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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cincinnati's New Street Paving Plan: Downtown, High-Income 'hoods Get Bumped

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- At least $10 million a year flows into the city's program to construct, repair and maintain its streets. The new plan for 2008 and 2009 appears to focus more on Cincinnati's urban and low-income neighborhoods than its upscale ZIP Codes. In fact, not a single street in Clifton, Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Pleasant Ridge or Mt. Washington seems to be on the list. Over-the-Rhine is missing, too.

As for the Central Business District/Riverfront, only 5th Street from Main to Walnut is scheduled for a facelift. The city tries to care for about 100 lane miles of streets each year, including reparing and replacing curbs where needed. A pamphlet prepared by City Hall about the street rehabilitation program is available online here. It lists all of the scheduled projects.

Westwood, the city's most populous neighborhood, isn't on the list. But Avondale has 16 projects, Camp Washington has 14, and Madisonville is in line for 22. The rehab includes grinding off the old pavement and adding new. City officials say they work through neighborhoods on a three-year rotation. Mayor Mark Mallory and City Manager Milton R. Dohoney Jr. explain:

"The street rehabilitation program is one very important way that the City of Cincinnati is working to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. It is through this program that we continue to invest in our communities and make life safer by improving the quality of our street system . . . Every neighborhood will have the condition of its streets examined at least once every three years based on extensive evaluations by an outside consultant under the direction of city engineers. Streets are then selected for inclusion in the program based on the results of this appraisal."

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