Actively
Reviving Retail

JYUTIKA BHISE & ANNA DEWEY

The once lively and active neighborhood business districts of Price Hill have lessened over time due to the presence of the car and its resulting dominance of the neighborhood's streets. Consequently, many streets have become unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists with a lack of public spaces for people to gather. This project focuses on shifting the perception of streets as public spaces rather than corridors of vehicular movement.

Why Design Streets?

Good urban street design has the potential to add value to a neighborhood. Improving its vibrancy through street design can be accomplished at two levels: a macro level that aims to ease the movement for all walks of life and a micro level that aims to revive the dynamic culture of the neighborhood by reactivating the streets. By developing a multi-modal transportation network and improving street design standards, we hope to improve the overall connectivity and pedestrian street activity throughout Price Hill.

 

Four Levels of Planning

In order to revive Price Hill's neighborhood business districts into vibrant areas for locals to enjoy, various elements were considered to make these spaces less auto-oriented and more inviting and accessible for all users including pedestrians and bicyclists. The aim is to attract more people to the neighborhood's business districts by creating more opportunities for them to safely and conveniently get there and spend time there. To accomplish this, we looked at four levels of planning:

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Neighborhood-Wide

This level focuses on approaches to enhance the connectivity and efficiency of alternative modes of transportation such as transit, walking & biking.

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Street-Level

This level examines ways to redesign different kinds of streets in the neighborhood to allow for safer and more convenient walking and biking conditions.

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Main Streets

This level provides examples of how the street-level designs can be applied to two of the neighborhood's main streets to enhance their overall appeal for potential customers.

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Community-Based

This level presents an example of an incremental, community-based approach for transforming one of the neighborhood's major streets to accommodate bikes.

Plan for Walkable & Bikeable Districts

Price Hill’s external connection with the city of Cincinnati is important. Improving the transit links between Price Hill and Downtown will help ease the movement of people and, in turn, will help increase the catchment area for businesses in Price Hill. Additionally, improving the neighborhood’s  internal connectivity will help easy the movement of its residents and make more places accessible. This will not only help to attract businesses who want to invest in a well-connected neighborhood, 

but it can also be an excellent place for future potential residents who value good connection and accessibility.

Hover over each image to view the full map or click on each image for more detail.

 

Design Walkable & Bikeable Streets

Below is a map that shows the hierarchy of streets found in Price Hill. Red are the major roads that cross the neighborhood East to West linking Price Hill with Cincinnati and Delhi Township. Blue and purple streets are collector roads that funnel traffic from yellow local neighborhood streets to the major roads.

 
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Primary Arterial Roads

This street section is an example of how the primary arterial road types are currently laid out with all lanes used for driving. This type of design can be seen on the major roads such as Glenway Avenue, W. 8th Street, and Warsaw Avenue and invites high traffic speed with reduced pedestrian safety. 

Alternatively, adding dedicated bike lanes with enhanced green space, trees and lighting will make these streets more aesthetically pleasing. It will also help slow down traffic speeds, which will not only encourage more people to use and engage in the streets but will also help local businesses to be noticed more. 

Minor Arterial Roads

This street section is an example of how a minor arterial road type is currently laid out. It is similar to the primary arterial but with parking lanes rather than drive lanes on the outside. This type of street design is seen on

State Avenue.


Although there is not enough space to accommodate dedicated bike lanes, the width of the parking lanes can be slightly reduced to allow for more green space along the sidewalk. Again, this widened green space can serve as a space for more street trees. Trees are not only beneficial for aesthetics and the environment, but they also play an important role in reducing the line of sight for drivers, which causes them to slow down. Therefore, with slower speeds, bike priority lanes can be used. 

Local Roads

This last street section is an example of how a local road is currently laid out. There are many neighborhood streets like this in Price Hill and this typical residential street can be adjusted to make it even safer and more comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists.


A yield street already helps to reduce a car’s speed since there is only one lane of traffic, but adding speed bumps and bump outs can further assist drivers’ awareness of other potential street users. 

Revive Commercial Core

Looking at the street design of the business districts along Glenway Avenue and State Avenue, there
is a lot of potential to improve the quality of these streets and to enhance their overall appeal
for potential customers.

 

Glenway Avenue NBD

West Price Hill

For this redesign, one of the most important elements included is the added buffer for the sidewalk from the dedicated bike lanes as well as the strip of elevated green space that protects and separates the bike lanes from oncoming vehicles. This design will make walking along Glenway more comfortable and the perceived increase in safety can also help the business of local stores.

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Before

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After

State Avenue NBD

Lower Price Hill

For this redesign, more green space and trees along the street have been added as well as a flex space in the parking lane to accommodate other types of uses other than parking that could benefit the local community.

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Before

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After

Start Out Small

Start Out Small focuses on an incremental approach to planning with the recommendation for Price Hill to develop and use a set of tactical guidelines for implementation of such design proposals. While a huge investment all at once may not be an ideal solution, a tactical or incremental approach might help with formulating well-thought-out decisions. It encourages implementing projects gradually,  improving public participation, and helping create a context solution using  people’s participation.  

MEMFix, which was formed for the city of Memphis, Tennessee, is an excellent example for Tactical Urbanism guidelines. 

 

Implementation

This is another view of Glenway Avenue with two lanes of traffic easily flowing in each direction.


As an incremental way to add in the dedicated bike lanes shown in the primary arterial road section, temporary bike lanes can be added with non-permanent barriers to separate it from traffic. Through this technique, the community can then decide after a trial period if they want to keep these bike lanes.


If so, permanent bike lanes can then be constructed with a permanent protective green strip. Additional tree cover and improved lighting will further increase the attractiveness and safety of the street and hopefully encourage more people to use this renewed public space. 

Conclusion

The ultimate goal with this plan is to improve transit, walking & biking in the neighborhood. Through our bike network and street design proposals we are encouraging Price Hill to consider switching to a more pedestrian & bike-oriented neighborhood from a car-oriented one now that better connections will be made thanks to an expanded bike network. In addition, this new extensive,
accessible & safe bike network and improved overall pedestrian and bicycle safety will support commercial viability.

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Reconnect to the Regional System

Principle for Design #2

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Increase Investment for Better Safety

Principle for Design #4

Shift to Alternative Transportation

Principle for Design #1

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Increase Interaction Opportunities

Principle for Design #3

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ABOUT US

Cincinnati, OH | Master of Community Planning

Jyutika Bhise

Originally from Mumbai, India, Jyutika is an urban planner motivated to make the urban environments dynamic and people-centric. She holds a robust background in architecture & design, transportation, and sustainability. She has previous experience working with campus planning, accessibility, and green building certifications.

Anna Dewey

Anna is a passionate urban planner with an interest in transportation, urban design, and sustainability and holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan. She has previous experience working on an urban sustainability project for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well on an transportation project for a non-profit in Toronto, Canada.

University of Cincinnati

School of Planning

5470 Aronoff
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016

P 513-556-4943
F 513-556-1274

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