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Aww, I missed you.  I had to get going after I got to speak.  I was one of the average citizens who struggled speaking in front of so many people.  It was really a transit lovefest.  Which was a good thing.

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Akron transit forum today

State task force seeking input on transportation

 

By Rick Armon

Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Monday, Jun 23, 2008

 

A state task force examining how best to raise and spend Ohio's transportation dollars will hold a public hearing today in Akron to hear feedback from area residents.

 

The meeting is the last of seven discussions being held statewide by the Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force. Comments will be reflected in a report and recommendations being handed this fall to Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

 

''For so long, transportation planning has been about the next best highway project,'' said Scott Varner, an ODOT spokesman. ''We can look at how quickly to move cars, but is that the best conversation to have? Isn't it better to ask how we are moving people?

 

........

 

Find this article at:

http://www.ohio.com/news/20648984.html

 

 

 

 

And from the New Philadelphia paper:

 

Ohios transportation needs

Public to have chance to speak at task force meeting Monday--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Lee Morrison

The Times-Reporter

Posted Jun 22, 2008 @ 12:15 AM

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Area residents will get their last chance to attend a meeting to provide input on the future of Ohios transportation system.

 

Although they still can voice their concerns online afterward, there will be a final regional meeting of Ohios 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force Monday at 4 in the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.  

 

.......

 

http://www.timesreporter.com/local_news/x390615731/Ohio-s-transportation-needs

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State rejects deal from highway sign company

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 3:14 AM

By Mark Niquette

 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

The company that has been managing Ohio's blue highway exit sign program and keeping all the profits since 1992 offered the state $1 million this year to continue that arrangement, officials said yesterday.

 

The attempt was rejected. The Ohio Department of Transportation is evaluating bids for a new contract that will have a vendor run the program but give the state semiannual payments expected to reach $11 million a year as the program expands.

 

 

.....

 

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/06/25/sign_side.ART_ART_06-25-08_B1_K8AJ0ME.html?sid=101

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This was e-mailed to me. I don't have a link to the original, which apparently appeared at the Ohio News Bureau...

 

WED 25 JUN 2008

Living la Vida Local

 

Written by John Michael Spinelli

 

Pursuing Euro Lifestyle in Suburbia Demands Diligence, Determination

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO:

 

........

 

 

So living la vida local is possible, although it takes a little work, not the kind that most Americans are necessarily predisposed to do given their reliance on and worship of the car.

 

If you have tips or leads for stories, contact me at ohionewsbureau@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . To read archived ONB stories, you'll find them here and here.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I ditto what KJP says and say amen to Noozer. Ohio has infrastrucure issues and certainly our congestion issues pale in comparison to larger cities. But we can't get larger if we don't start addressing infrastructure and how can we do this if we dont apply for things while other cities do? It's maddening. Do we need petitions? I swear I will help circulate them.  And infrastructure is not just concrete

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Cross-posted in "What other states, regions are doing...." I think it's very instructive what Alberta is doing. Their economic boom is based on oil, but they're investing it to stay clean now but remain mobile in the future...

 

 

http://www.railwayage.com/breaking_news.shtml#Feature3-7-10

 

July 9, 2008

Alberta creates $2 billion “Green Transit” fund

 

New and expanded commuter and light rail systems will be eligible for funding under a $2 billion “Green Transit” initiative announced July 8 by the Canadian province of Alberta. As part of a frontal attack on greenhouse emissions, the Alberta government is also establishing a $2 billion fund for carbon capture and storage—for example, at coal-fired power stations and oil sands extraction sites.

 

........

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Transportation Task Force Subcommittee Looks at National Picture

Hannah News Wire

 

 

A subcommittee on the 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force took a look at the national picture during its discussions on Friday as it searches for innovative new ideas that can be applied to the state level.

 

In a meeting titled as a transportation finance workshop, the Maximizing Public Investment Sub-Committee chaired by Treasurer Richard Cordray, who attended Fridays meeting in person, heard presentations from Pete Rahn, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and director of the Missouri Department of Transportation; Joung Lee, senior analyst of Transportation Finance and Business Development, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Jim Taylor, principal of Mercator Advisors; and David Seltzer, principal of Mercator Advisors.

