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Old 08-25-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,584 posts, read 20,459,831 times
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Time for a little Monday morning quarterbacking.. what do you think are the greatest mistakes Cincinnati - either the city or entire metro - have made in terms of urban/ transportation planning in the past century?

Putting the airport in Kentucky?

Putting huge freeways through downtown?

Taking away the street cars?

Etc?
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:02 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,409,188 times
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With the exception of the money squandered on the subway and the transit station, I think that a pretty good job has been done in regards to transportation. The streetcars were a mess and everyone was glad to see them go. Technology of the 19th Century that outlived its usefulness by 50 years.

I75 was a great boon to Cincinnati and still is. The urban renovation below I75 was unfortunate, but we would not have gotten the highway built without it. Perhaps it could have been located a few hundred yards to the west above the rail lines. But there was a political calculation that required it to go where it did.

I am happy for the airport to be in northern KY. Why not? Its a big stinking parking lot that makes everything for a mile around it unusable. Why not in KY?
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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nothing special, just the usual bandwagons that we've since seen to not be so great. pulling out ALL the streetcars, plowing in some interstate (particularly the riverfront highways), designing downtown not to be livable but commutable (wide one-way streets, too many garages, etc.).

perhaps early on the city could have done some innovative stuff like serious infrastructure service boundaries, etc - but very few were doing that at the time and "growth" has always looked sexy to politicians.

but the fundamental problem throughout the midwest is growth without development - that is, developing vacant land without the population base to support doing so. and this is a problem of higher levels of government being completely unwilling to be involved in land use, resulting in lack of tools to really plan (legit urban growth boundaries, etc.)

it is interesting how in the US we have a ton of great planners but all have both hands and a leg tied behind their backs.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: West Palm Beach
620 posts, read 991,347 times
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Biggest mistakes IMO:

Destroying neighborhoods of 25,000+ people, only to have it paved over for highways that lead people out of the city.

Not finishing an inner-city subway/transit network, coupled with the fact that interstates opened, left many inner-city neighborhoods to rot as development literally flew past them and headed to first ring suburbs.

Not building the airport between Cincinnati and Dayton

Tearing the platforms out of Union Terminal, so that the train station cannot hold the same capacity of trains it was built to hold.

To many freightlines that go through urban, and suburban walkable neighborhoods. Many of these lines could be moving people, instead of miles and miles of freight, that's not to say that freight trains should be re-routed altogether, but many tracks in the city would serve for good commuter rail.

Not upgrading I-75 for 5+ decades. Being that roads are the only form of transportation in this city, you would think the main artery would be top priority. (Oh that's right, roads are EXTREMELY expensive to maintain)
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:55 PM
 
5,807 posts, read 10,340,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
Time for a little Monday morning quarterbacking.. what do you think are the greatest mistakes Cincinnati - either the city or entire metro - have made in terms of urban/ transportation planning in the past century?

Putting the airport in Kentucky?

Putting huge freeways through downtown?

Taking away the street cars?

Etc?
All cities have that. And I think really, Cincinnati is less "freewayed to death" compared to other cities like Detroit or LA. This is why the city has some very intact urban neighborhoods. You really just have I-75 and I-71.

The other two I agree.

Probably missing the opportunity for the subway. Building all those tunels for nothing.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:30 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,023,021 times
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This is a slam dunk, at least for the current generation...failure to build the baseball stadium at Broadway Commons. This was one of the most short-sighted and narrow minded urban planning decisions ever inflicted upon this city. I know, we put it to a vote, but this is one decision, even though funded by taxpayers, that should not have been up to the voters. In so doing, we missed the single biggest opportunity of our lifetimes to instantly revitalize OTR and surrounding neighborhoods. This was our Wrigleyville, folks. It worked in Denver, it could have worked here. It meant nothing, but every urban planning, or architectural organization that weighed in on the issue said that Broadway was the place for baseball.

In this case, Marge Schott got exactly what she wanted, but let's face it, the reason she didn't want to be at Broadway was because she regarded it as a ghetto full of "those people." What Marge maybe didn't realize was that siting the ballpark at Broadway would have largely eliminated the very thing she was worried about. I'm not implying that that should have been a goal, but it certainly would have been a likely after effect.

And so what happened, we left it up to the suburban voters, who voted so that they could continue to drive to the game, park and get the hell out of Dodge as quickly as possible. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get what we essentially already had. Other than the largess from the voters, you can't convince me that the Reds are making any more money on GABP than they would have at a renovated Riverfront with a winning product on the field.

