Measuring transportation progress

Each year, Northeast Ohio spends hundreds of millions of dollars on transportation projects. How do we define success? The following resolution offers some ideas. EcoCity Cleveland presented it to the Governing Board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA, the five-county transportation planning agency) in December 2001.

(proposed by EcoCity Cleveland)

WHEREAS, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency influences development throughout the region by deciding how to spend many millions of dollars of transportation funds each year; and

WHEREAS, to guide its investment decisions, NOACA has adopted Transportation Planning Goals that include calling for:

  • A more balanced transportation system& prioritizing goods movement, transit, rail, pedestrian and bicycle travel instead of just single occupancy vehicle movement and highways. (Goal 4)
  • Improving the transportation mobility of the transit-dependent& and providing mode choice for the general population. (Goal 5)

WHEREAS, NOACA has never measured its progress toward achieving its goals; and

WHEREAS, transportation is a tool to create more livable communities, not an end in itself. What citizens need is the ability to make social and economic transactions. The need for transportation to accomplish this signals that land uses are spatially mismatcheda sign of inefficiency and waste. So the less energy-consuming and polluting transportation needed, the better; and

WHEREAS, the transportation sector accounts for a quarter of world carbon dioxide emissions and is a major factor in destabilizing global climate.

WHEREAS, NOACA will be updating its long-range plan in 2002, providing an opportunity to begin measuring progress toward its goals.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency that:

Section 1: The overriding goal of NOACA's work is to improve quality of life in Northeast Ohio by reducing demand for transportation and, where the inefficiencies of transportation cannot be avoided, by promoting more sustainable modes of transportation.

Section 2: NOACA must therefore target transportation investments to encourage development of neighborhoods and communities that provide more of the necessities of life in a compact area. This means promoting communities with a mix of land uses, a match between housing and jobs, and a public realm that supports walking, bicycling and transit.

Section 3: NOACA will reorient its staffing and programs so that it can do a better job of helping local communities link land use planning with transportation planningthus helping them become more livable and environmentally responsible.

Section 4: NOACA will support these efforts with increased funding for walking, biking, and transit facilities and amenities.

Section 5: Beginning in 2002, NOACA will measure progress toward the above goals by tracking, at minimum, the following indicators:

  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per household: Success means annually reducing average household vehicle miles traveled in the region.
  • Mode split: Success means annually increasing the region's share of walking, bicycling and transit use as a percentage of total trips.

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

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