Northeast Ohio Agency Set to Reject Three Highway Proposals

The agency's recommendations are based on a new method of cost-benefit analysis that includes equity and environmental sustainability as key measures.

May 3, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

I-71 I-70 Columbus OH

Dailynetworks at English Wikipedia / I-71 I-70 Columbus OH

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is preparing to reject three proposals "to build new or enhanced highway interchanges" in the region, reports Steven Litt for The agency's recommendations "include turning down new full interchanges proposed at I-71 and Route 57 in Medina, I-71, and Boston Road in Strongsville, and I-271 and White Road in Northeast Cuyahoga County."

"The interchange recommendations are the first to be based on a detailed new method of cost-benefit analysis approved by the agency’s board in December." In addition to "traditional measures such as the local cost of traffic congestion, safety, and air pollution," the new method "also looks for the first time at issues such as racial and economic equity and environmental sustainability across the entire region."

"Among other things, the agency wants to create a clearer public understanding of how new interchanges could add to a decades-old, zero-sum pattern in which new points of access to interstate highways can spur local development that moves jobs, tax base, and investment from older communities to newer ones."

"For far too long, policies have favored sprawl and increased vehicle miles traveled. The legacy of past policies have had negative implications for our environment and have negatively impacted vulnerable communities," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's office said in a statement. "we must ensure our infrastructure investments support diversity in transportation options, [and] do not contribute to sprawl, and that we are reversing the implications of climate change."

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