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The NOACA Governing Board adopted Connections+ 2035, the five-county agency's long-range transportation plan. It "proposes $9 billion in major transportation investments to meet the needs of the traveling public" and emphasizes the need to maintain the region's existing transportation infrastructure. The previous plan was approved in 2009.

A report from the Brookings Institution says that Amtrak ridership grew by 55% between 1997 and 2012, faster than other modes of travel. The report added that nearly all of the growth was on Amtrak's short-distance routes, and that its long-distance routes accounted for 15% of travelers and 43% of operating costs in 2012. Ridership in Greater Cleveland increased by 16.2%, and the two lines that serve Cleveland, the Capitol Limited and the Lake Shore Limited, also experienced ridership growth. However, both lines operated at a loss.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority completed construction of a $4.5 million rail loop at the Port of Cleveland. It provides the port with a direct ship-to-rail connection.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that it is freeing states to use $473 million in unspent highway earmarks. The funds were appropriated by Congress between 2003 and 2006, but remain unused. States can now use the money for other other transportation projects, and must identify plans by October 1. Ohio's share of the funding is $12.5 million.

The Ohio Department of Transportation issued the first documents in its Access Ohio 2040 long-range transportation plan. The PDFs include a demographic profile, a best practices paper, and two technical reports. They're also conducting a transportation preferences survey.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Ken Prendergast of All Aboard Ohio advocates for greater investments in Ohio's rail services, saying that "policymakers need to provide transportation choices to keep citizens fully engaged in Ohio's economy."

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority board approved $3.9 million to construct an on-dock rail loop and selected Great Lakes Construction Company to build the track (PDF). Cleveland Commercial Railroad will operate it. A Plain Dealer editorial praised the project.

The Federal Transit Administration awarded $40.8 million to improve access to the country's national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The FTA funds will support 58 projects, including $3.2 million for five Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad projects. The largest of the five awards is a $1.4 million grant for a pedestrian bridge across the Cuyahoga River.

Consultants working on the West Shore Corridor project said that the potential commuter rail line would take 10 to 15 years to realize.

The Ohio Department of Transportation did not apply for federal reimbursement for $1.4 million spent on planning studies for the canceled 3C Corridor passenger rail line. The U.S. Department of Transportation withdrew $385 million of its $400 million grant for the project in December when it became clear that Governor Kasich would not support its construction.

RTA held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for its redesigned Buckeye-Woodhill Rapid Transit Station in Cleveland. Construction of the $3.3 million project is scheduled to take 15 months.

RTA received an additional $2 million in federal funding for the reconstruction of the University Circle rapid transit station. Construction bidding for the project is scheduled to begin this fall. RTA has not been as successful in securing funds for the planned new East 120th Street rapid transit station in Little Italy.

RTA will celebrate the grand opening of the reconstructed Puritas Rapid Transit Station on Tuesday. Construction of the $9.6 million project began in May 2009.

Draft changes to the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council project scoring criteria (PDF) would de-emphasize the creation of an integrated multimodal transportation network in favor of prioritizing economic development potential.

Update: the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club doesn't support the changes.

A group of 12 political, business, and community leaders is urging Governor Kasich to support high-speed rail in Northeast Ohio.

Update: Youngstown's Business Journal published the text of the letter.

Lake County Chief Deputy Engineer Bruce Landeg asserts that security implications make high-speed rail unfeasible. In a News-Herald op-ed, he says that "rail is for freight and people are for cars" and the "status quo in transportation system choices is the best and the fiscally responsible choice".

A bipartisan group of northern Ohio Congress members met with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to talk about the possibility of building a high-speed rail line along Lake Erie. It could connect Cleveland and Toledo with Chicago, Detroit, and Buffalo, as well as Youngstown and Pittsburgh.

Ohio Department of Transportation leaders announced that the agency will rescind a large portion of the funding it pledged for public transportation, reducing the three-year, $150 program to $80 million. RTA will lose the $2.2 million in funding it received in January, and will not be able to initiate planned new services.

