UrbanCincy begins rolling out new website features, announces bi-weekly podcast

For nearly five years, UrbanCincy has strived to keep the region connected with its urban core, and we continue to develop new ways in which to accomplish this. To that end, we will be rolling out some new features to our website over the coming weeks. These features are intended to improve the usability of the site for you – the readers.

Earlier this year, we introduced the Disqus commenting system to improve functionality and interaction between readers. In addition to that, you will notice a number of additional technical enhancements intended to better connect you with our team.

Inside The UrbanCincy Podcast studio where chief technologist, Travis Estell, works to produce the first episode. Photograph by John Yung.

The first of the new features is now live and operational. “Up To Speed” is a new section providing a constant stream of all the news and discussion happening around the world that pertains to Cincinnati.

Another new feature is a bi-weekly podcast that will debut this Friday. The UrbanCincy Podcast will include in-depth debate of contemporary topics by our team. Each episode will focus on one topic and include feature commentary by a national or international expert on the topic.

This Friday, the UrbanCincy team will be joined by Natalia Gomez Rojas, an urban planner from Bogota, Colombia, to discuss the TransMilenio and what Cincinnati can learn from the world’s premier bus rapid transit system.

While we implement more of these new features, you can continue to expect the same original news content from the UrbanCincy team you have come to expect. We hope that these changes will enhance your experience with the website, and make UrbanCincy.com your urban lifestyle website destination. Thanks for reading.

  • As a Colombian moving to Cincy come summer, I’m more than intrigued about what Ms. Rojas can say about the “Premier” bus system that Transmilenio allegedly is- it is much controversial in Bogota as a once promising, now catastrophic attempt at mass transit. Of course, the queen city may have a better stance to work against some key points that have been its downfall over here (gross gov’t inefficience, city of 8M+ people, unbearable incapacity to behave in a civilised manner), but cincinnatians ought to be weary about hearing the ‘all good’ side of the story for what was fmr mayor Peñalosa’s way of bluffing Bogota out of a proper subway system.

    •  Please do tune in. The “premier” statement was made by me primarily for the reason that it is the largest, most heavily used system of its kind in the world. In addition to Natalia, I also visited Bogota and studied the TransMilenio for ten days last year.

      There are number of issues (over-crowding, air pollution along routes, noise, state of roadway repair, slow expansion progress, rapidly escalating fares), there are also a number of very good lessons to learn from a city that actually did real bus rapid transit, unlike most cities in the U.S.

    • Thank you for the reply. Actually my position on the “premier” statement goes further against those who locally (ie, here in Bogota) prize the system to be some sort of jewel of the city- we were basically indoctrinated in the early half of the 00’s (none’s?) to believe this was some grand achievement that put us side-by-side with the big ones, and naive engineers from all over the world were flocking to see this 8th marvel’s MO. That probably worked so long as you had never traveled beyond our borders to other capital cities with truly integrated systems of light and heavy rail, bus and even water-taxi systems (none of which, I’m afraid, lay west of the Atlantic).

      But indeed, you would be right to deem it Bogota’s premier system, insofar as it is its only (structured) transport system. Also, the model replication in smaller cities in Colombia (Cali, Medellín and Barranquilla), has been (in my belief) fairly succesful even in spite of rampant incompetence and corruption (and other aforementioned troubles).

      I guess what my interest in the podcast comes down to is whether the interview will focus on *The* “TransMilenio” rapid system or on *Bogota’s* TM rapid system.

      Beyond this I hope you had a good time in Bogota (how chaotic by comparison!) and should take a future opportunity to venturing beyond this monstrous city into the ever prettier colombian countryside!

    • You will definitely need to listen to the podcast on Friday then. We discussed the fact that the TransMilenio is not integrated with other systems in Bogota, and that the city is in need of other transit systems to compliment it. I don’t want to give away any more, but I think you’ll enjoy the conversation. And in either case, we would love to hear your feedback after you listen to the show. Thanks for reading!

  • Zachary Schunn

    Glad to see you continuing to move the site forward despite your hectic schedule, Randy.  Now just get some more advertisers to pay for the upgrades.  😉

  • 45202

    Hey, great, I can read the Comments now. Thanks Randy &  Travis.