  I guess they couldn't think of anything else to say? 

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I hope that if the caps are built, that drivers on FWW will have at least some view of the buildings. One of my favorite childhood memories was riding in a car with a view of the Central Trust tower.

 

The Cincinnati skyline is perhaps the most rrecognized branding of the city of Cincinnati, and the view from south of the Central Trust tower, either from FWW or across the river in Covington, is the most popular angle.

 

That said, I am confident that some skillful designer can find a way to meet the objectives of capping the highway while still preserving at least a portion of the view. I am even thinking of a building that fronts on the street on four sides but has an open center, or maybe capping two blocks and leaving two blocks open.

 

Lighting of the highway is a concern also, as is fire protection. Trucks carrying certain hazardous materials are banned from using the I-71 tunnel at Lytle Park due to the risk of a catastrophic fire. 

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^ Since trucks with hazardous cargo are banned from Lytle Tunnel, it shouldn't matter if there is another tunnel on the same stretch over FWW. Same rules should apply to both tunnels so no additional restrictions should be necessary.

 

Also, I think that the view of the city from a hole in the ground is the most important thing for the city. Capping would provide much more to the city in terms of walkability. You can still get a great view of Cincinnati from the Cut In The Hill.

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I hope that if the caps are built, that drivers on FWW will have at least some view of the buildings.

 

Creating a stronger downtown and urban core > some truck driver being able to glance up while passing through

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^ Since trucks with hazardous cargo are banned from Lytle Tunnel, it shouldn't matter if there is another tunnel on the same stretch over FWW. Same rules should apply to both tunnels so no additional restrictions should be necessary.

 

Any hazmat trucks coming to/from 471 would still need to be banned from a Fort Washington Way tunnel, but they could easily be re-routed via 275 in Kentucky or via the Norwood Lateral if they really need to get over to 75. I suspect the number of trucks affected would be minuscule, since 471 serves mostly commuters and hardly gets any truck traffic, much less anything with hazmat placards.

 

Trucks are already banned from Columbia Parkway, so there wouldn't be an issue there.

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That said, architects have advanced degrees for a reason. If I go in for heart surgery, I want my doctor to know more than I do about cardiology. If I have to go to court, I want my attorney to know more about the law than I do. And if a city is making decisions about its built environment that will have ramifications for generations to come, I want the project to be designed by an architect who has more knowledge about buildings than some random mouth-breather on the street.

 

Just because a particular architectural style is incomprehensible to you (is going to a library and educating yourself not an option?) doesn't mean it isn't worth building.

 

It's not that it's incomprehensible, it's that I think it's ugly. We're talking about aesthetics, not a science like structural engineering. Needing an architecture degree to "get" a building is like needing a music degree to "get" a modern dissonant orchestral piece. There's lots of buildings (and music) that both the public and professionals love, and no degree is required. I think if we're all being honest, if a degree is required then it's really just not very good.  :wink:

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your thinking would disallow the possibility of a "modern dissonant orchestral piece" if applied to music though. I'm confident that plenty of people think those are  ugly as well.. should musical evolution, then, cease? just because it isnt appreciated, or considered beautiful by some, does not mean that it isnt still valuable in advancing a discourse in its field and in society? One large difference is that the built environment is the possession of the entire population and with that responsibility, i'd imagine that you would want someone who has spent a large portion of their life studying proportion, aesthetics and architecture history, not to mention someone with the structural and mechanical background to execute such a design properly. Not that this isnt a valid discussion, (its entirely worth having, to discuss the aesthetics of a prominent new piece of our city) and without getting into some argument about the prevalence of true understanding of architecture history and theory amongst the general population, ill say this... So many times these discussions sound like a patient with a sore throat going to their doctor after reading WebMD and telling him that they have throat cancer.

 

 

by the way, this is not in any way a defense of the design, just an argument against a way of thinking.

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Yeah, that's not the argument I was making. I find the elitism on this board somewhat annoying. I often see bashing of anything done in an older style, but some of the modern stuff architects tout looks hideously ugly to me. And I like modern. That's the point I was making.

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I absolutely hate the idea of capping Ft Washington Way, as I abhor tunnels. Never liked going to Pittsburgh as I had to travel through tunnels. They are dangerous and claustrophobic. Even the short tunnel under Lytle Park gives me the hibigeebies when I have to drive through it. There are far more economical ways to advance the appeal of Cincinnati than this cap project.

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Boo hoo tunnels are scary!  My feeling comfortable while driving is more important than the integrity of the downtown built environment.  Waaaaah!!! 

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The experience of the pedestrian -- being able to walk from The Banks to Fountain Square and have it feel like one continuous neighborhood -- is way more important than the experience of the drivers below.

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I absolutely hate the idea of capping Ft Washington Way, as I abhor tunnels. Never liked going to Pittsburgh as I had to travel through tunnels. They are dangerous and claustrophobic. Even the short tunnel under Lytle Park gives me the hibigeebies when I have to drive through it. There are far more economical ways to advance the appeal of Cincinnati than this cap project.

