Current Newsletter

November 2017

Maintaining master address database 
is critical and frustrating work         

Have you ever mistakenly received someone else’s mail or had a package delivered that wasn’t yours because your address was similar to the address on the label? Does your street name end in “Drive” while another identically-named street ends in “Road”? These are just two of many addressing situations causing problems for people every day.

Addresses are important, and therefore need to be correct, unique, and easily located. Otherwise, duplications or similarities in spelling or pronunciation can confuse even the most experienced people who deal with them every day.

In an emergency when emotions run high, the difference between “Byrd Road” and “Bird Road” can be the difference between life and death.

“Keeping address records up to date can be frustrating because there is no single, authoritative, and comprehensive list on which to base them,” said Tom East, a senior GIS specialist with PDS. “There are dozens, if not hundreds, of address lists maintained by different agencies, organizations, and companies, each with its own unique way of recording addresses.”

These different lists typically have large numbers of addresses in common, but they will also have a smaller number of addresses that are unique to their needs and purposes, which are not likely to be found in other lists.

“Trying to collect all of a community’s unique addresses in a single location is a challenging and time-consuming task,” said East. “It’s made more difficult because these address lists rarely get shared or distributed to others to use.”

PDS staff—primarily Tom East—has built and maintained a master address database for Kenton County over the past ten years. All addresses in it have been standardized to correct road misspellings, to replace incorrect suffixes (like “Rd” instead of “Dr”), and to fix transposed numbers (like “5590” instead of “5509”) along with many other issues. The database does not contain information beyond addresses.

Staff has also standardized all addresses to meet the US Postal Service’s suggested formatting guidelines. This standard doesn’t dictate what a street is named, it just recommends a standard way to write it for improving mail delivery. Millions of companies across the US use this standard every day to provide products and services to the American public.

“We’re confident enough now with the accuracy of our data that we intend to start reaching out and sharing it with those who’ll benefit from it,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, Executive Director of PDS. “We’ve invested a lot of work in this project and it’s time to begin seeing a return on investment… not just for PDS and its member local governments but for all of Kenton County.”

Keeping these data up to date is a critical and never-ending job that can require hours of research and field work to verify. Changes to the database occur every day according to East.

When staff finds road names that need to be corrected, based on official records likes plats or city or county ordinances, they update the information ensuring that the data is consistent, correct, and complete.

When a new address is discovered, it is verified and then added to the database. When a house or building is torn down, the address is not deleted but is marked “Retired” if the property no longer requires it. In this way, a record of previous address is maintained.

“These changes are documented literally every day at PDS,” concluded East. “We see it as a necessity for the provision of services to citizens.”

For more information on Kenton County’s master address database, email Tom East or call him at 859.331.8980.

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Work progresses on Kenton County’s bicycle/pedestrian plan

Over 400 citizens took time recently to provide their thoughts on the future of active transportation in Kenton County through an online survey. The survey was part of the public engagement portion of Kenton Connects, a study to assess bicycle and pedestrian conditions, discover potential issues, and begin to define priorities for an update of Kenton County’s bicycle and pedestrian plan.

While staff is still working on a detailed analysis, preliminary results of the survey show safety, connectivity, access, and convenience as the major themes and important issues.

“Our advisory committee will examine each of the topics as the project enters its next phase,” said Chris Schneider, AICP, a principal planner at PDS and project manager for the study. “The results will help guide the next phases of the project and provide direction moving forward.”

The survey was promoted across multiple platforms including public service announcements on Spectrum cable television, social media outreach, distribution through local jurisdiction emails and newsletters, and providing paper copies and flyers at numerous locations across the community.

“We received great feedback from the community,” Schneider continued. “We know more now about people’s biking and walking habits… and a good picture of their safety concerns.”

Complete results from the survey will be available soon on the Kenton Connects website.

Research on crashes, bicycle counts, and sidewalk and bicycle facility connectivity are just some of the many topics that have been examined already throughout the county. Identifying and understanding Kenton County’s existing infrastructure and safety conditions will facilitate more informed decisions and recommendations when creating the plan.

The next phase of the project will begin setting benchmark goals based on existing conditions and survey information. These goals will be used to create measurables that can be reviewed in the future to evaluate success and help implement future policy and planning decisions.

To stay up to date on the bicycle and pedestrian plan, visit to learn more and to join the project email list. Email Chris Schneider or call him at 859.331.8980 with questions or for more information.

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NKYmapLAB product highlights
Latonia ‘complete street’ proposal  

The newest NKYmapLAB project explores ‘complete street’ improvements along Winston Avenue in Covington’s Latonia neighborhood. The project was released as part of National Community Planning Month, which is celebrated each October by the American Planning Association and its 50,000+ members.

