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Cincinnati: Liberty Street Road Diet

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33 minutes ago, ryanlammi said:

I have a suspicion that Liberty at 1 lane in each direction with a center turn lane could handle most - if not all - traffic conditions. For some reason that information is never presented. Does anyone have info on this?

 

They could reduce it to one lane in each direction with no center turn lane -- essentially what it was originally -- and people would simply stop driving on it.  The traffic would disappear.  

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Budget & Finance committee approved the 6-lane plan tonight. It is expected that full Council will approve on Wednesday.

 

However, it appears that parking will be permitted during off-peak hours on the south side of the street, contrary to my previous assumption.

 

So the layout would be:

  • Central Parkway to Elm Street: full time parking on the north and south sides of the street (7 lanes wide)
  • Elm to Sycamore: full time parking on the north side of the street & convertible driving / off-peak parking on the south side (6 lanes wide)
  • Sycamore to Reading: current 7-lane configuration remains

 

 

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On 4/24/2019 at 2:30 PM, ryanlammi said:

So basically, I'm looking for information on:

1) How many cars utilize each direction of Liberty during the highest utilized hours?

2) How many cars can each design move at its most efficient?

 

On 4/24/2019 at 2:41 PM, thebillshark said:

NACTO guide says streets up to 25,000 daily volume can be candidates for 4-to-3 lane road diet conversions. Source: https://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/streets/neighborhood-main-street/

 

According to the data I obtained from DOTE, Liberty Street's highest traffic was during the 5:00-6:00 p.m. hour, when the street moved 834 eastbound and 845 westbound vehicles, for a total of 1679 vehicles.

 

The 24-hour total for the busiest section of the street was 8619 eastbound and 8628 westbound vehicles, for a total of 17,247 vehicles; so, well below the 25,000 vehicles per day that a street with 3 travel lanes can easily handle.

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9 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

Um, so what is actually different from what exists now?

 

It is narrowed by one lane between Elm and Sycamore. The total width is reduced from 7 to 6 lanes.

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18 minutes ago, taestell said:

 

It is narrowed by one lane between Elm and Sycamore. The total width is reduced from 7 to 6 lanes.

 

So still costly to implement but useless for achieving the goals, good job Cincinnati. 

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9 hours ago, taestell said:

 

 

According to the data I obtained from DOTE, Liberty Street's highest traffic was during the 5:00-6:00 p.m. hour, when the street moved 834 eastbound and 845 westbound vehicles, for a total of 1679 vehicles.

 

The 24-hour total for the busiest section of the street was 8619 eastbound and 8628 westbound vehicles, for a total of 17,247 vehicles; so, well below the 25,000 vehicles per day that a street with 3 travel lanes can easily handle.

 

Yup.  Residents wanted a slow, narrow street, a handful of institutions wanted the parking, but the constant all along was that DOTE would not accept any tradeoff that required reduction of capacity, even when the NACTO numbers suggest a reduced capacity street may work.  So, we'll end up with a Frankenstein of a street.  

Edited by thebillshark

www.cincinnatiideas.com

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I'll repeat that I would rather have the mayor's 7-lane with bump-out plan than this 6-lane plan. It's embarrassing. At least we could justify right-sizing the street in 3 years if we just add bump-outs now.

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New plan for narrowing Liberty Street heads to vote

 

libertyreduction*750xx1200-676-0-123.jpg

 

Cincinnati City Council could vote today on a new plan to narrow Liberty Street, although it probably will not have the potential to return the same amount of land for redevelopment as the one originally supported by a council majority and nearby neighborhoods.

 

The latest conceptual plan calls for Liberty to be reduced from seven lanes to six, with the city eliminating one lane of traffic on the south side of the road. The northernmost lane would have 24-hour per day parking. The five remaining lanes would have two traffic lanes in each direction and a combination of turn lanes and medians in the center, while the southernmost lane could have parking after 7 p.m.

