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Cincinnati: Downtown: Fort Washington Way Cap Project

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^^Hear, hear!

 

Of course, The Banks and Smale won't be completed for another, what, five years? And at that point the streetcar will be running and there will have been considerably more work done in OTR, Pendleton, and Downtown.  Doing the FWW caps would be a great way to keep the momentum going.

 

I absolutely agree that the West End is a problem that needs to be solved but I'm not sure if there's going to be enough energy/finances to tackle it in the form of public/private partnerships until The Banks is done and south of Liberty nears completion of all possible large scale redevelopments. I guess the hope is that the rising prices of OTR/Pendleton/DT real estate will encourage potential homeowners and developers to ake a look at the West End as the way to buy cheaply buy some terrific architecture in the basin.  Also, th fact that it's mostly single-family houses does make it more amenable to homeowner-based remodeling...

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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.

 

Capping Fort Washington Way has very little to do with what we put on top of it. The real benefit of capping the highway is so that walking from downtown to the Banks feels like one continuous neighborhood. This will have a huge impact on the quality of life in that area. That's why they did it in Columbus and other cities. In Columbus, it's only a 1-story building, but it makes the highway invisible to people passing over.

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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.

 

No, it's because you seem to have a single-minded obsession about flow and "conjestion". It seems that in your mind (by your posting history) that the prime directive of society is to maximize flow and eliminate "conjestion" at all costs. That's generally not the rest of society's goal, just yours.

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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.

 

 

 

You're more guilty of this than anyone.  If someone doesnt agree with your view then they are wrong.  The caps will only add to the cohesiveness of what the riverfront and downtown offer.  This is not the 1970s so get our of your car mentality and think walkability... or suburban mentality on your part. We know you dont like Cincy or the urban environment, but stop asserting this inane idea that people who appreciate the city dont know what they're talking about.  You clearly dont see the potential in the caps.  If it bothers you so much, stay up in Mason and forget about the city....

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^Well, only if he can manipulate it into a narrative like this:

 

"The FWW caps will steal money from the other neighborhoods and take police and and fire off the street.  Since I am fighting for the neighborhoods, I will be sure to wait until this project is half complete to cancel it."

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Without actually knowing the answer I'd wager a guess that Cranley would be massively opposed to spending money on the caps.

 

I agree.

 

Also I don't think of the caps as big priorities right now. The city has very scarce capital dollars. I'd rather see more vacant buildings filled first or the park move further along. Or the streetcar continue further up the hill.

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More attention needs to be made on the caps.  I know it's in the "idea" stage and what could be put on the caps, but it needs to pick up speed.  This is a vital connector to the riverfront.  We don't need to wait until the Banks is filled to start the caps.  They'll be an important connector.

 

As for what goes there, I love parks and fountains, but this would be overkill if we used the caps for this purpose and it wouldn't have the same sense of continuity from the CBD to the Banks.   

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^Yes, the first person I brought up the idea to brought that up immediately.  However the real idea I had was to grow food in greenhouses, possibly on the roof of cap buildings, and I would assume that a greenhouse can filter the air that enters it.  Although I don't really know anything about farming, gardening, or any of that. 

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^Yes, the first person I brought up the idea to brought that up immediately.  However the real idea I had was to grow food in greenhouses, possibly on the roof of cap buildings, and I would assume that a greenhouse can filter the air that enters it.  Although I don't really know anything about farming, gardening, or any of that. 

 

That might work.  I guess that anything including parks or retail would have to take into account the pollution as well for any humans that spend any decent amount of time on them.


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

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Doesn't have to be food (though that would be cool).  Chicago has numerous places along the lake shore and LSD where they're reestablishing native prairie ecosystems.  Similar things could be done here with native plantings.

 

I am in the camp of hoping for parks/greenspace on the caps.  I see the attraction of buildings on the caps - especially if it's attraction-type stuff that makes the whole river front a crowd-magnet.  But I again look to Chicago as a model, with Millennium and Grant parks (over a rail trench) as the city's welcome mat, and then closer to the lake shore a string of parks and quieter open space.

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I have to admit, the whole "greenspace and parks on the caps!" idea is baffling to me. The traffic sound from FWW is LOUD. People do not sit in the pleasant looking seating areas that exist around FWW today in part because of the noise.  The caps aren't going to completely enclose FWW, so all of that sound will still come up. and why would people go to those parks when they could go two blocks south and be at the far better Smale park? Greenspace in cities is lovely but only when it's actually used - when it's unused it actually makes areas feel less safe and welcoming.

 

the reason to have buildings is that they are more likely to encourage foot traffic and make people forget about the giant roadway humming along beneath their feet.

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^The reason the pilings were done the way they were was to avoid having FWW become a "tunnel", as defined by the FHWA.  There is no reason why they couldn't drive more piles and make it a tunnel, although doing so would require mechanized ventilation.  People sit in Lytle Park without almost any highway noise.   