 

.......

 

http://www.rotundacollection.com/DesktopDefaultPublic.aspx?type=hns&id=176724

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Transportation Task Force Subcommittee Looks at National Picture...

The commission found that there needs to be $225 to $340 billion spent per year on average through 2055 on transportation, including highways, bridges, public transit, freight rail and passenger rail. ...

IIRC, the defense budget has been raised by almost $200 billion per year in the last seven years.  There are a bunch of satellite programs and Cold War aircraft that could surely be curtailed.  And a war too.

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I'm sure the 21st Century Task Force link is in this thread somewhere, but just wanted to pass along that a lot of webcasts have been posted to the site for the public to view.  The public meetings as well as working session meetings are posted and give quite an insight into what some of the common themes have been.  As might have been expected, an increase in public transportation - both bus and rail - are commonly discussed at both the public meetings and working sessions.

 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/21ctptf/

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All Ohioans need to write to their state lawmakers to demand a substantial and permanent increase in transit funding from the state. Please note that state funding for public transportation was cut from $43 million in 2001 to just $16 million in 2006 -- one of the lowest for any state, not just the nation's seventh-most populous. While state funding has been slashed, local sales taxes for transit have leveled off or fallen and fuel costs have gone up. Transit is a basic service that is relied on by many people for their quality of life, if not their very survival. More people need transit now than ever to make ends meet with rising gas and food prices.

 

Keep your communiques short and to the point. Just get your opinion on the record! Use these sites to find out who your representatives and senators are:

 

Ohio Senate:

http://www.senate.state.oh.us/senators/

 

Ohio House of Representatives:

http://www.house.state.oh.us/


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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By the way, if you are considering writing a letter for the first time, but aren't sure your letter will be convincing, that's not the point of your letter. It need not be a masterpiece. It does need these attributes:

 

> be polite, don't be nasty or threatening;

> emphasize how you are affected;

> be clear about what you're asking for (ie: a significant and permanent increase in state funding for transit)

> keep the letter/e-mail/phone call short;

> send it!

 

The most important thing is the last one. Legislators may not read every word of your letter, but they will keep a "scorecard" as to the stance of their constituents on particular issues. And if they notice lots of letters on a certain issue they are more likely to take action.

 

So please send out those letters!


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2008/07/21/story12.html

 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Transportation task force eases off throttle to give members more time

Business First of Columbus - by Adrian Burns

 

Fixing the Ohio Department of Transportation will take a little longer.

 

Surprised and weighed down with an unexpectedly large amount of public feedback and data, the task force charged with planning a new vision for transportation in Ohio has pushed its timeline back by a few months.

 

The Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force, a group charged with setting a new direction for transportation spending in the state amid soaring energy costs, funding shortfalls and changing priorities, expects to release its report to the governor by the end of 2008 instead of in the fall as previously planned.

 

.........

 

 

Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force

Description: A group of more than 60 Ohio leaders and transportation experts charged with setting a new direction for transportation in the state amid soaring energy costs, funding shortfalls and changing priorities.

Status: Expects to release its report by year-end.

Key members:

Task force chairman: Ty Marsh, president, ColumbusChamber

Multimodal subcommittee chairman: Tony Reams, president, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments

Economic development subcommittee chairman: Bill Lhota, CEO, Central Ohio Transit Authority

Maximizing public investment subcommittee chairman: Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray

Source: Ohio Department of Transportation

 

614-220-5450 | aburns@bizjournals.com

 

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Great that they have "60 Ohio leaders and transportation experts" working on this report but I can solve their problem (budget shortfall anyway) with three bullet points:

  • stop expanding the system -- a moratorium on new concrete/asphalt
  • tolls to cover cost of maintenance for existing system
  • 100% of federal gas tax returned to Ohio with new money earmarked to transit

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All Ohioans need to write to their state lawmakers to demand a substantial and permanent increase in transit funding from the state.

 

I sent e-mails today...

