Car Travel

I–71 and I–75, the major north–south routes through town, merge into a single highway in downtown Cincinnati. They pass together over the double-decker Brent Spence Bridge, and then continue south into Kentucky as a single highway before splitting apart near Walton, Kentucky. I–74 originates (or terminates) in Cincinnati, heading west into Indiana. I–275 encircles the city and parts of northern Kentucky.

Cincinnati was named "Crash City" in a recent Ohio Department of Public Safety study for having more car crashes per capita than any other town in the state. Steep hills and the ever-changing weather have been suggested as the reasons, although the usual construction—most recently on I–275—probably doesn't help either. Wear a seat belt; if the Crash City designation is not enough to convince you, know that you could be ticketed if you don't. Unless the occasional sign says not to, you can turn right on red. Driving in downtown Cincinnati has its own challenges—namely, many of the streets are one-way, and parking can be difficult.

The river, bridges, and city skyline against a backdrop of wooded hills make Cincinnati one of the most attractive cities in the state. Cresting the final hill on I–71/75 north from Kentucky, the entire scene is laid out before you. Another scenic approach is Columbia Parkway, which winds along the river from the eastern suburbs before rounding a final turn and heading downtown. If Columbia Parkway whets your appetite for river views, take Route 52 east, along the Ohio River. You'll see little traffic, but an abundance of forest and meadows and ample views of the water. You could take State Route 52 to Ripley, about an hour's drive (57 mi); it was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad.

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