Three wishes

Well it seems as though my last post brought up some people’s wishes for downtown, and what they want to happen. So, I thought I would throw it all out there and ask everyone to comment on what their Top 3 wishes for downtown are. They could be anything, from development projects, to culture changes, to new/different laws, etc. Go wild…I want to hear from you.

I’ll start with my Top 3 in no particular order:

1. The creation of a transportation hub along 2nd St (as has been proposed). This could be a hub for light rail, streetcar, bus, bike and have tie-ins to the potential high-speed rail system in Ohio and the Midwest. Why is this in my top three…well great urban centers are the center of cultural, economical, political and transportation services (to name a few). Cincinnati fairs quite well in most of these…and is quite honestly the center of transportation services for the region…but it is a sad system of services to say the least. So my wish for downtown is kind of a cop out wish for the entire region (but it’s my blog and I can do it).

2. How about an open-container policy for downtown. Now I understand that you need to restrict it someway…so create some sort of open-container district based on the location of the popular bars/clubs downtown. You could even have more than one district…and in those districts vehicular traffic could be closed off. This would give downtown a huge advantage over all of the other bar/club districts in the region and really make it a hot spot for activity after the sun goes down.

3. ZERO parking requirement…yes, you heard me right. No parking requirements. This is obviously a controversial proposal, but it has the potential to pay off big time with massive downtown development. This is one of those rare occasions where I think government is out of its element by mandating parking.

If a business or developer thinks that their project can succeed with less parking, no parking, or more parking then let them make that call. My bet is that people will error on the side of less parking, but if you want to sell condos and market them with 2 spaces then you’ll build your two spaces per units…but if you think you can do it with only one space per unit, then go for it. This could potentially lower the upfront costs of many developments that eventually are killed by the costs of parking.

So have at it and let me know what your wishes are, and what you think of my brilliant ideas.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.