• 42-mile cycling 'super highway' in Cincinnati announced

    From Garrison Hilliard@21:1/5 to All on Wed Dec 16 22:03:46 2015
    XPost: rec.bicycles.misc

    42-mile cycling 'super highway' in Cincinnati announced

    Carrie Blackmore Smith, csmith@enquirer.com 6:47 p.m. EST December
    16, 2015

    Robin Corathers hopes Cincinnati Connects, a plan for a 42-mile
    continuous "super highway" trail, becomes reality in her lifetime.

    "And I'm getting old, folks," Corathers joked to a roomful of trail,
    health and environmental advocates from around Cincinnati and Hamilton
    County, as they sipped their coffee at Coffee Emporium In
    Over-the-Rhine at the plan's announcement Wednesday.

    It's the first time an uninterrupted loop trail around Cincinnati has
    ever been proposed, Corathers said, and it won't come cheap or easy.

    It will take commitment and a dogged search for funding from people
    all around town, she said.

    But building the trail, which would run through 32 of Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods, would be worth it, said Corathers, whose organization
    Groundwork Cincinnati has been leading the Cincinnati Connects effort.

    "We want people of all ages and abilities, income levels, throughout
    the city, to be able to get on the trail and travel through the entire
    city of Cincinnati without a vehicle," Corathers said.

    It's about transportation alternatives, health and economic vitality;
    about connecting people to job centers, supermarkets and recreation,
    Corathers said.

    This trail would act as a "skeleton" for connecting to other trails in
    Hamilton County and beyond. It calls for connecting four trails that
    have been in the works for years: the Oasis Trail, Wasson Way, Mill
    Creek Greenway and Ohio River Trail West, all in different stages –
    mostly early – of completion.

    A map representing Cincinnati Connects, the vision of a 42-mile loop
    trail around Cincinnati and connecting to existing trails in Hamilton
    County. (Photo: Provided)

    Click or tap here for a full size version of the map above.

    The organizations have been searching for funding for years for their

    They know disappointment, including the recent failure of a Cincinnati
    Parks levy, which likely would have funded the four trail groups.

    But Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune said now that area
    governments and trail and health organizations are collaborating and
    have a road map, Cincinnati Connects should get traction for state or
    federal funding.

    As chair of Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District,
    Portune said the district will support the project in an application
    next year for state funding from the Ohio Department of

    "What benefits the city, benefits the county," said Portune, who is
    also a past president of OKI Regional Council of Governments. "This
    issue of connected trails is being embraced all through Hamilton
    County. Small city mayors, township trustees, village administrators,
    you name it.

    "I know that because I've been out there meeting with them all," the commissioner said.

    Without investing in trails the region misses out, Portune said.

    He finds building the trail "very important; as we compete for
    businesses, as we compete for new investment, and, importantly, as we
    compete for people," Portune said. That depends on "where people want
    to settle. Where they want to live. Where they want to raise a family.
    Where they want to be for the rest of their lives."

    Portune said we do not rank well compared to peer metropolitan areas
    with which Cincinnati and Hamilton County competes.

    The plan, not including the four long-planned trails, is estimated to
    cost $21 million, Corathers said.

    "This is not a pipe dream," Corathers said. The roughly 250-page
    report includes preliminary designs, route options along with
    cost/benefis analyses, paid for with a $186,000 grant from Interact
    for Health.

    "This is step one," Corathers said.

    Step two is finding the money from both public and private sources,
    Corathers said.


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  • From Garrison Hilliard@21:1/5 to All on Fri May 27 08:55:45 2016
    XPost: rec.bicycles.misc

    Madisonville, Wasson Way poised for big economic boost

    CINCINNATI – Multi-million dollar plans to remake Madisonville’s
    business district and build the Wasson Way bike trail on Cincinnati’s
    East End stand to get a big boost under Mayor John Cranley’s proposed
    two-year budget.

    The proposed investments – valued at nearly $16 million collectively
    -- are among roughly $35 million in spending outlined in Cranley’s
    budget plan, which he’s unveiling during a series of events this week.

    WCPO was offered an early look at the proposal and the projects, which
    span Avondale, Bond Hill, College Hill, Madisonville, North Avondale,
    Roselawn, West Price Hill and Westwood. On Monday, Cranley outlined
    plans for $10 million in projects and investment in College Hill,
    Westwood and West Price Hill. Another $5.2 million would go toward
    remaking the Avondale Towne Center and luring redevelopment work to
    Roselawn and Bond Hill under efforts announced Tuesday.

    “The vast majority of these projects have been on the planning table
    for a long time, but they lacked resources to get them done,” Cranley

    “Waiting a Long Time for This”

    On Wednesday morning, Cranley is expected to join Madisonville leaders
    and planners behind the Wasson Way trail to offer details on the
    proposed investments carved out in his budget plans.

    In Madisonville, new retail space, office space and at least 300
    apartments are planned under a proposed redevelopment agreement
    between the Ackerman Group and the city.

    For more than a decade the city has worked to acquire abandoned and
    decaying properties at the corner of Madison and Whetsel roads in the
    hopes of one day reviving the neighborhood’s struggling business


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