 

The highlight of the entire trip to Pittsburgh is the view you get when you are transported from rural Appalachia to a bustling city via the tunnel. The reason the tunnel is such a cluster**** is that it is only two lanes in each direction and it is the only reasonable way into the city because of the terrain. FWW wouldn't have that same problem because it is already 4 lanes in each direction and there are plenty of other routes into/out of/through the city.

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I absolutely hate the idea of capping Ft Washington Way, as I abhor tunnels. Never liked going to Pittsburgh as I had to travel through tunnels. They are dangerous and claustrophobic. Even the short tunnel under Lytle Park gives me the hibigeebies when I have to drive through it. There are far more economical ways to advance the appeal of Cincinnati than this cap project.

 

Reading this, my first thought is kjbrill actually John Cranley?


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

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I absolutely hate the idea of capping Ft Washington Way, as I abhor tunnels. Never liked going to Pittsburgh as I had to travel through tunnels. They are dangerous and claustrophobic. Even the short tunnel under Lytle Park gives me the hibigeebies when I have to drive through it. There are far more economical ways to advance the appeal of Cincinnati than this cap project.

 

There are multiple alternatives for bypassing FT Washington Way if you are claustrophobic and they wouldn't even be much of an inconvenience.

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Never liked going to Pittsburgh as I had to travel through tunnels. They are dangerous and claustrophobic.

 

False. There are no statistics that has made the claim that tunnels are inherently more dangerous than the bridge proceeding the tunnel to the north, or the substandard interstate design to the south. It seems that you are looking for an excuse to complain.

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Wrong, I just want Cincinnati to be Cincinnati, not some paved over Manhatten. I know very few people who complain about having to take the pedestrian bridges to either of the stadiums or the Banks. Capping FWW will do nothing but impede the flow of pedestrians to the stadiums, the park, or the Banks, while at the same time making travel on I-71 a nightmare.

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Wrong, I just want Cincinnati to be Cincinnati, not some paved over Manhatten. I know very few people who complain about having to take the pedestrian bridges to either of the stadiums or the Banks. Capping FWW will do nothing but impede the flow of pedestrians to the stadiums, the park, or the Banks, while at the same time making travel on I-71 a nightmare.

 

I wasn't aware pedestrians currently floated over FWW. I thought they all used the bridges. You learn something new every day.

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Wrong, I just want Cincinnati to be Cincinnati, not some paved over Manhatten. I know very few people who complain about having to take the pedestrian bridges to either of the stadiums or the Banks. Capping FWW will do nothing but impede the flow of pedestrians to the stadiums, the park, or the Banks, while at the same time making travel on I-71 a nightmare.

 

How? The caps would either be buildings or greenspace in the voids between the streets where pedestrians cannot cross? And how does I-71 become a nightmare? Because you can't drive?

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Wrong, I just want Cincinnati to be Cincinnati, not some paved over Manhatten. I know very few people who complain about having to take the pedestrian bridges to either of the stadiums or the Banks. Capping FWW will do nothing but impede the flow of pedestrians to the stadiums, the park, or the Banks, while at the same time making travel on I-71 a nightmare.

 

I think kjbrill may have a fundamental misunderstanding of what exactly the "Fort Washington Way" caps are. He may want to re-read the details.

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While we may not all agree with kjbrill, let's keep the conversation objective and not personal.

 

Some people are just incapable of doing that when the comments do not agree with their vciews.

 

I am simply saying capping FWW is not a priority project Far better ways to spend money to enhance the appeal of Cincinnati.

 

 

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While we may not all agree with kjbrill, let's keep the conversation objective and not personal.

 

Some people are just incapable of doing that when the comments do not agree with their vciews.

 

I am simply saying capping FWW is not a priority project Far better ways to spend money to enhance the appeal of Cincinnati.

 

 

 

Actually, that wasn't what you were saying. You were essentially saying it's a bad idea because tunnels are dangerous and claustrophobic. That's very different from saying it's not a priority (which is to say that it may be a good idea, but money may be better spent elsewhere). No backpedaling here.

 

People lost their shit because your argument was pretty ridiculous. While you are entitled to your own opinion (that it's a bad idea), you aren't entitled to your own facts (asserting that tunnels are more dangerous).

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Even more "flow" trolling from kjbrill.

 

Anytime you don't have a reasonable response you just accuse someone of trolling. Get's a little tiring after awhile.

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^Well it's probably because your response for this project makes no sense. There is literally zero reasoning that supports this project depleting flow to the riverfront. All existing roads and sidewalks are remaining, just the holes will be filled with either park space (more flow) or buildings, neither of which will block or impede anything. That's like saying that building on one of the parking lots downtown will impede flow of pedestrians on the sidewalk. That just doesn't make any sense.