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You may get a letter within a month of your sending the e-mail.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I sent an e-mail out to my state senator and representative and got a response from Senator Bill Harris. This is his response:

 

Dear Mr. Lang:

 

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding mass transit funding in Ohio.  I appreciate you taking the time to make me aware of your concerns.

 

As you may know, Ohio appropriates general revenue funds (GRF) through the Ohio Department of Transportation for mass transit subsidies.  The most recent operating budget, House Bill 119, contained GRF appropriations of $16.7 million in fiscal year 08 and $17.0 million in fiscal year 09 for public transportation in Ohio.  The Senate, recognizing the importance of public transit for citizens, amended the budget to include an additional $5 million in each fiscal year of the biennium for the Ohio Public Transportation Grant Program.  This supplement of $10 million was agreed to by the House of Representatives in the budget conference committee and was signed into law by the Governor:

 

 

    SECTION 512.35. DIESEL EMISSIONS REDUCTION AND TRANSIT CAPITAL GRANT PROGRAMS

 

    On the first day of July of each fiscal year or as soon as possible thereafter, the Director of Budget and Management shall (1) transfer $9,817,105 in cash in fiscal year 2008 and $10,057,814 in cash in fiscal year 2009 from the Highway Operating Fund (Fund 002) to the Diesel Emissions Grant Fund established in section 122.861 of the Revised Code and (2) transfer $5,000,000 in each fiscal year from the Highway Operating Fund to the Transit Capital Fund (Fund 5E7). The amounts transferred are hereby appropriated.

 

    The transfer to the Diesel Emissions Grant Fund shall be used for the administration and oversight of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program within the Department of Development. In addition to the allowable expenditures set forth in section 122.861 of the Revised Code, Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program funds also may be used to fund projects involving the purchase or use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles that are allowed under guidance developed by the Federal Highway Administration for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program. The Director of Development, in consultation with the Director of Environmental Protection, shall develop guidance for distribution of the funds from the Diesel Emissions Grant Fund. The guidance shall include a method for prioritization of projects, acceptable technologies, and procedures for awarding grants and loans.

 

    The transfer to the Transit Capital Fund (Fund 5E7) shall be used to supplement the capital portion of the Ohio Public Transportation Grant Program within the Department of Transportation.

 

    These cash transfers represent CMAQ program moneys within the Department of Transportation for use by the Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program by the Department of Development and for use by the Ohio Public Transportation Grant Program by the Ohio Department of Transportation. These allocations shall not reduce the amount of such moneys designated for metropolitan planning organizations.

 

 

Unfortunately, earlier this year, Governor Strickland announced a series of "budget directives" that he authorized via Executive Order which cut the amount of funding available for mass transit.  According to an Office of Budget and Management communication my office received on May 2nd, the cuts to the public transportation line item were $233,018 in FY 08 and $336,629 in FY 09.

 

As we begin budget planning for the biennial budget deliberations next year, I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind with regards to public transit funding.

 

Sincerely,

Bill Harris

Senate President

Ohio Senate

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Get Ohio on the bus... now!

 

Greetings,

 

 

Public transit. It delivers valuable benefits everyday to commuters, local communities, and the environment.

 

But in Ohio, transit bus and train services are facing severe budget and service cuts.  Public transit needs your help!

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!

 

Each weekday, nearly half a million Ohioans rely on a transit bus or train to commute to work or school, visit the doctor, or travel to another important destination. Public transit delivers more than just a safe, convenient, and reliable commute. It also saves commuters money, stimulates jobs and local economic growth, offers mobility choices especially to rural residents and the elderly and handicapped, reduces highway congestion, encourages efficient land use, and reduces fuel consumption, lessening America's dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality!

 

Despite its many benefits, public transit is seriously under-funded in Ohio. The Buckeye State ranks 12th in transit ridership, but only 42nd in the nation for state transit funding per trip.

 

Don't let Ohio's public transit agencies fall further behind. Please send a letter to Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and your state lawmakers in Columbus.  Urge them to make public transit a top priority for the next state operating budget—if not sooner!  Please feel free to make your letter personal by adding your own thoughts and concerns.  Personalized letters are especially effective!

