January 30, 2015                                                                      Volume 5, Issue 2

Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo elected NOACA board president


At its January meeting, the NOACA Board of Directors elected Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo president to serve during calendar year 2015. Commissioner Kalo has been a NOACA board member since 2005 and served as the board's first vice president and chair of its Governance Committee in 2014. "I look forward to serving as president of the board," says Commissioner

Kalo. "I have had the opportunity to work with many of our members and staff on important

2015 NOACA Board President 
Ted Kalo 

regional transportation issues that will have profound effects on our communities. Our economy relies on our ability to manufacture and transport a myriad of goods and to achieve those goals NOACA must continually push for additional dollars for our infrastructure. I look forward to that challenge not only for Lorain County but the entire region."


The NOACA Board also elected a slate of officers including vice presidents, secretary, treasurer, assistant secretaries and assistant treasurers. The newly elected NOACA officers, as well as a roster of board and committee members serving in 2015, are posted on the agency's website.


NOACA adopts Regional Strategic Plan


On January 23, the NOACA Board of Directors also approved the agency's Regional Strategic Plan, Going Forward, Together, which will guide NOACA's future planning efforts. The plan embraces a vision statement, five goals, and strategies for meeting the goals and effectively allocating the region's resources.


The Regional Strategic Plan is a progressive approach for propelling the region forward in an era of changing demographics, job climate, and funding constraints. An overarching goal of the plan is to keep northeast Ohio sustainable, competitive in a global economy and effective at moving people and freight. For more information about the Plan's vision, goals and strategies, visit NOACA's website.


Region receives $42.7 million in CMAQ funding 


NOACA is awarding $42.7 million for transportation projects that improve air quality and increase transportation choice in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. The projects, which include transit vehicle replacements, cranes for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will receive $4.9 million in CMAQ funding for two port cranes to unload heavy cargo and containers.

Port Authority, compressed natural gas fueling dispensers for the Greater Cleveland RTA, bicycle/pedestrian facilities and a traffic signal upgrade, will be funded with federal Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) dollars between 2015 and 2020. CMAQ funding can only be used for projects that help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.


"Northeast Ohio is one of many regions in the state that does not meet federal air quality standards, but it has the largest population of all the areas affected by poor air quality," says Grace Gallucci, NOACA executive director. "These projects will not only result in better air quality, but also offer choices in how people travel." NOACA received the federal CMAQ funding allocation following a competitive statewide process involving eight Ohio major metropolitan areas. Check NOACA's website for the complete list of funded CMAQ projects in northeast Ohio. 


NOACA receives additional funding for northeast Ohio projects    


In fiscal year 2014, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) commended NOACA for expending 92 percent of the funding it was awarded toward its Transportation Improvement Program projects. Due to this accomplishment, ODOT has allocated an additional $1.7 million to NOACA for transportation projects. These funds have been redistributed to NOACA from other Ohio metropolitan planning organizations that were unable to dedicate them for project implementation in SFY 2014.  


"Through excellent planning and focus on delivering our capital improvement program, NOACA garnered additional funding for northeast Ohio," notes Grace Gallucci, NOACA executive director. "The Board of Directors and staff can certainly feel proud of this achievement on behalf of the region."


New Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative policy unveiled    

Policy allows projects conceived through TLCI planning studies to receive implementation funding


Good news for communities and project sponsors who have completed planning studies and seek funding to implement study recommendations: NOACA's Board of Directors approved a new Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) policy that allows project sponsors to work with NOACA to implement low-cost, high-impact

 A 2006 TLCI study focused on reconfiguring the roadway network at the MLK Jr. Boulevard/East 105th Street intersection in University Circle examined various options for improving access and safety for motorists and pedestrians. NOACA allocated $3 million to the improvement project that subsequently developed from the study's recommended option.

transportation improvements stemming from planning studies as well as request funding for new planning studies.


For more than a decade, NOACA has awarded TLCI planning grants that range from $40,000 to $118,000 to communities and public agencies for studies that strengthen community livability and potentially lead to improvement projects. NOACA's annual TLCI set aside is $1 million.