ODOT Director Jerry Wray added that Ohio will not be participating in the proposed new $53 billion federal high-speed rail initiative. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that the state's absence will not harm the program.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial said that the decision to cut public transit funding is a mistake. A Blade editorial said that it "may cost the state tax revenue from business activity in the long run."

On Wednesday, the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority approved plans to expand rail service at the Port of Cleveland. The work should be completed this year (PDF).

Passenger rail advocates estimate that canceling the planned 3C Corridor line will eliminate about 16,700 jobs and $3 billion in spinoff developments. The Plain Dealer's Brent Larkin, a consistent critic of the plans, said that subsidies for the line would have "blown such a gigantic hole in the state budget it would have adversely impacted state spending for schools, children, the poor, the aged and the ill."

At its final meeting of the year (PDF), the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority agreed to accept a loan for a proposed rail project, approved three financing agreements, and discussed the future of the port. Board member John Carney will vacate his seat when his term expires at the end of the year.

Draft recommendations (PDF) from the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council call for $167.6 million in new construction, planning, and engineering for transportation projects across the state. The list is open to public comment through February 11.

The U.S. Department of Transportation redirected $1.195 billion in passenger rail funding from Ohio and Wisconsin to projects in 14 states, with the largest awards going to California and Florida. Ohio lost $385 million of the $400 million grant it received in January to support the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line because Governor-elect Kasich pledged to cancel the program.

Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown expressed their disappointment, while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the decision will "ensure American taxpayers get a good return on their Recovery Act dollars," and Ohio rail advocates said that the action was premature.

Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that Governor-elect Kasich acted too hastily.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad expects to serve a record-high 180,000 passengers in 2010. Since 2006, the National Park Service has invested close to $9 million in capital improvements for the railroad.

John Kasich formally asked Ted Strickland to cancel planning studies for the 3C Corridor passenger rail line, but Governor Strickland declined the request. Governor-elect Kasich wants to use the state's $400 million in federal rail funding for other purposes, but U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood replied that the funds must be used for passenger rail or they will go to another state.

Update: passenger rail advocates and opponents discussed the issues on WCPN's Sound of Ideas, while an Akron Beacon Journal editorial addressed the attitudes of the governor-elect and other critics.

In his first press conference after the election, John Kasich said, "Passenger rail is not in Ohio's future." He later said that Governor Strickland should halt planning studies for the 3C Corridor. Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt wrote an open letter to Governor-elect Kasich, asking him to reconsider his stance against the 3C Corridor and to support a robust multimodal transportation network. Many of the 120 attendees at the Ohio Department of Transportation's public meeting in Cleveland also want the state to better support transportation choice.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is expected to accept a $3 million state loan to improve rail access to the Port of Cleveland. The loan could become a grant if the Port Authority meets several conditions.

Update: the loan could be approved in December.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio Department of Transportation's revised timetable for the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line was produced without a detailed analysis or input from freight railroads. Meanwhile, Amtrak ridership in Ohio grew by 14% over the last year, which ODOT says "shows that the demand for transportation choice is on the rise."

The six candidates for Cuyahoga County executive discussed regional transportation issues at a Cleveland State University forum on Tuesday evening. They expressed different views about priorities and funding.

The Ohio Department of Transportation's revised timetable for the planned 3C Corridor has done little to persuade Republican critics of the passenger rail line. Ohio is one of several states where Republicans could block or delay federal plans to expand the nation's passenger rail system. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood presented his reasons for supporting high-speed rail.

Lakewood City Council's Public Works Committee recently met to discuss the status of freight rail and plans for passenger rail. LoveLakewood.com has a detailed summary of the meeting.

Ohio Republican legislators wrote Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, asking him to take legal action to stop state spending on plans for the 3C Corridor passenger rail line.

A commuter rail study being conducted as part of the Westshore Corridor Transportation Project should be completed by the end of the year. Potential users of the proposed line between Cleveland and Sandusky can complete a survey.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission issued a revised schedule for the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line. It estimates that a trip between Cleveland and Cincinnati would take roughly five hours, about 90 minutes less than earlier projections. The state also received permission from the Federal Railroad Administration to spend its first $15 million in stimulus funds.

