The Cincinnati Inclines

Cincinnati Incline
At the North End of Main St in Over The Rhine you'll see a stairwell

The Cincinnati inclines are alive and well. But now, instead of simply using the ingenious invention of pulleys and counterbalances that were commonly known as “Inclines” to transport ourselves up and out of our river valley, we have to walk the inclines. Our fault for having removed an energy efficient and simple system, but I digress.  The stairwell that is in place of the Main St. Incline is a modern treasure that unlocks an undiscovered opportunity in Cincinnati; that is the possibility of an interconnected walking trail through out CIncinnati. To demonstrate I call upon the modern city, of which so many Cincinnatians are in love with, of Portland, Oregon. A city that has a similar river water shed layout as Cincinnati and has a complete walkable foot path through out the city! Click here to see Portland Oregon’s Walking topographical Map. The open grassy areas along the Cincinnati incline have beautiful natural plants and better, the incline stairwell can work as an intrigal route in an interconnected trail system through Cincinnati for walkers!

What do the Cincinnati inclines have to do with urban gardening, and urban lifestyle?

Grow community gardens on the terraced hillsides while using the incline stairwell, as well as all the other stairwells and trails throughout Cincinnati to create a completely walkable mapped route throughout Cincinnati. Our bodies are very nourished, we can walk these hills easier than drilling for gas. Walking needs to be recognized as a terrific form of transportation.

Again, what does this have to do with Urban lifestyle?

Walking is a treasured time that most intelligent people live their lives just so they can get in nice walks, seriously, think about most vacations, you not storming around an island in a car in traffic listening to public radio and drinking coffee. You are walking.

Walking is my second most treasured form of transportation next to riding a bike. Walking allows for a pace that you can see what is around you, allowing you to inspect the foliage and flowers, or you can not see anything at all safely walking while calming the storm inside your brain from your hectic day at work. Or, preparing your brain for a hectic day at work while walking to your job. At average walking speed humans walk a mile in 12-15 minutes.

Living in the city and near where you work enables you to live without a car. Walking is a powerful tool in the commuter bag of possibilities, which includes a bike, the bus, roller skates or skate board, a scooter, and then your car (booo). Cincinnati, we have pathways throughout our many small towns that connect all of our neighborhoods, we can walk anywhere here. At least in the Summer, Fall, and Spring, which in turns reduces the smog in the valley while strengthening our ability to fight the toxins we are around daily.

“Who are the Cincinnati Inclines”?
I am announcing the formation of the “Cincinnati Inclines”, a group of walkers and runners who walk or run The Main St. Incline every morning (or every other day..). Shall we say 7AM? (Leave a Comment!) Let us conquer the weather of our home. Let us embrace the physical challenge of our hills and enjoy the beauty of our paths, the wild flowers and grasses, the hidden buds in bloom while staying in shape and starting our days off with a metaphorical jump in a lake ( A jump up a hill?).

2 thoughts on “The Cincinnati Inclines”

  1. Its hard to picture without a picture hence the above…Streetcars were not that good on hills so Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in.the era of streetcars had inclines. One of the five Cincinnati inclines was still operating when.I was a small child and the thing was terrifying.

  2. After photographing hundreds of cities around the world very few cities give me as much pleasure and gratification as Cincinnati. See the problem is that I usually have some of Cincinnatis finest Christian Moerlein in my other hand and we all know that is no way to take quality photos.

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