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^The reason the pilings were done the way they were was to avoid having FWW become a "tunnel", as defined by the FHWA.  There is no reason why they couldn't drive more piles and make it a tunnel, although doing so would require mechanized ventilation.  People sit in Lytle Park without almost any highway noise.   

 

Agreed, since money is never a reason!  You guys aren't serious about spending tens of millions to obtain some urban farmland, are you?  Funniest comments I have ever read on UO. 

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^The reason the pilings were done the way they were was to avoid having FWW become a "tunnel", as defined by the FHWA.  There is no reason why they couldn't drive more piles and make it a tunnel, although doing so would require mechanized ventilation.  People sit in Lytle Park without almost any highway noise. 

 

yeah, and if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle. :-p

 

I agree, you could make FWW into a true tunnel which would bring a lot more expense to the project.  but what we were discussing was what would be appropriate for the caps as currently proposed. I'm pretty sure that making FWW a tunnel would significantly raise the price and scope of the project, and I'd really have to wonder if we couldn't spend that money in a better way elsewhere.

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Out of curiosity, where are these gaps in the caps to be located? Are they along the roads as they cross? If so, is it all four roads that cross or just select spots to break up the length (isn't the length part of what determines whether or not it's actually a tunnel?)? I know someone once explained it nicely but I don't know where and I can't for the life of me remember what was said.

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I have in my mind that they would be at the roads that cross over. However, if possible, I think mid-block would be much better. Having buildings fronting the north-south streets would be much better for connecting the riverfront to Downtown.

 

jmeck probably has a definitive answer.

 

We're still no closer to solving the conjestion problem, though. :-D

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I am glad to see there is at least some discussion as to the true value of the caps.

 

More pedestrian spans over FWW would certainly be in order as well as streetcar supporting spans so to not further reduce the vehicle traffic capacity. I am sure the pilings originally installed would support that.

 

I get a kick out of ideas such as putting greenhouses or urban farms on the caps to grow food. Great idea, put food growing on top of a pollution belching highway. If you want urban food growing just go to Queensgate and plow up some of the unused land there. Should be a lot cheaper than caps on FWW. If you see to it they have water to irrigate and are taxed at farm rates rather than developed rates, you might actually get private investors to jump on that. Greenhouses in Queensgate would certainly be an improvement over what is there now.

 

Good discussion about the caps, which I am against, mainly because I consider them superfluous, unnecessary, and a waste of money. Obviously others disagree with me. But I will continue to follow the discussion, as it is interesting.

 

 

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Obviously their value is contended by a lot of people, but do you not feel that a continuous Downtown all the way to the river would be extremely beneficial to the perception of our city? Just for the moment don't think about the driving experience on FWW or any possibility of increased traffic/decreased flow or any of that. Just think purely about what the caps will do for the fabric of the built environment of the city. Is it not important to be able to get to the river without having to cross a massive divide? Because the combination of 3rd Street, FWW, and 2nd Street is a barrier. It isn't comfortable to cross and people will subconsciously avoid places that make them uncomfortable. I am entirely in favor of the caps just so people have the best imaginable perception of the waterfront which has been neglected for so long.

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Part of my suggestion is about "making a point" about the problem with having food transported literally across a continent, which is itself a major contributor to fossil fuel consumption and it motivates food growers to genetically modify the food in order to survive 2-3 days in transport. 

 

Here is the video I saw that gave me the idea:

 

>have in my mind that they would be at the roads that cross over.

 

Correct, the gaps are 10-15 wide to either side of the overpasses.  I have photos of the piles being driven here:

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/zfww2000-7.jpg

 

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/zfww2000-6.jpg

 

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/zfww2000-5.jpg

 

 

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Part of my suggestion is about "making a point" about the problem with having food transported literally across a continent, which is itself a major contributor to fossil fuel consumption and it motivates food growers to genetically modify the food in order to survive 2-3 days in transport. 

 

Here is the video I saw that gave me the idea:

 

>have in my mind that they would be at the roads that cross over.

 

Correct, the gaps are 10-15 wide to either side of the overpasses.  I have photos of the piles being driven here:

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/zfww2000-7.jpg

 

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/zfww2000-6.jpg

 

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/zfww2000-5.jpg

 

The photos of the piles justify exactly what? First of all they were required as retaining walls for the dig.

Doesn't mean they have to support structures.

 

If you want to be so concerned about trucking foods across the country, you talk like every farmer out there has the ability to genetically modify foods, then get behind initiatives to save the family farm in Ohio and provide a much shorter shipping distance. If you are convinced an urban farm is the solution, then campaign for digging up much of the disaster called Queensgate. There are just many other solutions less expensive than trying to grow food over FWW.