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!

 

Sincerely,

 

Keith Dimoff

Executive Director

 

 

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):

Governor Ted Strickland (if you live in Ohio)

Your Representative (if you live in Ohio)

Your State Senator (if you live in Ohio)

 

 

Below is the sample letter:

 

Subject: Help keep antibiotics effective.

 

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

 

Ohio's public transit systems are in crisis.

 

I'm writing to urge you to help solve this crisis by sufficiently funding Ohio's public transit systems in the next state operating budget.

 

Each weekday, nearly half a million Ohioans rely on a transit bus or train to commute to work or school, visit the doctor, or travel to another important destination. Public transit delivers more than just a safe, convenient, and reliable commute. It also saves commuters money, stimulates jobs and local economic growth, offers mobility choices especially to rural residents and the elderly and handicapped, reduces highway congestion, encourages efficient land use, and reduces fuel consumption, lessening America's dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality.

 

Despite its many benefits, public transit is seriously under-funded in Ohio. The Buckeye State ranks 12th in transit ridership, but only 42nd in the nation for state transit funding per trip.

 

Here?s how we compare in per capita state spending on transit to some competitor states: Illinois, $63.29; Pennsylvania, $61.25; Michigan, $20.73; Ohio, $1.58.

 

State transit funding in Ohio has fallen drastically in recent years, from $43 million in 2000-2001 to $16 million in 2006-2007. It will take years for local transit to recover.

 

Don't let Ohio's public transit infrastructure fall further behind! I strongly urge you to make public transit a top priority for the next state operating budget, if not sooner.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

[Your Name]


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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The Ohio Environmental Council


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Moved from the Euclid Corridor Thread:

 

KJP said:

All of the Ohio Hub and other rail expansion components in ODOT's 21 Century Transportation Task Force report were unilaterally deleted by Calabrese, who is chair of the multimodal committee. In other words, he did what USDOT Secretary Mary Peters did in removing all rail elements from the National Surface Transportation Commission report to Congress. The Commission members overruled her, just as ODOT brass overruled Joe Calabrese and ordered him to put the rail components back in.

 

What Joe has thus far failed to realize is that rail adds a constituency to the overall political push for more rail/transit funding. One is less likely without the other, both in funding terms and in usage terms, as in transit will get used more as the "last mile" of a cross-state rail trip. We'll be more successful if we work together than we will in working against each other. Unfortunately the latter is what's happening when Joe C utters ignorant and outright damaging public statements like he did in the Toledo Blade, and in deleting references to state-sponsored rail plans from a statewide transportation policy document.

 

Not a good way to keep friends when you need them most.

 

BuckeyeB said:

Well, those from RTA who read these messages should take heed. Calabrese is entitled to his views when it comes to running RTA, but when he tries to force state policy by editing things, he is crossing the line. There are those out there who will take quite a dim view of actions such as this.

 

One other thing. I understand that while Joe was forced to put back the language concerning intercity passenger rail, he still left out any mention of the West Shore project or any other commuter rail initiative. This is censorship, plain and simple and should not be tolerated for an instant.

 

Everyone must understand that this is not an either/or proposition. We need each other if we are to move the ball forward. The last thing we need is to let things degenerate into factions unwilling to work for the common good.

 

RTA needs all the support it can get. Alienating key constituencies is not the way to do that.

 

 

So, Calabrese tried to pull a Peters on the citizens of Ohio?  I'm trying very hard to contain my anger here.  :whip:

 

I respect Calabrese.  RTA wouldn't have become the best run system in North America if Calabrese wasn't doing a good job, BUT...

 

Calabrese is supposed to be serving the public, in both his job and in his position on the ODOT task force. He's not supposed to be a dictator.  To ignore the public input that ODOT received all around the state about rail and deliberately remove the rail section from the report was dictatorial move.  He needs to be held accountable for this.  This kind of behavior should not be tolerated. 

