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What causes transit to fail? Low density, lack of walkability, chronic underfunding...

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/29/19 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Transit, Vibrant cities, Transportation choices, Walking

Sure, transit has been perpetually underfunded in Ohio. But a big reason transit suffers is because of low-density development that follows highways into farmlands and forests at the metropolitan edge. A deliberate effort to sprawl rather than redevelop dense nodes works against transit.

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With form-based code, cities hope to keep all sides happy

Marc Lefkowitz  |  02/07/19 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

At last night’s Cleveland Heights Architectural Board of Review, a roomful of residents showed up to lodge complaint against the Top of the Hill development as currently proposed. While local business owners, like Cedar-Fairmount Special Improvement District President, Sal Russo, also appeared, to speak in support, the mainstay of comments seemed to focus on the mass and height of the...

<br />The Top of the Hill development rendering.

Beyond reptilian - freeing parking from cities

Marc Lefkowitz  |  01/03/19 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices

Most urban planners don’t get their own cartoon character or form a following of groupies, but then UCLA Professor Donald Shoup doesn’t think like most planners. When it comes to unpacking parking — and how whole cities and suburbs have been built around it — Shoup isn’t boxed in. Parking is a science, and Shoup's book, The High Cost of Free...

<br />Downtown Cleveland, the Warehouse District, circa 1990, still looks largely the same today because of the surface parking crater.

Four Cleveland suburbs want placemaking not a four-lane highway

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/07/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices

“People want amenities,” said Cuyahoga County Planning Director, Glenn Coyne, speaking to attendees of the 2018 Trails and Greenways Conference. “A coffee shop. A trail. Something other than ‘oh my god, we’re declining.’”

<br /><br />A conceptual rendering for a protected bike lane on Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.

Ohio is watching a "transit death spiral" unfold

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/04/17 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Transit, Vibrant cities

2017 saw Cleveland transit advocates clash with Mayor Jackson over his decision to close Public Square (then re-open it) to buses. But that tempest played out in a teapot compared to what the State of Ohio is preparing to (not) do this month when a long-awaited medical service sales tax cut is expected to blow a hole in the budgets...

<br />RTA cut service to its suburban trains in 2016<br />Many Clevelanders will be stranded in economic islands of lost opportunity if RTA is forced to shut down 10 percent of its system in 2018<br />Ohio lavishes tens of millions of dollars on highways, like this empty highway which is being decommissioned in Akron, instead of flexing those highway funds to be used on transit.<br />The Public Square closure to buses was a distraction from the real issue facing transit - a state that has historically undervalued and underfunded it.

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