Update: the new figures project an average speed of over 50 mph, up from the older 39 mph prediction.

An Akron Beacon Journal supports further study of the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line between Cleveland and Cincinnati. It says that the line's critics "point to the many questions, but they resist pursuing answers."

Columbus blogger Jeff Johnson considered the future of intercity transportation in Ohio and drew connections between the potential loss of the Continental hub in Cleveland and the merits of investing in passenger rail.

A Columbus Dispatch editorial questioned the wisdom of investing in the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line, while James Nemastil dismissed its critics in a Plain Dealer op-ed.

Ohio Department of Transportation leaders envision increasing the top speed of the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line from 79 mph to 110 mph, but the freight railroads are unenthusiastic about the idea. Rail suppliers back the planned line, while Republican state legislators continue to oppose it. In early August, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich said he would cancel the plans if elected and Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Yvette McGee Brown voiced her support for passenger rail. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood downplayed the dispute.

The West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force named Jeanette Corlett McGovern of MAC Development Associates as an adviser for a study of the proposed passenger rail line between Cleveland and Sandusky.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority announced that it will proceed with plans to use dredge material from Dike 10B to create the Cuyahoga Valley Industrial Center (PDF) in the Flats. Port authority leaders also announced plans to build a $3.16 million rail loop at the lakefront docks.

Update: Channel 3 has more information about the sediment relocation.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission is advancing the second phase of the Ohio Hub Plan. The Commission hired AECOM of Los Angeles to assess potential high-speed passenger rail routes from Cleveland to Detroit and from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, as well as upgrades to the planned 3C Corridor. Sherrod Brown and Policy Matters Ohio recently touted the 3C Corridor as an investment that will promote economic development and create jobs. Earlier this year, the Rail Development Commission released the Ohio Statewide Rail Plan.

The City of Cleveland plans to build an intermodal transportation center north of Mall C in downtown Cleveland. The center would serve Amtrak, RTA's Waterfront Line, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. It could open in five to 10 years.

Ideastream's David Kanzeg said that the potential cuts in flights at Cleveland's airline hub provides an "opportunity to reimagine Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as the Midwest's first intermodal passenger transportation hub."

The state Controlling Board voted to accept federal funding for the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line. The 4-3 party-line vote will allow the state to proceed with $25 million in engineering and environmental studies. The Columbus Dispatch liveblogged the meeting. Republican support likely will be needed for future expenditures.

The Strickland administration is seeking approval from the state controlling board of $25 million in planning work for the 3C Corridor passenger rail line. Ohio Department of Transportation officials now say that a supermajority vote is not needed, which would sidestep Republican opposition to the plans.

Update: the maneuver has political risks.

The planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line will require subsidies, but estimates of the costs vary. Critics of the line have focused on its projected 39 mph average speed, and Republicans on the state controlling board may block the plans. Former Ohio Rail Development Commission director James Seney is dismayed.

A grant from the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association will fund the fourth year of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard program in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The program drew a record 21,500 cyclists in 2009.

The Ohio Department of Transportation issued its response to Ohio Senate President Bill Harris' questions about the planned 3C Corridor in a 21-page document (PDF). It presents reasoning in favor of the planned passenger rail line, and the Ohio Environmental Council backs the proposal (PDF). Senator Harris remains skeptical about the value of the line.

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene Molitoris expressed her support for the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line. Her agency is still preparing a response to Ohio Senate President Bill Harris' questions about the project.

Update: video of the talk is now available.

Ohio Senate President Bill Harris is skeptical about the value of the 3C Corridor and recently sent Governor Strickland a seven-page letter with questions about the planned passenger rail line. Republicans on the state controlling board may try to block the plans. Michael Douglas of the Akron Beacon Journal encourages Ohioans to think "less about today and more about what they will need in a decade and beyond."

