A Cincinnati committee tasked with improving Downtown walkability wants to remake a block of Court Street. The Urban Pedestrian Task Force rejected the idea of closing Court Street to traffic earlier this year but does want to make some changes.
The proposal is to remove the center island on Court between Vine and Walnut, and extend the sidewalks out. Adam Gelter with 3CDC says there are a number of benefits to that plan. "That will slow down traffic. It will also allow some more flexibility on how the space is used at different times. For example, maybe in the evening, when some of the businesses who are most concerned about parking are closed, you can close it off and have a little festival or different event, and not have parking."
He says the loss of parking between Vine and Walnut would be offset by an increase of spaces on Court between Vine and Race, and with the new On-the-Rhine parking garage, as well as a surface lot at Walnut and Central Parkway.
"There's about 62 spaces in the block on Court in between Vine and Walnut today. This proposal would reduce that number to about 30."
Attorney Scott Knox has an office on Court and some concerns. He says practical problems aren't taken into account, like what happens to delivery trucks, and who will clear snow from the wider sidewalks.
Members of the task force made a presentation to council's budget and finance committee Monday afternoon.
The task force is also asking for more money to look at changing some Downtown streets from one-way to two-way. Gelter told council a consultant looked at changing 8th and 9th Streets to two-way traffic and to do the same for Vine, south of Central Parkway.
"They, based on traffic counts and some initial modeling, feel like this is very viable. We want to advance the design on each of these a little bit further so we can get the actual cost of doing this."
Gelter says the hope is further study will also indicate how such a change will affect street parking.