Friday, June 28, 2013

Spring Grove bike lane moving forward; Will connect Northside with Downtown

Despite objections from many Camp Washington business owners, the City is moving forward on a planned bike lane along Spring Grove Avenue, between Bank Street and Avon Place, as soon as funding becomes available.

The City has selected the second of three options for the bike lane, according to a June 12 report from Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) Director Michael Moore.

Option 2 maintains all existing travel lanes, adds bicycle lanes on both sides of the street, and consolidates all on-street parking along the east side of Spring Grove Avenue. Option 1, which was preferred by DOTE, would have allowed on-street parking along the west side of the street, between Garrard Avenue and Buck Street.

A public survey launched in January produced 102 feedback forms, with 93 respondents preferring options 1 or 2. The remaining respondents preferred Option 3, a "no build" option.

Many who selected Option 3 were neighborhood business owners, who fear the loss of convenient parking for their customers and employees. Others are concerned about the ability of large trucks to load and unload, a process that sometimes blocks lanes along the route.

Others argued that the City is "wasting money" on a low-priority project that benefits few.

According to DOTE studies conducted between April 2012 and March 2013, less than half of the on-street parking was being used. Many employees also were opting to park on the street when ample parking was available in the businesses' parking lots, Moore said.

"It is always challenging to balance the needs of multiple users of a street," Moore said. "DOTE recognizes that the Camp Washington Business Association would prefer to preserve all existing on-street parking in the hopes that businesses within the corridor will experience exponential growth in the future. However, due to the nature of existing businesses, DOTE believes that consolidating on-street parking on the east side of the street and extending the existing bike lane to Downtown will provide the most balance and the most benefit to the most citizens."

Spring Grove Avenue was designated as one of three priority early implementation corridors in the 2010 Cincinnati Bicycle Transportation Plan.

When completed, a continuous bike lane will exist between Northside and Downtown.

Previous reading on BC:
City will appropriate nearly 5 acres for W MLK project (6/3/13)
Liberty St 'road diet' advances, to be bid by Nov. 2014 (5/31/13)
City to apply for grant for one of two bike lane projects (3/13/13)
Kennedy Heights bike lanes in limbo (12/21/12)
Liberty Street 'road diet', other changes moving forward (12/20/12)