The 79 mph top speed of the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line continues to attract criticism. The line also faces potential conflicts with increasing freight rail traffic. Columnists Brent Larkin of the Plain Dealer, Joe Hallett of the Columbus Dispatch and Brian Tucker of Crain's Cleveland Business are opposed to the project. A Plain Dealer editorial said that the concept needs to change, while a Mansfield News Journal editorial said that the "project may be worth the financial risk." Governor Strickland called the critics "cheerleaders for failure."

Update: columnist Thomas Suddes and an Akron Beacon Journal editorial considered the longer-term implications.

Participants on Tuesday's Sound of Ideas program discussed the planned 3C Corridor passenger rail line and the Cleveland Design Competition awards.

The announcement that Ohio was awarded $400 million for the planned 3C Corridor generated a wide variety of reactions, from the enthusiastic to the skeptical. Ohio newspapers also had a broad range of responses. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial was generally positive, the Columbus Dispatch said that investments in passenger rail are a poor use of federal dollars, and the Canton Repository laid out its hopes for the project.

The 2010 federal omnibus spending bill includes $500,000 for the reconfiguration of the six-way intersection at Warrensville Center Road and Van Aken Boulevard in Shaker Heights. It also includes $2.5 billion for high-speed rail projects, a compromise between Senate and House versions of the bill.

NOACA awarded a total of $777,250 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants to 13 projects in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. The NOACA Governing Board also added the 3-C Corridor passenger rail line to its long-range transportation plan.

The City of Middleburg Heights will create a 24-hour railroad quiet zone at the Smith Road crossing.

The Lorain County Commissioners hired Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct a study of the proposed West Shore Corridor commuter rail line.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration agreed to review the feasibility of adding a connection between Cleveland and Pittsburgh to the list of designated high-speed passenger rail corridors.

The Indiana Department of Transportation applied for $2.8 billion in federal stimulus funds to plan, build, and launch high-speed rail service between Chicago and Cleveland.

Although an Amtrak study said that the proposed 3-C Corridor could begin service in 2011 if it receives funding, it may not start operating until the end of 2012.

Last week, the Ohio Department of Transportation submitted its application for $563.8 million in federal stimulus funds for the proposed 3-C Corridor passenger rail line. About 40 states were expected to submit $106 billion in applications for the available $8 billion.

Members of the West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force intend to begin work on a study of the proposed line between Cleveland and Sandusky. They envision a multimodal transportation hub at Black River Landing in Lorain.

Amtrak yesterday released a draft of its feasibility report (PDF) on the proposed 3-C Corridor passenger rail line. It said that the service could be operating by 2011 with nearly 500,000 riders at a cost of $500 million. It would include six daily stops at two Cleveland stations, the lakefront Amtrak station and RTA's Puritas rapid station.

Update: most attendees at an ORDC meeting supported the proposal. Others want more information.

Ohio Rail Development Commission officials are quickly trying to fulfill requirements for federal funding of the proposed 3-C Corridor passenger rail line. They intend to apply for up to $450 million of the $8 billion in stimulus funds available for high-speed rail. The requests of Midwest states that would be served through the Chicago Hub Network are expected to be among $102 billion in requests from 40 states and Washington, D.C.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission is conducting an online survey of potential users of the proposed 3-C Corridor passenger rail line. The ORDC will also hold a public meeting on September 16 at the Cleveland Airport Holiday Inn.

(via Greater Ohio)

Amtrak's study of the proposed 3-C Corridor will be released in mid-September. Information from the study will be used in Ohio's application for federal funding of the proposed passenger rail line.

Update: the Associated Press offers more details.

NOACA's Executive Committee recommended allocating $34,600 to Lorain County for a study of the proposed West Shore Corridor commuter rail line. It would match funds raised by the West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force. The Governing Board may approve the funding on Friday.

Update: the board approved the funds.

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene Molitoris spoke at the City Club today. She said that the (MP3, 51.1 MB) Innerbelt Bridge project is "the highest and most pressing transportation issue in the state."

