Should a portion of gas tax revenues go towards transit?

According to a recent state-funded study, Ohio needs to double its investment in transit to keep up with the growing demand across the state. Even after an increase in funding for 2016, Ohio will only spend $8.3 million per year on transit–that’s less than 72 cents per resident, putting Ohio near the bottom of list compared to other states. One way to provide more funding would be to allocate a portion of the state’s gas tax revenue for transit projects.

In the state of Oregon, a proposal is being considered that would allow a portion of the state’s gas tax revenue to go towards bus, rail, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure that “reduces the traffic burden of, or pollution from, motor vehicles on public highways, roads and streets.” Currently, the state’s gas tax revenue can only be spent on highways and rest areas. The proposed resolution (SJR 16) would put the issue on the ballot for Oregon voters to decide in November 2016. More from Portland Transport:

SJR 16 would allow future legislation to assign a portion of motor vehicle taxes and fees for purposes such as rural bus service, safety and congestion relief projects that include transit, separated bicycle facilities such as the Sullivan’s Gulch trail, and local match for federal funds for non-highway transportation projects. Oregon received far less federal stimulus money to improve Amtrak service than did neighboring Washington because we did not have enough local match. Bridge and road tolls could be spent on transit, pedestrian, and bicycle facilities that provide alternatives to highway travel.

Non-highway alternatives may be cheaper, less polluting, or less damaging to the human or natural environment. These alternatives may also be desirable components of a new highway facility, allowing for a smaller, less-damaging structure that is more likely to win approval of nearby residents.

New Single-Family Homes Taking Shape in Over-the-Rhine

The popularity of urban living continues to rise in Cincinnati’s urban core, with new apartment and condos coming online seemingly every month. But recently, many developers have began to shift their focus to a new living option that combines the convenience of a downtown location with the space one would expect in other neighborhoods. These single-family homes might appeal to long-time urbanites that are starting a family and need more space, or those who want to relocate to the inner city without giving up the space they’re used to.

Property developer Urban Expansion gave UrbanCincy a tour of three single-family homes in Over-the-Rhine–one complete and two under construction. The developer is seeking LEED Silver certification for all three of these properties.

219 Wade Street is a 3,528 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 full and 2 half bathroom home with a list price of $530,000 and a sale currently pending. The home is located directly between a Cincinnati Streetcar stop and the Central Parkway Cycle Track, and close to amenities like Washington Park. The home is the first major residential development on the street, but won’t be the only one for long. Urban Expansion will soon be renovating a neighboring building, and other developers are eyeing the remaining vacant lots and buildings on the street.

 

The properties located at 16 and 18 East 14th Street are a unique example of adaptive reuse. An existing one-story garage wasn’t a great use of this valuable real estate, so Urban Expansion added a two-story living space to the top. These homes will provide a rare opportunity for someone who wants the luxury of a private attached garage (with enough space for three cars) just steps away from the restaurants and shops on Vine and Walnut. The second floor will feature a semi-enclosed patio that offer views of the third phase of Mercer Commons. Construction on these homes will be completed in about a month.

PHOTOS: Take a Look Inside Northside’s Rapidly Evolving Urban Artifact Brewery

A group of four young men are quickly transforming what was a vacant, historic church into a brewery and event space called Urban Artifact. The group says they are dedicated to saving historic buildings and adding new life to the community.

While some elements of the former St. Pius X Church will be familiar, other parts of the interior will be less recognizable. The group has big plans for the space and intend to open up operations later this year.

You can click on any image to enlarge it.

EDITORIAL NOTE: All 8 photographs were taken by Travis Estell on February 25, 2015.

PHOTOS: Construction Updates From Along the Mighty Ohio River

Both sides of the Ohio River are full of construction right now. In Cincinnati, General Electric’s new Global Operations Center, 300 new apartments, and 60,000 square feet of retail space are under construction at phase two of The Banks. The latest phase of the Smale Riverfront Park, which includes Carol Ann’s Carousel, is also moving along just around the corner.

Then, across the river in Newport, 238 apartments, 8,300 square feet of retail space, and an Aloft hotel are being added as part of the next phase of Newport on the Levee. Prep work is also taking place for the relocation of Kentucky Route 9 and the long-delayed Ovation project.

You can click on any image to enlarge it.

EDITORIAL NOTE: All 13 photos were taken by Travis Estell for UrbanCincy between January 18 and February 15, 2015.

PHOTOS: 19 Shots of Cincinnati’s Snowy Inner-City

This winter has been mild for Cincinnati, but last week we experienced two days with significant snowfall. While the accumulation may have been a pain for drivers, it turned the urban core into a winter wonderland for those able to get out and experience it on foot. Enjoy our gallery of photos taken on February 16th and 21st in the Central Business District, Over-the-Rhine, Clifton Heights and Mt. Auburn.

You can click any image to enlarge. Stay warm out there.

If you have been on the look out for sneckdowns, and are interested in sharing your photos with UrbanCincy, please contact us at editors@urbancincy.com.

EDITORIAL NOTE: All 19 photographs were taken by Travis Estell between February 16 and February 21, 2015.