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On-Street Parking a Sticking Point for Cincinnati's Road Diet Plan

Liberty Street was once a narrow, urban street. Now it's seven lanes of unsafe speeds and pedestrian risks. The city has a plan to greatly reduce the number of traffic lanes on the street, or another plan that won't.
March 18, 2019, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A years-in-the-making redesign of Liberty Street -- one of Cincinnati's most vital and heavily-traveled roads -- might have taken one step closer to reality this week," reports Pat LaFleur.

Or not. There is plenty of reason to be skeptical about the likelihood of the project ever reaching completion, according to LaFleur. Local residents have been calling for the road diet to reduce speeds and increase safety for all users for years. According to data from the Cincinnati Police Department, Liberty Street has seen 1,700 traffic collisions since 2013, 30 involving pedestrians.

The city is currently considering two plans for the seven-lane street. One is the "road diet" configuration, which would shrink the road to five vehicle travel lanes. That alternative has support from a supermajority of Cincinnati councilmembers. The other planwould preserve all seven vehicle travel lanes, but add bump-outs at six intersections along the street. That plan has the support of Mayor John Cranley.

"The biggest conflict still stirring among lawmakers centers around what is a perpetual challenge for Over-the-Rhine: on-street parking," according to LaFleur. "Cranley's argument -- as well as several speakers at Monday's hearing -- is that the neighborhood cannot afford to lose all-day on-street parking."

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Published on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 in WCPO
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