 

The city administration would gather additional community input before releasing a final design for the project, said Councilman Chris Seelbach, its sponsor.

 

The new plan is different from the five-lane plan endorsed by all of the area community councils and council Democrats with the exception of Pendleton, which is located mostly outside of the project area, and Councilman David Mann. That plan also would have returned up to 20 feet of developable land to the south side of the street. 

 

Liberty Street was two lanes until the 1950s, when the city demolished dozens of buildings to make it wider. 

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/05/01/new-plan-for-narrowing-liberty-street-heads-to.html


"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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20 minutes ago, ColDayMan said:

New plan for narrowing Liberty Street heads to vote

 

libertyreduction*750xx1200-676-0-123.jpg

 

Cincinnati City Council could vote today on a new plan to narrow Liberty Street, although it probably will not have the potential to return the same amount of land for redevelopment as the one originally supported by a council majority and nearby neighborhoods.

 

The latest conceptual plan calls for Liberty to be reduced from seven lanes to six, with the city eliminating one lane of traffic on the south side of the road. The northernmost lane would have 24-hour per day parking. The five remaining lanes would have two traffic lanes in each direction and a combination of turn lanes and medians in the center, while the southernmost lane could have parking after 7 p.m.

 

The city administration would gather additional community input before releasing a final design for the project, said Councilman Chris Seelbach, its sponsor.

 

The new plan is different from the five-lane plan endorsed by all of the area community councils and council Democrats with the exception of Pendleton, which is located mostly outside of the project area, and Councilman David Mann. That plan also would have returned up to 20 feet of developable land to the south side of the street. 

 

Liberty Street was two lanes until the 1950s, when the city demolished dozens of buildings to make it wider. 

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/05/01/new-plan-for-narrowing-liberty-street-heads-to.html

 

Note that the accompanying photo shows the original plan, not the 6-lane plan. 

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So under the current plan, the sidewalk along the south side of Liberty will be extended to where the cars are parked in that photo, right? If parking is still going to be allowed on that side of the street, then the eastbound side of Liberty will have one travel lane and a turn lane or median depending on the block? I'm still confused about the alignment of this project, but it seems like the wider sidewalk would at least be an improvement over current conditions, and a better option than the proposed bump outs.

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Another "worse option" compromise from this administration.

 

The only glimmer of hope is that one day a more bike-friendly leadership/DOTE paradigm can install protected bike lanes on it.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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40 minutes ago, edale said:

So under the current plan, the sidewalk along the south side of Liberty will be extended to where the cars are parked in that photo, right? If parking is still going to be allowed on that side of the street, then the eastbound side of Liberty will have one travel lane and a turn lane or median depending on the block? I'm still confused about the alignment of this project, but it seems like the wider sidewalk would at least be an improvement over current conditions, and a better option than the proposed bump outs.

 

You got it, except during rush hour. During rush hour the parking on the south side will become a travel lane. So there will be no parking buffer between the sidewalk and the cars going 45 mph. 

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11 minutes ago, JYP said:

Another "worse option" compromise from this administration.

 

The only glimmer of hope is that one day a more bike-friendly leadership/DOTE paradigm can install protected bike lanes on it.

 

If we would just shrink it to 5 lanes now with parking on either side (temporary for now until it's proven the road can handle permanent parking almost all the time to further shrink it to 3 lanes of travel all the time) we wouldn't need bike lanes because the street would be designed to look like a 25mph zone.

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2 hours ago, ryanlammi said:

 

If we would just shrink it to 5 lanes now with parking on either side (temporary for now until it's proven the road can handle permanent parking almost all the time to further shrink it to 3 lanes of travel all the time) we wouldn't need bike lanes because the street would be designed to look like a 25mph zone.

 

Yes- we could have tried a temporary 3 lane trial at some point during the last seven years,  or taken traffic data when the number of lanes is restricted for other reasons (happens every holiday season in front of the free store food bank,) but we didn’t. 

