Regional governments council awards more than $30 million for walking, biking and public transit

Posted at 10:19 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 10:19:40-04

Communities across Greater Cincinnati will soon see more than $30 million in funding for future walking, biking and public transit infrastructure projects.

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments -- the region's primary allocator of federal grant money -- announced Thursday nearly $63 million in funding for more than 20 transportation projects throughout Greater Cincinnati. More than half of those dollars will go toward boosting alternatives to driving.

In an Oct. 10 news release, OKI President Kris Knochelman called the awards "a major investment in our multi-modal transportation network" that will "improve mobility and safety for drivers, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians."

Slightly more than $30 million will go toward the following car-alternative infrastructure projects throughout southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky:

  • Cincinnati: a shared-use path between Marshall and Ludlow avenues in Cincinnati, to supplement the Central Parkway Protected Bike Lanes
  • Cincinnati: new Red Bike stations, expanded e-bike inventory and replacements for aging bike-share equipment
  • Cincinnati/Norwood: a 3.23-mile stretch of the Wasson Way mixed-use trail running through Cincinnati and Norwood
  • Cincinnati Metro: replacements for 15 40-foot buses with new clean diesel-equipped buses
  • New Richmond: new roundabouts and a mixed-use trail along U.S. 52
  • Green Township: new sidewalks along Colerain Avenue from Blue Rock to Loretta Avenue
  • Sharonville: a shared-use path connecting the downtown district and Kemper Road
  • Oxford/Butler Co.: a multi-modal bus/train services facility
  • Village of Williamsburg: shared-use path along East Main Street from the Little Miami crossing to Ohio 133
  • Bellevue, Ky.: bike/pedestrian improvements along Donnermeyer Drive between Riviera and Berry
  • Erlanger, Ky.: new sidewalks along Commonwealth Avenue
  • Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky: five new replacement buses

All the funds OKI has allocated will require some level of local match funding. In all but one of these projects, the local match is less than the federal funds granted: The one exception is the Central Parkway shared-use path. The grant will bring in $750,000 for the project, but only if the city can come up with roughly another $2.6 million. In an Oct. 11 memo, Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney wrote officials in the Department of Transportation and Engineering expect the match funding to come from future capital budgets.

Another $23 million will go toward various road and bridge improvements throughout the region, including funding for the Western Hills Viaduct replacement project ($6 million) and a new traffic signal system in Over-the-Rhine and the West End, near the future site of the new FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer stadium.

All the funding grants came from the federal Surface Transportation Block Grant and Transportation Alternatives programs. The majority of the funds will be released in fiscal year 2024.