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Cincinnati: Bicycling Developments and News

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At this time there are no additional restrictions on the electric bikes and they are the same price as the standard bikes. Eventually the app will show a little lightning bolt icon on stations that have an electric bike available, just like the website does now. RedBike will monitor these 10 e-bikes to see how long the batteries last before needing to be swapped out with a fully charged battery, which will allow them to more accurately plan for the eventual rollout of 100 e-bikes. Currently they have about 400 regular bikes, so this is also a 25% increase in the total size of RedBike's fleet. So that should enable them to add a few more stations once the e-bikes start arriving.

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Money secured for the next phase of Wasson Way

 

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The nonprofit advocacy group for the Wasson Way bike trail on Cincinnati’s East Side announced Sunday that enough money has been secured to start building the second phase of the trail.

 

The 0.7-mile second phase is set to run from Tamarack Avenue in Hyde Park over a bridge that spans Interstate 71 to Montgomery Road, connecting Hyde Park to Evanston and Norwood. But with the amount of funding secured, only phase 2a will be done, which runs from Tamarack to Floral Avenue. 

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/11/12/money-secured-for-the-next-phase-of-wasson-way.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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I walked the Mt. Airy mtb bike trails for the second time this past weekend.  Almost no progress since September.  They definitely aren't going to have anything open by the end of the year. 

 

I don't know the full history of this and why they are doing this with a team of volunteers instead of hiring a team of professionals to come in and build the network in 3 weeks.  At the rate they're going, this is going to take 2-3 years. 

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On 11/13/2018 at 5:10 PM, jmecklenborg said:

I walked the Mt. Airy mtb bike trails for the second time this past weekend.  Almost no progress since September.  They definitely aren't going to have anything open by the end of the year. 

 

I don't know the full history of this and why they are doing this with a team of volunteers instead of hiring a team of professionals to come in and build the network in 3 weeks.  At the rate they're going, this is going to take 2-3 years. 

 

 

There are no teams of professionals in the off-road park trail design field. Trail design and construction is something that existing park/forestry employees do on the side and with the help of volunteers. Obviously volunteers are a very finite resource and don't work like employees with the hours, workload and whatnot. Contractors are used mostly during the construction of bridges and culverts. I actually studied off-road trail design (motorcycle/ATV, MTB, equestrian, hiking) post-grad at Marshall in the mid-2000s and found out things are quite shoestring very quickly. It's a totally different environment than asphalt bike paths, bike lanes and even gravel shared-use path scenarios. Also, you have to think about how ridiculous everything was with the nonstop rain and early cold snap last Fall.

Edited by GCrites80s

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They do actually have professionals come in for big public projects, but we haven't had any built in Ohio that I know of.  Mountain biking is becoming big-business.  Cincinnati could have a public ski lift downhill trail system but our leadership is too dumb to take advantage of what we have right next to downtown. 

 

That downside of all of these volunteers is that every trail has a gaggle of chaperones.  These guys are always age 45-60 (the guys that invented mountain biking back in the 90s)and they seemingly live to patrol "their" mountain bike trail and administer pointers and corrections to evil-doers.  Last weekend I pulled over in Devou Park to let a guy going downhill pass me.  I didn't size him up ahead of time as a finger-wagging chaperone but I found out instantly that he was one.  "Uphill always has the right-of-way!".  Okay bro, sorry about trying to be polite and let you pass, you really saved the day. 

 

Then there is the whole matter of biking on a closed trail.  Are you ready for a yuppie freak-out?  You had better be, because if their is so much as a dollop of mud anywhere on that trail, IT'S CLOSED, bro.  CLOSED! 

 

What's so crazy about the wet trail nazis is that we don't even have any manicured flow trails in this area.  It's all rooty stuff that is a mess no matter what.  You can't screw them up by riding in the mud because they already suck! 

 

 

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Motorcycle/ATV people and trails aren't like that. The constant threat of death or at least Medevac is too high. When you're constantly riding past helipads that are there just for you if you screw up it's a different mindset for sure. You laugh more

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Lime reports that in Boston its electric scooters are 14x more popular than its traditional bicycles.  They've taken all pedal bicycles off the road and replaced them with electric bikes.

https://www.masslive.com/boston/2019/04/lime-to-replace-rentable-bikes-in-greater-boston-with-electric-powered-models.html

 

We haven't heard anything re: Red Bike's electric bikes, but ridership of Red Bikes near UC continues to be almost zero while scooters swarm the streets. 

 

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RedBike got around 10 prototype electric bikes, which are out in the system today, but they placed an order for 100 electric bikes. So in total, about 1/5 of RedBike's fleet will be electric when they all arrive.

