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AMATS Releases Mid-Block Crossing Analysis

January 27, 2015 in AMATS, Portage, Summit, Transportation

The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study’s (AMATS) recently completed Mid-Block Crossing Analysis is a first-of-its kind effort by the agency to identify locations where mid-block pedestrian crossings are occurring or are likely to occur throughout the Greater Akron area.  By identifying these locations, area communities can determine where pedestrian safety improvements may be needed.

 

This analysis won’t be the last-of-its-kind either, according to AMATS officials.  It’s the first in a series of similar efforts to foster a new planning synergy for the region that combines new planning and design strategies for a single purpose: To improve the area’s quality of life.

 

Many of the locations identified in the analysis are informal crossing points at roads and streets that aren’t marked as crossings.  People prefer to cross illegally at these points rather than walk to the safety of the nearest available crosswalk.  Many do so with no problem while others aren’t as fortunate.

 

“We hope that this analysis will help our region avert some of the tragedies that have been in the national news recently such as the toddler who was killed in Atlanta, Georgia while attempting to cross a street with his mother,” AMATS Transit Planner Nate Brugler explains.

 

The analysis identifies 41 potential mid-block crossing locations throughout the Greater Akron area and recommends a number of potential safety improvements.  Brugler says that the analysis will aid communities and developers as they design and plan for future projects.  He notes that Akron has a number of locations that are solid candidates for mid-block crossings given the city’s inordinately long blocks in its downtown area.

 

Brugler adds that the agency is not limiting the Greater Akron area to those locations identified in its analysis.  AMATS is accepting suggestions from the public regarding potential crossing locations through its web site – amatsplanning.org – and its Citizens Involvement Committee.

 

“Because this analysis provides background on pedestrian behavior, we hope that it will be a starting point that leads to more pedestrian-friendly communities,” Brugler continues, “We are promoting mid-block crossings and other planning concepts such as road diets and other traffic-calming measures to improve our region’s safety and quality of life.”

 

Those living in the Greater Akron area should expect to hear more about these concepts in the coming weeks.  Fast on the heels of its Mid-Block Crossing Analysis, AMATS will release a road-diet report soon.  As the name implies, a road diet entails reducing the width of a road or its lanes to improve safety or to provide space for other modes of travel such as biking or walking.  Sometimes the freed-up space is used for footpaths, sidewalks, boulevard landscaping, and bike lanes.  The upcoming report will identify roadway sections suitable for road diets.

 

For more information about the AMATS Mid-Block Crossing Analysis, please call AMATS at 330-375-2436 or visit the agency’s web site at amatsplanning.org.

Check out what’s coming up this summer with All Aboard Ohio!

July 23, 2013 in Engagement, News, Transportation

Join “All Aboard Ohio” on Aug. 8 for “TOD on Tap” tour!

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Register today for All Aboard Ohio’s “TOD on Tap“ — an educational bar hop by rail transit in Cleveland on Thursday, August 8th, from 5-9 p.m.

Come hear from developers and transit planners who are rebuilding an Ohio city by uniting higher-level transit transit services like rail and bus rapid transit with walkable, mixed use Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Space is limited, so please register early!

Itinerary & Speakers

  • 5:00 p.m. — Shaker Square, Zanzibar Soul Fusion, 13225 Shaker Square (NE Corner); Speakers: Peter Rubin, President/CEO Coral Co., and Maribeth Feke, Director, Planning & Programming, Greater Cleveland RTA.
  • RIDE BLUE/WATERFRONT LINES (no transfer required)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Flats East Bank, Aloft Hotel Riveria BC/Lago, 1111 West 10th Street; Speaker: Harley Cohen, Owner’s Rep, Harlan & Associates.
  • RIDE WATERFRONT/GREEN/RED LINES (transfer at Tower City Center)
  • 8:30 p.m. — Uptown/UC, Constantino’s Market (balcony meeting area), 11473 Euclid Avenue; Speaker: Ari Maron, Partner, MRN Ltd.

FIND OUT MORE AND REGISTER HERE AT ALLABOARDOHIO.ORG!

 

“All Aboard Ohio” Summer Meeting & Family Outing

Brecksville-bridge-CVSRphoto

8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. August 10, 2013

Join All Aboard Ohio for a fun day on Ohio’s busiest passenger railroad — the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR. Ride the historic rail corridor through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, alongside the Ohio & Erie Canal from Greater Cleveland to downtown Akron and return, through historic villages and protected wildlife areas on rail service which carried 200,000 riders in 2012 and saw $45 million worth of improvements since 1990!

Registration of $35 per person includes one (1) CVSR train ticket in a reserved rail car to Akron and return, National Park Ranger tour guide & lunch at Yours Truly restaurant (short walk from Rockside station) for a discussion with CVSR President Craig Tallman.

