Friday Ombudsman—Fred Neurohr

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Name:  Fred Neurohr

Residential neighborhood:  Northside

Tell us about a small or brief problem/issue you solved with a government agency:

Three related things get under my skin about Northside:  all have to do with Hamilton Avenue.

From the most severe to the least, they are:

1. My neighbors getting hurt and killed by cars speeding through the neighborhood

2. The potential danger my son faces walking to school by himself -- his route includes crossing Hamilton Avenue at rush hour times

3, The inability for me to buy coffee at Sidewinders -- our awesome, local coffee shop -- on my way to work

These issues were partially solved by the Northside Community Council's (NCC) partnership with Mel McVay and her colleagues at the Department of Traffic & Engineering (DOTE). NCC convinced DOTE to test the impact of removing parking restrictions on Hamilton Avenue: southbound during the AM rush, northbound during the PM rush. They were about to end the test after receiving a few letters from a single person outside of Northside, so I launched a survey that showed that this person's reasons for ending the test -- traffic jams, gridlock, etc. -- were not observed by virtually everyone who took the survey. As a result, DOTE is leaving the test in place until October 1.

This comes on the heels of the Mayor announcing a lack of funding for traffic calming -- removing the parking restrictions is de facto and FREE traffic calming -- and the CPD admitting to a lack of speeding enforcement in the city. In fact, a recent analysis showed ZERO speeding tickets issued in Northside in 2017!

With DOTE's continued test, there is a reduced risk of pedestrian injuries and fatalities -- a shop owner says there is a notable decrease in screeching tires during the afternoon rush, for example -- and I can now park legally to quickly pop into Sidewinders for a cup of Joe! Speaking of Joe, as for my son Joey ... I'll still worry about him crossing Hamilton Avenue, but just a little bit less.

Share one of your favorite Cincinnati-area hacks, i.e. a trick, shortcut or skill that helps you get things done faster &/or better: Get engaged at your local community council meetings ... you have the power to impact change in your community by volunteering, or just speaking up!

Where are your favorite Cincinnati places?:  The American Sign Museum, Fountain Square, Great American Ballpark, Urban Artifact & Shake-It Records!

What is an “unwritten public etiquette rule” of Cincinnati-area life?: Life is too short to drink macro-produced beer: think Higher Gravity, Urban Artifact, Rhinegeist ...

Who is your favorite Cincinnatian? Why?:  It's a toss up between Regina Russo and Tommy Rueff (ED of Happen, Inc.) ... both make me proud to live here for different reasons. 

Defunct place or institution you would bring back?: Slim's restaurant!

New place or institution you would bring to Cincinnati?:  I'm writing this from Pennsylvania, and my daughter and I agree we need more Sheetz in our lives!

What place do we need in the Cincinnati area?:  A nice Polish restaurant, and a Salvadorean one too ... I miss having ready access to real papusas!

If they would just make me mayor for a day, I would "__________.":  Ban Izzy's and others from putting American cheese on pastrami sandwiches. Are you KIDDING me, people!?!

You should have asked me, "_______________________________.":  What problem would I like to solve. I would LOVE to help SORTA and the city get away from the outdated hub and spoke bus model and get the streetcar extended into uptown and the university!

Shameless Plug – use this space to plug one local Cincinnati-area event/organization/website/business/place/product that is special to you. Why should we know about it? What makes it singular?:  elementz.org has a new home near Findlay Market! Cincinnati's home for Hip Hop and respect is a unique "third space" for our area's young artists. Nurturing voices, boosting self-esteem, and connecting kids to opportunity in a way the young people define. It's vital, the kids are beautiful, check them out and support them. They are Cincinnati's next generation of designers, artists, musicians, and talent. And they're beautiful kids, all of them.

Olivia Bruner