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Stark County Area Transportation Public Meeting on Wednesday

April 8, 2013 in Stark, Transportation

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is developing the State Fiscal Year 2014-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The STIP is the four-year plan listing highway, transit, pedestrian and bicycle projects that will occur throughout Ohio for the next  four fiscal years.

Projects are derived from Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), ODOT Central and District Offices, and from others throughout the State. This includes projects originated from
the Stark County Area Transportation Study (SCATS), which is the MPO for Stark County. As part of the public involvement process, SCATS will hold a Public Meeting at the Stark County District Library Main Branch on Wednesday, April 10th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. You are invited to review and comment on the current list of projects scheduled by ODOT for state fiscal years 2014-2017 as well as the SCATS 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and SCATS 2040 Long Range Plan.

For more information, visit their website.

Alternatives Begin Fueling Transit in Northeast Ohio

January 18, 2013 in News, Transportation

A number of Northeast Ohio Transit Agencies have begun to look at alternative ways to fuel public transportation.  Last year, Stark Area RTA unveiled their new Clean Natural Gas system used to fuel a number of new buses at SARTA.

CNG is the Cleaner, Greener, Domestic and more Affordable option.

Cleaner:

Reduces health-harming air pollutants - 95% less particulate matter, carbon monoxide emissions and 80% less nitrogen oxide emissions.  (U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Labratory).

Greener:

Lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 26-29% in cars and light trucks and 23% in medium to heavy-duty vehicles.

Domestic:

98% of natural gas is produced in North America; reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Affordable:

Costs 25-40% less than diesel fuel (1/3 of the cost of traditional gasoline), has maintenance costs equal to or less than gasoline or diesel vehiles.

SARTA will see a savings of over $300,000 per year by making the switch. 

 

This week, the Greater Cleveland RTA announced that it will be testing out a new hydrogen fuel-cell bus in Cleveland in tandem with the NASA Glenn Fuel Cell Bus 3.jpgResearch Center. From Cleveland.com:

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has teamed with NASA Glenn Research Center to bring the bus to town and keep it refueled at a bus garage in East Cleveland.

The setup is among only a few in the country, supported in part by a federal program testing the practicality of hydrogen-fueled buses.

They run cleaner, quieter and more efficiently than diesel-fueled coaches.

Lowering transit demand for diesel and other fossil fuels could help lessen dependence on foreign oil, advocates say.

And sparking demand for buses running on hydrogen fuel cells could boost a fledgling industry.

“Our partnership with NASA has made it possible to offer the first of this technology in Ohio,” said Mike Lively, manager of RTA’s Operations Analysis, Research and Systems Department. “We are excited to offer it to our riders and the Cleveland community.”

RTA acquired the distinctive, green-and-white bus for up to a year. It’s a no-cost loaner from United Technologies Corp., a Vermont-based company that makes fuel cells. The company is working with the Federal Transit Administration to test the performance, operating cost, reliability and safety of the buses. They cost a lot more than conventional coaches.

RTA’s bus seats 57 and will roll up to 80 miles a day. The transit agency will cover operating costs and has already paid NASA Glenn and its contractors $50,000 to install the fueling equipment.

Local advocates of alternative energy have pursued the hydrogen-fueled bus for several years.

The Cleveland Foundation supplied a grant that helped NASA Glenn and the Ohio Aerospace Institute ship in a hydrogen-fueling station once used in Vermont.

Crews also installed an electrolyzer from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The device separates hydrogen from water, allowing the gas to be stored at the fueling station and pumped into tanks aboard the bus.

NASA pioneered fuel cell technologies 50 years ago for manned space flight.

“We’re hopeful that we show to the community how straightforward it is to deal with hydrogen and how simple and effective it is,” said Valerie Lyons, chief of NASA’s power and in-space propulsion division.

Sierra Lobo, a NASA Glenn contractor, installed the fueling station at RTA’s Hayden Garage in East Cleveland. That facility already had equipment for compressed natural gas.

The station will feature 50 hydrogen sensors developed by NASA Glenn, Case Western Reserve University and a California company.

What Can I Do Today?


Stark County Education Network for Environmental Sustainability

December 14, 2012 in Stark, Sustainability

Are you interested in learning more about sustainability and what is going on in Stark County? The Stark County Education Network for Environmental Sustainability (SCENES) “facilitates the sharing of information, and takes advantage of  the combination of strengths, and opportunities in effort to raise community awareness and advance sustainable development and a healthy environment.” The project, led by Stark State College,  is supported by a consortium of colleges, universities and environmental groups in and around Stark County. Funding for this effort is provided by the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation.

The SCENES website highlights eight focus areas: Advocacy, Building and Construction, Ecosystems, Energy, Green Business, Green Tips, Transportation, and Waste.  It also features ways to get involved and best practices occurring throughout Stark County. Visit the site at http://www.starkscenes.org/ or read their most recent newsletter by clicking here!

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Act: Add your voice to transportation projects!

October 26, 2012 in ACT, Communications, MPOS

A significant component of NEOSCC’s leadership are the four Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Northeast Ohio.

What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization? You can find out in the following presentation - NEOSCC_Overview_101_What is an MPO.  Here is some quick background:

 

NEOSCC and the Vibrant NEO 2040 planning process includes the following MPO’s and their county jurisdictions:

The two other counties Ashtabula and Wayne County that are part of the Vibrant NEO 2040 effort are covered through Councils of Governments.  This is a topic that will be covered soon in the Vibrant Daily.

As part of their planning process, the MPO’s each reach out to the public and stakeholders to participate and contribute their opinions.  This range of participation opportunities includes Civic Involvement Committees, public forums and meetings on different transportation issues and public comment periods on proposed projects and plans. Check out their websites for information on adding your voice to their planning processes.

Here are two opportunities to act on today!  The first is for those that fall into the counties within the NOACA MPO.  The second is an engagement opportunity through ODOT for anyone is the state.

NOACA 

NOACA is currently seeking public feed back on transportation projects in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina Counties.

The following proposed transportation improvements are available for public review and comment. Staff will present these projects for information at the October 19, 2012 meeting of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC will take action on the projects at their November 16, 2012 meeting. The Governing Board will consider adding them to the region’s long-range transportation plan and Transportation Improvement Program on December 14, 2012.

Each project page contains a comment link for local government representatives, and the general public. The public can comment on any of these projects through Thursday, December 13, 2012.

Cuyahoga County:

Geauga County:

Lake County:

Lorain County:

Medina County:

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

ODOT is currently seeking input for the Access Ohio 2040, Ohio’s Long-Range Statewide Transportation Plan. This is an opportunity for you to provide input into the Plan.

ODOT is updating Ohio’s Statewide Transportation Plan, Access Ohio 2040.  This plan is important to Ohio’s future, as it will set the stage for ODOT’s transportation policies and investment strategies for the coming years.  This is an update to the previous plan, Access Ohio 2030, which was released in 2004.   ODOT will be finalizing the plan update in the summer of 2013.  Access Ohio 2040 will help to ensure that we meet our mission, “to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place.”

The State is using a technology called MindMixer to gather insight and opinions on transportation issues.

Access the interactive platform.

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