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Oberlin pursues energy efficient transportation; Congress threatens to shut down all bike/ped funding

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/11/11 @ 11:30am  |  Posted in Transportation choices

·Oberlin has hired Center for Neighborhood Technology to develop an energy efficient transportation plan for the city of 8,761 people. "The plan is part of a larger award from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop energy efficiency policies in Oberlin that can be replicated in small towns throughout northern Ohio," CNT explains. "The plan will include an actionable portfolio of policy strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the city and college through reduced car ownership, fewer vehicle miles traveled, and cleaner fuel use. CNT expects to deliver it to leaders in Oberlin at the end of the summer."

·From Adventure Cycling Association: "Congress threatens to end all dedicated bike/ped funding-contact your senator and representative today"

House Transportation Chairman John Mica announced today that his proposed long-term federal transportation bill will eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking-including Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreation Trails Program-referring to these programs as "not in the national interest."

Things on the Senate side are not much better. Senator James Inhofe, a lead negotiator in the Senate, declared that one of his top three priorities for the transportation bill is to eliminate "frivolous spending for bike trails." Senator Inhofe's comments mean funding for bicycling and pedestrian programs is at risk of total elimination.

Not Transportation? Biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips in the US - even as funding for biking and walking projects only accounts for 1.5% of the federal transportation budget. That's more than 4 billion bicycle trips and 40 billion walking trips a year -- including trips to work, school, shopping and for recreation and tourism.

Frivolous? Bicycling and walking programs build bikeways, walkways and other facilities for millions of Americans, improving access and saving lives.

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·From Cleveland Magazine article, "The Burning Question"

In May, Cleveland opened its river to the public with the christening of the 7-acre Rivergate Park, the new home of the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, where individuals will eventually be able to rent kayaks and canoes, and benches will encourage picnicking families and daydreamers to sit and linger. A new skate park adjacent to Rivergate is being constructed by the city, and restaurants are sketched in around the edges of the Flats, in hopes of new visitors. The goal is that the new park will be one of the first steps in transforming the Cuyahoga from a punch line to a key component of a better, more vibrant city. But the journey so far has been as murky, winding and crooked as the river itself - and there's at least a few critical bends left to navigate.

·Green Building Challenge Session tomorrow Energy Star Portfolio Manager is a free online tool for commercial property owners and managers to track and benchmark their facility's energy use. Energy Star certification recognizes buildings that demonstrate energy efficiency. Many companies, and the federal and state government require energy star certification when considering leases. This session of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will explain the benefits of Energy Star and provide an overview of how to use the free online tool. No cost to attend this event. Advance registration required on the Events page at www.neogreenbuilding.org. (Update: This event location has moved to the Downtown YMCA, E. 22nd and Prospect, Room Name: Butler Hall

·500 South Euclid voters file referendum petition to repeal big box zoning Citizens For Oakwood Meeting: Come one, come all! Tuesday, July 19 7 p.m. Noble Road Presbyterian Church; 2780 Noble Rd.; Cleveland Heights. (The church is located at the corner of Noble and Kirkwood Roads next to the Noble Branch of the Cleveland Heights Library. The church has a parking lot across Noble Rd. at the corner of Navahoe Rd).

On July 11, more than 500 South Euclid voters filed a referendum petition in South Euclid to take the rezoning of Oakwood-South Euclid to the voters in November. We invite you to meet with Citizens For Oakwood on Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm. Come hear about the next steps in this campaign to stop big box development in South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, and hear the inspiring story of the development of Orchard Hills Park in Chesterland, a former golf course now being reclaimed and reforested. Far from being a pipe dream, the conversion of golf course land to community asset can be a reality here, too. Join us for this tantalizing look into what could be Oakwood's future. And, there will be an update on what is going on with Oakwood. Please mark your calendar and spread the word...Free and open to all. Info: CitizensForOakwood.com

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