Entries for 'oki'

Done! OKI Board approves final section of KY 536 corridor alignment

Posted on March 04, 2016

The KY 536 Scoping Study, begun by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments in fall 2014, was adopted last month on a unanimous vote by the OKI Board of Directors. The vote was the last action step necessary to identify the full alignment for improvement of the corridor across Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties.

OKI launched this study to identify the transportation issues in this corridor that need to be addressed in order to improve access, mobility and safe travel while enhancing the economic vitality of the region. The goal of the KY 536 Scoping Study was to reach consensus on a recommended alternative for the corridor from KY 17 to the Licking River.

The improvement plan recommended by the study’s project development team—which echoed the public’s responses—is the off-alignment option. This alternative follows the existing KY 536 east from KY 17 and shifts north onto a new segment as it approaches KY 16 to realign with KY 536 near Maverick Road. This shift redirects traffic north of White’s Tower Elementary School in accordance with feedback received from the public.

The alternative then follows the existing KY 536 until one-half mile west of Staffordsburg Road where it veers north onto a new alignment connecting directly with the existing Visalia Bridge. Between KY 17 and Staffordsburg Road Connector, this alternative is a three-lane road. From the Staffordsburg Road Connector to the Campbell County line, this alternative become a two-lane road, with the exception of an 11-foot climbing lane that would be constructed to assist trucks traveling westward from KY 177 to the crest of the Visalia Hill west of Mann Road.

To accommodate bicycle and pedestrian travel, this alternative includes eight-foot multi-use paths on both sides of KY 536, from KY 17 to KY 16, and a ten-foot multi-use path on one side of the roadway east of KY 16. The estimated cost of this off-alignment option is $86.5 million.

Public input was integral to this study. Through three open houses, three online public comment periods, and input from residents and stakeholders shared by the project development team, a good deal of feedback was received from the public.

Robyn Bancroft, the study’s project manager, believes the “entire KY 536 Scoping Study process has resulted in a recommendation that balances the concerns of local property owners who will be most directly impacted by future improvements with the transportation needs of the region at large.”

The identification of an improvement plan for this regionally-significant corridor prepares it for the future phases of development, engineering, design and funding.

The KY 536 Scoping Study Final Report and supporting documents can be found by visiting the OKI website

Options for future KY536 improvement are awaiting your opinions

Posted on October 12, 2015

An open house meeting earlier this week in Independence provided citizens two options for a new alignment of KY 536 from KY 17 to the Licking River. The meeting was the last in a series of three open houses conducted this year as part of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Government’s (OKI) KY 536 Scoping Study.

Citizens wanting to express their opinions on the two options may do so on the study’s website.

The two options are:

• On-Alignment Alternative: This option proposes to modify and improve the existing roadway and use the existing corridor as much as possible although small sections would be briefly rerouted. This option would follow KY 536 east from KY 17 and shift north onto a new segment as it approaches KY 16 (redirecting traffic north of White’s Tower Elementary School) to realign with KY 536 near Maverick Road. It would continue on until a half mile west of Klein Road, then turn north onto a new alignment that connects directly with the Visalia Bridge. This alternative is planned as a three-lane road a single lane traveling in both directions with a lane in the middle to assist with turns.

• Off-Alignment Alternative: This option follows the existing KY 536 east from KY 17 and shifts north onto a new segment as it approaches KY 16, redirecting traffic north of White’s Tower Elementary School, to realign with KY 536 near Maverick Road. It follows the existing roadway until 0.5 mile west of Staffordsburg Road where it turns north onto a new alignment that connects directly with the existing Visalia Bridge. This alternative is planned as a three-lane road, a single lane traveling in both directions and a lane in the middle to assist with turns between KY 17 and Staffordsburg Road. From Staffordsburg Road to the Campbell County line, this alternative is planned as a two-lane road with the exception of a climbing lane that would be constructed to assist trucks traveling westward from KY 17.

KY 536 Scoping Study project manager Robyn Bancroft said the corridor is recognized regionally as a critical roadway to improve access, mobility and economic vitality across Northern Kentucky.