Edited by thebillshark

www.cincinnatiideas.com

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So for those fluent in city zoning...what can actually be built with the extra 10 feet that couldn't before?  

 

Also, I think not narrowing Liberty at Central Parkway is a big missed opportunity to build something nice at that SE corner and redefine the turn into OTR, which is currently pretty unimpressive.  

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Council backs new Liberty Street plan

 

vintagelibertystreet*750xx1200-676-0-50.

 

Liberty Street will be reduced from seven lanes to six, including one 24-hour-a-day parking lane under what supporters hope is the final major vote on the project before Cincinnati’s administration constructs the changes.

 

City Council voted 8-1 for the latest plan, making it veto-proof. Councilman David Mann, a Democrat, opposed it because he was not satisfied with the level of detail offered by the administration about how the street would be narrowed and how much it could still change given that the ordinance calls for even more community engagement. 

 

Mayor John Cranley said positive things about the plan’s co-sponsor, Republican Councilman Jeff Pastor, who the mayor said listened to critics of the plan and pushed for changes. Cranley suggested even more changes to the plan, including discarding plans to narrow the street near Chatfield College, which has concerns about the loss of parking, and starting the project around Walnut Street. Chatfield is on the south side of the street while the 24-hour parking lane will be on the north side. 

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/05/02/council-backs-new-liberty-street-plan.html


"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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LOL at Cranley's "suggested changes" that basically amount to doing nothing. What a worthless idiot. 


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

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I was surprised to see today that the city just installed new curb cuts and painted new crosswalks at the intersection of Liberty and Main. I find it odd that they're doing this now, because, if the most recently approved plan for the Liberty Street Road Diet is still moving forward, the city will be redoing this entire intersection again in the very near future...

IMG_6452.jpg

IMG_6453.jpg

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^ This happens all the time and it's mind boggling. I wouldn't be surprised if the Liberty Street "Road Diet" budget ends up seeing an unnecessary and punitive cost increase because it will result in replacing recently upgraded infrastructure (ie refunding whatever project budget paid to replaced the curb cuts - my guess is an accessibility initiative seeing that the tactile warning strips look like the only upgrades).

 

Knowing the "Road Diet" may rework this intersection, the city could have saved several thousand dollars by simply delaying the project or, if deemed urgent, using temporary surface applied tactile warning systems.

Edited by Ram23

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The timing is suspicious because the neighborhood asked for new bump-outs to be built at Liberty & Main as part of the Main Street renovation last year. The city told the neighborhood no, and said that the intersection will be handled as part of the Liberty Street project instead. Of course the Liberty Street project continues to be delayed. If the city would have just built the bump-outs as part of the Main Street project, we could have a substantially improved intersection there now.

liberty and main.jpg

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It's hard to tell from those drawings, but it appears that the property lines at some points might expand by less than 10 feet.  So all of this commotion and all of this drama and all of this money for the approximate width of a single parking space. 

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Obviously this is not what the neighborhood wanted (we overwhelmingly and repeatedly asked for it to be narrowed to 5 lanes) but if this is the best the city can do, I still think it's good for the neighborhood and we should move forward with it ASAP. They did a really good job with making the bump-outs as big as possible and decreasing the corner radius to reclaim as much space as possible for pedestrians (Walnut & Liberty and Main & Liberty in particular). I still think that the off-peak lane configuration is going to be confusing for drivers, but whatever.

 

The addition of a new signalized intersection at Liberty & Liberty Hill (which was never discussed in any of the meetings leading up to the selection of the 5-lane option) is actually a huge win. Crossing Liberty Street between Pendleton and Mt. Auburn is extremely dangerous right now, with no crosswalk at Broadway and a poorly marked crosswalk at Pendleton Street that is rarely respected by drivers. Anything we can do to make that stretch of Liberty less of a highway is huge.

