February 2014 Archives
24 February 2014
The City of Cleveland introduced an updated bikeway plan. It calls for adding 70 miles of bike lanes, paths, and sharrows by the end of 2017, expanding upon the current 47.5 miles. The plan does not specify the types of bicycle enhancements for the new routes.
Steven Litt of The Plain Dealer said that the expanded system "would be a vast improvement over the current patchwork" but that more is needed to "create the comprehensive citywide grid needed for a complete network of bike paths." A Plain Dealer editorial said that safety should be the top consideration when implementing the plan. At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz urged City officials to create protected bike lanes. Bike Cleveland called it "an exciting plan".
In addition, a feasibility analysis for a bike sharing program in Cleveland found that the City could support between 77 and 140 stations with between 770 and 1,400 bicycles. It calls for a dual-core system focused on downtown and University Circle, with additional stations in Midtown, Ohio City, and Tremont. Marc Lefkowitz said that Cleveland now needs "someone entrepreneurial who wants to start up a business that manages bike share."
In its recommendation to the U.S. EPA, the Ohio EPA identified Cuyahoga County as a nonattainment area under 2012 federal fine particle pollution standards. Other Greater Cleveland counties that formerly were in nonattainment status now meet the standards. When the designation becomes effective, Ohio will have three years to implement strategies to bring the area into compliance. The final federal decision is expected by August 14. Last year, NOACA published an overview of Northeast Ohio air quality trends (PDF).
Placemaking in Legacy Cities, a report prepared for the Center for Community Progress, uses case studies in four cities to illustrate placemaking's potential in older industrial centers. The report explores how Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Pittsburgh have employed placemaking strategies in four different settings: downtowns, anchor districts, neighborhoods, and corridors.
In a paper they prepared for Ohio City Incorporated, Richey Piiparinen and Jim Russell said that Cleveland has suffered from a lack of demographic churn. Their research found that Greater Cleveland's outmigration rate was normal, but its inmigration rate was well below average. They also said the way population is growing in downtown Cleveland and its surrounding neighborhoods presents an opportunity to "position the city to be a model in the development of the equitable, integrated neighborhood." In The Plain Dealer, an editorial called for "more collaborative and comprehensive private-public effort", and Piiparinen summarized his recommendations in an op-ed.
09 February 2014
The Cleveland Restoration Society, Cuyahoga County, and First Federal Lakewood partnered to expand the Heritage Home Purchase Program. The program, which began in South Euclid, offers assistance to potential homeowners in purchasing and rehabilitating houses built at least 50 years ago. Participants receive a home purchase loan, a home improvement loan, plus free technical assistance from the Restoration Society.
For the third consecutive year, RTA bus and train ridership increased in 2013. The transit system provided 49.2 million rides, an increase of 2% over 2012 levels. The HealthLine and Red Line saw the greatest growth in ridership. RTA was also among the national leaders in ridership growth for the third quarter of 2013.
Scene explored the variety of challenges facing community development corporations across Cleveland's neighborhoods, and the different strategies they employ to improve their communities.
Update: Fresh Water also looked at their range of approaches.
The latest state capital budget includes funding for community projects. The Greater Cleveland Partnership recommended nine projects for state funding, requesting a total of $20.3 million. The largest item on the list is $7 million for a lakefront access project in downtown Cleveland. The City has unsuccessfully sought federal TIGER funding for the project in the past.
Update: at Rust Wire, Angie Schmitt criticized the organization's role in influencing regional infrastructure decisions.
After several years of work, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium released its vision document for the 12-county Northeast Ohio region. The vision makes nine recommendations for improving the future of the region, and identifies 41 initiatives for implementing them. The NEOSCC is collecting signatures from supporters of the vision, and its board is scheduled to vote on the vision's adoption at a February 25 meeting. Marc Lefkowitz of GreenCityBlueLake called it "a path forward that amplifies the good things about our communities."
The Ohio Department of Transportation began demolition of the closed 1959 Innerbelt Bridge, and announced that its removal will include an explosive demolition late this spring or early this summer.
Last year, ODOT selected a team to remove the existing bridge and build the second new Innerbelt Bridge in its place. This $273 million phase of construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2016. Other Innerbelt reconstruction projects remain more than a decade away.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency awarded $998,000 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants. Of the 29 planning studies submitted for consideration, NOACA selected 13 for funding, including nine in Cuyahoga County. The largest award, $118,000, went to support the Eastside Greenway initiative. Other awards went to studies in Collinwood/Euclid, Parma Heights, and Rocky River. NOACA staff also will provide technical assistance for six transportation studies in five Cuyahoga County cities.
A report prepared for (PDF) University Circle Inc. and the City of Cleveland Heights made recommendations for improving bicycle and public transit connections within and between University Circle and Cleveland Heights. The TLCI-funded report identified concepts for potential bicycle facilities and opportunities for changes and enhancements to transit service. Last year, the two cities partnered to add a bicycle lane on Edgehill Road.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed open-lake disposal of dredged sediments from the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River into Lake Erie. Currently, dredged material is placed in confined disposal facilities. The Ohio EPA does not feel that the sediment quality will meet the open water placement criteria, and hopes to hold a public hearing in March. A Plain Dealer editorial called the proposal an "affront to environmental stewardship."
Update: the Ohio EPA's public meeting will be held on March 6. The Army Corps of Engineers will hold a web meeting on March 4.
Update 2: the Akron Beacon Journal also described the disagreement, and a second Plain Dealer editorial urged citizens to attend the Ohio EPA meeting and "speak out against open-lake dumping."
Mayor DeGeeter of Parma established a 15-member Town Center Task Force. The group is charged with developing recommendations (PDF) for the area around the intersection of Ridge Road and West Ridgewood Drive. Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Executive Director Glenn Coyne is serving as its facilitator.
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress awarded $340,000 to nine community development corporations in Cleveland for greenspace improvement projects. The selected projects (PDF) will convert vacant lots into usable green spaces this year. Funding was provided by Wells Fargo, as part of their 2012 fair housing settlement.
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