NOACA wants public input on the region's Long-Range Transportation Plan

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 07/28/2016 - 07:54.
07/28/2016 - 06:44
11/01/2016 - 06:44

 Columbus, Ohio has been validated this year for its transportation and education planning efforts with two large grants - the federal Smart Cities Challenge and the MacArthur sponsored We Are LRNG - Cities of Learning Grant.

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have missed out on this type of major support due to lack of coordination between agencies in our region.  The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Cuyahoga, Geauga, Medina, Lake and Lorain Counties.  Under Grace Galucci, NOACA is shifting its priorities to funding for transit and regional planning that benefits residents by focusing on the needs of those residents with the least means available to them (in other words, not being able to afford a car or residents who can't drive a car).

Please submit your comments to the agency at publicinv [at] mpo [dot] noaca [dot] org or via U.S. Mail to 1299 Superior Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114-3204.



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Metroparks has taken lead a planning for CLE-CUY

The Cleveland Metroparks applied and was awarded federal funding through the TIGER grant process:


Cleveland Metroparks has received a $7.95 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant for the funding of a transformative project aimed at re-connecting Cleveland.

The grant was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Re-Connecting Cleveland: Pathways to Opportunity project focuses on filling critical gaps in key shared use trails in the northern section of the Industrial Valley known locally as "the Flats" and along the western neighborhoods of Cleveland. The overall plan is estimated to cost $16.45 million; in addition to the TIGER grant, funds have been secured from the State of Ohio, The Cleveland Foundation, the Wendy Park Foundation and The George Gund Foundation as well.

This is only the second time a federal grant has been awarded, not for a highway, rail, or bridge infrastructure, but for trail development.  The first trail award was to Philadelphia.  This shift in federal funding signals a major change in the economic priority for transportation dollars:

TIGER stands for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Eligible projects were supposed to be “shovel ready”, but that’s a meaningless term in the world of transportation infrastructure, where years of planning, design and engineering predates any construction.  

TIGER funding is a matching grant, and funding for each projects will come from a mix of other sources.


I am, personally, very surprised that this funding was awarded to the Cleveland Metroparks - but also very grateful that the park agency has the foresight to realize this shift in economic priorities.  The Redline Greenway offers intermodal potential for residents - given option to transfer from RTA transit to a bike-pedestrian-jogging route that can be completed in a relatively short time frame.  To my knowledge, the Port Authority, Greater Cleveland RTA and other metropolitan agencies applied and were not awarded this significant funding.  

CLE-CUY has to realize that this region needs to stop pushing for vanity projects that only serve to award a windfall in short term construction contracts (the Opportunity Corridor, Public Square, Land Bank/Demos for developers) and focus on projects that develop our region as a lifestyle destination city  - where residents can enjoy a quality of life that appeals to families who want clean water, recreation, parks and access to nature.

Local business leaders MUST raise the same level of commitment to support the region's public transit system.  The Greater Cleveland Partnership has to recognize that our transit system defines us as a Smart City - and companies will want to locate here to retain employees, who want to live car-free.  In Ohio, Columbus has already been validated for their efforts to provide connectivity.  Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have to get on board.

Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition 2016 Fall Summit - PA


November 4, 2016

9:00am – 4:00pm

Regional Learning Alliance

850 Cranberry Woods Drive,Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Marriott is taking the lead in framing car-less vacations.  I just returned from Frostburg MD.  
Although the scenic rail is out serving Cumberland to Frostburg- trail use is now being promoted to build bike trips using Amtrak's Capitol Limited bike aboard. Trail users can depart from Pittsburgh - and ride the Great Allegheny Passage then take Amtrak (with their bike aboard program) back to Pittsburgh (and vice versa).  
On my most recent trip - a couple from Massachusetts (with Marriott points) drove to Cumberland Courtyard Marriott, parked there - then, headed via Amtrak to Pittsburgh, where they would stay overnight (at Marriott).  They planned to leave their packs at Marriott to explore Pittsburgh by bike ( I recommended Randyland :) -  then, ride the three day Great Allegheny Passage trip back to Cumberland - staying (and spending money) at various stops. 
Cleveland has built in potential to create multi-day excursions here as part of the amazing Scenic rail bike aboard program between CLE-Akron. But, we continue to discount making the connections between Amtrak, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, GCRTA, trail and bike lane systems, and lodging (Marriott-hostels) that connect to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  
The recent validation of the multi-modal Rotary Redline Greenway project through Metroparks successful federal TIGER grant is amazing and hopeful. 
Please let's build on this momentum.  Here is my entire trip in photos - Laura McShane on Twitter

Rails to Trails excited by CLE Metroparks TIGER award

RTC’s Midwest Regional Office has been pleased to partner on several initiatives central to the TIGER-funded application;high on our radar is the Red Line Greenway—a critical connector for the project and a strong example of how multiple forms of transportation can work together to create complete systems. A rail-with-trail, the greenway will link the developing Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail and the 85-mile Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail (Cleveland to Bolivar) to two RTA Red Line Rapid Transit stations and create an off-road route connecting W. 65th Street and the booming Ohio City neighborhood. (It will also provide some great views of the Cleveland landscape!)


TIP 2024-2027