Update: she also said that the decision to eliminate Innerbelt ramps at Prospect and Carnegie avenues may not be final. Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Innerbelt project. The public comment period is open until August 31.

Ohio officials submitted applications for federal funding of the proposed 3-C Corridor passenger rail line. They indicated that income from the state's highway advertising program would help pay for its operation. 40 states and the District of Columbia submitted proposals. Meanwhile, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved $4 billion for high-speed rail construction, which would be in addition to the $8 billion in federal stimulus funds.

As support grows for the proposed 3-C Corridor, communities along the proposed route between Cleveland and Cincinnati are lobbying to be selected as stops. The communities competing for stations on the passenger rail line include Grafton, Wellington, Crestline, Gallion, Middletown, and Hamilton.

Yesterday, RTA's board of trustees approved several resolutions, including contracts for the design of the new Brookpark rapid station, for a study of the Warrensville Center Road-Van Aken Boulevard intersection in Shaker Heights, and for the construction of the new East 55th Street rapid station. The board also authorized spending to complete the overhaul of its light rail fleet and to purchase 6.7 acres for the expansion of the Westlake Park-N-Ride facility.

Congressman Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania wants a Pittsburgh to Cleveland route added to the federal list of high-speed rail corridors. It would connect the Chicago Hub Network with the Keystone Corridor. Pennsylvania officials are concerned that their planning for high-speed rail lags behind other states.

Architect Mehrdad Yazdani presented his design concept for the new University Circle rapid transit station at a recent public meeting in Cleveland Heights. Construction of the $10 million project is scheduled to begin in fall 2010.

Governor Strickland and ODOT Director Jolene Molitoris were in Washington, D.C. yesterday to promote Ohio's high-speed rail plans. They're seeking $400 million in federal funds for the planned 3-C Corridor.

Update: the Columbus Dispatch offers more details.

RTA held a groundbreaking ceremony today for the new Puritas rapid transit station in Cleveland. Construction of the $9.6 million Red Line station is scheduled to be completed in fall 2010.

The three railroad quiet zones in Brook Park are scheduled to be in service by May 22.

Amtrak proposed a route for 3-C Corridor as part of the study it is conducting for the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The route includes stops in downtown Cleveland and near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, but does not go through Akron or Elyria. The passenger rail study should be completed in August.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, University of Dayton professor Michael Gorman says that Ohio should invest in its freight rail infrastructure in addition to improving its passenger rail network: "Investing in our freight rail system would be smart spending that would stimulate jobs now, reduce oil consumption, extend the life of existing roadways and help the environment."

On Tuesday, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees awarded contracts for the construction of the new Puritas rapid transit station. A May groundbreaking is planned. General Manager Joe Calabrese also updated the board on the agency's projected budget shortfall.

Update: the Plain Dealer published more details about RTA's budget situation.

Yesterday, President Obama unveiled his strategic plan for high-speed rail in the United States. It includes two connections to Cleveland as part of the Chicago Hub Network: the 3-Corridor that would link Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, and a line between Cleveland and Chicago that would stop in Toledo. Governor Strickland said that Ohio will compete for federal stimulus dollars that have been allocated for high-speed rail.

The News Sun has more details about RTA's plans to redesign the Brookpark rapid station. The design process is expected to take 13 months, and RTA will continue to market the surrounding property for a potential transit-oriented development.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority may break ground for the new Puritas rapid transit station later this month. The $9.6 million project, designed by DeWolff Partnership Architects, will be one of the first local investments to benefit from federal stimulus funding. Construction is expected to take 18 months. RTA also issued an RFP for the design of a replacement for the Brookpark station.

A bipartisan conference committee of state legislators crafted a compromise biennial transportation budget, and although a disagreement prevented a vote on Tuesday, the Ohio House and Senate both passed the bill yesterday. Governor Strickland signed the budget bill late last night. The final version kept $250 million for passenger rail along the 3-C Corridor.

Work on the railroad quiet zones in Brook Park is complete, and City officials are awaiting approval from the Federal Railroad Administration.

