Traffic Grant Should Help Improve Walking, Bike Access in 3 Cincinnati Neighborhoods
August 10, 2022
Living along Linn Street in Cincinnati's historic West End can be a dangerous proposition for residents like Angela Thompson.
"You know, the traffic is so – sometimes so fast," Thompson said.
"A lot of the streets that we have in Cincinnati have been designed around the automobile," said Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails. "They were designed to move as many people, as many cars as possible, as quickly as possible during rush hour."
That doesn't help people who spend a lot of time walking or bicycling from place to place.
"It’s a lot of things that the traffic needs to be safe down here," Thompson said.
Johnston, whose organization supports expanded bike lanes and trails, said $20 million worth of help is on the way.
"$20 million is a huge deal," he said.
The massive influx of cash will come from a U.S. Department of Transportation grant program that got a funding boost from last year's Infrastructure and Jobs Act.
Cincinnati officials plan to use the money to create protected bike lanes and improved pedestrian walkways connecting the West End, Queensgate and Lower Price Hill.
"From day one, we have been aggressively competing for the infrastructure dollars available – not just for the Brent Spence Bridge but for other projects throughout our city," Mayor Aftab Pureval said.
For both Johnston and Thompson, the key is the amount of federal money headed to the Queen City.
"$20 million is not chump change. It’s a lot of cash," WLWT investigator Todd Dykes said while speaking to Thompson.
"Right," Thompson said.
"Is it time to invest like that down here?" Dykes asked.
"Yes, it is," Thompson said.
"The type of projects that we're talking about, you know, $1 million, $2 million, it doesn't do a whole lot because these are big roadway projects," Johnston said. "They require a comprehensive solution."
Construction on what's being called the 'State to Central: Building Better Neighborhoods' project is expected to begin in 2025. Between now and then, neighbors will have a chance to let traffic engineers know what they'd like to see happen. The construction phase should take anywhere from 18 to 24 months.