Getting the transportation
we want

Something revolutionary has been happening at the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. During late 1995 and early 1996, a task force has been quietly working to develop a scoring system to rank transportation projects proposed in the five-county region.

To give you a sense for just how revolutionary this is, consider how things worked in the past. A new development would bring traffic congestion to a particular road. In response, local officials would demand that their county engineer or the state widen the road, add a highway interchange, or at least improve the traffic signals.

The implementing agency would then go through the formality of getting the desired project listed on NOACA's Transportation Improvement Program (the TIP) so that it would be eligible for federal funding. It didn't matter if there wasn't enough money to build the project right away. The project got listed with the expectation that, sooner or later, it would happen. And the order in which projects happened often had less to do with the regional benefit of the particular project than its readiness (e.g., how quickly the engineering work could be completed), the availability of local matching funds or local politics.

Most projects did get built eventually. It was NOACA's job to expedite the process, not ask a lot of questions that would slow down growth. So few people asked whether it made sense for the region to be promoting more automobile use or whether we ought to be expanding roads to subsidize development in rural areas.

But the transportation planning climate has changed in the past four years since the passage of the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and new budget constraints at the state and federal levels. Now the federally mandated goal of transportation no longer is simply to move more cars faster, but also to improve accessibility, quality of life, air quality and energy efficiency with a mix of various transportation modes. Planners at NOACA are supposed to balance these factors and are now "fiscally constrained," meaning that the TIP has to be a short list of projects that the region can really afford, rather than a long wish list.

All this means that NOACA has to make tough choices like never before. A couple of years ago, it started developing a framework for choosing, by adopting an excellent list of general planning principles. (Principle 10, for instance, says, "It is the intent of the NOACA Board to encourage efficient, compact land use development that facilitates mobility, saves infrastructure costs, preserves environmentally-sensitive and agricultural lands, and enhances the economic viability of existing communities within the region.")

Now the agency is developing specific criteria so that it can evaluate how proposed transportation projects live up to the principles. In early drafts, the criteria include technical factorswhether a project will preserve the existing system (based on condition of pavement, bridges or bus fleets); whether it will improve the efficiency of the system (reduce congestion, reduce air pollution, reduce transfer times between travel modes), reduce peak demand (e.g., rush hour traffic) and so on.

But the most interesting criteria proposed are for projects that would add capacity to the transportation system, such as new or expanded highways. They include questions such as: Was the problem defined in such a way that there could be a multi-modal solution? (For instance, is the question how to move more cars faster past a certain point or how to create the most efficient mix of driving, walking, biking and transit?) Or, does the project enhance the quality of life for adjacent property or does it degrade quality of life in terms of visual aesthetics, noise, accessibility?

There will also be scoring of land use impacts:

  • Is the land near the project open space or developed?
  • What percentage of undeveloped land is wetland, forest, farmland?
  • Does potential development result in a tax base shift from existing urban areas?
  • Are the necessary infrastructure and utilities already in place for the anticipated development?
  • Is the proposed development transit-oriented and/or walkable?
  • Does the municipality have a fair housing ordinance and a range of housing prices?

Such criteria are meant to favor projects in existing urban areas. Extra points also may be given to projects in communities with higher population densities.

If successful, NOACA's new criteria will force transportation planners to systematically evaluate whether each proposed project meets the agency's goals. The right questions will be built into the system.

That will be a great leap forward for NOACA. But it still won't solve the problem of sponsorship. NOACA is not a sponsoring or implementing agency. It only approves projects. NOACA may devise criteria that will favor high-density, transit-friendly developments in the city, but if the only projects proposed are ones promoting low-density suburban sprawl, that's what will get built.

NOACA officials hope the new scoring system will send a clear signal about what projects are desirable, so that project sponsors (county engineers, local communities, ODOT) will start planning projects that will meet the goals of the region.

In the next several years, we'll see if it works. And we'll see what happens when projects start being rejected. What will happen, for example, when a suburban mayor is told the road to his or her new office park scored low and does not merit funding? We'll see then if NOACA will be able to take the political heat.

For more information about NOACA's transportation priorities, call Ron Eckner or John Hosek at 216-241-2414.