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13 hours ago, taestell said:

RedBike got around 10 prototype electric bikes, which are out in the system today, but they placed an order for 100 electric bikes. So in total, about 1/5 of RedBike's fleet will be electric when they all arrive.

Wonder if anyone has heard how this will affect the pricing structure? I'm guessing the ebikes will cost extra to use. CitiBike in NYC has some ebikes in their fleet now, and they cost $2 per trip (on top of membership fees). Their prices are generally higher than RedBike's, but I could see RedBike charging $1 or 50 cents per ride. And/or having a higher-tier membership that includes ebikes.

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As of now, there are no differences between checking out an e-bike or a standard bike. The cost and the time limits are the same. Right now they are probably suffering a bit as more people are opting to use e-scooters instead of bikesharing, so I don't think it would be smart for them to charge extra for e-bikes.

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15 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

Lime reports that in Boston its electric scooters are 14x more popular than its traditional bicycles.  They've taken all pedal bicycles off the road and replaced them with electric bikes.

https://www.masslive.com/boston/2019/04/lime-to-replace-rentable-bikes-in-greater-boston-with-electric-powered-models.html

 

We haven't heard anything re: Red Bike's electric bikes, but ridership of Red Bikes near UC continues to be almost zero while scooters swarm the streets. 

 

 

Personally, I'd always take a Red Bike over a scooter if I didn't have to pick the bike up and drop it back off at a docking station. The convenience factor that comes with the ability to leave your scooter right at your destination is huge. Now that many of the bikes are electronic, the "last mile" (or more like last few hundred feet in this case) is probably the biggest difference.Bikeshare needs to get away from the station-based system and mimic the scooter deployment.

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I too like convenience, but I don't trust humans enough to not make them dock these when they're done with them.  The sidewalks can already be a mess with the scooters.  I'd personally prefer we craft legislation making the scooter companies designate zones for parking those, instead of having the Bikeshare system go backwards to meet the scooter companies.

 

Heck, redbike should also get into the scooter business, but with docks.

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I also like knowing where I can grab a Red Bike. And if multiple people are going somewhere, there are almost always multiple Red Bikes at a single dock. With scooters you have to go on a scavenger hunt.

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I rode the abandoned rail ROW on the west side of the Mill Creek for the first time in about 10 years.  This will make a great pave bike path one day...however the Mill Creek trail section completed back in 2013-14 between Spring Grove Ave. and the Mill Creek bridge already appears to be falling into disrepair. 

 

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I live near the upper portion of the Mill Creek Greenway and have rode the entire paved portion of this trail numerous times.  Each time it was overgrown and the path was not in good condition.  The route itself is useless because of how broken up it is.  I was actually planning on posting some photos when I actually get a chance to get the bike out one weekend.

From what I've gathered, the next step is an Este Ave multi-use path and cut-through the GCWW access road to Winton Rd. 

 

The city has all but ignored this route, one I've been patiently waiting on getting completed because that lower portion could be one of the coolest trails the city has to offer.

I'm hoping the Lick Run project and (never-to-be started) Price Hill Landing boost the priority of this trail because connecting to those two parks would be huge.

 

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Fun Fact: the Easte Ave. bike lanes were the first bike lanes in Cincinnati.  Yes, up there in the middle of nowhere.  They were striped around 2000 or 2001. 

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9 minutes ago, Ram23 said:

^^ I've never noticed the City of Cincinnati fuel station shown in the bottom left of the route you highlighted on the map:

 

https://goo.gl/maps/gFtoB1SmDohDLihw9

 

I guess the Streetview car missed the "no trespassing" sign:

 

https://goo.gl/maps/w4CuSZxDjkasVQMa7

 

 

 

There is another one on Gest St.  Neither of them have air pumps.  I found out the hard way trying to fill up a bicycle tire with a slow leak.  

 

 

 

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Is there a comprehensive map of bike repair stations and air pumps out there?  Seems like that would be super helpful if you have a slow leak, a bum chain link, or don't want to burn through a CO2 cartridge.  Two weeks ago or so I got a flat near the casino and then went to the Washington Park garage to top up my tire after hand pumping, but the pump in the garage had a leak in the hose fittings so it didn't work.  There's also a free air pump at Gateway on Vine and Central, but it's schrader only, no presta.  

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4 minutes ago, jjakucyk said:

Is there a comprehensive map of bike repair stations and air pumps out there?  Seems like that would be super helpful if you have a slow leak, a bum chain link, or don't want to burn through a CO2 cartridge.  Two weeks ago or so I got a flat near the casino and then went to the Washington Park garage to top up my tire after hand pumping, but the pump in the garage had a leak in the hose fittings so it didn't work.  There's also a free air pump at Gateway on Vine and Central, but it's schrader only, no presta.  

