OTR street could become a pleasant walking path between two top attractions

4:21 pm |
From: www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati
Andy Brownfield 6/8/15

The June 5 block party sought input from Over-the-Rhine's visitors and residents as to what they wanted to see in a more walkable Pleasant Street connecting Washington Park and Findlay Market.

Two of Over-the-Rhine’s biggest attractions could soon be connected by a pedestrian-friendly pathway that a coalition of groups is trying to make more walkable.

The Corporation for Findlay Market is working with the University of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati Research Institute and MetroLab, an architecture program at UC, to make Pleasant Street in OTR a more walkable corridor between Washington Park and Findlay Market.

The groups hosted a block party on June 5 to gather input from OTR residents and visitors along Pleasant Street – which runs north to south from Findlay Market to Washington Park across Liberty Street between Elm and Race streets – to gather input as to what they wanted to see along the street. Suggestions included things like seating, lighting, playgrounds, murals, interactive art, food trucks or stalls and musical installations.

“We want to see what people want to make the street a more attractive connector between two of Over-the-Rhine’s biggest draws,” Joe Hansbauer, president and CEO of the Corporation for Findlay Market, told me.

About 200 people stopped by for hamburgers or hot dogs, to play cornhole and give their feedback. Some of the most popular suggestions included improvements to sidewalks, vacant lots and the addition of a park or gathering place along the street. Hansbauer said about 80 percent of people who stopped by said they wanted to see something done to make crossing Liberty Street easier. There currently isn’t a traffic light or crosswalk at the intersection of Pleasant and Liberty.

Findlay Market is driving development in Over-the-Rhine north of Liberty, which is shooting for the same kind of success the neighborhood has seen to the south of that bisecting street. That was the focus of a May 8 Business Courier cover, which is now unlocked.

MetroLab is using 15 graduate students from UC to help design and implement some of the suggestions for improving Pleasant Street.

The ultimate goal would be to shut down Pleasant Street to vehicular traffic, at least some of the time, Hansbauer said. Elder Street near Findlay Market is closed to vehicular traffic during market hours but opens when the market closes. While any closing of Pleasant wouldn’t be tied to market hours, the idea would be to make it as safe and friendly to pedestrians and cyclists as possible. That could also include something like what was done to Main Street near the University of Cincinnati where it’s technically still open to vehicles but isn’t widely utilized, Hansbauer said. Another idea would be to make Pleasant a so-called “festival street” where traffic moves at the pace of pedestrians and vehicles yield to people.

“It’s going to feel so awkward that you’re driving on it when cutting through that you’re gong to drive so slow that pedestrians and cyclists would still feel safe being on the streets,” he said.

The block party on June 5 was meant to start the conversation on what it would take to accomplish that in the long term. In the short term, MetroLab will work with the Corporation for Findlay Market and UC to implement some of the suggestions gathered from the community. A second block party will take place on June 26, and Pleasant Street will be shut down on July 11 to demonstrate some of the improvements and designs the UC students developed.

Comey & Shepherd Realtors | Cincinnati Real Estate Blog | Cincinnati Real Estate | Comey Blog

Comments are closed.

agency west bellevue cincinnati comey & shepherd condos downtown living forbes health care bill health care refrom home homebuilders home insurance homeownership home sales home tax housing affordability Leed Certified lisa dunhouse loans mortgage mortgage payment mt. adams new construction northern kentucky Price to Income rates real estate realtors saint anthony lofts soapbox media time to buy wall street journal