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Talking points for the coming NEO transportation plan

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/31/16 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Transportation choices

There are great expectation that Northeast Ohio will adopt a new language as it starts talking about a long range transportation plan. It could speak volumes for cars or speak up for streets as social spaces and healthy places. Advocates for the latter approach are hoping the region’s transportation agency, NOACA, finds some good answers to its question, "how would you...

<br />Northeast Ohio had very little congestion on its roads (in red) in 2008.The past is not destiny<br />Northeast Ohio forecast spending lots of money relieving congestion in areas opened up for development by highway expansion and new roads in exurbia.<br />NOACA developed this matrix of congestion mitigation strategies in its 2013 long range plan.

Natural Cleveland: May

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/16/16 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Natural Cleveland

May is the perfect month to take your lunch to a park bench and admire the city.

<br /><br />Yellow warbler<br />Woodcock<br /><br />

As Cleveland considers transit oriented development, parking reqs could be its biggest barrier

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/13/16 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

At a recent meeting focused on raising the bar for transit-oriented development (TOD) in Greater Cleveland, good suggestions were made to improve conditions around transit stations for development.

<br />Uptown Cleveland won a transit oriented development award for adhering to TOD guidelines that encourage walking and the presence of transit.<br />The Mayfield Road Rapid Station could spur efforts for more transit oriented development in Little Italy and University Circle. <br />A vintage photo of the surface parking lots in downtown Cleveland between Public Square and The Warehouse District.

Over BUILT - Northeast Ohio is maxed out and teetering

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/06/16 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

This week, we take a second look at the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s 2011 “Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit (BUILT) in Ohio” report. In it, CNT explains how Greater Cleveland over build its infrastructure, which led to across-the-board vulnerabilities during the Recession. CNT’s plan, which still holds, is to kick start the moribund real estate market by turning from expansion...

Maxed out<br />In many outlying areas in Greater Cleveland, three in ten properties have either a second mortgage or home equity loan. Should some of these homeowners fall behind on payments because of job loss or higher fuel costs, another round of home foreclosures could unfold.Blind faith<br />Sprawl without growth has left Greater Cleveland with a legacy of vacant units, mounting transportation costs, government debt, and tens of thousands of excess properties. Perversely, these development trends hurt municipal revenues and cripple local capacity to regulate land use development and transportation
investments. Nevertheless, the Ohio Department of Development and NOACA project these trends to continue through 2030.Road to ruin<br />Only four out of ten Greater Cleveland households live in neighborhoods where the combined cost of housing and transportation is at or below the H+T affordability benchmark of 45 percent of Area Median Income.

Eco book club: Why we need Terra Nova

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/04/16 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Transform

The appeal of Eric Sanderson’s book Terra Nova is how he peels back the layers of a brave new world “After Oil, Cars and Suburbs.”

<br />Buildable land, New York City. All images: Eric Sanderson (Terra Nova) 2013.Capacity benefits<br />The same amount of road space can hold many more people than cars.<br />Sanderson calculates the ecological use fees of a lot pre and post development.

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