There was terrific news for the people and businesses of Cincinnati last week with city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. unveiling a proposal to fund a number of innovative and much-needed development projects in the city by raising downtown car parking rates, currently among the lowest in the country.
The plan is a clear indication that Cincinnati wants to change the way it moves. One of the significant projects that the suggested parking-rate rise would fund is the Wasson Way Trail, a citizen-driven proposal to make the most of a disused railroad corridor connecting neighborhoods and businesses with Xavier University and other hubs.
Supported from the very beginning by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Midwest Regional Office, the Wasson Way Trail is now gathering widespread support from city leaders. They see it as a key piece of a new active transportation system that helps Cincinnati leave behind the congestion, commercial stagnation and population drain of recent times.
The city manager's plan recommends the allocation of $3 million of car parking revenue for the purchase of the Wasson line right-of-way, the development of which he says will "positively impact" a number of local neighborhoods and "link several commercial, educational, recreational and residential centers."
Among the many fans of the city manager's plan to make Cincinnati a more attractive place to live and do business is Cincinnati City Councilmember Laure Quinlivan. In an email to constituents last week, she wrote that "the Wasson Way Bike Trail will increase business opportunities, property values, healthy living, and recreation opportunities and help retain 'the creative class' in Cincinnati."
I am really excited to continue to provide technical assistance and support to the Wasson Way project. Keep it moving, Cincy!