 

 

Campus Cyclery used to have a compressor hose that stuck out of the front of the building through a missing brick.  I managed to explode a tire there one night right next to the crowded patio at Babba Budhan's.  Everybody on the whole patio shrieked thinking a bomb went off like the time the owner of the Jerusalem Café blew up his own restaurant in a failed insurance fraud effort.   

 

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Anyone know why the ebikes disappeared from the Red Bike map? I was thinking about finding one to use yesterday, only to see they're all gone.

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Here's the full email that Red Bike sent out. I bolded a few important parts:

 

Quote

The Electric Assist Red Bike is here! 
 
This Thursday, May 30th, we are deploying 100 Red Bike E-Bikes into our community. E-Bikes will be a gamechanger for active transportation in our region. The electric assist allows you to ride further, faster, and up our many hills, all with just a little less effort.
 
E-Bikes will be about 25% of our Red Bike Fleet. They work just like our classic Red Bikes. Check an E-Bike out from any of our 57 Red Bike stations, and end your ride by docking at any station. 
 
At the station, it will be easy to see which bikes are E-Bikes, with their distinctive basket and shroud and big battery by the back wheel. In the app, there will be a lightning bolt in the station location pin that will indicate there is at least one E-Bike at the station.

 

Unlimited use of the Red Bike E-Bikes will be included with both the Annual and Monthly Membership to Red Bike. The prices of Red Bike Memberships will be increasing a bit to allow us to hire more staff and keep the batteries swapped out often and the bikes fully charged. Starting on July 1, the price of an Annual Membership will increase to $100/year, and the price of a Monthly Membership will increase to $18/month.
 
This is our first price increase ever, and we do not take the change lightly. We want to continue to provide you with the absolute best riding experience possible. To that end, along with unlimited E-Bike rides, we are also increasing the amount of ride time per trip from 60 minutes to TWO HOURS. We hope this will allow you to really maximize the benefit of the E-Bikes.
 
Have somewhere to be 4 or 5 miles away? Take a Red Bike E-Bike to your destination, lock the bike up with the lock in the basket, do what you need to do, and ride back to any Red Bike station in under 2 hours. In addition, we are simplifying the overage fees for long trips to $5/hour after 2 hours. Once you have your Red Bike Membership, on any given day, you can take a 3-hour ride for only $5 more.
 
Remember, the price change does not take effect until July 1. We are giving you the month of June to try the E-Bikes and see for yourself how fun and convenient they are. Between now and July 1, Annual Memberships remain $80. You can go to www.cincyredbike.org, and renew your Membership for our original pricing. Or you can join or re-join Red Bike and enjoy a year of electric assist bike rides for only $80.
 
Red Bike will be one of the first bike share systems in the country to offer electric-assist bikes. We are extremely thankful to our generous funders who helped to make this a reality: The City of Cincinnati, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the Duke Energy Foundation, The P&G Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), and many other individuals and organizations.
 
Red Bike is incredibly proud to bring you this revolutionary new transportation option. Starting Thursday, there is a brand-new electric way to enjoy our wonderful community!
 
Let us know if you have any questions, and as always – Happy Red Biking!

 

I spoke with Jason Barron about this last week and he told me that these changes were made after looking carefully at the data collected from the kiosks. As he explained it, most riders use Red Bike in one of two ways. Either they take rides that are around ~15 minutes each; or they ride for around 1 hour, then check the bike in and back out again so they can continue riding without paying an extra fee for going over 1 hour. So increasing the maximum ride time per checkout to 2 hours makes a lot of sense, in order to eliminate the check in-check out hassle. Increasing the cost (for the first time ever) while simultaneously adding e-bikes, expanding the total fleet by 25%, and allowing for longer rides makes a lot of sense.

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I hope that RedBike has staying power despite the influx of e-scooters. They are an infinitely better managed operation and actually care about the city they serve.  It would be cool to see this one day become a viable commuting option way down the road.  For $100 a year (or $60 if you are poor), you could have a cheap way to work for 9 months out of the year. 

 

I could see this expanding to most major neighborhoods on the outer bounds of Cincinnati proper.  I think Bond Hill is the next one opening.  Hyde Park, Oakley, East End are probably next with Wasson Way and Riverside Dr bike lanes.  Lower and East PH, Sayler Park once they get a multi-use path along 8th St.

 

Of course, that would require much better on-road bicycle facilities... maybe with the next administration.

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I think between Downtown, OTR/Pendelton, West End, Camp Washington, Northside along with all of Newport and Bellevue/Dayton and the Northern half of Covington you can have a pretty extensive bike population. All those combined is probably  at least 40,000 people and they can all connect without any major hills or barriers (besides the river which is surprisingly easy to cross given the lack of bike friendly streets around town). I personally find it hard to believe that anyone other than biking aficionados will ever bike to downtown from Hyde Park, but the basin has the potential to be very bikeable. 

