Development News Transportation

Cincinnati selects final streetcar station design

The City of Cincinnati has chosen a final design for 18 station shelters along phase one of the Cincinnati Streetcar route. Designed by Cincinnati-based DNK Architects, the stations are described as clean, minimal and are compliant with the US Department of Transportation “Buy America” guidelines. The firm researched station designs in other cities, and developed a design that would be easily recognized and protect riders from the elements for the short time they will be waiting at stops.

“The streetcar project is a series of smaller pieces that must come together before construction of the track begins. The shelter design is another milestone in that list of items,” said Chris Eilerman, the City’s Streetcar Project Manager. “This design combines a modern look, while at the same time, fits in with the historic architecture served by the streetcar.”

The stations along the Cincinnati Streetcar route will have a clean, contemporary design like this one shown outside the Main Library.

Project officials say that the modular design ensures various elements will be easy to maintain and replace. The materials themselves are thin, light, and durable Рallowing natural light to come in while protecting waiting riders from the elements. Each station will include a route map, information about the streetcar system and an electronic sign displaying the arrival time of the next car, as well as other important messages for riders.

“We designed the station structures to call to mind what the streetcar will bring to Cincinnati — a public transportation system that everyone can use to connect to neighborhoods,” said David Kirk, founder and principle architect, DNK Architects, and lead architect for the streetcar station design. “We want people to look at the stations and see how easy, safe, and comfortable it is to explore all that Cincinnati has to offer.”

Selection of the station design was the final step in reaching a complete design on the first segment of the Cincinnati Streetcar. In order to reach final design, the streetcar team completed a number of other critical steps, including surveys of the entire route, inspections of basements near the route that lie under sidewalks, coordination of vehicle options, completion of an independent peer review of the project and performance of a quality control review of the entire project.

Next steps for the project are continued negotiations to reach agreements with utility companies. The shelters will be built as part of the construction contract, which is scheduled to be bid in the first quarter of 2012.

Development News Transportation

National organization to manage bikes at Riverfront Park

Cincinnati will join the ranks of Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Washington D.C. and Miami, Florida as another city to utilize Bike and Roll, a nationally recognized bicycle rental and tour company, as the operator of the Bike, Mobility and Visitor’s Center for the Central Riverfront Park. The center is scheduled to open in Fall of 2011, along with the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Stage and Event Lawn, despite recent city budget cutbacks to the Parks Board.

“The Phase I features currently under construction are being built with a blend of previously procured federal, state, local and private funds,” said Willie Carden, Director of Cincinnati Parks. “So this construction work will proceed as we endeavor to open and maintain the park. In the meantime, Common Area Maintainence charges from The Banks development, the Schmidlapp Event Lawn rentals, and rent from the Moerlein Lager House and the Bike Center will begin to generate significant revenues for the operation of the park – attracting thousands of visitors for recreation, socialization and relaxation to the region’s new front door.”

In a true example of public-private funding and ownership, Bike and Park (the Cincinnati branch of the company) will exclusively staff, maintain, and operate the Visitor’s Center and bike rental facilities – including lockers, showers, and toilet rooms – in the park. They will pay all rent and operating costs, and will fully furnish the center.

The Bike and Mobility Center will offer a full range of options for both visitors and Cincinnati residents to enjoy. A wide variety of bikes will be available for rent, as well as strollers, tagalongs, trailers and kids’ safety equipment.

Bike repair services will be available at the center, a relief to bikers in the Basin who have been longing for a bike shop or a place to fill their tires that is in the 45202 zip code. There will also be bike storage facilities for commuters coming in from the Ohio River Bike Trail who want to ride to work. The Visitor’s Center shop will carry bike-related retail items, as well as pre packaged snacks and drinks for purchase.

“The Bike Center will provide more health and recreational opportunities to downtown commuters and visitors than ever before,” said Carden. “Bike and Park is committed to providing outstanding service and equipment to enhance the Cincinnati Riverfront Park experience for all—just as they have done in the dynamic communities in which they currently operate.”

Bike and Roll has built up a vast network of sight-seeing tours for its other locations – visitors can ride around at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or Navy Pier in Chicago. Having an experienced, nationally recognized company create new routes, maps and biking experiences will help to shape Cincinnati’s cycle culture for the better, making riding a bike in Cincinnati safer and more mainstream.

picture: Bike and Mobility Center at Central Riverfront Park, provided

Business Development News

2011 CitiRama to expand urban community in Bond Hill

The Home Builders Association and City of Cincinnati are celebrating a decade of urban living with this year’s CitiRama home show. The Villages of Daybreak, located in Bond Hill, is being developed by NorthPointe Group in a public faith venture with the Allen Temple Foundation and Tryed Stone Family and Community Development Center.

Located at the intersection of Langdon Farm Road and Rhode Island Avenue, the development will eventually include 196 single family homes and 102 townhouses and condos.

After the success of 2010’s CitiRama in Northside, the Home Builder’s Association looked to the newly designated NEP neighborhood of Bond Hill to continue the growth of urban home building.

“Bond Hill is strategically positioned to create an urban walkable community,” said Dr. Everett Gregory, President of the Bond Hill Community Council. “With the new Neighborhood Enhancement Program designation, we will be working together to improve Bond Hill. The Villages of Daybreak will be a part of that.”

The homes, built by both Drees and Potterhill Homes, have elements of new urbanism designed into the site plan. There are single family houses with driveways facing on the backside into an alley, with wide sidewalks and more houses on smaller lots. While not completely integrated into a walkable neighborhood with commercial infill, the development is located next to a shopping mall which is a parking lots’ walk away.

The 2011 CitiRama will be held September 17 through 25, 2011 at the Villages of Daybreak. There will be a poster contest in the coming months to showcase the work of local artists, and a kick off to celebrate both CitiRama and National Home Builder’s month in June.

“We’re excited and very confident that our 10th CItiRAMA at the Villages of Daybreak will once again showcase the region,” said HBA President Dan Dressman. “We will show that the city of Cincinnati is truly a great place to live.”

Villages of Daybreak site plan photograph by UrbanCincy contributor Thadd Fiala.