7 ways Hamilton wants to improve traffic and travel in the next 15 years

Improvements to transportation are a significant part of the Plan Hamilton strategies for how to improve Butler County’s largest city over the next 15 years.

Here are seven ways the Plan Hamilton vision, unanimously approved by Hamilton City Council, aspires to improve traffic in and around the city:

1. Improved street maintenance

The plan calls for several ways to improve how people get around the city, including one thing residents long have clamored for — street improvements so there are fewer potholes.

The plan calls for the possibility of something some residents are ardently against: a street-repair levy. A citizen committee is advocating for a levy in March 2020. Advocates say it will take that long to sufficiently inform voters about some of the complexities of road-repair issues. Plus, it will take the city time to determine how best to let the city’s 17 neighborhoods have input about which streets in their areas are repaired first.

2. A ‘North Hamilton Crossing’

Residents feel this kind of passageway is particularly needed to alleviate traffic on the High-Main corridor and to serve the gigantic Spooky Nook at Champion Mill indoor sports complex and convention center, which is set to open on North B Street in mid-2021. It also would improve access to Interstate -75 from western Butler County.

3. A more visually attractive Ohio 4 through Hamilton

City officials have long wished for a more attractive Ohio 4 running north-south through the city, which is now most notable for the used-car lots at which the vehicles are often parked close to the highway.

The Ohio 4 part of Plan Hamilton also calls for providing more green areas by vacating parts of turn lanes and putting in medians along the highway. Some areas where there now are no sidewalks should have them installed, the plan suggests.

The plan also calls for a relationship with Fairfield and Fairfield Twp. to create uniform streetscaping along the route. Importantly, the plan calls for creation of standards for streetscaping and landcaping of private property improvements that would complement public improvements.

At the intersection of Ohio 4 and North Fair Avenue, an improved link to the “Miami 2 Miami” bike trail is sought. To improve traffic flow, the plan calls for more businesses to share entrances with each other, and the dead-ending of some of the many streets and alleys that intersect with Ohio 4.

RELATED: Hamilton council members want more attractive Ohio 4

4. Continued improvements to Grand Boulevard

Grand Boulevard in 2018 had the South Hamilton Crossing railroad overpass completed along its route. Plans to improve the east-west corridor include creating a roundabout at the cluttered five-points intersection near where Hamilton and Fairfield Twp. meet. That intersection includes Hancock Avenue, Grand Boulevard, Tylersville Road, Hamilton-Mason Road and Tuley Road.

The Grand Boulevard plan, which was created as part of Plan Hamilton, envisions an urban park for residents and pedestrians on the north side of Grand between Pater Avenue and Kahn Avenue. Also envisioned along part of the route east of Ohio 4 is creation of green space by creation of new medians along some vacated turn lanes. An enhanced pedestrian-friendly intersection of Ohio 4 and Grand Boulevard is desired, as is a mixed-use development north of Grand Boulevard and east of Ohio 4.

5. Increased biking/hiking paths

The Beltline bike path is one of those paths. Construction on the first segment, between Eaton Avenue and Cleveland Avenue, is to start this year.

6. A public transportation system that links neighborhoods to downtown

According to the plan, “The community identified a need for the creation of a public transportation loop system that would circulate thorough residential neighborhoods to the Hamilton Central Bus Hub. This will allow residents from the east and west side of the Great Miami River to access downtown, attend events, shop, and enjoy the wonderful natural features of the river without having to drive or park downtown or in neighborhood business districts.”

7. Better links from various neighborhoods to the Great Miami River and the river bike path

The Hamilton River Plan calls for creation of “portals” that improve access to the river. According to the Hamilton River Plan, “the portals are intended to become a part of Hamilton’s identity, signaling the importance of the river to the people.”

Portal possibilities include these locations: Nielan and Knightsbridge; Miami University’s Hamilton campus; the Fitton Center for Creative Arts; Fairview; Wayne Avenue; Combs Park; Confluence Park; and possibly the Great Miami Rowing Center, Franklin Street, Millikin Street; South B Street at the Bark Park and elsewhere.

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