Monday, August 27, 2001

Kenton County asks OKI to assess transportation needs

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CRESTVIEW HILLS — Kenton this week becomes the first Greater Cincinnati county to use the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) for a yearlong countywide assessment of its transportation future.

        OKI will be joined Thursday afternoon by state and county representatives, and citizens at a kickoff event at Thomas More College.

        The county's population grew 6.6 percent from 1990 to 2000 to 151,464, according to the U.S. Census. Much of that growth occurred in the southern half of the county.

        The roads have shown the wear.

        “Turkeyfoot is really bad, really backed up,” Nicole Kavanaugh, 16, of Erlanger said Sunday.

        “If you've ever gotten in your cars to take your kids anywhere, or to work, or to grocery stores, you know how much roads impact you,” OKI spokesman Allen Freeman said. “And how much they impact growth in your county.”

        OKI's role was requested by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Kenton County Judge-executive Richard Murgatroyd, who will facilitate Thursday's kickoff meeting. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary James C. Codell III will be a featured speaker.

        “This is a chance for us to begin talking about how to make transportation planning work for all our residents,” Mr. Murgatroyd said.

        The goal of the Kenton County Transportation Task Force is fourfold:

        • Integrating transportation improvements with established land-use laws;

        • Preserving the capacity of current roads;

        • Developing options to driving, such as expanded bus service and possibly light-rail;

        • Providing for a financially attainable plan.

        OKI recently scaled back its support for a proposed light-rail line from Covington into downtown Cincinnati and north to Xavier University.

        “Most people would say improve the roads,” said Robert Huston, 35, of Ludlow. “And more buses.”


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