transportation

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati City Council voted Wednesday on an ordinance setting up a three-year pilot program for low-speed vehicles. 

One operator describes them as "souped up" or "special" golf carts that are providing rides in the Downtown area.  

Michael Keating / WVXU

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is rolling out a vision to make it easier to get to work, school, health care, and where you need to be.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners have named six new people to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board. They replace all of the county's six previous appointees whose terms had expired.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati ranks 39 out of nearly 300 American cities for traffic congestion. The study from INRIX indicates Cincinnati drivers spent about 26 hours a year during peak travel times in gridlock. INRIX Chief Economist Graham Cookson says seven percent of all driving time locally was in congestion.

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati's seeking proposals to create a regional transit mobility app.

City Manager Harry Black announced the idea Wednesday at a Smart Regions Conference at Northern Kentucky University.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A poll shows local support for transportation spending. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber polled 400 voters in Hamilton county, 200 voters in Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties in Ohio, and 200 voters in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky, and Dearborn county in Indiana.

Michael Keating

A group that coordinates regional transportation efforts - like funding a new Brent Spence Bridge - is in Washington D.C. this week. Members of the OKI Regional Council of Governments meet each year with lawmakers from the three-state region.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Representatives of Metro and the city say they're still tweaking the Cincinnati Bell Connector system. A council committee today heard complaints that include the ticketing system, the real-time displays, stoplight timing, and frequency.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

  The choice for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board Wednesday was simple – go to the voters now for a new sales tax increase to save the financially troubled bus system or go to the voters later.

In a unanimous vote, the board choose "later" – as in 2017.

One resolution before the board would have put a countywide sales tax increase on this November's ballot, but the board chose instead one which said the board "directs staff to take all appropriate actions necessary to prepare for a ballot initiative in 2017."

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Metro passengers will be able to pay for their bus or streetcar rides with a smartphone or tablet. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority board Tuesday morning approved a contract with a company that develops mobile ticketing apps.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) wants to hear what you think should top the region's transportation priority list. The agency is asking people to fill out an eight question survey on short and long term transportation needs.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A new 2015 Regional Indicators Report comparing 12 "peer cities" in transportation has Cincinnati near the bottom in some categories and in the middle in others.

The report from Agenda 360, Skyward, Urban Land Institute and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber includes the following cities: Austin, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Indianapolis, Louisville, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh and St. Louis.

Key findings:

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday it will provide $500 million for 39 transportation projects in 34 states.  But four Southwest Ohio projects weren't among them.

The funding comes from the department’s 2015 TIGER, or Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A recent study from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments indicates at least one group of people in the tri-state is bucking a national trend. Millennials are those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. Tri-state millennials are spending more time driving than other Americans in the same age group.

Provided / SORTA

A Cincinnati Council committee has approved a streetcar operating approach, but it's likely to fail when the full council votes this afternoon.  The committee approved a management option where a private contractor will manage the system using local transit union workers.  Council Member Chris Seelbach favors that approach even though he has limited information.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has reportedly dropped plans to reroute a highway in eastern Hamilton County.

Under one possible aspect of the Eastern Corridor plan, State Route 32 would have been rebuilt and shifted to run through Mariemont.  But following a closed-door meeting today, commissioner Todd Portune says ODOT is backing away from that.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Seasonal flooding comes as no surprise to Tristate officials, who have ordered a handful of road closures, and are preparing to close more as the Ohio River rises.  And the flooding has shined a spotlight on the relative isolation of a pair of Hamilton County communities.

River levels around Hamilton County are already high, and with more rain today and tomorrow, the sheriff's office and county engineer are preparing to close more roads.  Parts of Four Mile, Eight Mile, Debolt and Kellogg had water standing on them earlier this week.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Ohio and Kentucky will share the costs of building a new bridge between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  The Brent Spence Bridge has been deemed functionally obsolete, carrying more traffic than intended. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Crews this week are putting up the overhead wires in Over-the-Rhine that will power the Cincinnati streetcar.  Crews worked Wednesday along Elm Street, between 14th and Henry. 

Construction continues on the I-75 / Hopple St. interchange continues overnight beginning Wednesday evening. Here are the details from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Work at the I-75/Hopple interchange will require the following closures this week:

·         Various lane closures on Marshall Avenue and side streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

·         Single left lane closure on southbound I-75 from 7 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, Jan. 28.  

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The off-ramp overpass that fell onto the southbound lanes of I-75 Monday night did not cause a lot of damage to the highway. 

That doesn't surprise Andrew Hermann, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who has been following the story.  But he says the fact that the span did fall was surprising.

“Generally, they have demolition plans where they try to take into account all the possibilities as they’re taking down a bridge, to do it safely," Hermann said.  "So it was very surprising to hear that it collapsed."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

  One construction worker was killed and a truck driver injured when a section of overpass over I-75 collapsed Monday night. Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black says they don't know yet why the section of road fell. The overpass that fell used to be the ramp from northbound 75 to Hopple Street.  It had been replaced with a new overpass in the last year, and was being torn down.  The investigation is now in the hands of the Ohio Department of Transportation and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The governors of Ohio and Kentucky plan to meet early next year to talk about replacing the Brent Spence Bridge. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says they're going to try to find a way to get the project moving.  He says any more delays will be costly.

Using a 3 percent inflation figure from the Federal Highway Administration, Beshear says continued delays will add about $7 million per month to the construction price tag.  “Folks, that’s $84 million a year,” he says.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati's mayor and city manager will be meeting with the streetcar team this week to discuss the dwindling amount of money in the contingency fund.  If all worst case scenarios happen, the fund could have just $80,000 left in it.  It started out with more than $9 million. 

Mayor John Cranley says the message to streetcar officials John Deatrick and Chris Eilerman is this: "We need to have a team that's going to bring the streetcar in on time and under budget, or we need a new team."

There may not be a lot of electric cars on the road now but Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld believes there will be soon and he wants the city to be ready. He's behind a resolution directing the city manager to look at creating more charging stations.

Tuesday, City Council's Education and Entrepreneurship Committee discussed a resolution directing the administration to report on the feasibility of having stations on city property, and creating incentives for privately owned stations. Eight of the nine council members signed on to the resolution.

Mile markers coming to city trails

Oct 22, 2014

  The City of Cincinnati will install mile markers on four paved hiking-biking trails, so if you need assistance you can get it more quickly.  The Otto Armleder Park Trail and Connector Trail, the Lunken Airport Trail, and the Ohio River Trail will all have numbered markers posted every tenth of a mile, much like on Interstate highways.

Some Cincinnati council members are still debating proposed city regulations for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.  

The Major Transportation committee Tuesday delayed a vote on such an ordinance.  

Vice Mayor David Mann said he has concerns with pages-long terms and conditions for each service.  He does not like limits on negligence liability and waiving the right to a jury trial to settle any claims.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Temperatures are soaring, and so too are road salt prices.

It may seem odd to think about snow and ice right now but transportation departments are buying now for the winter. They're finding steep prices.

Hamilton County Engineer Ted Hubbard says the county paid $45 per ton last year. This year the county is paying $104 per ton.

Michael Keating

Leaders in Ohio and Kentucky say the Brent Spence Bridge Project remains on target for a 2015 ground breaking but there's still no solid funding plan in place.

Mike Hancock of Kentucky says the states need to get creative when it comes to funding the project.

"There are opportunities to work with the community to see if there's anything we can do to make the toll rates more palatable."

Ohio Transportation secretary Jerry Wray agrees that tolling is part of the answer but not the entire solution.

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