Planning for the Future
The OKI 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, 2016 Update (The Plan), was completed in June 2016 with significant public input. Several programs and projects are moving towards implementation to address the transportation needs of the region through the year 2040. The performance-based transportation plan gives a high priority on maintaining the existing system. In addition, more than 130 new projects expand or upgrade the system. The Plan identifies a wide range of recommended highway, transit, bicycle, pedestrian and freight projects. The total value of this investment is estimated to be $17.5 Billion. This Plan will help the region achieve its safety, mobility, environmental and social goals.
The OKI Strategic Regional Policy Plan, adopted in the fall of 2014, continued to inform communities and decision makers across the region this year. OKI maintained the plan, housed at www.howdowegrow.org by updating several issue area infographics with current statistics and posting them through the year on OKI social media outlets. To stay up-to-date please visit the plan and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feed.
OKI Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan:
The Land Use Commission Steering Committee unveiled a complete update to the Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan publication in January 2016. The new edition introduced some new Elements, including: Public Health, Energy, and Community Character. The new guide also updated existing Elements including innovative community engagement strategies will all local government types in mind.
OKI Regional Planning Forum:
OKI’s Land Use Commission Steering Committee hosted two informative and engaging Regional Planning Forum events during 2016. The Forum is a regional outlet for sharing information, experience and expertise among planners and those in related disciplines throughout the region. Featured topics in 2016 included the nationally recognized Kenton County Plan4Health Project (OKI was the lead partner), an update on the Cincinnati Bell Connector, the interactive parklet / art project called Curb’d in Covington, and zoning implications of Ohio’s new medical marijuana law.
OKI Was named Trail Organization of the year by Tri-State Trails.
Bike & Pedestrian Planning
OKI’s regional bicycle program encourages bicycle use for transportation purposes beyond just recreational. The Regional Bicycle Plan focuses on making the roadway network more accommodating to cyclists by including the appropriate on-street facilities. Trails and the suitability of streets for cycling are illustrated in the OKI Bike Route Guides for Ohio and northern Kentucky counties and the city of Cincinnati. This information is important because the majority of cycling takes place on ordinary roads which often lack a dedicated space for cycling. OKI provides funding for numerous trail and bike projects to communities in the region.
The regional pedestrian program similarly encourages the development of a more walkable region through the recommendations and resources outlined in the plan. In support of the walkability concept for communities, OKI supports Safe Routes to School projects and the Bike Share Program through the award of Transportation Alternatives Funds.
In response to concerns that the Dearborn County transportation system lacks a critical north/south corridor providing safe, efficient connections between the highly populated portions of Miller and Harrison townships and Interstate 74 (I-74) and that the corridor is an underutilized east/west asset in the northern part of the county which can provide improved mobility and economic opportunity, OKI conducted this year-long, transportation planning study.
Staff investigated options for improvements to existing roadways, potential new roadways, and/or a combination of both to improve safety, access and other travel needs between the unincorporated Bright Area of northeastern Dearborn County and I-74. An extensive public involvement program was undertaken by OKI for the Bright I-74 Study. As a result of vast community input, the Study was adopted by the OKI Executive Committee on November 10, 2016 with the recommendation for enhanced maintenance to the existing roadways as a short-term priority and long-term reconstruction of North Dearborn and Whites Hill Road to meet the Study’s purpose and need as funding becomes available in the future.
Coordinated Public Transit
The Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan) is a unified, comprehensive strategy for public transportation service delivery that identifies the transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities; lays out strategies for meeting these needs; and prioritizes services for these target populations.
Through 2016, OKI continued to engage seniors, individuals with disabilities, the general public, private and non-profit transportation providers, human service agencies, passengers and their advocates, and other stakeholders with online and hardcopy questionnaires, public meetings, and various workshops to discuss needs and gauge the most effective and feasible strategies for addressing them.
In December, OKI was commended by FHWA for its efforts in utilizing the Coordinated Transit Human Services plan as a guide, developing criteria for project selection, and the coordination with SORTA for vehicle purchases for sub-recipients.
OKI has twenty vanpools in operation throughout the region.
OKI’s RideShare program continues to remove single occupant vehicles from the region’s roadways. The goal of the program is to make trips to work easy, less costly, more environmentally-friendly and more convenient. RideShare is committed to improving the daily business commute for everyone in the OKI region with innovative transportation solutions such as carpooling and vanpooling.
RideShare provides commuters an opportunity to save money on the normal “wear and tear” of a vehicle including gas, tires, mileage and maintenance. The program also offers flexibility that fits commuters’ lifestyle by allowing them to share a ride as infrequently as once a week or as often as every day.