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I find this maddening.   Reducing from 7 lanes to 6 still leaves it as a major arterial road.  Completely misses the point of the road diet.  The only benefits are the pedestrian bump outs, and as mayor Cranley pointed out, we could do that while keeping the 7 lanes for way less money.  If I am agreeing with Cranley, something is wrong.  

 

Better to just do the bump outs, and wait for a better political environment and try again to see if we can get it right.   

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2 hours ago, JoeHarmon said:

I find this maddening.   Reducing from 7 lanes to 6 still leaves it as a major arterial road.  Completely misses the point of the road diet.  The only benefits are the pedestrian bump outs, and as mayor Cranley pointed out, we could do that while keeping the 7 lanes for way less money.  If I am agreeing with Cranley, something is wrong.  

 

Better to just do the bump outs, and wait for a better political environment and try again to see if we can get it right.   

 

I agree.  This plan is not worth doing.  The same $3.4 million could accomplish a much broader improvement to the area by significantly narrowing the street.  

 

I'd like to see the city experiment hardcore - do a six month trial where the Liberty Rd. extension is closed off and Liberty St. proper is narrowed with cones and changed to stop signs east/west.  Do a resident survey at the end of that period and see if it's a disaster or if everyone adjusts and prefers the quieter alternative.  

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3 hours ago, JoeHarmon said:

Better to just do the bump outs, and wait for a better political environment and try again to see if we can get it right.   

 

The problem is, if the street is going to be narrowed at all, it needs to happen before new buildings are built along the south side of the street. If new buildings are built up to the current street width, you can never really narrow the street in the future. You could reallocate how that space is divvied up (take away car lanes and give that space to wider sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.) but you would still have super wide street that divides the neighborhood in two. We have an opportunity to reduce the width of the street by 10 feet right now and "lock in" this change by building infill up to that narrower street. I think it would be extremely foolish to say "no, just give us bumpouts" and hope that at some point we have a more progressive mayor who goes all in on Vision Zero and is willing to take away car lanes.

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On 1/13/2020 at 6:30 PM, taestell said:

 

The problem is, if the street is going to be narrowed at all, it needs to happen before new buildings are built along the south side of the street. If new buildings are built up to the current street width, you can never really narrow the street in the future. You could reallocate how that space is divvied up (take away car lanes and give that space to wider sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.) but you would still have super wide street that divides the neighborhood in two. We have an opportunity to reduce the width of the street by 10 feet right now and "lock in" this change by building infill up to that narrower street. I think it would be extremely foolish to say "no, just give us bumpouts" and hope that at some point we have a more progressive mayor who goes all in on Vision Zero and is willing to take away car lanes.

 

I understand your point, but disagree.  Right now, most of the blocks either have a surface parking lot, or a tiny triangle of land too small to build on.  Accepting a modest 10 ft increase makes those triangles possible to build on.  Once those get built, to your point, it is unlikely we will ever get it narrowed to a proper width.   If we leave it as is but put in bump outs, those triangle are not possible to build on, and the parking lots are going to stay parking lots for quite some time.  3cdc just built the lot on Race/liberty last year.  They clearly expect to keep it as such for a while.   I realize there have been some parking lots in OTR/Pendleton that have gotten new infill, but there are still way more vacant buildings and vacant lots to be developed before we get to a point of parking lots delevoping en mass.  There is too much money to be made on them right now.

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With final approval, Liberty Street project may finally happen

 

seelbach*750xx3184-1791-0-165.jpg

 

After nearly eight years of debate, the Cincinnati Planning Commission on Friday cast what may be the final vote to narrow Liberty Street in an attempt to reconnect the north and south parts of Over-the-Rhine.

 

Liberty from Central Parkway to Sycamore Street will be reduced from seven lanes to six, with much the north side of the street having 24-hour-a-day parking. Effectively, that would take the street to five lanes at all times, reducing the width pedestrians have to cross and adding some developable land on the south side of the street.

 

For most days, there also will be parking on the south side from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 24 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2020/01/17/with-final-approval-liberty-street-project-may.html


"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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