 

It's not the first time this had come up with him.  Remember he criticized the Ohio Hub a few months ago and it led to much discussion on this list, which he was aware of through JMasek and said that he appreciated the dialog?  Obviously, nothing anybody said sank in with him.  All his attitude about rail is only going to result in is dividing the support in the state for alternative forms of transportation.  This is the last thing we need if we are to move forward.  Intercity passenger rail and commuter rail are NO LESS IMPORTANT than public transit. 

 

Ok everyone, we need to be writing letters to Calabrese chastising him for this and copying every member of the RTA board, and our legislators.  I'm already working on mine.  Let's get to work.

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I see RTA might be getting $10 million in CMAQ funding next year, which might forestall anticipated service cuts. That's good.

 

However, let's look at this in light of Calabrese's stance that all of transit's ills should be addressed before doing anything with rail.

 

How would he feel if others took the opposite stance and demanded that not one penny be spent on transit until all the needs of rail are met? Fair's fair! :-D

 

That's a rhetorical point used to illustrate how ridiculous Calabrese's stance really is.

 

New York City Mayor Bloomberg went on record saying there should be no flights under 500 miles and those travelers who now fly should go by rail. That's the kind of vision we need right here in Ohio, not the sort of myopia we are now witnessing.

 

We can and MUST do better. :speech:

 

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If the Earth had enough land to build all the airports and runways necessary to support such misallocations of technology, or all the oil necessary to fuel such fuel-inefficient misallocations of aircraft, or had an upper atmosphere capable of handling all the aircraft emisions we could dump into it -- then I'd say "no problem!"

 

Since we live in a world of limits, we have to make smarter choices. Public policies encourage wasteful choices at the benefit of the few. I for one am glad Mayor Bloomberg (and others) is willing to recognize that it's government and powerful corporate lobbies, not personal preferences, which have created this mess. I suspect most people don't care what vehicle gets them somewhere as long as it does so affordably, quickly and comfortably. For trips less than 500 miles, and especially less than 300 miles, an airplane offers no speed advantage over high speed trains. Yet trains offer many more advantages -- comfort, accessibility, cost, plus environmental and energy benefits.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Going back to whether Ohio has the population density for passenger rail, I offer the following data:

 

People per square mile (World Almanac)

Netherlands - 952

Japan - 850

Belgium - 842

UK-Great Britain/Northern Ireland - 588

Germany - 577

Italy - 496

Switzerland - 425

Luxembourg - 388

Czechoslovakia - 318

Poland - 313

Denmark - 308

Hungary - 294

Portugal - 285

OHIO - 267.1

France - 256

Romania - 255

Austria - 236

Ireland - 128

Sweden - 49

Norway - 34

 

Among U.S. states, these are their population densities. Those preceded with "X" have an active state-supported regional or intercity passenger rail program (operating and/or capital funding from year-to-year)....

 

1 X New Jersey - 1,046

2 X Rhode Island - 961.1

3 X Massachusetts - 765

4 X Connecticut - 679.3

5 X Maryland - 497.2

6 X New York - 382.4

7 X Delaware - 347.8

8 Ohio - 267.1

9 X Pennsylvania - 266.9

10 X Florida - 245.9

11 X Illinois - 207.6

12 X California - 194.8

13 Hawaii - 176.7

14 X Michigan - 164.9

15 X Virginia - 158.7

16 X Indiana - 152.1  NOTE

17 X North Carolina - 138.3

18 New Hampshire - 123.2

19 Tennessee - 120.2

20 South Carolina - 118.2

21 Georgia - 114.3

22 Louisiana - 97.6

23 Kentucky - 93.5

24 X Wisconsin - 91.2

25 Alabama - 80.6

26 X Washington - 75.4

27 X Missouri - 74.9

28 West Virginia - 74.8

29 Texas - 66.2

30 X Vermont - 61.3

31 Minnesota - 55.7

32 Mississippi - 55.3

33 Iowa - 50

34 X Oklahoma - 46.2

35 Arkansas - 45.5

36 X Maine - 40

37 Arizona - 33

38 Colorado - 32.6

39 Kansas - 30.5

40 X Oregon - 30.4

41 Utah - 21.5

42 Nebraska - 20.7

43 X New Mexico - 12.8

44 Idaho - 12.6

45 Nevada - 11.7

46 North Dakota - 9.2

47 South Dakota - 9.17

48 Montana - 5.55

49 Wyoming - 4.7

50 X Alaska - 0.99

 

