Partnership in the News: Cincinnati makes strides toward transit oriented development

Mayor Mark Mallory announces $35 million award for construction of Cincinnati Streetcar. Photo via Urban Cincy
Mayor Mark Mallory announces $35 million award for construction of Cincinnati Streetcar. Photo via Urban Cincy

Cincinnati, OH is a regional leader in pursuing ways to make the city more livable and attractive to residents and business. To help advance the city’s smart growth goals even further, Cincinnati recently received technical assistance from Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute to inform residents and community leaders about the benefits of transit oriented development (TOD).

Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America, says, “This workshop will provide the community with an opportunity to learn more about transit options and transit oriented development in the context of Cincinnati. Now is a great time to assess how Cincinnati can most effectively align its development with transit investments.”

Last October, the Cincinnati Planning Commission adopted Plan Cincinnati, a vision for Cincinnati’s future which includes attracting top talent for employers, connecting residents through multiple modes of transportation, providing an array of housing options and sustaining a healthy environment.

A major step towards the realization of this vision came in August when Mayor Mallory approved an amendment to the city’s zoning code that reforms parking requirements for new residential buildings. Reducing the number of parking spaces required for residential building will make housing in the area more affordable and encourage more people to use public transportation.

Construction on a 3.6-mile streetcar loop around the city’s core business district began in early 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2014. The streetcar will be a vital complement to the city’s existing Metro and other transportation systems, bringing riders to new storefronts, businesses and residential buildings.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has contributed $10.9 million to the construction of the streetcar through a TIGER III grant. The project also leveraged $25 million from Federal Transit Administration’s Urban Circulator grant program and $4 million from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant. The remaining cost of the project is being covered by local funding sources.

Funding for these projects were made in part through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to help communities improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while promoting sustainable practices.

If you support the partnership and other similar programs, ask your congressman to fund these programs today!

Click here see how Mayor Mark Mallory is working to strengthen the economy of downtown Cincinnati. 

Technical assistance