You are browsing the archive for Summit.

Celebrating rolling successes – AMATS’ 2013 Bike-N-Brainstorms

July 17, 2013 in Collaboration, Portage, Summit, Transportation

So far in 2013, AMATS has hosted two successful Bike-N-Brainstorm rides – one in Kent in April and another in Green in June.  The agency’s Bike-N-Brainstorms are an innovative way that the agency uses to gain public insight as to what should be done to improve biking in the Greater Akron area.

A Bike-N-Brainstorm is a group bike ride along key corridors so that cyclists may experience firsthand what it’s like to bike there.  At the end of their ride, group members participate in a brainstorming session with agency personnel to share their ideas as to what can be done to improve bike travel within the area.

The Kent Bike-N-Brainstorm began April 20 at the new Kent Central Gateway in downtown Kent.  Sixty-two attendees braved morning snow showers to travel a 5-mile route through various parts of Kent.  The ride highlighted future bike projects in the city, such as the addition of new bike lanes, upcoming links between the city and the Kent State University (KSU) campus, and connections to The PORTAGE Hike & Bike Trail.  Among the issues identified by participants during the subsequent brainstorming session were the need for improved signage, more bike lanes, and keeping bike lanes free of debris.  The city of Kent, KSU and the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority partnered with AMATS in hosting this event.

The Green Bike-N-Brainstorm kicked off on the morning of June 22 at the Nimisila Reservoir.  A group of about 40 participants traveled their choice of a 3-mile family friendly route along Green’s Christman Road or an 8-mile route throughout the city of Green.  Issues identified during the brainstorming session were the need for wider berms, improved signage and more bike lanes.  The city of Green and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources partnered with AMATS in hosting this event.

“We’re really pleased with the level of enthusiasm at these events.  The feedback that we receive helps our agency and local communities immensely in planning and prioritizing bike infrastructure improvements,” AMATS Planning Coordinator Krista Beniston continues, “In April, AMATS participated in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Midwest Regional Bicycle Safety Summit in Minneapolis and our Bike-N-Brainstorms were hailed as a best practice by federal officials.”

A number of ideas offered by cyclists following two well-attended rides in Akron last year made their way into the 2012 Bike Plan, the agency’s long-term vision and priorities for bike transportation, andTransportation Outlook 2035, the area’s new long-range transportation plan.

 

University Park Alliance: 2013 Urban Innovator Speaker Series

January 30, 2013 in News, Planning and Zoning, Quality Connected Places, Summit

2013 Urban Innovators Speaker Series
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Date(s): 01-30-2013 to 03-20-2013
Price: Free

Reserve now! Seating will be limited to 100 per presentation and reservations are required. Call 330-777-2070 or email info@upakron.com

January 30th and February 20th Speaker Series programs will be held at the Andrew Jackson House – Ballroom at 277 E. Mill Street, Akron, OH 44308, the corner of E. Mill and Union Streets.

March 20th Speaker Series program will be held at Quaker Square at the corner of E. Mill Street and N. Broadway, Akron, OH 44308

January 30th:
Redesigning the Urban Landscape: Developing a Natural Sense of Place – Sabrena Schweyer & Samuel Salsbury, Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc.

February 20th:
Transforming Vacant Spaces: Creating Value from Vacancy in the Urban Footprint – Terry Schwarz, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

March 20th:
Cohousing: A Unique Approach to Alternative Housing – Sharon Sykora, Ph.D., Slippery Rock University

UPA’s Urban Innovators Speaker Series features world-class thinkers and practitioners presenting creative approaches to revitalizing our city center. Historically cities have been the engines of the U.S. economy and today play an even greater role in fostering economic growth as incubators of innovation. This series provides a platform for the sharing of best practices and the exploration of ideas to transform thinking and accelerate the kinds of core city investment that will lead to competitive success for Greater Akron in the new urban economy.

The Series is presented by University Park Alliance and underwritten by the Greater Akron Chamber.

What Can I do today?

 

University Park Alliance awarded $8 million by Knight Foundation

January 14, 2013 in News, Quality Connected Places, Summit

The neighborhood development group University Park Alliance has been awarded nearly $8 million to continue building Akron’s urban core. University Park Alliance is a non-profit community development corporation dedicated to the importance of ‘place-making’.

 

University Park Alliance describes their Vision:
We envision University Park as an exciting opportunity to return to a traditional urban neighborhood where interesting people live, great ideas thrive and community is key. And we see a clear path for getting there. Our strategy is to capitalize on the economic synergy of the great institutions already anchored throughout this geography—including a major university, three excellent hospitals, a bio-tech institute, three brand new schools—and develop a dense, walkable neighborhood with diverse cultural offerings, great healthcare, quality education and plenty of recreational and leisure opportunities. In essence, our mission is to build a ‘sense of place’ between these strong anchors. To do so, University Park Alliance has created a redevelopment Master Plan and is implementing a five-year Strategic Plan that focuses our efforts around four programmatic areas: Real Estate Development, Economic Development, Social and Human Capital Development, and Community/Civic Engagement Development.