The Ohio Senate passed the two-year transportation budget bill, but removed some of Governor Strickland's proposals. Funding for the 3-C Corridor was retained. A compromise bill is expected to emerge from a joint Senate-House conference committee. The Governor's office says that another provision in the Senate bill threatens $96 million in federal stimulus funds.

Update: in an editorial, the Plain Dealer backs the commuter rail plans.

Last week, the Ohio House passed a two-year transportation budget bill that would allocate $7.6 billion, plus $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds. It includes $250 million for the 3-C Corridor passenger rail proposal. The Ohio Senate is now debating the plan. GreenCityBlueLake describes it as "a once in a generation opportunity to rebuild our transportation system", while WKSU commentator Paul Gaston provides a historical perspective.

The Ohio House may pass a $7.5 billion state transportation budget this week. It includes funding for the 3-C Corridor, a proposed passenger rail line connecting Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. The Ohio Senate does not have a vote scheduled.

(via Ohio Passenger Rail)

Republicans in the Ohio House want to wait until a study of the proposed 3-C Corridor is finished before pursuing the project. However, they lack the votes to delay it, and passenger rail supporters counter that waiting could hurt the state's chances of receiving federal stimulus funds.

The Shaker Heights Architectural Board of Review approved plans for a new Blue Line rapid transit station at Lee Road.

Ohio passenger rail advocates are urging the Ohio Department of Transportation to apply for federal funding of high-speed and intercity rail projects. ODOT must submit a strategic plan before April 18.

Update: WKSU has more information.

While most government agencies are waiting to learn what they will receive from the federal stimulus package, RTA officials know that their agency will receive $42 million. The funds will be used to build the East Side Transit Center, replace two rapid transit stations, and to overhaul Red Line rail cars.

Two commuter rail advocacy groups merged to form the West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force, and together will promote a proposed line that would run from Vermilion to Cleveland. The group has raised half of the $68,000 needed as a local match for a $343,000 federal grant obtained by Representative Sutton in 2007. Meanwhile, ONN spoke with NOACA's Howard Maier about the prospects for high-speed rail in Ohio.

Update: GreenCityBlueLake has a roundup of intercity rail news, and Greater Ohio's Gene Krebs spoke at a Columbus Metropolitan Club event about the Real Reasons for Rail.

Channel 3 followed up yesterday's story about creating a sustainable transportation system with a report about transportation choices that individuals can make. The station also examined proposals for commuter rail in Ohio.

Conceptual designs for the new University-Cedar (PDF) transit station were presented to the RTA board's Planning and Development Committee on Tuesday.

(via Urban Ohio)

The transportation portion of Governor Strickland's budget proposal includes tolls for new road construction, support for commuter rail, and new funding mechanisms for road improvements, among other items. Meanwhile, AMATS unveiled a draft of its Transportation Outlook (PDF) for Summit and Portage counties. It will be open for public comment (PDF) through February 27.

The City of Shaker Heights is expected to approve designs for a $3.2 million replacement of the rapid transit station at Lee Road and Van Aken Boulevard. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010. The new station will serve the transit-oriented redevelopment of the Shaker Town Center area.

Update: the Sun Press shares the reactions of some Shaker Heights City Council members.

David Beach shares his thoughts about the recommendations recently identified by ODOT's 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force and what it will take to develop a sustainable transportation system.

The expected end of construction to enable the creation of railroad quiet zones in Brook Park has been pushed back to this spring. When complete, they will be the first in the state.

The Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force delivered its report to Governor Strickland today. The task force identified four strategies and made 13 recommendations. The final report (PDF) and its appendices (PDF) are available online.

Update: the Plain Dealer and the Blade have more information about the task force's recommendations, which include raising the state's fuel tax. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that the report "intelligently addresses the state's transportation needs".

RTA plans to provide long-term parking at some rapid transit stations in order to increase the popularity of its service to Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

While RTA's 2005 plans for a transit oriented development and a new Brookpark Road rapid station did not come to fruition, the agency still plans to build a new station. However, it has been delayed because other projects are higher priorities.

