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More riding on Sustainable Communities plan as Ohio cuts $555M from local governments

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/04/11 @ 2:35pm

  • Even more is riding on the $4.5 million regional transportation / housing / land-use Sustainable Communities plan- headed by former Cleveland Planning Director Hunter Morrison-as Gov. Kasich's budget cuts $555 million from the Local Government Fund. Ready or not, Northeast Ohio's seven counties are now faced with the prospect of getting smarter about co-locating housing and transportation. The cost to maintain so many redundant municipalities and their infrastructure-such as new roads-are hidden in the small print of buying a house in a sprawl area. But the bill is coming due. Can one plan start to reverse decades of policy and subsidies from the state that resulted in sprawl?

    Meanwhile, inner-ring suburbs are facing the prospect of a glut of obsolete development-the old strip centers that stretch for miles along major roads with names like Mayfield and Pearl. Developers promise they can deliver a new and improved model-a big box center-on the former Oakwood Country Club land. A citizen group in Cleveland Heights and South Euclid wants the land preserved as green space and wonders if the big box already whiffs of obsolescence? A forum this Thursday at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights looks at land-use and development, including Oakwood, in older suburbs.

  • Megabus expands Cleveland's transportation choices-offering its first-come and limited $1 fares for a new Cleveland-Akron-Pittsburgh route (with five daily trips). Unfortunately, a Detroit to Pittsburgh route skips Cleveland for a stopover in Toledo. Some other glitches that the UK company could work out, suggests All Aboard Ohio: it's online booking system needs to be updated with these new routes; currently it's not possible to book inter-route links such as Akron to Cleveland; and to make system links between the Midwest and East Coast networks.
  • University Circle will pair its popular Wade Oval Wednesdays with a farmer's market this summer. UCI is accepting applications from local, fresh food producers who want to sell at the market.
  • If you're interested in selling your fresh food at a farmer's market but don't know where to start, OSU Extension will offer a workshop this week, "Taking urban agriculture to Market."

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