This segment of the roadway, between KY 17 and the Kenton and Campbell County line, is the only remaining section of the entire corridor that does not have a preferred alternative or improvement plan in place. This segment was left until last because of its fragmented connections, drastic elevation changes, poor sight lines, broad range of environmental factors, and, most importantly, extremely high crash rates.

OKI’s CEO Mark Policinski said the level of public involvement in the study has been “tremendous ... possibly more so than we’ve ever had on a project like this.”

“The study team listened to what the community has said they want and refined the alternatives accordingly,” he said. “While these final two options are very different from each other; one mostly follows the existing roadway while the other would travel along a new route. Both were designed to respect the community’s desire to improve travel safety, minimize impacts to homes and property, and maintain the character of the existing area.”

“It’s important that everyone provide their input on this project,” Bancroft said. “We want to hear from those who live on KY 536, as well as those who travel the corridor and even those who avoid traveling the corridor because of safety and efficiency issues.”

The public comment period ends on November 5. The Scoping Study is scheduled to conclude this fall, once a suitable plan is chosen. The final KY 536 Scoping Study report and documentation will be posted to the website in December, Bancroft concluded.

 


Future KY 536 improvement alternatives are awaiting input

Posted on August 28, 2015

A study team created by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) is now in the process of taking all of the public input received this summer on KY 536 improvements and refining the alternatives under consideration. This process is part of OKI’s KY 536 Scoping Study launched last fall.

A third and final public open house will be held on Monday, October 5, from 4-7:00 PM at the Independence Senior and Community Center, 2001 Jack Woods Parkway in Independence.

“We received great information from the community about what’s most important to them during our first open house in March,” said Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann, Second Vice President of the OKI Board of Directors and project development team chair for the Scoping Study. “At the second open house held on July 6th, the community reviewed and commented on eight draft improvement alternatives that were developed based on study data and public feedback.”

Improvement options range from upgrading deficiencies on the existing corridor to relocating KY 536 onto newly constructed portions of roadway and maintaining the existing corridor as a local, neighborhood street.

A final recommendation will be presented to the public for review and comments during this open house. As with each of the previous public engagement sessions, a 30-day public comment period will be open from October 5 through November 5 to receive feedback on the final recommendation via the OKI website.

OKI wants to hear from everyone. You can visit the OKI website anytime and submit comments using the text box. While you are there, share your email so OKI can keep you informed of new information and updates as soon as they are available.

KY 536 is recognized widely as a critical east-west connector in terms of mobility, connectivity, and economic vitality for Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties and the greater metropolitan area. Phased improvements are being made currently to upgrade and modernize specific sections of the corridor.

The only portion of KY 536 for which specific improvements have not yet been identified is a 6.5-mile segment that extends between KY 17 and the Kenton/Campbell County Line (Licking River).

For more information, email OKI KY 536 Scoping Study Project Manager Robyn Bancroft, AICP, or call her at 513.619.7662.


Staffer elected chair of OKI intermodal coordinating committee

Posted on March 02, 2015
In January, members of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments’ (OKI) Intermodal Coordinating Committee (ICC) elected James Fausz, AICP, to be their chairperson. Fausz, who is a principal planner at PDS, previously served as the group’s first vice chair.
 
“I’ve been interested in transportation of all kinds since I was very young, so it’s exciting for me to serve as the chair for a group that works on multimodal mobility,” Fausz explained. “It’s also rewarding to work on bettering our community from the regional perspective.”

Fausz has worked on transportation-related projects throughout his career, which encompasses roles in both the private and public sector.

The ICC advises the OKI Board of Directors on technical issues related to regional transportation planning. With approximately 70 members, the roster encompasses a wide range of professionals in the region.  Members include experts from local, state, and federal transportation agencies; governments from the eight-county OKI region; planning organizations; and, a wide array of business, civil, environmental, and utilities from the public and private sectors.

OKI adopts new Kenton transportation priorities into regional plan

Posted on August 15, 2014

PDS and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) staffs began updating the 2003 Kenton County Transportation Plan last summer. The project included a completely-new examination of mobility issues and recommendations for Kenton County. Upon its formal adoption in June, the new plan became the official transportation planning document for the county and part of OKI’s transportation priorities for the metro area.