NOTE:  Indiana collects and redistributes county funds to support the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District which operates the South Shore commuter rail line between Chicago and South Bend.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^Thats quite the damning table there KJP.  Its obviously the wacky politics of Ohio that can't make it happen.  Forget the fact that ODOT pretty much focuses on roads.  Intercity means you have to get one place to another and we already have highways to do that is the logic the state reps can use.  Any train system will likely only have stops in maybe 6-10 counties out of 88.  How do politicians vote for something like that when it will only help the big city counties.  Add in the political party polar opposites of Cleveland and Cinci and the fact that this would be no minor undertaking.  Then it will be 8-10 years probably before a rail system is realized which is many political lives.  Finally without an obvious place to start and finish, it amounts to another hot potato to determine places a train might run from and to and the route along the way.

 

With that said there are 2 cities in Ohio that have rail connecting their downtowns with almost daily passenger train service although its obviously not state sponsered.  Akron and Canton.  I think the state should try to use this line as a test bed of how it could work in the rest of Ohio.  It would meet many of ODOT's strategic goals of being intermodal(rail service stop at the fastest growing airport in Ohio), moving people safely, easing traffic, and being green in both re-use of old equipment and using less fossil fuels in polluting the air.  Denote ODOT district #4 as a "Inter-City Rail district".  Otherwise ODOT doesn't see its function as anything to do with passenger rail because where the rubber meets the road literally is at the district level.

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You're trying to depress yourself and convince yourself to accept a conclusion that is counterproductive.

 

Cities to be served by Amtrak and the Ohio Hub represent more than 90 percent of Ohio's population, and thus 90 percent of Ohio voters and 90 percent of Ohio's state legislators. And there are lot more than 6-10 counties to be served, too. Here they are:

 

1 Adams

2 Allen

3 Ashland

4 Ashtabula

5 Brown

6 Butler

7 Clark

8 Coshocton

9 Crawford

10 Cuyahoga

11 Defiance

12 Delaware

13 Erie

14 Franklin

15 Fulton

16 Greene

17 Hamilton

18 Hancock

19 Hardin

20 Harrison

21 Henry

22 Jefferson

23 Lake

24 Lawrence

25 Licking

26 Lorain

27 Lucas

28 Madison

29 Mahoning

30 Montgomery

31 Morrow

32 Ottawa

33 Paulding

34 Portage

35 Richland

36 Scioto

37 Summit

38 Tuscarawas

39 Trumbull

40 Union

41 Van Wert

42 Wood

 

And this doesn't include those counties to be served by commuter/regional rail and connecting bus transportation (look at California extensive network of Amtrak buses).


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I will be shocked and amazed if the state of Ohio has that much will-power and $$$$ to have passenger rail running through almost half the counties in Ohio.  Honestly I'm surprised Medina isn't on that list.  I don't even know where half those other counties are..

 

I feel I'm a realist with an idealist streak.  Therefore I see way too many Nimby's in all those other counties. The other thing is if this is a "High Speed Train" how will there be that many stops in all those other counties?

 

 

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It's not high speed. ORDC says 110 mph will be the top speed, but I think 90 will end up being the top end since the extra 20 mph doesn't net much in travel time savings but requires major increases in expense for capital construction of extra tracks with a wider separation from existing freight tracks.

 

As for predicting the future, let me know how that works out for you. In my book, you don't act today on what you think will happen in the future. You act based on what you want the future to be.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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8/12/2008     

 

ODOT connects more Ohioans with Specialized Transportation Grants

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/news/Pages/ODOTconnectsmoreOhioanswithSpecializedTransportationGrants.aspx

 

$3.7 million awarded statewide to improve transit for elderly, disabled Ohioans 

COLUMBUS (August 12, 2008) – To better connect more than 80,000 disabled Ohioans to jobs and schooling - and connect the state’s more than two million elderly residents to health care and home – the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is awarding $3.7 million in federal transportation dollars to local transit agencies for the purchase of specialized mobility equipment.

