Equitable Transportation Planning Initiative Advances in Northeast Ohio

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is moving forward with a groundbreaking policy to consider regional economic inequities when evaluating potential highway projects.

October 13, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Cleveland i-80

Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock

"A committee of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency on Friday approved a new draft policy that would for the first time make racial and economic equity part of how it determines whether to approve new highway interchanges," reports Steven Litt.

The committee's decision to advance the new draft policy updates a story first shared by Planetizen in July.

Litt says that Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's (NOACA) full, 46-member board of directors "should approve the policy at its next meeting in December."

Grace Gallucci, executive director of NOACA is quoted in the article touting the policy's new approach to regional planning in Northeast Ohio. The goal of the policy is to "assess as much as we can the localized impact and the regional impact [of proposed interchanges], and to bring the board of NOACA the information so they can make a more informed decision," says Gallucci.

Litt's coverage also includes a list of the projects that would be subject to the new policy. NOACA's ability to veto projects would now be informed by newly detailed quantitative criteria for evaluating interchange projects like those listed in the article.

"New criteria would include detailed cost-benefit analysis of regional impacts on municipal budgets, economic development, environmental protection, quality of life, transit and bike use, and racial equity — both in communities receiving a new interchange and in adjacent and more distant communities," according to Litt.

Monday, October 12, 2020 in The Plain Dealer

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