The study encompassed numerous phases throughout the yearlong effort. Some of the key points of the project included: technical analysis of GIS data; outreach to the public via an online survey; working sessions with planners and transportation professionals from around the county; key-person interviews with stakeholders; a public meeting; and, direction from a multidiscipline advisory team.

The plan also involved an in-depth review of areas where land uses were expected to intensify and assess their implications on future transportation needs.

“We knew a stronger connection between land use and transportation was needed before we even got started on the plan’s text,” explained James Fausz, AICP, PDS’ lead on the study team. “A lot of transportation plans look at where development has occurred and make plans to retrofit wider roads. Our idea was to consider where future development is anticipated and use that information to help rank projects.”

The effort resulted in a Future Land Use Demands map that identifies areas where commercial, industrial, and residential uses are likely to intensify. Transportation engineers then interpreted the uses and acreages to produce trip generation figures and show how many additional vehicles might be expected in an area.

Sixty-six recommendations were crafted by the professionals and advisory team and incorporated into the final plan. Projects were multimodal in nature and included recommendations such as: sidewalk construction to fill gaps in the existing network; bicycle amenities; transit enhancements; and, new/improved roadway facilities. The recommendations also included cost estimates for design, utilities, rights of way, and construction to help provide a guide for prioritization.

“The plan does a great job of addressing the needs for Kenton County moving forward,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, who is both PDS’ executive director and a member of the OKI Board of Directors. “Not only will the recommendations be used to make our projects eligible for funding through OKI, the document also serves as the basis of the mobility section of the new Direction 2030 comprehensive plan.”

The Kenton County Transportation Plan was adopted by the OKI Board of Directors on June 12, 2014, becoming the county’s official transportation planning document. Furthermore, the plan is completely web based and available online here.


Kenton County transportation plan nears June completion

Posted on May 23, 2014
OKI and NKAPC staffs began studies last summer for a new Kenton County transportation plan. The collaboration researched mobility issues, analyzed transportation data, prompted meetings with the project’s advisory team, and included input directly from the public. It is now yielding a plan with nearly 70 recommendations.

“Recent efforts to collect input on the plan were very successful,” explained Robyn Bancroft, AICP, Strategic Planning Manager for OKI. “Through our outreach efforts, coupled with promotion from NKAPC, we received almost 400 views of the draft recommendations page during April. Of those viewers, more than 60 individual comments were received from the public.”

The comments received during the comment period helped to further refine the draft recommendations and move them toward a more finalized product.

The advisory team met in early May to consider revisions based on public input. The team also worked to define the final list of projects and refine the recommendation rankings. Work is now underway to prepare the final document with an early-June target date for completion. The final plan should be available online in mid- to late-June.

Ranging from filling sidewalk gaps to improving major interstate interchanges, the recommendations cover a wide swath of mobility needs for the county’s citizens. Reconstructing the westbound I-275 interchange with I-71/75, creating the Licking River Greenway Trail, constructing a new Fourth Street Bridge, finishing the sidewalk along Dixie Highway in Covington, and building a new Edgewood Park & Ride are all multimodal recommendations found within the plan.

The preparation of this plan coincides with the Direction 2030 comprehensive planning project that is in the final phase. “Transportation is a major element of our comprehensive planning process,” explained Sharmili Reddy, AICP, NKAPC’s planning manager.

“In an effort to be good stewards of public money, we decided to combine both efforts and use the OKI-NKAPC transportation plan as the basis for our transportation recommendations in Direction 2030. We recognize that there are mobility needs beyond major roadways but the transportation plan is a good overview of the predominant needs in the county.”

You may check the NKAPC or OKI websites for more information on the transportation plan.

Become a voice for the future!

Posted on May 09, 2014
The OKI Regional Council of Governments is updating a policy plan to improve quality of life and service to the public in southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana, and they want to hear from you. Issues in the plan affect everyday life in the region, such as congestion on roadways, the attractiveness of communities for business and job creation, housing for all ages, income levels and family types and adequate water and sewer facilities. The draft plan and questions to invite feedback are available online. To find out more and share your opinions, visit www.howdowegrow.org