READ MORE HERE AND REGISTER AT ALLABOARDOHIO.ORG!

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.

 

Transportation as a Civil Rights Issue Forum on Thursday

June 11, 2013 in Transportation

You are invited to participate in a discussion titled “Transportation as a Civil Rights Issue.” The keynote speaker for the discussion will be Samuel Gresham Jr., former head of the Columbus Urban League and the Ohio Commission on African American Males. Mr. Gresham Jr. is current chair of Common Cause Ohio.

The discussion will take place at CSU’s Levin College of Urban Affairs (1717 Euclid Ave.) at 4pm on June 13th. For more information visit Bike Cleveland site.

Interested in reducing costs, stress, carbon footprint, pollution and congestion? Are you up for the Commuter Challenge?

June 6, 2013 in ACT, Transportation

Multitask Much? How would you like to…

save money on fuel,
reduce your stress,
reduce your carbon footprint, and
reduce air pollution and traffic congestion?

You can accomplish all this and so much more by joining NOACA’s commuter challenge!

What is Commuter Challenge?
Commuter Challenge is a clean-air campaign that encourages people to try an alternative to driving alone. It is also a friendly competition among Northeast Ohio businesses in which employees choose a sustainable mode of transportation such as walking, biking, carpooling, telecommuting, or using public transportation.

How does Commuter Challenge work?
Employees representing their organization can sign up for the Challenge. Individuals not associated with an organization are also welcome to participate. At the end of the Challenge, participants complete the commuter form (third link on the left). The organization with the highest participation rate wins and will be recognized in a news release, publication and radio spots related to this event.

For more information on this amazing opportunity, click here.

Public Hearing for ODOT Major and New Construction Projects

June 4, 2013 in News, Transportation

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) has reviewed and scored applications for this year’s round of major/new construction funding. Major/new projects are defined as those that cost more than $12 million and are critical to the mobility, economic development, and quality of life of Ohioans. ODOT has scheduled public meetings to receive feedback on the draft list of projects.

The public hearing for northeast Ohio that covers ODOT districts 3, 4, 11 and 12 is scheduled for Thursday, June 6 at 9:00 am at the Akron Public Library, 60 South High Street in downtown Akron. For more information.

Take the 2013 National Bike Challenge!

June 3, 2013 in Connections, News, Transportation

  • What is the Challenge?
    The Challenge is an exciting health and wellness initiative that encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. In 2013, we aim to have 50,000 riders pedaling 20 million miles from May 1, 2013 until September 30, 2013. It is open and free to anyone who lives in the U.S. or works for an organization with U.S. employees.
  • What is the history of the Challenge?
    In 2009, Kimberly-Clark Corporation created an internal Bike Challenge for its more than 50,000 employees. With the help of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the Challenge was successfully piloted In Wisconsin at the state-wide level in 2011. The Bike Challenge, then called the Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge, went national in 2012. It had over 30,000 participants riding 12 million miles; 2013 will be the second year the Challenge is national in scope.

Learn more about the National Bike Challenge by clicking on the image above to visit their website!

Public Forum: Transportation as a Civil Rights Issue

May 30, 2013 in Connections, News, Transportation

Chicago’s Congress Parkway now a brighter place

May 29, 2013 in Connections, Transportation

The Congress Parkway in Chicago is now a more colorful corridor.   About 600 LED color-changing lights comprise the new dramatic lighting scheme along Congress Parkway.  This just some of the upgrades that mark the completion of the $24 million roadway reconfiguration and improvement project along the half-mile stretch of the South Loop parkway.  Located on Congress Parkway between Michigan Avenue and Wells Street, the roadway improvement project provides a world-class gateway into the City of Chicago and improves the conditions for the 63,000 vehicles per day that need to pass safely and efficiently through this corridor. A decorative and programmable lighting system with more than 600 LED lights, including free-standing fixtures in the median and lineal fixtures attached to decorative metal trellises throughout the parkway and on the viaduct walls under One Financial Place.  For more information about the Congress Parkway Streetscape, visit the website by clicking here.

Eastgate releases 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

May 22, 2013 in MPOS, Transportation

In April, the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments (a NEOSCC Board Member) released its 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).

The MTP is a long range planning document that brings together local governments to identify transportation needs and coordinate transportation projects and policies over the next two decades. Eastgate coordinates the development of the MTP with communities throughout the planning area, and with other local, state and federal agencies. The MTP keeps Mahoning and Trumbull Counties eligible to receive federal transportation funding to improve, maintain, and operate highways, public transit, bikeways, sidewalks, and related facilities. Transportation projects must be included in the MTP to be eligible to receive federal funding within the Eastgate planning area.

.  You can access the entire plan here.