The Board's approval of the new policy initiates the fiscal year 2016 TLCI grant application process, with planning grant applications due on March 6, 2015. NOACA will host a workshop at its office on Thursday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for any community or project sponsor who has questions about the TLCI planning grant or preparing a project application. NOACA will also conduct three informational workshops around the region to develop programs that implement recommendations from previously completed TLCI studies. For more information about this year's TLCI application process or workshops contact Ryan Noles,  rnoles@mpo.noaca.org or call him at 216-241-2414, ext. 273.


Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan for Northeast Ohio adopted    


In addition to the Regional Strategic Plan, NOACA's Board of Directors approved an update to the Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan for Northeast Ohio (with appendices) at its January meeting. The plan assesses the transportation needs of the region's seniors, individuals with disabilities and those with low incomes; identifies strategies to address unmet transportation needs; and prioritizes the most viable strategies.


Federal surface transportation law requires that projects submitted for funding under the Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program be consistent with the goals of the Coordinated Plan.


NOACA updates Title VI Program    


The NOACA Board of Directors also approved an update to the agency's Title VI Program. This document describes the procedures NOACA will implement to comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and addresses compliance with federal regulations and federal and state nondiscrimination laws with regard to:

  • Communications and public involvement
  • Planning and programming
  • Consultant contracts
  • Title VI administration 

Application cycle for Section 5310 funding underway    


NOACA is pleased to announce that the application period for fiscal year 2015 Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program funding (Section 5310) is now underway. Public agencies, communities and private nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for this funding, which can be used to purchase wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles, computers, radios and inside of special trans. vehicle other capital equipment to support transportation services for older adults and people with disabilities. Federal funding provides 80 percent of the vehicles' cost and the remaining 20 percent is contributed by project applicants. The program will also fund 50 percent of the cost of operating projects, with local funding covering the remaining 50 percent.


Eligible applicants in the Cleveland Urbanized Area should submit completed paper applications to Kelley Britt, NOACA senior transportation planner, or submit electronic applications at section5310@mpo.noaca.org, no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, March 3, 2015. If you have questions about the program or application, contact Kelley at kbritt@mpo.noaca.org or Mobility Manager Jim Thompson at jthompson@mpo.noaca.org, or call them at 216-241-2414, extensions 211 and 275 respectively.  


NOACA adds projects to the long-range transportation plan    


NOACA Board members approved adding 29 projects from northeast Ohio totaling $510.9 million to the long-range transportation plan, Connections+ 2035, and amending the State Fiscal Years 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program with 57 projects. Connections + 2035 identifies federally funded road, bridge, transit and bikeway projects envisioned for the region over the next 20 years. The TIP serves as the implementation tool for the plan, scheduling and prioritizing projects ready to construct within a four-year time frame. The approved projects include road, pavement, maintenance, bridge, transit, shared use and traffic signal projects. 


You're invited to attend the Lorain County Public Transportation Forum Feb. 4    


Recent transportation studies have found that Ohio lags behind other states in the funding of public transit while transit needs are steadily growing. The state's overall population is aging and relying more on public transportation, while at the other end of the spectrum, young people are driving less and choosing alternative forms of transportation for their needs. A transportation poll taken by the League of Women Voters, Oberlin Area reveals that 42 percent of Lorain County residents use public transportation to get to work.


The League of Women Voters, Lorain County Commissioners and Public Services Institute, LCCC are hosting a public transportation forum on Wednesday, February 4, from 6 - 8 p.m., at Lorain County Community College's Spitzer Conference Center to coordinate discussion about the county's transit needs and development of a county public transit plan. Tim Rosenberger, supervising planner at Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Ken Prendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio, are the forum's featured speakers. A question and answer session will follow the presentations. The forum is free and open to the public. To register, go to Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/1Fw1VUl. 


Grace Gallucci, Executive Director
1299 Superior Avenue | 216.241.2414, ext. 100

Website: www.noaca.org