Business Development News Transportation

PHOTOS: All Aboard Ohio Visits Cincinnati to View Streetcar Construction Progress

On October 26, rail transportation advocacy group All Aboard Ohio hosted their fall meeting in Cincinnati. Members came from across the state, and other states including West Virginia and Iowa, to see how the construction of the Cincinnati Streetcar is progressing.

Members were able to ask questions of Paul Grether, Metro’s Director of Rail Operations, who was leading the walking tour. Grether answered many technical questions relating to the streetcar’s rail gauge, power system and the light rail vehicles. He also addressed many of the urban legends that still surround the project — yes, our streetcars will be capable of climbing the steep Vine Street hill.

Streetcar advocate John Schneider also gave a presentation on the history of the project and the many political hurdles supporters have had to overcome. He explained one of his most effective methods of promoting the project: taking skeptics to visit one of the modern streetcar systems currently operating in the United States.

Schneider went on to say that a number of local leaders, including former Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis (R), became supporters of the project after seeing the benefits of modern streetcars in person.

Late October was a good time for the group to visit, as construction was highly visible around Over-the-Rhine.

On Elm Street, various phases of work stretched approximately one half mile, from 12th Street to Elder Street. The first rail was installed near Washington Park on October 16, and crews started pouring concrete and shaping the track bed on October 25. Utility work is also taking place on Race and 12th streets in advance of track work.

The project is on schedule, and track work on Elm Street (from 12th Street to Henry Street) is expected to be completed by January 9, 2014.

All photos by Travis Estell for UrbanCincy. Click any photo to view larger size.

Business Development News

VIDEO: Next Phases of 45-Acre Smale Riverfront Park Taking Shape

Hopefully you are ready to learn all about support structures and geothermal, because the latest video update for the $120 million Smale Riverfront Park goes into great detail about both topics. It also reveals some new information about upcoming features at the park.

The first half of the 13:30 video focuses on the intricate details involved with some of the most mundane work taking place at the site. Project manager Dave Prather does a good job, however, at illustrating just how important that work is.

The more intriguing pieces of information are saved for the second half of the video. During that portion, Prather reveals details about the fog feature at the Heekin/PNC Grow Up Great Adventure Playground, which is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2014.

Prather also discusses that the Cincinnati Park Board has control of the anchorage under the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. Dating back to the Civil War, the inner structure, he says, will be opened to the public in some way. Details have not yet been finalized for how they will utilize the area, which is in the flood plane, but Prather expects to be able to make an announcement in time for the next video update.

City and park officials aim to complete the 45-acre central riverfront park by mid-2017, assuming all remaining financing falls into place.

News Politics Transportation

Standing Room Only Crowd Packed Metropolis & Mobility Event

On Friday, April 19, UrbanCincy partnered with the Niehoff Urban Studio and hosted an event that showcased student work and included expert analysis and discussion of urban mobility issues in Cincinnati.

Approximately 100 people showed up to the collaborative studio space in Corryville to view the student work, and learn more about the challenges facing Cincinnati today and in the future.

Metropolis & Mobility: Bus Rapid Transit and Bikeway Planning focused on five proposed bus rapid transit and three bikeway corridors throughout Cincinnati. Engineering and planning students were paired together in groups to examine the issues and propose implementation strategies for those potential projects.

Students examining bus rapid transit focused on the Reading Road, Downtown, Hamilton Avenue, Vine Street, and Montgomery Road corridors. The students studying bikeway planning, meanwhile, examined the Wasson Way and Western Riverfront Trail and Mill Creek Greenway.

The event also included an expert panel discussion between Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) CEO Terry Garcia Crews, Parsons Brinckerhoff senior transportation planner Tim Reynolds, and Cincinnati Bike Center general manager Jared Arter.

Those interested in listening to the panel discussion can do so by streaming it online, or by subscribing to The UrbanCincy Podcast on iTunes and downloading episode 19.

One of the student proposals was to activate the Riverfront Transit Center and utilize it as a station for BRT and commuter express routes. Just four days after the Metropolis & Mobility event, the Business Courier reported that Metro was interested in doing just that.

Those who attended the event were also able to vote on their favorite project, which will then be profiled right here on in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please enjoy the video put together on the Metropolis & Mobility event by our contributing videographer Andrew Stahlke.