Back to top

EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

Back to Corn Fields contents


Instead of thinking of going places, think in terms of being places. That is, think in terms of establishing desirable places close to one another. Transportation is what you have to do to get to places inconveniently located: the less the better. For an occasional adventure, transportation is great and the world needs people not only going to foreign places but learning about them in depth and with sympathy. However, when it comes to travel to keep a vital urban lifestyle together, the less that is necessary the healthier your life and your environment.
Richard Register
EcoCity Berkeley


go to home page Togel Online Situs Togel Terpercaya daftar 10 nama situs togel terpercaya situs bo togel 5 bandar togel togel178 pedetogel sabatoto togel158 pragmatic178 novaslot88 Situs Togel Terpercaya Togel178 Togel279 Toto Macau Situs Togel Bandar Togel Agen Togel Bo Togel Daftar Togel Togel279 Toto Macau Toto Togel Sabatoto Togel279 Togel Online Slot88 Situs Togel Prize 123 Bo Togel Terpercaya Togel Online Daftar Akun Togel Resmi Toto Macau Toto Togel Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Via Pulsa Tanpa Potongan Daftar Togel Via Pulsa Tanpa Potongan Togel BBFS 10 Digit Situs Togel Bonus New Member Situs Togel Togel Pulsa Situs Togel Daftar Situs Togel Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Judi Togel Slot Olympus Toto Togel Slot 4D Toto Slot 4D BO Togel Terpercaya Slot Mahjong Bet 200 Slot Nuke Gaming BO Togel Hadiah 2D 200rb BO Togel Hadiah 2D 100rb BO Togel 4D Daftar Akun Togel Resmi Togel Gopay Toto Togel 4D Bandar Togel Togel Deposit Linkaja Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Bri Online 24 Jam Situs Bandar Togel Situs Agen Togel Situs BO Togel Situs Togel Resmi Toto Bandar Judi Togel Daftar Bandar Togel Situs Togel Diskon Daftar Togel Toto Situs Togel Prize 123 Situs Togel Resmi WLA 5 bandar Togel Togel IDN APK Togel Togel Dana 10 situs togel terpercaya Situs Togel Terpercaya togel online Situs Bo Togel BBFS 10 Digit Kumpulan Situs Togel Link Alternatif Togel Toto situs togel terpercaya prize 123 link alternatif togel terpercaya Situs Togel Bet 100 Perak Daftar Situs Togel Via Dana slot luar negeri Bo Togel Hadiah 2D 200rb Togel Resmi Bandar Togel 4D Aplikasi Togel Situs Togel Deposit Via Ovo Bandar Togel Terbaik situs togel bri online 24 jam Situs Togel Terpercaya Kumpulan Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Bandar Togel Terbesar Situs Togel Prize 123 Situs Togel Terpercaya Daftar Agen Togel Resmi Aplikasi Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Terbesar Agen Togel Terpercaya Rekomendasi Bo Togel Terpercaya Togel Resmi WLA Situs Togel Deposit 10rb 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya Togel Bbfs Situs Togel Bet 100 Perak situs togel 8 situs togel terpercaya 5 bandar togel slot demo mahjong aplikasi togel link togel group situs togel situs togel terpercaya judi togel bo togel hadiah 2d 100rb toto macau aplikasi togel bo togel bolak balik bandar togel daftar akun togel resmi togel dana togel pasaran toto togel situs bandar togel BO TOGEL situs togel resmi bo togel terpercaya Slot Luar Negeri bo togel hadiah 2d 200rb Bo Togel Hadiah 2d 100rb bo togel bo togel bolak balik acak dibayar bo togel resmi Dadu Sicbo Online 10 situs togel terbesar situs toto togel 10 situs togel terpercaya daftar akun togel resmi slot demo pragmatic situs judi togel terbaik dan terpercaya no 1 demo slot pg soft pedetogel togel178 togel279 togel158 sabatoto novaslot88 pragmatic178 toto macau roulette online Casino Live slot kamboja togel dana togel bbfs 10 digit togel bebas invest togel e-wallet togel pasaran togel dan slot bandar togel toto macau toto macau resmi toto togel 4d togel dana toto macau 4d Toto Slot agen togel toto togel togel dana cara membuat akun togel di hp android cara pasang togel togel diskon terbesar togel luar negeri toto macau Situs Togel Terpercaya Link Togel Terpercaya Daftar Togel Slot Olympus Slot PG Soft Bandar Togel Hadiah 4D 10 Juta Terpercaya Toto Macau Toto Togel Bandar Togel Terpercaya Toto Macau Togel 4D Situs Togel Via Dana Rekomendasi Togel Terpercaya Daftar Bandar Togel Togel Resmi Terpercaya Situs Togel Bayaran Tertinggi Kumpulan Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Bet 100 Perak Rekomendasi Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Bet 100 Perak Situs Togel Terlengkap Slot Luar Negeri Judi Togel Online Toto Macau Togel Via Pulsa situs togel bo togel judi togel aplikasi togel bo togel hadiah 2d 100rb togel dana Toto Togel 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya Togel Via Dana Toto Macau Togel Online