 

As for making 71 a nightmare, that also doesn't make sense. Tunnels actually cause people to slow and pay more attention to their surroundings since the sense of enclosure makes them subconsciously feel like they're traveling faster/closer to their surroundings than they really are. It's the same effect on street parking has on a road versus the same road without that street parking. It gives a better sense of speed making people feel the need to slow down. Accidents in tunnels are no more common than anywhere else on the highway.

 

The problem people have here with you is that you randomly burst into every single thread en masse and purposely say stuff, most of which is based on absolutely nothing in reality, with a clear goal of stirring things up. If you came here and acted like an intelligent, informed member and offered a differing opinion in a non-troll manner, people would likely welcome the discussion. Obviously this is a very urban-minded board, but the reality is that not everyone is a fan of urbanism and the majority of the population does not live in dense urban cores in Ohio and pretty much all of the country. I for one enjoy the suburban opinion and enjoy intelligent discussion and debate, but only if the person does so in a respectable manner and uses facts instead of making ridiculous claims like capping holes over a highway is going to make this a paved over manhattan. That just doesn't even make any sense. A highway is pure pavement. The caps will be buildings and greenspace. It's literally the exact opposite of what you said. This is why your posts are always met with annoyance and harsh criticism.

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Some people are just incapable of doing that when the comments do not agree with their vciews.

 

I am simply saying capping FWW is not a priority project Far better ways to spend money to enhance the appeal of Cincinnati.

 

I tend to agree, in that there is value of capping Fort Washington Way only if there can be mid-rise buildings being constructed over it. Park space is nice, but costs money to maintain and isn't needed when there is plenty of park space along the riverfront. Pocket parks would be fine, but four blocks of parks is a little overkill. Even Boston with its Big Dig can't handle it all.

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^I definitely agree. I think there could be some sort of plaza space, maybe at Vine, that is small but welcoming. On the scale of say the plaza at U Square (but of a higher quality) would work nicely. Then the rest of the blocks should be buildings. The riverfront park is an amazing park and shouldn't be competed against in such close proximity. Plus a giant continuous band of parks between buildings isn't going to be the best way of making the riverfront actually feel like a part of the city. Continuous buildings, however, will. I really hope they go that route.

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jmicha ...

 

So I assume you believe putting buildings on the caps over FWW would not increase conjestion? Are these empty buildings or do people have to enter/exit them? You mention low-rise, how low? Are they residences or more bars/restaurants? If bars/restaurants they will definitely affect pedestrian flow. And greenspace, the new riverfront park does not need any competition at this point in time. Again, I am just saying there are many more ways to enhance rthe appeal of Cincinnati than capping FWW. Try taking on the West End for one.

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But the thing is that the sidewalks as they are now are not only MASSIVELY wide, they're literally never congested. They're almost always completely and utterly deserted. Like uncomfortably deserted. Putting buildings filled with bars/restaurants/stores/residents/etc. isn't going to be able to cause the sidewalks to be so filled that people can't get where they're going. In fact, nowhere in the city are the sidewalks so full people can't get where they're going, even in the most dense parts of the city. Affecting pedestrian flow and negatively affecting pedestrian flow are not one in the same. An increase in people doesn't automatically mean an issue. I think that's where the problem in your thinking is. This is a city, people are everywhere. But that doesn't make it a problem. I don't know how familiar you are with the sidewalks along 2nd and 3rd street but they're absolutely humongous. Even with the insane amount of people around there before, during, and after Reds games they aren't full. They're designed to handle massive amounts of people and will continue to do so successfully when the caps are built.

 

As for traffic flow, sure, there'll be more cars there. But again, these roads are massive and only ever reach a point of being considered congested for about an hour a day at evening rush hour. At any other point the number of cars going to and from these developments is more than likely not even going to be noticeable. Plus the point of these projects is to create a better place to live for the urban oriented which means leaving the car behind when it's not completely necessary. For those who live in projects like The Banks, walking to places downtown and the riverfront is more common than driving. And this isn't based on speculation, it's based on talking with many people who live there. That was one of the major reasons for moving there. The Banks are never congested (excluding during the obvious Reds games but that's a completely different argument) and the caps won't be any different. They're only capable of being 4-5 stories tall so they won't be as densely populated as The Banks are if they turn out to be residential (that's still all undecided at this point as far as I know).

 

As for priorities, obviously that's arguable and based more on opinion. I am curious though, although I actually do agree the West End needs a lot of help in order for the core to be more appealing overall, wouldn't you think that finishing one project to its fullest is important once it's started? The Banks are successful, sure, but once FWW is capped and the city is continuous to the river is when the project will actually be finished and most successful in reconnecting areas of the city. The caps are going to be immensely expensive, that's for sure, but at the same time the impression of a continuous city that celebrates its riverfront, its reason for existing in the first place, is a huge asset. That's why I do believe that these should be capped directly following the completion of Smale Riverfront Park and all phases of The Banks. And I say after as I feel their impact will be most noticeable and effective once the riverfront is fully built out.

 

 

 

 

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