How to Get More People Walking in Cincinnati?

Today on the Streetsblog Network, member blog UrbanCincy notes with deserved pride that Cincinnati was ranked the seventh-safest large city for pedestrians in the nation in Transportation for America’s "Dangerous by Design" study.

But they aren’t resting on their laurels. In today’s post, they call on the city to improve pedestrian infrastructure further with the goal of increasing the percentage of people walking to work:

CRW_7052.jpgWalking in Cincinnati: It’s good, and should be better still.

According to U.S. Census data,
only 2.3 percent of the Cincinnati-Middletown Metropolitan Statistical
Area (MSA) commutes to work by foot.…

So
if safety isn’t the issue in Cincinnati, then what is it? The region as
a whole does not boast very dense development patterns outside of
Cincinnati city limits and a few other pockets like Hamilton,
Middletown, northern Kentucky’s river cities, and Norwood. Furthermore,
the areas that are appropriately designed lack any clear amenities for
pedestrians like crosswalk counters, scramble crossings
at high pedestrian volume intersections, or curb bump outs. Another
major detractor is the lack of barriers between pedestrians and
motorists like bollards, trees/landscaping, or on-street parking.

I
would also contend that the physical condition of our pedestrian
surfaces is also a major factor. Fully taking advantage of the Federal
Government’s Safe Routes to School
program is a critical piece of the puzzle, but so is the ongoing
maintenance of our pedestrian surfaces. This may be tricky in the
low-growth Midwest and northeast, but solutions like rubber sidewalks provide long-term maintenance savings in addition to the overall improvement in surface quality for pedestrians.

More from around the network: Extraordinary Observations writes about A&E’s show "Parking Wars." Adam Voiland at DC Bicycle Transportation Examiner notes how the ink-stained wretches of journalism reveled in Washington’s recent Tweed Ride. And Let’s Go Ride a Bike has some very practical tips on how to dress for a comfortable winter bike commute (she does it in Chicago, people).

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

John Cranley’s Cincinnati Streetcar Circus

|
The news out of Cincinnati continues to grow more absurd as recently elected Mayor John Cranley moves to kill a streetcar project that’s already under construction. The city of Cincinnati will pay almost $3 million a month to “pause” construction of its partially completed streetcar, following a vote by the City Council last night. Work […]

Ohio DOT Hosts Transit Meeting That No One Can Reach Via Transit

|
Ohio DOT is one of those old-school transportation agencies that’s still just a highway department. The director is a former asphalt industry lobbyist. The state — despite being fairly densely populated and urban (about 1 million people don’t have cars) — spent only $7.3 million supporting transit in 2013, far less than it devotes to mowing […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Foxx to Challenge Mayors Today on Safer Biking, Walking (USA Today) Hope’s Not Dead for Movement on Transportation Bill (The Hill) Climate Denier Inhofe Takes Gavel at Enviro Committee, Aims for More Transpo Funding (The Hill, TT) Purple Line Activists Rally Before Tomorrow’s Budget Decision (GGW) CT’s Transpo Future Includes Good Things for Pedestrians and Cyclists (New Haven […]

Indestructible Cincinnati Streetcar Faces Another Foe

|
When you live in a state where the governor uses the phrase “train cult,” transit victories are hard-fought. That has been particularly so for the Cincinnati streetcar. In the decade-plus this project has been moving toward construction, it has seen more assassination attempts and intrigue than the literary heroes of ancient Greece. You’ll recall that […]