5 things to make Ohio 4 corridor in Hamilton better for businesses

A view of the Ohio 4 corridor in Hamilton between the Fairfield boundary and Ohio 129. At least four members of Hamilton City Council, led by Vice Mayor Carla Fiehrer, want the city to create a Route 4 master plan that can guide the way for beautification of the major transportation corridor and entryway into the city. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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A view of the Ohio 4 corridor in Hamilton between the Fairfield boundary and Ohio 129. At least four members of Hamilton City Council, led by Vice Mayor Carla Fiehrer, want the city to create a Route 4 master plan that can guide the way for beautification of the major transportation corridor and entryway into the city. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

A majority of Hamilton City Council this month called for the city administration to create an Ohio 4 Master Plan to upgrade and beautify the highway.

Explore MORE: Hamilton council members want more attractive Ohio 4

In a 2009 plan created by the city, here are five things officials said the Ohio 4 corridor could use to make it more attractive and better for business:.

1. MORE CONSISTENT ARCHITECTURE

The 2000 “Route 4/High Street Intersection Design Study for Hamilton” described buildings along the route as “inexpensive, disposable.” Buildings are a vast collection of designs with some garish colors, and the buildings are in varying states of disrepair.

2. BETTER LANDSCAPING

In many cases, landscaping is nonexistent, and it’s often difficult to tell where one business ends and another begins.

Here’s how 241 people ranked the overall needs of the corridor, for that 2009 study, in order of popularity: Improve appearance of existing properties; increase occupancy of existing buildings; green space/landscaping/trees; improve railroad bridge appearance; removal of overhead utilities; uniform sign heights; bike lanes or bike paths; continual sidewalks; and decrease the number of curb cuts (the entrances to businesses).

3. ‘LESS HOSTILE’ FOR PEDESTRIANS

Improvements that make the corridor less hostile to pedestrians and bicyclists.

4. BETTER LEADERSHIP

Better leadership from area businesses, property owners and local-government officials, the 2009 report observed, noting that despite a number of studies in recent decades, “sound planning and zoning practices for revitalizing the corridor, they have had minimal effect on the Route 4 corridor within the city.”

A “Route 4 Business District Association” was suggested to advocate for improvements along the corridor.

5. CREATE AN IDENTITY

More consistent signage along the highway was suggested as well as development of a district identity, and marketing program. Creation of an “overlay district zoning” would also help to enhance the corridor’s character and make it more attractive to customers, according to the report.

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