Greetings, all… I’m a student at DePaul University’s School for New Learning, a Bachelor of Arts degree program geared towards non-traditional adult students with a heavy emphasis on self-directed learning centered around an individualized focus area. My personal blog site is Innerzone Station.
I began my formal studies in architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1995, and I’ve worked in a variety of architecture firms in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York in the meantime. I currently work at a 70-person firm in New York City with a strong portfolio of transit and infrastructure projects here in the NYC region. I plan to graduate with my BA degree in the spring of 2010 and enroll in a professional Masters of Architecture program the following autumn.
My current degree program isn’t an accredited architecture degree program per se, but I’ve chosen architecture as my Focus Area. One of my requirements for graduation is an Advanced Project that demonstrates knowledge of my focus area, and the main purpose of this site is to serve as an venue in which to present my project to my academic advisor, my professional advisor, and to the broader public.
For this project, I’m planning to develop an architectural master plan for a rapid transit system for my hometown of Cincinnati, currently one of the largest US cities without any form of rail transit. My project will be based loosely upon the 2002 Metro Moves plan developed by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan unanimously adopted in 2008 by the OKI Regional Council of Governments.
The 2002 Metro Moves proposal:
While the Metro Moves and OKI plans identify a number of potential transit corridors and station locations, I’m hoping to narrow the focus and concentrate on a few key aspects of the system:
- Routes, transit modes, and station locations. The Metro Moves plan envisioned a three-tier system comprised of streetcars, light rail, and commuter rail. Several of the proposed light rail corridors incorporate abandoned railroad rights-of-way and run on surface streets in the central business district. While this provided a cost-effective way to introduce rail transit to Cincinnati, I feel it had a number of shortcomings that limited the system’s future capacity and public appeal. Using the OKI plan as a starting point, my project will propose a modified regional plan that better serves the long-term transit needs of the region.
- Station Typologies. This project will identify typical transit station typologies (subway, elevated, surface, etc.) and will establish architectural design parameters and create a framework by which these facilities can be designed in further detail in the future.
- Downtown Transit Hub. Finally, this project will propose a schematic design for the primary downtown transit hub, located at the site of the existing below-grade Fountain Square parking garage.
This site will be updated with new elements of the transit plan throughout the spring and summer of 2009, and this blog will be used to inform visitors of new updates and developments. And while this site is primarily an academic design project, I also intend to update this blog with links and articles concerning current transit-related developments in Cincinnati and beyond, as well as some of my own observations, commentary, and musings that might not otherwise be included in formal academic writing. More broadly, this blog is the first step in what I hope will become an ongoing dialogue and exchange of ideas in order to re-shape public transit in Cincinnati for the 21st Century and beyond.
Your comments, questions, and feedback are always appreciated.