Road Diet Case Study: Historic Madison Road Gets Contemporary

Jan 31, 2020
Jan 30, 2020

↵ Back: A Placemaker's Primer on Road Diets

Top: Madison Road before road diet (2007). Bottom: After road diet (2012).
A dangerous six-point intersection in the heart of the Cincinnati, OH, neighborhood of Oakley Square left people feeling unsafe walking as well as driving. The redesigned Madison Road is simpler and safer for all users.

The Highlights

  • Vehicle crashes decreased by 44%
  • Traffic speeds have reduced from 35mph to 25mph

The Details

Madison Road is the social heart of the Oakley Square neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, but its street space mainly consisted of car traffic and a confusing six-point intersection. The historic neighborhood center was falling short of its potential, primarily because pedestrian and driver safety had become such an issue. Meanwhile, the spaces for people to enjoy the business district had shrunk over the years to accommodate for more vehicles. Oakley Square Community Council wanted to investigate whether the six-point intersection could be simplified and redesigned to make their social gathering place safer and more inviting.

The redesign of this historic neighborhood center consisted of shorter pedestrian crosswalks, a simpler traffic pattern to tackle intersection safety concerns, and facade improvements. As a result, pedestrians feel safer walking around Madison Road and there has been a significant decrease in vehicle crashes. Since the road diet, the historic business district has had new businesses pop up, including a hip microbrewery that bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary markets. Traffic speeds have reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph, leading to a safer environment for pedestrians drivers alike. The iconic historic movie theater also received a facade improvement, honoring the historic appeal of Madison Square that locals appreciate.

Top: Madison Road, featuring the 20th Century Theater, before road diet (2007). Bottom: After road diet (2017).

Word on the Street

“Clifton’s residents, like Oakley, desired to hold on to a neighborhood business district that anchors a walkable, livable community and opposed a regionalization of their neighborhood. “
—Ron Miller (Oakley Community Council)

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