Survey shows improved impressions of downtown Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A new survey says that overall impressions of downtown Cincinnati are on the rise.

The findings, released by Downtown Cincinnati Inc. show a number of promising findings as well as some concerns.

According to the report, 80 percent of the nearly 1900 people surveyed say their impression of downtown was positive this year, compared to 67 percent last year. Seventy percent of people say downtown is cleaner than it was last year.

They also say parking is less affordable, however, and pan handling is a larger problem.

The non-profit's president is optimistic about the overall positive results.

"It confirmed a lot of what I thought people were starting to feel about downtown," CEO David Ginsberg said. "There's just so much energy here and so many things to do and such diversity it just confirmed the progress I think we all think we're making."

Kelly Hugenberg took her girls downtown Monday for a special lunch and museum trip.

"It's great," she said. "I grew up coming down with my dad when he worked for Proctor and Gamble. I think it's good for them to have that big city feel."

She says the square feels clean and safe and that things are definitely on the upswing.

"My perspective has changed because I don't know if I would have done this a year or so ago," Hugenberg admitted.

"I guess year over year I think downtown is probably improving," downtown businessman Joe Frankenfield said.

From businessmen taking a lunch break to tourists visiting from Germany, downtown attracted an eclectic crowd Monday .

"As long as there are people on the road, or going into some houses you feel safe," shared Klaus Silber who was visiting family from half way across the globe.  "If you are the only one on the street, believe me… no, I don't like that."

Sibler was in Cincinnati Ten years ago, and says it has come a long way.

"When I came down to Cincinnati it was a pretty dead place: nothing was going on, seriously," he said.

"It's a new crowd. The crowd is later. People are out later at night. Things have changed," shared downtown resident Tirsa Johnson.

Outside of the square, however, many people do not feel as comfortable about thoughts of visiting the city center.

"At night I don't feel safe down there," Montgomery resident Karen Kennedy said.

She says going downtown during the day is fine, but once the sun calls it a day, so does she. Kennedy says police presence is a concern.

"I've never seen one while I'm walking downtown. You might see a car go by but, no they're not visible, and I think visibility is important,"

Others in the suburbs are taking note of the increased nightlife, and making it a point to venture downtown to check it out.

"For a while there, there were problems with downtown Cincinnati and now they're trying to improve that," Emily Cobbs.

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