Local Opposition to Ohio DOT's I-77 Widening Plans Near Akron

The Ohio Department of Transportation wants to add lanes to Interstate 77 outside Akron to reduce congestion. Some local officials think the project will connect the region to the East Coast; others think the money would be better spent locally.

September 30, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Interstate 77

SevenMaps / Shutterstock

"The Ohio Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on its $125 million plans to add lanes to a 9.2-mile section of Interstate 77 in Summit County, a project that already has some detractors," reports Robin Goist.

Those detractors are Jason Segedy, Akron’s director of planning and urban development, and Becky Corbett, trustee of the Bath Township. Segedy's criticisms of the project focus on the spending priorities exhibited by the project. Segedy says the money would do more good in the urban core, and that ODOT should follow the city of Akron's lead in adopting a "fix it first" approach to transportation infrastructure. Corbett argues that the project's impermeable pavement will exacerbate stormwater challenges in the areas around the project. 

The criticisms stand in contrast to the views expressed in an earlier article by Goist, which found support for the project from Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro announced through a spokesperson support for the project for economic development purposes. State Rep. Emilia Sykes of Akron expressed support for the project on similar grounds. The Summit County economic development website makes the case for the highway project by touting the region's proximity to the outside world. The county is located within an "eight-hour drive of half of the U.S. population and two-thirds of the Canadian economic base. In addition to being centrally located between Cleveland, Detroit, Columbus and Pittsburgh, metropolitan markets within a 500 miles radius of Summit County include New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Nashville," according to Goist.

For more details on the proposed project, Goist provides the following in the more recent article:

ODOT announced earlier this month its plans to add a third lane in each direction to I-77 between Ghent Road and the Ohio Turnpike, which spans Fairlawn, Bath, Richfield Township and the Village of Richfield. The construction project has been divided in two, with the stretch from Ghent Road to Everett Road expected to cost $50 million, and the section from Everett Road to the Ohio Turnpike estimated to cost $75 million.

In the previous article, Goose provides the following additional information about ODOT's decision to widen the freeway:

ODOT said it has conducted traffic studies and determined that a third travel lane in each direction would improve traffic flow, and that the best course of action would be to build additional lanes in the center median. The project also calls for other improvements, including bridge and pavement repairs, drainage improvements, lighting upgrades, sign replacements and pavement markings, according to ODOT.

The project is currently open for public comment.

Friday, September 25, 2020 in Cleveland.com

View south along Interstate 45 (North Freeway) from the ramp between westbound Interstate 10 and southbound Interstate 45 in Houston, Harris County, Texas

Houston Apartments To Be Demolished for Freeway Widening

Despite a federal hold on the controversial freeway widening project, the Texas Department of Transportation is pushing ahead with the demolition of an apartment complex in downtown Houston.

July 5, 2022 - Houston Chronicle

Car Traffic

San Francisco Just Ended Single-Family Zoning

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to Tuesday to eliminate single-family zoning, but pro-development advocates say additional changes are needed to unleash a wave of construction.

June 29, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

A Gold Line AnsaldoBreda P2550 train enters Mission Station in South Pasadena on February 25, 2012.

Land Banking to Prevent Transit-Oriented Displacement in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will implement a new land banking program to mitigate gentrification and displacement around future transit lines.

June 28, 2022 - Los Angeles Daily News

Train station in New Haven, Conncticut

Transit-Oriented Walking Tours Highlight the Value of Density

Housing advocates in Connecticut are leading walking tours that fight misinformation about transit-oriented development and emphasize the benefits of increased density.

43 minutes ago - Connecticut Public Radio

Worker packs boxes in an Amazon warehouse

State Reports Seeks To Guide Warehouse Development in New Jersey

With demand for sprawling e-commerce warehouses growing, New Jersey’s State Planning Commission has released a series of documents outlining best practices for cities examining warehouse proposals.

1 hour ago - CentralJersey.com

Traffic in Manhattan New York

Manhattan Congestion Pricing Could Start in 2023

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has resubmitted its environmental impact assessment to federal officials, who sent the agency over 400 additional questions earlier this year.

2 hours ago - Gothamist

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.