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Avondale Bus Only Lane One Stop Closer To Reality

Sarah Ramsey

A Cincinnati council committee voted on a resolution Tuesday endorsing a plan to create a bus only lane on a portion of Reading Road.

The measure asks that infrastructure money included in the recent Hamilton County transit sales tax to be used to fund the proposal.

The bus only lane would be on Reading Road between William Howard Taft and Paddock Road.

Mark Samaan with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority said bus speeds in some of those locations are in the single digits or low double digits.

"We're in stop-and-go traffic," Samaan said. "Lots of bus stops, lots of activity. And it's constant throughout the day, it's not just relegated to one time period. It's a congested corridor in general."

Council Member David Mann voted against the resolution. He said he supports studying the idea, but said he could not support the language of the resolution to advance the project.

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld introduced the motion in September 2019.

Sittenfeld said last month the idea is to expand the program to areas where "it’s feasible and it would make a big difference."

He said community "buy in" has to be a part of the process and he admits there could be some tradeoffs for the neighborhood.

"Making sure that they say yes, we see this as a benefit and an improvement for our neighborhood," Sittenfeld said. "Our next immediate step is in consultation with Metro, with the Better Bus Coalition, really engaging the community to gauge if this is something they want and feel like would add benefit."

The city administration report on the Reading Road bus only lane was released in June. 

It found the cost for the project would be about $300,000. That includes pavement tattoos, new signs, additional line stripping, staff oversight and signal retiming.

The city and the neighborhood would also have to decide if that proposal would be 24-hours a day, or only during the morning and evening commutes.

The city report also listed several challenges, including enforcement.