Local leaders reconvene The Dixie Fix oversight team

The Dixie Fix plan was a cooperative study conducted by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) and NKAPC. The plan—approved in 2006—covers an eight-mile stretch of Dixie Highway through Covington, Park Hills, Fort Wright, Fort Mitchell, Lakeside Park, Crestview Hills, Edgewood, Elsmere, Erlanger, and Florence. These cities, as well as NKAPC, the Boone County Planning Commission, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, examined access management and land use throughout the corridor. Each city also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help better coordinate efforts to increase safety and reduce travel times.

The study focused on two major goals: a prioritized list of projects ranging from short- to long-term site specific access management recommendations and critical guidelines for implementation standards such as transit stop improvements, increased streetscape improvements, and future right-of-way widths. Another key recommendation of the study was to form an oversight team to encourage and coordinate implementation efforts suggested in the plan. This team was envisioned to meet on a recurring basis to help share information and ideas, as well as track progress of changes throughout the corridor.

Quarterly meetings began soon after the plan’s approval in 2006 and continued regularly until March 2011. The oversight team went on a temporary hiatus in mid-2011 due to the lack of improvements along the corridor due to economic recession and a slow-down in available redevelopment investments from state and federal funding.

Recently, there has been increased interest in the plan and in reconvening the oversight team. “We wanted to get the team back together because new funding opportunities had come to light on the federal and state level. Also, changes in the local elected leadership of cities along the route offered new energy and a renewed level of excitement in the overall study,” said Larry Klein, Covington city manager and vice-chair of the oversight team.

The team met in September, which provided members an opportunity to recap the study since 2006. The meeting also allowed the team to discuss new developments along the route, learn about new funding sources available for the prioritized list of projects, and talk to representatives from the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky about potential corridor transit enhancements.

Robyn Bancroft, OKI strategic projects manager and project manager of The Dixie Fix, said, “I think everyone in attendance at the September meeting found the discussion very beneficial and a great investment of their limited time. Much was discussed that can support travel improvements in every Dixie Highway community.”

To date The Dixie Fix has helped coordinate efforts such as new sidewalks in Edgewood and Crestview Hills near the Town Center, the installation of new streetscape improvements at the I-275 interchange, preliminary work on realigning Garvey and McAlpin Avenues in Erlanger, elimination of redundant bus stops, and efforts to make access safer and more efficient throughout the route.