Want shorter trip? Move closer

Let the awesome letters-to-the-editor keep coming. This one is from Paul Haffner, a Mariemont resident and opponent of the Eastern Corridor highway expansion proposal. He has a very simple piece of advice for Clermont County residents who complain about their commute into Cincinnati: move closer, or stop complaining.

I need someone to now please enlighten me on what gives you the right to pave over my limited green space so you can have an easier commute for yourself or your goods to the urban core from which you have chosen to distance yourself? […]

I personally think the absolute worst thing we can do as a region is encourage more people to live/work 20-plus miles outside the city. We need to continue to pursue policies that bring people into the urban core which I will loosely define as Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky. Population density is a good thing, and public transportation even better.

We all make choices in life and have to deal with the consequences. If you choose to live 45 minutes away from the city where you work so that you can pay lower taxes, have a bigger yard, or for some other reason that you see as advantageous, you also have to deal with the downsides that come along with that decision.

What Happened When My Small-Town, 50-Something Parents Moved to the City

My parents, who had spent much of their adult life in relatively rural and exurban landscapes, adapted quickly. […]

“Maybe after years in the exurbs or a small town you get tired of it. To be able to walk to three or four restaurants and two or three basic amenities like grocery stores instead of having to get in your car all the time. Well, that sounds pretty good to people.”

Ford CEO: More Cars in Cities “Not Going to Work”

But [Ford CEO Alan Mulally] also said he wasn’t sure what role Ford would play in the future of transportation in big cities. According to the Financial Times, Mulally said that adding more cars in urban environments is “not going to work” and that he was interested in developments in “personal mobility” and “quality of life.” Then he seemed to indicate Ford is interested in getting into transit, car sharing, or other models that don’t align with private car ownership.

When Ford gets it…

St. Louis pizzeria to open in renovated AT580 building

In a cross-post between nextSTL, UrbanCincy, and the Cincinnati Business Courier, Alex Ihnen reports on Pi Pizzeria‘s expansion into Cincinnati:

“We’ve been admiring the Cincinnati market for a few years now but just started our search about a year ago,” Pi co-owner Chris Sommers told nextSTL. “We are amazed at the resurgence of Downtown and OTR and had to be a part of it.” […]

Sommers said they waited out the streetcar debate before committing to a Cincinnati location.

“We choose our locations based on major transit lines and feel the streetcar will be game-changing for Cincinnati,” Sommers told nextSTL.

Pi’s original St. Louis location is located in the transit-rich Delmar Loop. The downtown St. Louis Pi sits atop a MetroLink station, and the D.C. restaurant is near both Metro Center and Chinatown Stations.

What we can learn from millennials who opt out of driving

[Jeffrey Ball of The New Republic] notes that many millennials who go carless live in a handful of mostly coastal cities. Read one way, this shows that it is not a widespread phenomenon. Read another, it proves that transportation preferences are malleable. Most of those millennials grew up in car-dependent suburbs. They stopped driving when they moved to cities because they now live somewhere denser, with fewer incentives to drive and better alternatives. Offer that same deal to Americans in other places, especially the poor, and many of them would gladly take it.

Target Tests Small Store for Urban Shoppers as Young People Pick Cities Over Suburbs

The discount retailer, which has long focused on large stores in suburban markets, completed a lease last week on its smallest store yet, a 20,000-square-foot location in Minneapolis, a test store for a new format called TargetExpress. […]

John D. Griffith, executive vice president for property development at Target, said that as more people, and especially young people, opted to live in cities rather than suburbs, Target wanted to remain convenient.

“Many of them grew up with a Target experience,” Mr. Griffith said. “Now, they show up at their cool little bungalow they’re redoing, they’re five miles from downtown, and yet, Target is a little bit of an effort to get to.”

With the kids gone, aging Baby Boomers opt for city life

“The millennials and the boomers are looking for the same thing,” said Amy Levner, manager of AARP’s Livable Communities. […]

“The spirit on the streets, there’s a kind of vitality, a regeneration,” Harold Closter said, adding that most people in their building are younger than they are. “We’ve made a lot of new friends, and we’ve found that it’s a lot easier for our friends to get to us, because we’re right on the Metro. . . . Our (adult) son and his friends think this is pretty cool as well.” […]

“I don’t have to spend my time taking care of the house, replacing the gutter, sealing the driveway,” he said. “After you make the move, it’s like a big rock lifted off the back of your neck.”

Exploding the Myth of the Fiscally Conservative Republican Governor

Aaron Renn at The Urbanophile:

Kasich’s biggest investment is a $440 million bypass around Portsmouth, a town of 20,000 people. That’s almost $22,000 for every man, woman, and child in town. […]

It’s hard to take Kasich seriously as a conservative if this is the type of project he wants to champion. Unlike some urbanists, I like roads. I’m not ashamed to say that we need to build more of them, even some expensive ones. But we ought to at least build ones that make sense, in places where people actually live in numbers commensurate with the money spent, and where there’s a real cost/benefit to be had.

Turns out cities are safest places to live

Whether you live in rural areas or the city, you’re much less likely to die from a gunshot wound — either from someone else or self-inflicted — than you are in a simple accident. Especially car crashes, which make up the bulk of unintentional injury deaths — motor-vehicle-injury-related deaths occurred at a rate that is more than 1.4 times higher than the next leading cause of death. […]

But guns — whether used accidentally or with intent — are much less likely to be the cause of death than another tool: cars. And people drive more, drive longer, drive faster and drive drunker in rural areas than in urban ones, where they can walk or take public transit.

New owner of Terrace Plaza plans to reopen hotel

Cincinnati’s Terrace Plaza hotel, which has been closed for three years, will soon be renovated and re-opened by a New York-based developer, Alan Friedberg. Just a decade ago, he was offered the opportunity to invest in the hotel but turned it down:

This isn’t the first time the property was brought to Friedberg’s attention. He visited the building in 2000. He wasn’t interested in buying it then because he didn’t think the city had momentum.

“Everything at that point was moving across the river,” he said. “I was not, at that time, enthusiastic about Cincinnati. I’ve been proven wrong.”

Now, he praises the “phenomenal job Cincinnati has done turning the city around.”

Not only have the city’s efforts improved the public’s perception of downtown — they’re resulted in businesses choosing to invest here.