Ohio Rail Development Commission officials are optimistic about the possibility of receiving $100 million in proposed federal infrastructure stimulus funds for the planned 3-C Corridor.

A historic trolley depot that previously was part of the Trolleyville USA collection in Olmsted Township will be moved to Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls.

Over 18,000 bicyclists used the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway's Bike Aboard! program this year, nearly three times as many as in 2007. The service will resume in April with the same $2.00 fare.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission was one of 15 recipients of intercity passenger rail grants from the Federal Railroad Administration. The $62,500 award will help pay for an Amtrak study of the proposed 3-C Corridor, a line that would link Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.

Leaders in the Youngstown area are encouraged by the prospect of federal funding for the Ohio Hub plan, which would provide rail service to Youngstown and Warren via a line between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

While many are upset over RTA's plans to increase fares and reduce bus service, its plans to cut service hours on the Waterfont Line have generated few complaints. RTA officials will revisit its schedule when parts of the Flats east bank development are finished.

The National Park Service is working to reduce automobile traffic in its parks. In the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard service has tripled in popularity this summer. It offers cyclists the opportunity to bike the Towpath Trail in one direction and ride the train in the other for a $2 fare.

Backers of the proposed West Shore Corridor are raising funds for a feasibility study of the commuter rail line that would connect Cleveland and Lorain. They are also seeking a state grant to finance the study.

Update: an editorial in the Morning Journal backs the initiative.

A 2009 appropriations bill recently approved (PDF) by a U.S. Senate committee includes $500,000 for an environmental impact study of the Ohio Hub plan. In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Ken Sislak of All Aboard Ohio advocates for increased funding of high-speed rail.

Officials in Rocky River are learning about the engineering costs associated with implementing a railroad quiet zone.

Congressional candidate Bill O'Neill wants to revive plans for two commuter rail lines, the Lakeshore Line, which would connect Cleveland to Painesville and Ashtabula and the Aurora Line, which would connect Cleveland to Solon and Aurora. His opponent, Rep. LaTourette, also supports commuter rail.

The Plain Dealer's Elizabeth Sullivan says that if Ohio's congressional delegation can cooperate across party lines, the state is well-positioned to gain federal investments in intercity passenger rail. She also notes that "a Chicago-to-Cleveland high-speed rail line is one of only 12 authorized routes that will be grandfathered" into Amtrak reauthorization legislation.

The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, could fund up to 80% of intercity passenger rail projects. It could provide dollars for the Ohio Hub plan and the proposed 3-C corridor.

Built to Move Millions, a new book by Lorain County Community College Professor Craig Semsel, looks at the history of streetcar manufacturing in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Transportation's new Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force will hold its inaugural meeting next month in Columbus. It will encourage conversations on three key issues: promoting a multi-modal system, generating economic development, and maximizing public investment. A final report is expected by this fall.

Update: the West Side Sun News and the Plain Dealer have more information.

Construction of the railroad quiet zone project in Brook Park began earlier this month. Phase one construction is scheduled to end in May.

The cities of Berea, Brook Park, Olmsted Falls, and Rocky River are continuing their plans to establish railroad quiet zones. Brook Park remains on target to become the first multi-crossing quiet zone in Ohio. Bedford, meanwhile, is waiting for news from the Federal Railroad Administration about its planned quiet zone.

An editorial in the Morning Journal says that Governor Strickland's support for reviving the 3-C passenger rail corridor "gives a boost to the long-sought commuter rail service from Cleveland to Lorain and beyond."

Governor Strickland asked Amtrak to study the 3-C Corridor, a proposed restoration of passenger rail service connecting Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. It would form the backbone of the proposed Ohio Hub system. The line has not existed since 1971. The study should be completed in 12 to 18 months.

Brook Park officials anticipate that work on the City's railroad quiet zone project will begin in April. The City is also waiting for CSX to sign permits that will permit the construction of a railway underpass on Snow Road.

