Work to begin on Cincinnati’s Central Parkway bike path

Chicago's first protected bike lane—photographed at Kinzie and Jefferson streets Monday, July 25, 2011—is cited as a model for Cincinnati's Central Parkway plan.  (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune)

Chicago’s first protected bike lane—photographed at Kinzie and Jefferson streets Monday, July 25, 2011 for the Chicago Tribune—is cited as a model for Cincinnati’s Central Parkway plan. (Courtesy E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune via City of Cincinnati)

Cyclists in Cincinnati will soon have a separated bike lane along Central Parkway—a major connector between neighborhoods including Downtown, the West End, and Over-the-Rhine—following a narrow City Council vote last week.

On April 30th, City Council members voted 5-4 to approve the city plan with a modification, adding $110,000 to the $625,000 project. Chris Wetterich of the Cincinnati Business Courier reported the city now will pave a tree-lined right-of-way near a building in the 2100 block of Central Parkway, responding to concerns from building owner Tim Haines and his tenants. As Wetterich reported, the bike path will still be built, but it’s unclear what implications the move could have for the project’s future:

Councilwoman Yvette Simpson reluctantly supported the measure but said she fears that council set a precedent by which other businesses will expect the city to provide free on-street parking in front of their buildings.

Portions of the pathway—which will run through Downtown, the West End, Over-the-Rhine, University Heights, Clifton, and Northside—have been fine-tuned before. Community feedback led to some tweaks in the design between Elm Street and Ludlow Avenue, scaling back plans to widen the street in favor of a re-striped bikeway.

Construction on the protected bike lane is supposed to begin soon. The city’s website says, “Spring of 2014.”

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