On December 18, 2012, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced it was awarding UPA a $6 million grant over five years to work with neighborhood residents, local businesses and city institutions.

The foundation is also giving UPA a $1.8 million low-interest loan, which will support the redevelopment of the area called University Square. Officials call it “a linchpin of the alliance’s master plan that will provide housing and shopping for both students and residents.”

To read more on the award, read the original Ohio.com coverage here.

What Can I Do Today?

 

Greater Akron Growing Network for Sustainability

December 7, 2012 in Engagement, News, Portage, Summit, Sustainability

If you live in the Greater Akron and are interested in joining a growing sustainability network, you might want to check out the upcoming Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability (GAINS) meeting.

GAINS was launched over the last year.  The first meeting was inspired by a handful of people who are active and passionate local business owners and community members that knew each other through an organization called Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S).

From the organization’s Facebook page, membership is for…

Anyone who wants to be part of a growing network of people who care about what happens in regards to our environment and healthy community living. We want to help our Greater Akron area grow sustainably and to make smart decisions moving into the future. We are people who want to contribute, lend a hand, offer experienced insight, and have a good time while we do it.

To find out more about this growing sustainability network attend its upcoming meeting on December 12 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm (22 North High Street, Akron OH). There is no formal program this month. Instead, the core group will introduce themselves and open the floor for more networking.

 

What Can I Do Today?

 

A Visit to Summit County

November 21, 2012 in 12 County Tours, Board Meetings, Summit

Akron Urban League

As a conclusion to the first half of our 12 Counties in 12 Months program, NEOSCC will be taking our board meeting to Summit County on Tuesday, November 27.  This will cap a six month tour of Mahoning, Lorain, Stark, Cuyahoga, Ashtabula and Summit.  To avoid potential weather difficulties in the winter months, we will be restarting the tour in April with the remaining six counties.  NEOSCC counts many organizations as part of our board member organizations: the City of Akron, Summit County, Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Akron Urban League, Summit County Health District and NEFCO.

Prior to the meeting, Summit County leaders will introduce NEOSCC board members to local assets and successful projects via a bus tour. While traveling around the county, the group will discuss the Summit Lake Community Center, Bridgestone, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the University Park Alliance, The Austen BioInnovation Institute, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Highland Square, Downtown Akron and the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM School.

Highland Square Neighborhood

Our meeting will take place at the Akron Urban League at 1:00 pm.  All of our board meetings are open to the public, so if you have time, please stop by.

What Can I Do Today?

Have a Great Holiday Weekend!

 

Learn and Create: AMATS Connecting Communities Grants

October 30, 2012 in AMATS, Communications, MPOS, Portage, Summit

AMATS, the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, is one of the four Metropolitan Planning Organizations involved in Vibrant NEO 2040 that we discussed in our post last week.  One of their many initiatives is the Connecting Communities program which “is designed to provide communities with funding to develop transportation plans that will lead to the identification of projects eligible for AMATS funds.”

The Connecting Communities grant program was a recommendation from  AMATS’s Connecting Communities Planning Initiative (link is to a large pdf file) in 2010.

 

The purpose of Connecting Communities – A Guide to Integrating Land Use and Transportation is to promote a region that balances environmental, social and economic concerns by improving coordination between land use and transportation. Connecting Communities utilizes a regional planning process to explore strategies to increase transportation choices and accessibility, help communities make collaborative, informed decisions to coordinate development, reduce environmental impacts and improve regional connectivity.

The intent of this initiative is to create more vibrant livable communities though coordinating resources, partners and stakeholders to integrate transportation and land use planning and decisions in the greater Akron area. It looks at how transportation funding, project selection and planning can better complement land use planning that encourages investment and revitalization of established neighborhoods and regional collaboration.

AMATS has announced another round for the grant process for those in its planning area (Portage and Summit County) will open on November 1, 2012:

From AMATS website…

The purpose of these plans will focus on the concept of livability. Plans should enhance neighborhoods by improving transportation connections and promoting alternative modes of transportation like walking, biking, and transit. Grant funding will be used to hire a consultant to study a general area of a community. The funds will not be used for preliminary engineering, but instead will be used to develop a plan containing analysis and recommendations. Recommended projects will then be eligible for inclusion in the Regional Transportation Plan.

The program makes $100,000 available with awards being limited to $50,000 per grant. No local funding match is required for this grant.

Grant Schedule

Notice of Funding Availability: November 1, 2012

Application: November 30, 2012

Applications Due: January 15, 2013

Award Announcement: March 2013 Policy Committee Meeting

Questions may be directed to Heather Davis Reidl at 330.375.2436 or hreidl@akronohio.gov.

 

 
What Can I Do Today?