Along the Ohio River in Cincinnati, the new Smale Riverfront Park is taking root. The park will enhance the health of citizens, the character of the city, and the economic vitality of the area. These big aspirations are grounded by a fascinating network of systems relating to mobility, flood resilience, energy, and partnerships. The park exemplifies how the details of design and engineering bring big ideas to fruition.
The park is surrounded by many modes of transport—city streets, state highways, and the recently re-aligned Mehring Way. The park design seeks to embed bicycling into the urban fabric and community culture as a means of enhancing citizen’s health and quality of life, diversifying transportation options, improving the environment, and creating new business and revenue opportunities.
Biking and alternative modes of transportation are on a rise across the country. In fact, the National Household Travel Survey reported that bicycling and walking trips increased by nearly 25% between 2001 and 2009. And while the environmental and health benefits of cycling are well established, recent research indicates that biking has significant economic benefits as well. American Bicyclistreports that in Iowa, commuter and recreational bicycling generates more than $400 million in economic activity and health savings of $87 million each year (2011).
The mobility strategy for Smale Riverfront Park holistically supports cycling in several ways. A state-of-the art bike hub is situated at the heart of the park, along the edge of the grand stair and the bike trail. Occupying a visible corner of the project’s parking garage, facility includes bike storage, rentals, technical assistance, showers, safe locking, regional trail information, visitor services, Quadcycles, bike tours, and Segway toursfor members and tourists alike.
Smart details allow bikers to easily navigate between the multiple grade changes between the waterfront and the city streets. A detail bike runnel, designed specifically for the park, supports the movement of bikes from the bicycle hub to downtown Cincinnati. The park also provides connections to regional trail systems (the Ohio River Trail and the Ohio to Erie Trail) and the city.
Design details to support bicycling