A ‘complete street’ is designed to accommodate all modes of travel: bicyclists, pedestrians, mass transit, and motorized vehicles. Important sections of Winston Avenue do not accommodate pedestrians well currently.

Winston Avenue starts at Ritte’s Corner and extends south to the Latonia Centre commercial and retail strip development near Howard Litzler Drive. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has determined that Winston Avenue needs full-depth pavement replacement. Resurfacing the road will not be adequate to meet current and future transportation needs.

The complete street approach supports one of the goals of the Latonia Small Area Study; to “increase the pedestrian and bicycle amenities within the corridor, without disrupting the volume of traffic the roadway can accommodate.”

This mapLAB project explores current non-automobile conditions along Winston Avenue, the major destinations and areas that generate pedestrian traffic, and investments made in placemaking by the Center for Great Neighborhoods over the last several years. It also includes several brief video interviews highlighting key concepts of the proposed improvements.

"Winston Avenue is one of the gateways into Covington. It has unique opportunities and challenges with industrial and commercial uses on one side and residential uses on the other. Instead of using Winston Avenue as a border between the two, the complete street approach facilitates its use as a bridge,” said Ryan Kent, GISP, Principal GIS Data Analyst.

“I expect that the investments made in placemaking by the Center for Great Neighborhoods will continue to strengthen the neighborhood as a destination for people. With the upcoming branding efforts, I’m excited to see how the region responds to Latonia as it becomes more visible and more accessible from a non-automobile perspective,” said Louis Hill, AICP, GISP, Geospatial Data Analyst with PDS.

For more information about the project, email Louis Hill or Ryan Kent or call them at 859.331.8980. NKYmapLAB is available online and on Twitter @NKYmapLAB.

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GIS staff takes on keeping RoW management data up to date

PDS’ GIS staff believes so strongly in the capabilities of a software program that it’s committed to inputting local data to help Kenton and Campbell jurisdictions save precious tax dollars. Staff members are reaching out now to the counties, the municipalities, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for their 2018 pavement projects so they can be uploaded to the LINK-GIS right-of-way management tool by Accela.

Once online, these project data can be viewed alongside maintenance project data entered by SD1, the Northern Kentucky Water District, Duke Energy, Owen Electric, Spectrum, and Cincinnati Bell. The goal is to increase communication and coordination for street cuts and paving projects. The result will cut down frustrations felt by the motoring public, decrease the need for pavement cuts, and ultimately save taxpayer and rate payer dollars through cooperative construction efforts.

“All participating entities will be able to see each other’s current and upcoming projects through the software program’s central dashboard. This will illustrate conflicts and opportunities to work together,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, PDS’ director for GIS administration. “Unfortunately, the system is only as good as the data that are put into it.”

“To make sure the software program functions effectively, PDS staff will input local governments’ and utilities’ projects for next season as soon as we receive them,” Brush said.

Kyle Ryan, Coordinating Engineer with the Northern Kentucky Water District commented, “Coordinating water main replacement with planned roadway improvements reduces restoration costs and helps protect the cities’ roadway investments from potential damage caused by breaks and routine maintenance of aging infrastructure.”

“It can also provide our customers with better water service because these projects often produce increased flows for the cities’ fire departments. And, it can relieve traffic congestion for residents who are burdened with one combined construction period verses two separate projects spread over several years,” concluded Ryan.

Email Trisha Brush or call her at 859.331.8980 for more information on the software program or PDS’ efforts to save local tax dollars.

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… for whatever it’s worth…

How far back in time does your understanding of autonomous vehicles go? Six months? A year? Several years?

What will the introduction of autonomous vehicles mean for our cities? Have you given it much thought? Almost everyone agrees that it will be a game changer. Some say the impacts could be felt as soon as five years from now.

To get your thought processes started, we provide for you a 20-minute presentation by internationally-known city planner and author Jeff Speck, AICP, to the US Conference of Mayors earlier this year. As always, the information included here is presented for whatever it’s worth.

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Calendar Events

Thanksgiving Holiday
November 23-24
Office closed –

Kenton County Planning Commission
Public Hearing and Business Meeting
Thursday, December 7 at 6:15 p.m.
Commission Chambers, PDS Building in Fort Mitchell

Kenton County Code Enforcement Board
Business Meeting
Thursday, December 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Commission Chambers, PDS Building in Fort Mitchell

Kenton County Board of Adjustment
Business Meeting
Wednesday, December 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Commission Chambers, PDS Building in Fort Mitchell

PDS Management Board
Business Meeting
Thursday, December 21 at 5:15 p.m.
Commission Chambers, PDS Building in Fort Mitchell

Christmas Holiday
December 25
Office closed –

New Year’s Day
January 1, 2018
Office closed –

For more meeting and event information, check out our online calendar.


* Banner photo provided by Tri-ED

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