 

This year’s grants from ODOT’s Specialized Transportation Program will go to 85 agencies in 41 counties.

 

Building upon ODOT’s mission to promote a multi-modal transportation system for all of the state’s citizens, the goal of the Specialized Transportation Program is to increase personal mobility for elderly and disabled Ohioans, offering safe transportation alternatives.

 

Increased mobility options improve quality of life and provide much-needed access to employment, medical appointments, grocery shopping, education, banking and other services.

 

Targeting areas of the state where existing transportation services are unavailable or insufficient to meet the special transportation needs of elderly individuals or people with disabilities, ODOT awards these grants on an annual basis.

 

 

The Specialized Transportation grants cover 80 percent of the vehicle and equipment costs; the local agency must provide a matching 20 percent.

 

 

Through more than a dozen transit-related efforts, ODOT’s Office of Transit advocates continued personal mobility for all Ohioans, by supporting, coordinating and funding public transportation as a critical element of Ohio’s multi-modal transportation system.

 

###

 

For more information, contact:  Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640

or your local ODOT District Communications Office

 

 

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For emphasis.

 

Through more than a dozen transit-related efforts, ODOT’s Office of Transit advocates continued personal mobility for all Ohioans, by supporting, coordinating and funding public transportation as a critical element of Ohio’s multi-modal transportation system.

 

Oh, yeah.  :drunk:

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How many have written to Calabrese and the RTA board so far about Calabrese's attempt at censoring the ODOT Task Force Multimodal report?  I'll be finalizing my letter this week.  It's not enough just to discuss it here.  Action is needed. 

 

Here's the contact info is below:

 

If you want to send your letters via e-mail, then you have to do so through the board secratery:  RTABoard@gcrta.org

 

Otherwise here's the postal address:

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

1240 W. Sixth St.

Cleveland, Ohio 44113

 

 

George F. Dixon, III

Board President

 

Edward J. Kelley

Board Vice President

(Mayor, City of Cleveland Heights)

 

Jesse O. Anderson

(President, Disabled Rights Task Force, Inc.)

 

Jane Campbell

(Former Mayor of Cleveland)

 

Bill Cervenik

(Mayor, City of Euclid)

 

Dennis M. Clough

(Mayor, City of Westlake)

 

Valarie J. McCall

(Chief of Government Affairs, City of Cleveland)

 

Nick "Sonny" Nardi

(Veteran Labor Leader)

 

Julian A. Rogers

(community activist)

 

Leo Serrano

Executive Director, Office of Institutional Advancement

(Cleveland Metropolitan School District)

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What has Ohio lost in terms of railroad passenger service? Well, consider this map. Yet this doesn't even include the electric interuban railway system that existed from 1880-1940 or all the local/branch line passenger train services that were lost before 1950. Yet 1950 was probably "the easy year" to target as when the mainline intercity passenger train in Ohio was at its peak....  

 

ohiorailpax1950-s.jpg

 

In just 20 years, so much was lost following the federal government's creation in 1956 of the interstate highway system -- the largest public works project in world history. Also during the 1950s, cities were developing their airports while heavily taxed and regulated private corporations ran the trains, the tracks and the stations. But from 1950 to 1970, little private investment was made. Instead, it was a time of deferred maintenance, retrenchment, abandonment and dissolution....

 

ohiorailpax1970-s.jpg

 

 

When Amtrak started in 1971, the federal government allowed the private railroads to drop their few remaining passenger trains. Yet, "few" is a relative word. The U.S. still had a lot more trains compared to today, or even compared to a year after this map. The U.S. lost half of its passenger trains on May 1, 1971, the day Amtrak began. Unlike other populous states, Ohio took the blow worse than most since Ohio's Congressional delegation showed little interest in lobbying the US Dept. of Transportation to increase the number of Amtrak routes in Ohio. That disinterest has continued only until recent years, thus the number of Amtrak routes dwindled in Ohio to the following near-absence of service....

 

ohiorailpax2008-s.jpg


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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