We have a riverfront ballpark that had to be wedged (Remember "the Wedge?") in next to the Coliseum, which to this day looks ridiculous. And, did anyone think that by building the ballpark on the riverfront that we were suddenly going to get new development that hadn't occurred in the previous 25 years with a ballpark on that site? A classic case of doing the same thing and expecting different results. The ballpark is still severed from downtown by Ft Washington Way, re-engineered or not. Only today is the development occurring, but I would argue that this has really little to do with the ballpark (other than perhaps Castellini knocking a few heads together). This is development that would have come no matter what, because it certainly didn't happen in 2003 when the ballparks were built.

One Saturday in 1997 or '98, my home phone rang and it was John Allen, former GM of the Cincinnati Reds. I have to admit, I was somewhat taken aback, and at first I didn't believe it was him. He was responding to a letter I had written about the stadium citing debate. Mr. Allen argued that the construction challenges were too great to overcome at the Broadway site, that there was a 100 year old sewer main under the parking lot there that would have to be fixed. And yet, somehow that was more challenging that building one stadium practically inside another that was being used, wedged in next to another large venue, in a flood plain. right.

Mr. Allen also was concerned about the availability of nearby parking. Perhaps, but the parking at GABP is nothing compared to what we once had at old Riverfront. Today for Reds games I often park at Fountain Square, something I would have never had to do back in the '70s or '80s.

And here's one for you street car afficianados. What better use for a street car than to create a loop to carry fans from the CBD to the game? Street cars pick you up at Government Square, trundle up Vine, right on Central and drop you off at a grand plaza at the gate of the new Palace of the Fans. After the game, take the street car back to any one of dozens of parking facilities or local businesses waiting for thirsty fans. Parking problem AND economic development problems solved.

Yes, I was a huge proponent of Baseball at Broadway Commons, and so here we are today with a casino going in at Broadway. If I could close my eyes and snap my fingers, we would have the casino on the riverfront, and Baseball at Broadway, but we as a community lacked the creativity and foresight to do this, and we made one of the great urban planning blunders of all time.

Last edited by t45209; 08-25-2011 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:39 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,409,188 times
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Oh, I misread the OP's original post. Of course it was Broadway Commons. That and paying for the Bengals Stadium.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis and Cincinnati
682 posts, read 1,387,817 times
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The biggest Urban planning fiasco was the destruction of the Kenyan-Barr neighborhood in the 1960's for the Queesgate Industrial park It was a textbook example of racially motivated destuction of a predominately black neighborhood because it was 'too close' to downtown. Those houses were the equvalent of a BED Sty or Brooklyn. Imagine Dayton street on steroids and far nicer than OTR was or will ever be. Those people were turned out on the streets or 'located' to Avondale and Walnut Hills causing those neighborhoods to empty out and deteriorate. Kenyan Barr has been written up in Urban planning books as a textbook example of Bad Planning and Urban renewal.

The library has an online collection of the 700 or so brownstone, townshouse and mansion destroyed by the city.
Cincinnati Historical Society Library - Home Page

The city is about to make the SAME mistake again with the plan to demolish the South Fairmount business/residential district to "Daylight" lick run creek and bring 'development" Over 100 historic buildings some dating to 1850 and many national register eligible. Of course preservationist are fighting to save them rather than see them bulldozed for a glorified drainage ditch. Another "big idea' from the City of Cincinnati to get more federal dollars, when the EPA mandate could, for far less dollars, be achieved by simply disconnecting downspouts that curently run into the sewer system. Portland and Toronto are both doing this simple thing and resolved the combined sewer overflow problem.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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oh right, the ballpark thing. it was like they dusted off their playbook from 1970 when they made that decision.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:50 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,409,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by restorationconsultant View Post
The biggest Urban planning fiasco was the destruction of the Kenyan-Barr neighborhood in the 1960's for the Queesgate Industrial park It was a textbook example of racially motivated destuction of a predominately black neighborhood because it was 'too close' to downtown. Those houses were the equvalent of a BED Sty or Brooklyn. Imagine Dayton street on steroids and far nicer than OTR was or will ever be. Those people were turned out on the streets or 'located' to Avondale and Walnut Hills causing those neighborhoods to empty out and deteriorate. Kenyan Barr has been written up in Urban planning books as a textbook example of Bad Planning and Urban renewal.

The library has an online collection of the 700 or so brownstone, townshouse and mansion destroyed by the city.
Cincinnati Historical Society Library - Home Page
I want to agree with this. But my family moved to Brooklyn in the late 1800's and were there until around 1920. None of the photos of Brooklyn in my collection look like Kenyan Barr. Admittedly, there are a few gems in that CHS photo library, but I bet I could put up 100 photos from it that people would unanimously support the removal of those buildings. It does look quite like South Fairmont though with some really bad stuff mixed in with a few gems. OTR is a hundred times as attractive IMO.
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