Excerpt from Cincinnati Business Courier article dated July 24, 2019.
The Colerain Township board of trustees has revealed several possible improvements to Colerain Avenue, including a redevelopment of Northgate Mall into a mixed-use center.
Downtown Cincinnati-based KZF Design collaborated with the township to provide design concepts and recommendations as well as conduct a study on the existing conditions of the roughly 4 1/2-mile Colerain Avenue corridor, which includes the roadway and surrounding properties spanning from Green Township to Butler County.
The current draft of recommendations for the corridor includes:
- Landscape medians and median U-turns
- Safety improvements to pedestrian, bicyclist and vehicle access
- Streetscape design strategies and gateway elements.
“The township has been working for more than 20 years to improve traffic and aesthetic conditions along the corridor,” according to a news release from Colerain Township. “The results to date have led to an improved vehicular-oriented roadway, however have left much to be desired in terms of modern urban design and a pedestrian-friendly environment.”
At an open house in March to review the area’s existing conditions, community members ranked safety and beautification as top priorities.
“The condition right now is concrete sidewalk and paved parking lots. It’s pretty harsh,” said Eric Anderson, project manager for KZF Design. “By adding landscaping, we can soften that and make it easier to navigate.”
Median U-turns would eliminate left turns at Colerain Avenue’s signaled intersections. This type of U-turn can reduce congestion and severity of crashes by up to 60 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Colerain Avenue has long been considered home to some of the most dangerous intersections in the state of Ohio. In November, the Courier published a report from the Ohio Department of Transportation that showed five of the 25 most crash-prone intersections in Southwest Ohio were on Colerain Avenue.
A possible redevelopment of Northgate Mall into a mixed-use “towne center” would include single- and multi-family housing and outdoor mall corridors with dining, pedestrian spaces and plazas.
Anderson said that as retailers have changed the way they sell goods, his firm and the township have looked at options for how to revitalize the mall and attract new tenants.
“It’s about getting ahead of the game,” Anderson told me. “A lot of those indoor malls from the 80s and 90s are struggling, and some have found success with the indoor-outdoor mall situations.”
Read the entire Cincinnati Business Courier article here.