CSX and the City of Brook Park recently signed a construction agreement for the City's planned railroad quiet zones. Brook Park officials hope the City will become the first in Ohio to establish quiet zones.

Yesterday, WCPN reported on the proposed West Shore Corridor commuter rail project, and then dedicated its Sound of Ideas program to a discussion of the idea.

Maple Heights City Council may hire Cleveland State professor Robert Simons to conduct a study that would identify opportunities for economic development brought by the expansion of the Norfolk Southern intermodal terminal.

The new RTA Red Line rapid transit station at West 117th Street opened at 9:30 this morning. Its official name is the W. 117th St.–Madison Avenue Highland Square Rapid Station. RTA officials also announced that bicycles will now be allowed on the rapid during rush hour.

Members of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society are continuing their efforts to restore the former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse on West 3rd Street in the Flats.

The recent train derailment in Painesville has Cleveland officials talking again about an ordinance to reroute trains with hazardous cargo away from the City's most densely populated areas.

Mayor Blomquist of Olmsted Falls says that the City is continuing its efforts to establish a railroad quiet zone. Residents would like the process to move faster.

While a U.S. House transportation bill includes $350,000 for a West Shore Corridor study, the Senate version did not include the funds. Local rail advocates are continuing to work on the proposal.

(Update: The Chronicle-Telegram summarizes a recent meeting.)

A recent railroad crossing accident may delay Bedford's attempts to establish a railroad quiet zone, "but the quiet zone process is already moving at glacial speed," according to City Manager Bob Reid.

All Aboard Ohio reports that U.S. Representative Betty Sutton secured $350,000 in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for the West Shore Corridor rail/bus transit alternatives analysis.

(Update: The Sun Herald offers more information.)

The City of Maple Heights and Norfolk Southern reached a court-mediated settlement regarding the expansion of the intermodal terminal south of Broadway Avenue. The railroad will pay the City at least $70,000 in lieu of permit fees, pay for the majority of infrastructure improvements, and add landscaping.

Construction of the new West 117th Street rapid station is nearing completion, and the main entrance and parking lot reopened earlier this week. The new station will be called Highland Square at West 117th Street, and a reopening ceremony is scheduled for mid-September.

While the process has been slow, Brook Park officials continue to seek approval of the City's plans to establish railroad quiet zones.

By a vote of 4-3, Rocky River City Council decided to proceed with plans to establish a 24-hour railroad quiet zone. Mayor Bobst recommended creating a quiet zone between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., while residents supported the 24-hour zone.

On weekends in May, members of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society will lead tours of the damaged historic B&O Roundhouse on West 3rd Street in Cleveland.

GreenCityBlueLake recaps one of the community workshops led by the Project for Public Spaces earlier this week on plans for the redesigned and relocated East 120th rapid station in Little Italy.

Rocky River officials are waiting to hear if the proposed Cleveland to Lorain commuter rail project could affect their plans for a railroad quiet zone before they decide whether to support the commuter rail proposal.

The City of Rocky River will implement a railroad quiet zone, and City Council is debating whether it should be a partial or an all-day quiet zone. Mayor Bobst recommended a quiet zone from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and safety enhancements such as increasing signage near railroad crossings. Most residents favor the 24-hour quiet zone.

The city councils of Westlake and Cleveland passed resolutions in support of federal funding for a West Shore corridor alternatives analysis. The study would examine the proposed commuter rail line between Cleveland and Lorain and other potential transportation improvements.

Maple Heights officials want Norfolk Southern to use the Greenhurst Road Extension for additional truck traffic instead of opening a new entrance on Broadway Avenue, which the railroad is planning as part of their intermodal terminal expansion. The City has filed a suit in federal court, asking the court to effectively serve as a planning commission.

Maple Heights leaders continue to fight the expansion of the Norfolk Southern intermodal terminal. The railroad is adding 10 acres near the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Rockside Road and 15 acres near the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Libby Road.

Rocky River officials continue planning for a railroad quiet zone in the City, and want to schedule a public meeting within the next month.

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