In the OKI region, three counties and 22 local communities have prepared bicycle plans and/or are developing local bicycle transportation systems. These locations are shown on the map titled Major Bicycle Corridors in the OKI Region and include Boone County, Florence, Kenton County, Newport, Cincinnati, Anderson Township, Madeira, Indian Hill, Blue Ash, Cleves, Fairfax, Loveland, Montgomery, Springdale, Wyoming, Liberty Township, West Chester Township, Oxford, Miami Township (Clermont), Warren County, Mason, Deerfield Township, Lebanon, Waynesville, and Springboro. The Hamilton County Park District, Anderson Park District and Metroparks of Butler County are also participating in expanding the regional trails along the Little and Great Miami rivers. In addition, the University of Cincinnati has prepared a bicycle transportation system for the campus and vicinity. Additional detail is provided about three of these local plans.
City of Loveland The very popular Little Miami Scenic Trail travels through the City of Loveland. When Loveland updated its Comprehensive Plan, a chapter was incorporated that describes a bicycle transportation system for the city. This was an important addition to the plan, because it recommended roadway improvements to enable the residents of Loveland–and other visitors to the city–to travel by bicycle to the Little Miami Trail and to other destinations in the city. Bike lanes are currently planned for West Loveland Avenue, between Lebanon Road and Loveland-Madeira Road. At the intersection with Loveland-Madeira Road, the bike lanes will transition to wide outside lanes. These end at the intersection with the Little Miami Trail.
City of Cincinnati The City of Cincinnati’s 1976 Bicycle Master Plan forms the basis for developing a bicycle transportation system that includes bike paths, bike lanes, signed bike routes, shared lanes, and wide outside lanes. Improvements and additions to the system are being coordinated by the City’s full-time bicycle/pedestrian coordinator–an engineer in the Department of Public Works – Division of Transportation and Engineering.
Two City policies are important elements of the Cincinnati Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. The first is a requirement, passed by resolution of the City Council, that every new roadway project will be evaluated for bicycle and pedestrian improvements early in the planning process. An explanation must be provided for all projects that do not include bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The second is a City policy that requires, during street rehabilitation, the replacement of all inlets with ones that are bicycle-safe.
In 1992, the City signed 14 miles of bicycle routes on Eggleston Avenue, Central Parkway, Gilbert Avenue, Eden Park Drive, Victory Parkway and Madison Road. Since then, bike lanes have been installed along Erie Avenue, the Eighth Street Viaduct, Victory Parkway and Gilbert Ave. Seven miles of bicycle routes have been signed connecting the University of Cincinnati with existing signed bicycle routes. Storm water grates have been upgraded on 56.4 miles of bicycle routes. The City has mapped and inventoried 191 existing bicycle rack locations and installed 75 additional racks. Cincinnati is implementing a portion of the Ohio River Trail between the Central Riverfront Park downtown and the Lunken Airport Bike Path. The City is also working on the connection of the Little Miami Scenic Trail with the Ohio River Trail.
The coordinator also staffs the Cincinnati Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a citizen group which meets monthly to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, plans, and projects. Since 1993, Cincinnati Bike/PAC has sponsored ” Bike to Work Week” in May of each year. In 1996 through 2003, the Bike to Work Rally was expanded to include transit and rideshare activities and was promoted as “BBOPP to Work” (Bike, Bus, or Pool, Pedestrian).
City of Florence In 2002, the Boone County Planning Commission updated the Pedestrian/Bike Path Plan for the City of Florence and neighboring portions of Boone County. The City of Florence, through their capital budgeting process and coordination with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – District 6, has built a combined bicycle/pedestrian system that includes sidewalk/bike paths along Ewing Boulevard, Spiral Drive, Meijer Drive, and Woodspoint Drive. Bike lanes have also been added to both sides of Houston Road between Turfway Road and Woodspoint Drive. When KY 18 was resurfaced in 1997, the shoulders were paved for bicycle and pedestrian use between Florence and Burlington. Pedestrian improvements are planned to improve connections crossing I-75 between the east and west sides of Florence.
Each of these examples demonstrates the importance of including bicycle and pedestrian plans and projects in a community’s capital planning activities. Roadway projects should be viewed as opportunities to improve or create a multi-modal transportation system which provides for bicycle and pedestrian travel as well as motor vehicles.