Northeast Ohio Regional Planning Efforts to 'Fix It First' in Urban Areas
"NOACA, the regional agency which shepherds in plans for transportation, air and water quality, started updating its policies and shifting priorities—from an enabler of a car-centric transportation system to one that reflects a fiscal austerity of a state still feeling the effects of the recession," reports Marc Lefkowtiz.
Lefkowtiz credits the change in direction to "new leadership at its board, executive and staff" focusing on fixing broken streets in Northeast Ohio before continuing its old pattern of building new highways for a "flatlined" population.
According to Lefkowitz, "[t]he reform efforts were outlined in a strategic plan in 2014 and are now translating into policy that will bring the agency in compliance with its own bylaws, societal expectations of acting to forestall climate change, and demographic changes like a recent uptick in urban population and transit and bike use."
NOACA took several substantial steps, including funding changes, redefining which communities are considered "urban core," and more, at a recent board hearing—the details of which make up the bulk of Lefkowitz's coverage.