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Wasson Way Rail-Trail a Key to Cincinnati's Future

There was terrific news for the people and businesses of Cincinnati last week with city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. unveiling a proposal to fund a number of innovative and much-needed development projects in the city by raising downtown car parking rates, currently among the lowest in the country.

The plan is a clear indication that Cincinnati wants to change the way it moves. One of the significant projects that the suggested parking-rate rise would fund is the Wasson Way Trail, a citizen-driven proposal to make the most of a disused railroad corridor connecting neighborhoods and businesses with Xavier University and other hubs.

Supported from the very beginning by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Midwest Regional Office, the Wasson Way Trail is now gathering widespread support from city leaders. They see it as a key piece of a new active transportation system that helps Cincinnati leave behind the congestion, commercial stagnation and population drain of recent times.

The city manager's plan recommends the allocation of $3 million of car parking revenue for the purchase of the Wasson line right-of-way, the development of which he says will "positively impact" a number of local neighborhoods and "link several commercial, educational, recreational and residential centers."

Among the many fans of the city manager's plan to make Cincinnati a more attractive place to live and do business is Cincinnati City Councilmember Laure Quinlivan. In an email to constituents last week, she wrote that "the Wasson Way Bike Trail will increase business opportunities, property values, healthy living, and recreation opportunities and help retain 'the creative class' in Cincinnati."

I am really excited to continue to provide technical assistance and support to the Wasson Way project. Keep it moving, Cincy!

Map courtesy wassonway.org



Posted Tue, Feb 26 2013 12:00 PM by Jake Lynch


Nern Ostendorf wrote re: Wasson Way Rail-Trail a Key to Cincinnati's Future
on Tue, Feb 26 2013 5:45 PM

Thanks for posting this important update Eric! If anyone is more interested in getting hooked up with greater Cincinnati trails projects and/or bicycle advocacy, please come visit us at www.queencitybike.org. Queen City Bike is Greater Cincinnati's member-based bicycle advocacy organization.

Lou Jannazo wrote re: Wasson Way Rail-Trail a Key to Cincinnati's Future
on Wed, Mar 6 2013 5:38 PM

The Wasson Way Trail sounds like a very good idea and a very good trail.  Best wishes for getting it going.

But Rails to Trails folks and whatever other trail group folks are associated with the Wasson Way project should be ashamed of yourselves for the pictures you are using to promote the trail. Walking on railroad tracks is a dangerous and often deadly activity that should be discouraged, not promoted.  I am an Operation Lifesaver (OL) presenter.  OL is a safety organization backed by railroads and public funding that educates people of all ages of the dangers of driving across rail line and walking along railroad tracks.  

In 1997, for the first time the number of deaths of pedestians tresspassing on railroad tracks exceeded the number of deaths from vehicular crashes at railroad crossing; and that trend has continued every year since.  

The first picture one sees when looking at the Wasson Way web site is a group of people walking happily across a railroad trestle.  And your blog above shows happy faces walking through a railroad tunnel.  I trust that you can figure out that showing folks walking on railroad tracks, and on bridges and tunnels no less, could readily be constured as encouraging or promoting such behavior.  Yes the smiling folks in your pictures knew there would be no trains.  But will folks that your pictures might encourage to take a stroll on a local railroad line have that same information?  

After years of reading about people getting killed while walking along railroad tracks, I must ask you to consider all the consequences of posting pictures of happy tresspassers walking down railroad tracks and get those pictures off your blogs and websites.  It is the only responsible course of action civic groups like yours can take.  

Thanks for listening.

Lou Jannazo

Dan Bohlen wrote re: Wasson Way Rail-Trail a Key to Cincinnati's Future
on Thu, Mar 14 2013 12:03 PM

This is a very happy tale of an enlighted City of Cincinnati doing a good thing by building trails.  The funny part is - the city hasn't been too interested in trails before now.  In fact, CORA (Cincinnati Off Road Alliance) has offerred to build a mountain bike trail is a HUGE city park here for FREE and maintain it for FREE - and it has been road blocked.

So why $3,000,000 for this trail?  Is it perhaps to silence the people in that region of the city who might object to the parking plan?  The plan is NOT just to raise some rates, but to contract out city garages and parking for the next twenty years to an independent contractor.  The city gets $93M upfront and a bit of revenue after that.  It is a BIG politcial deal here in the city and many people (including me) think the plan is silly, will raise parking rates very high and actually hurt the down town area.

Hey, they the folks in the out lying area get their bike trail (maybe - if the city doesn't renege on the "promise") out of it.   It's not that simple a story....


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