Posted on February 26th, 2014
Two public meetings focused on improving West Fork Creek are scheduled for March 2014. Please see the postcard invitation.
MSD Public Meeting
The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) is hosting a public meeting on its West Fork Project from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at the McKie Recreation Center, 1655 Chase Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223 (in Northside).
MSD’s West Fork Project includes two projects to be constructed between 2015 and 2017 in Northside and Mt. Airy. The projects will eliminate about 173 million gallons annually of combined sewer overflows into the West Fork Channel, a tributary of the Mill Creek.
The meeting will include a presentation, followed by a project poster session where attendees can talk to MSD staff about project details.
No RSVPs are necessary. For more information, please contact MSD Engineering Customer Service at (513) 557-3594 or MSD Communications. or visit MSDGC’s project groundwork website.
Community Design Charrette
Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek, the Northside Community Council and the University of Cincinnati’s Niehoff Studio are hosting a design charrette workshop to talk about the community’s long-term vision for the West Fork Creek corridor from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at Chase Elementary School, 4151 Turrill Street, Cincinnati, OH 45223 (in Northside).
The workshop will include a briefing on existing conditions and brainstorming on future improvements.
Please RSVP to Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek at Groundwork Cincinnati or (513) 731-8400.
Posted on February 6th, 2014
Bob Park, Sierra Club and Blue Green Alliance, joined with Labor to promote green jobs, worker training and cleaning up our streams at noon February 6, 2014.
The work to clean up our sewer system can be a major benefit to the community if we train our workforce, pay good wages and get as many projects going as possible to put people to work. Read more about good green jobs and cleaning up our steams !
Posted on January 15th, 2014
Posted on January 15th, 2014
Ohio EPA has issued Findings and Orders to The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC) for storing hazardous waste without a permit, failing to properly identify waste as hazardous waste, releasing approximately 50 pounds of mercury along roads and at the Mill Creek Facility, transporting this hazardous waste to Rumpke Sanitary Landfill which does not have a hazardous waste operation permit and is not authorized to receive such waste, and failing to report the release of mercury at the Facilities.
MSDGC is required to remove the material from the Rumpke Landfill within 60 days of the signing of the order, and pay Ohio EPA $26,183.01 for its costs in addressing this spill.
The evacuation plan and schedule are part of the resolution of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. MSDGC is also required to report to the Board on progress, costs, etc.
Posted on January 10th, 2014
REASONS WHY OASIS RAIL DOESN’T MAKE SENSE
The Oasis Rail Line has too few riders to be cost effective. Even future projections (2030) are very low.
The Oasis Rail Line has very limited development potential because too much of the area near stations is already developed or undevelopable because of steep slopes, floodplains, or is in the Ohio River, is landslide prone, is a golf course or park, or an airport !
The cost is high – somewhere between $230 million and OKI’s cost of $1 billion.
The estimated $60 for a round trip is too expensive and saves too little time, if any
There are more cost effective mass transit options and routes that will get more people to jobs, schools, etc.
- Oasis Rail will cost over a billion dollars according to OKI’s 2040 Long Range Plan.
- The much lower (yet incomplete) costs in the OASIS Rail Conceptual Alternatives Solutions are very high. Capital costs (trains, track, etc.) are estimated to be between $230,288,791 and $322,530,539.  The Conceptual Alternatives Report identifies numerous issues that have not been evaluated yet and the costs are unknown.
Annual operating costs are estimated to be $3,500,000.
- The number boarding the train in the “Six Station Scenario” is 3,060. This figure represents 1,530 people boarding the train in the morning, between Milford and Columbia-Tusculum and 1,530 people boarding the train in the evening at the Riverfront Transit Center and getting off between there and Milford.
- The cost per trip, assuming the low capital cost of $230,288,791 is $29.18 in 2019 and $36.94 in 2019 if the higher capital cost is used. Remember, not all the costs are yet included in the capital costs.
Also, the low cost per trip $29.18 is just one-way. It will be another $29.18 to return home.
- OKI and the Oasis Rail Conceptual Alternative Solution focus on Environmental Justice as part of the rationale for the project. However, anyone who is economically disadvantaged surely will not be able to afford $60 to get to work and back. Secondly, this rail line is intended to run from Milford in the morning to downtown, returning workers in the evening. The census data used shows that the most affected low-income population isn’t in the Milford area, but downtown and East Walnut Hills. If “no-car” households have no car because of economic necessity, they won’t benefit from a $60 cost to go to work each day. This project attempts to use Environmental Justice as a justification for a project that does nothing for the disadvantaged or for those disproportionally affected by environmental impacts.
- Much is made of the development potential of the Oasis Line. The extremely limited development potential of the station locations is well illustrated by the maps in the Draft Final Station Area Analysis. Most of the area in the ¼ to ½ mile radius of the stations is in the Ohio River, and up steep, landslide prone hillsides along Columbia Parkway, or is in the floodway or floodplain, or is a Park or Golf Course, or on a landfill, lakes and wetlands or industrial and unsuited to transit-oriented development. The development potential is almost non-existent. Even future ridership projects expect a minimal numbers of riders.
- The feeder bus system is largely impractical due to geography, better bus routes, and low numbers of expected riders. The cost of such buses is not included and given the challenges SORTA and METRO have getting money to increase service, and the fact that this project offers no source for revenue for SORTA/METRO it is highly unlikely the feeder bus system is worthwhile.
- The cost of a METRO/SORTA trip, on the other hand, is about $4.39, coming from fare boxes, local taxes and other revenue. This is incredibly cost effective compared to the OASIS. In fact, METRO/SORTA were just ranked as one of the most cost-effective transit systems in the country by University of Cincinnati Economics Center. Even with the same subsidy ratio (fare box to other funding sources) the Oasis is still extremely expensive.
- There is a lot to be said for fixed rail systems, but they don’t work without riders and development potential. The Wasson Line from the East to the Universities (Xavier, UC), Hospitals (UC Health, Children’s, etc.) to downtown. Wasson connects people and job centers. Oasis doesn’t.
Marilyn Wall Chris Curran
Conservation Chair Transportation Chair
Sierra Club Miami Group Sierra Club Ohio Chapter
 Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the local governmental planning agency. 2040 Long Range Plan Figure 10-11: Public Transportation Fiscally Constrained Plan Recommendations. OKI also says ”Being in the financially constrained portion of the plan means that there is evidence of sufficient funds to cover the cost of the included projects by the year 2040. The remaining rail transit recommendations serve as a vision plan for potential future projects and are not included as part of the fiscally constrained portion of this plan.”
 Railroad agreement costs are not included, right-of-way costs are not included; many costs have yet to be analyzed. Costs may well be higher.
 Oasis Rail Conceptual Alternative Solutions page 55
 Oasis Rail Conceptual Alternative Solutions page 28
 Oasis Rail Conceptual Alternative Solutions page 100
 . OKI estimated much higher costs probably representing life cycle costs (repair and maintenance over a few decades, more stations, increased costs of fuel, etc.) One of the alternatives is to put the Oasis Rail Line on the relocated SR 32 highway. That cost is not included.
Posted on January 8th, 2014