 

Newport is already fairly bike friendly and just won a grant to further improve bake safety working with Yard and Co. Along with it's easy Purple People connection to downtown and three additional RedBike stations on the way, I think in a few years it will be the most bike friendly city in the region. Like an urban Loveland...

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It would be great to see Red Bike advocate for more bike lanes in the future. There is probably a bit of a gentleman's agreement in place now, since the city provided the initial funding to get the system up and running, that Red Bike not rock the boat too hard. But after we get a new city administration in 2022, it would be great to see Red Bike advocating for the adoption of the Bike Master Plan that is currently sitting on a shelf gathering dust because Cranley and DOTE leaders don't want to inconvenience cars in any way.

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21 hours ago, ucgrady said:

I think between Downtown, OTR/Pendelton, West End, Camp Washington, Northside along with all of Newport and Bellevue/Dayton and the Northern half of Covington you can have a pretty extensive bike population. All those combined is probably  at least 40,000 people and they can all connect without any major hills or barriers (besides the river which is surprisingly easy to cross given the lack of bike friendly streets around town). I personally find it hard to believe that anyone other than biking aficionados will ever bike to downtown from Hyde Park, but the basin has the potential to be very bikeable. 

 

Newport is already fairly bike friendly and just won a grant to further improve bake safety working with Yard and Co. Along with it's easy Purple People connection to downtown and three additional RedBike stations on the way, I think in a few years it will be the most bike friendly city in the region. Like an urban Loveland...

 

I don't know why they only have one station in Northside. I would like to see a couple more there. 

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If the eBikes are better at handling Ravine and Clifton hills than the scooters (which barely handle them), they might become more popular with UC students going down to Over the Rhine. It's a very short ride, but most people aren't thrilled with the idea of biking back up the hill.

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21 hours ago, ucgrady said:

I personally find it hard to believe that anyone other than biking aficionados will ever bike to downtown from Hyde Park, but the basin has the potential to be very bikeable

 

I think e-Bikes change that equation a little bit, as long as the infrastructure is there.

 

For example, a complete Wasson Way (with the UC connection) brings you to Reading Rd/MLK.  From there we need a north-south artery with bike lanes and you're downtown, that's not a bad ride given proper infrastructure and an e-bike.

Edited by 10albersa

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Scaling the hills on a bike is hard enough, and the routes approaching downtown lack bike infrastructure compared to other streets.  Gilbert has the width and lack of traffic to be an excellent bike route, if the hell between Elsinore and Court Street can be addressed.  Ironically the worst place to ride Gilbert is the part with the bike lanes, not because of them, but because of all the other automobile-focused idiocy that's going on in that section.  The safest and most direct route to Uptown would need to be either West Clifton or Vine, which to work would require trading away some street parking, and you know how that goes.  Other streets like Ravine or Sycamore are too steep to safely descend, and I bet even an ebike would struggle depending on the weight of the rider.  

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Maybe so, but it's a very steep street and actually dangerous for someone with a hefty build to bike down, especially with coaster brakes.  

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I test rode an e-bike once. I was able to get up Ravine, but it was not easy. But the fact it was possible at all blew my mind. 

Edited by thebillshark

www.cincinnatiideas.com

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10 hours ago, oudd said:

If the eBikes are better at handling Ravine and Clifton hills than the scooters (which barely handle them), they might become more popular with UC students going down to Over the Rhine. It's a very short ride, but most people aren't thrilled with the idea of biking back up the hill.

 

I have seen numerous Hughes High School students ride scooters they haven't paid for down the hills.  Yes, the things beep obnoxiously the whole way down. 

 

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23 hours ago, DEPACincy said:

I don't know why they only have one station in Northside. I would like to see a couple more there. 


It's all about funding. I believe each station costs between $10k and $15k. Some group stepped up to fund the Hoffner Park station (either Northside Community Council or Northside Business Association) and Red Bike isn't going to turn that down, but adding more Northside stations probably isn't close to the top of Red Bike's current list of priorities.

 

On a side note, it is disappointing that Blue Ash ended up rolling out their own competing bikeshare system, rather than funding more Red Bike stations and creating one large, regional bike share system.

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1 hour ago, taestell said:


It's all about funding. I believe each station costs between $10k and $15k. Some group stepped up to fund the Hoffner Park station (either Northside Community Council or Northside Business Association) and Red Bike isn't going to turn that down, but adding more Northside stations probably isn't close to the top of Red Bike's current list of priorities.

 

 

Oh definitely. But I think it would be a good investment. You'd see a lot higher ridership in Northside with a second station. The corner of Bruce and Hamilton would be a good option so folks in the northern part of the neighborhood don't have to walk all the way down to Hoffner Park. 

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