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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Central Parkway Bikeway plan headed to special hearing

CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) -- A couple of motions brought up in front of Cincinnati City Council  Wednesday could result in either a change in plans to run a bike lane down Central Parkway or the death of the project.
The project calls for a bike lane down each side of Central Parkway and a floating parking lane that would move side to side.  Since Local 12 began reporting on this project a couple of weeks ago, it has really taken on a life of it's own.  Going from a plan that looked like a done deal, to one that right now, might be dead.

Local 12's Rich Jaffe wanted to see just what a bike lane down Central Parkway would feel like.  So he went to The Garage in OTR, you probably know it as the home of segways.  After a little instruction he headed out on  a very cool electric bike.
Once on Central Parkway, the first thing Jaffe said he noticed was how exposed you feel to the traffic.  And even in the late morning there's quite a bit of it.  The idea of dedicated bike lanes would indeed be nice here.
Not too far into the trip Jaffe met the folks at CSR Academy, a charter school.  They said they only found out about the bikeway plan a couple of weeks ago, even though city officials say it's been under discussion for 18 months.

"How are my students going to come and go, what's going to be safe for them? Where are my teachers going to park?  Parents are going to start asking questions so that's a concern.  Need to start making plans for busing for next year, so I need to communicate with them and let them know," said Bobbi Jo Chapman said of CSR Academy.

Chapman's not the only one concerned about the plan.  A group of business owners in one building are also worried about parking issues.  So Wednesday Vice Mayor David Mann offered up two resolutions to council.

One would  invest city money to slightly alter the route and provide 23 parking spaces in front of their building.  If council can't agree on that plan, the other emergency motion would kill the project entirely by repealing the ordinance that accepted the federal funding for it.  Seeing the possible writing on the wall, those motions inspired a vitriolic response from council members in favor of the proposed plan.
Vice Mayor Mann said, "We have a business person who's renovated a building, brought in 12 tenants, provided 60 new jobs to the city.  He says maintaining parking in front of the building is important to maintaining the jobs and I think we ought to respond to that. There's a way to fix that."

As a result of those motions there's an emergency meeting of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Thursday at City Hall at 3:30p.m.  The motions will also be heard at a special council meeting on Friday and possibly again at council next Wednesday.
Bottom line, it looks like either the plan moves ahead with some parking changes, or the whole thing could be dead.
This is the first time the bike lane issue will be heard by the Transportation Committee.  Earlier in the week it got approval from the city's Neighborhoods Committee but the majority of council members on that committee are not on the Transportation Committee.  In order to move ahead the city must agree to accept the federal funding by May 1st.

Follow Rich Jaffe on Twitter @rajaffe and LIKE him on Facebook

Video HERE



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