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If you want to be so concerned about trucking foods across the country, you talk like every farmer out there has the ability to genetically modify foods, then get behind initiatives to save the family farm in Ohio and provide a much shorter shipping distance. If you are convinced an urban farm is the solution, then campaign for digging up much of the disaster called Queensgate. There are just many other solutions less expensive than trying to grow food over FWW.

 

Agreed. Rooftop gardening/green roofs are cool things (and it'd be nice to see more buildings that have them) but the amount given from space over FWW would be a drop in the bucket of local food needs. Findlay Market and all of the local farmers' markets are a much better way of helping to support and raise awareness of local farms. 

 

It's also worth remembering that there's a lot of farming in the western part of Hamilton County and in counties that about Hamilton County. We're actually lucky in how much local produce and food is available to us.

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>The photos of the piles justify exactly what? First of all they were required as retaining walls for the dig.

Doesn't mean they have to support structures.

 

The FWW piles are completely independent from the piles that were driven to build the trench walls.  I believe there is also a completely independent flood wall between the south trench wall and the Riverfront Transit Center.  Right now the FWW cap piles are performing absolutely zero structural purpose. 

 

That said, I am concerned that they along with the other riverfront piles are so deep that they will force a future subway tunnel under the Ohio River connecting Fountain Square and Covington to be built much deeper, meaning the tunnel must start descending at Central Parkway and a Fountain Square station would be much deeper and more expensive than otherwise necessary.  I'm sure there are examples around the world where a tunnel has been built through a "fence" of underground piles, but not being an engineer I can't speculated into which option is less extremely expensive. 

 

 

>If you want to be so concerned about trucking foods across the country, you talk like every farmer out there has the ability to genetically modify foods, then get behind initiatives to save the family farm in Ohio and provide a much shorter shipping distance. If you are convinced an urban farm is the solution, then campaign for digging up much of the disaster called Queensgate. There are just many other solutions less expensive than trying to grow food over FWW.

 

1. They are already planning to build the caps anyway.  That cost can't be held against the cost of anything built on top of the caps. 

2. There are all sorts of vegetables that can't grow naturally in this area and none can grow year-round outdoors. 

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^^ Did I say grow them outdoors? You can build greenhouses in Queensgate for a fractiion of what it costs to put them on caps over FWW. So what is the problem with that?

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^You missed that it would be making a point, like the World Trade Center field back in 1982.  If people eat at a restaurant and can see where the food was grown that they are eating, it makes a point.  If a city turns over high profile land to growing food, it makes a point. 

 

 

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I could see a farm-to-table restaurant being successful on one of the caps. Put the farm on the roof, with the restaurant on street level. Put some residential between.

 

Make some outdoor eating space on the roof among the plants.

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^You missed that it would be making a point, like the World Trade Center field back in 1982.  If people eat at a restaurant and can see where the food was grown that they are eating, it makes a point.  If a city turns over high profile land to growing food, it makes a point. 

 

 

 

You missed his point entirely. It's better to tear down an area where a bunch of poor people live instead.

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You missed his point entirely. It's better to tear down an area where a bunch of poor people live instead.

 

oh come on, Queensgate has very little residential left and is mostly commercial and light industrial and I'm sure you know this. If you were looking to grow fields of wheat in view of downtown that'd absolutely be the most logical place to do it.

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Fair enough, sometimes when people refer to Queesgate they mean the housing north of 71, NE of Winchell Ave.

 

For sure a lot of that light industrial has seen better days if it hasn't been razed already. If that's what kjbrill meant, I apologize.

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I don't see any potential for profit with putting a farm over FWW. Or any incentive either. If you are going to farm anything there, might as well be the sun and throw in some solar panels over some low-rise warehouse-style buildings. Possibly put storefronts on the street-facing sides and you'd be set! Great location for a fashion retailer to test and distribute product, like The Limited or Abercrombie and Fitch.

 

Better yet, make it a park as was suggested earlier. If the cap was done correctly, you would not even notice FWW below.

 

 

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What is all of this idiotic talk about farming on the caps.  I'm sorry if this offends some people, but that is exactly what it is.  There is so much land available around and outside of the city to grow food.  It would be such a waste of space to grow the minimal amount of food that you would get off of them.  It is such a small amount of space in a highly desirable connector area between the CBD and the Banks. 

 

 

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^At least a bad idea is better than no idea at all!

 

 

Hopefully they will put a cap over FWW sometime in the near future though. Cincinnati is lucky that the highway was built submerged and not above ground, like most highways are in major cities. It's a lot easier to cap and reconnect the city than demolish, submerge, and reconnect a la Boston and the Big Dig. With the success at the Banks and relatively high real estate prices (and demand) throughout the City of Cincinnati, I can easily see a cap being built within the next 5-10 years assuming the right developer and plan are sought.

 

 

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