March 30, 2015                                                                       Volume 5, Issue 3

Board of Directors approves key documents and projects

  

At its March 13 meeting, the NOACA Board of Directors approved the following:

  • NOACA's Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Overall Work Program (OWP), which details staff planning activities for the upcoming state fiscal year (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016). The OWP includes transportation planning and funds management, transportation asset management, traffic and safety studies, bicycle and pedestrian planning, freight planning, air and water quality planning and program administration. The OWP is posted on NOACA's website along with a reader-friendly summary that reviews each OWP project along with anticipated products.
  • An updated wastewater Facility Planning Area (FPA) map and prescriptions for wastewater treatment for Medina County. FPA maps outline areas for where sewer service will and will not be provided over the next 20 years. Updating the FPA maps is important because, by law, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency cannot issue permits for sanitary sewer extensions and on-site wastewater treatment systems or distribute Clean Water Act grants or loans that are in conflict with FPA maps. NOACA has been working to update the maps for all five of its member counties to attain parcel-level accuracy for FPA boundaries and prescriptions for wastewater treatment. The Board approved the Geauga County FPA map update in November 2013.

Attend NOACA State Fiscal Years 2016-2019 TIP open house   

 

You are invited to attend an open house at NOACA's office, 1299 Superior Avenue in Cleveland, on Tuesday, April 7, 1 - 6 p.m. to review and comment on NOACA's draft State Fiscal Years (SFYs) 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP identifies federal-aid roadway, bridge, transit, shared use facilities and enhancement projects scheduled to be implemented within the next four years in NOACA's five counties. The open house will feature a presentation about the TIP, maps displaying the proposed projects and an opportunity to ask questions and leave comments.

 

The draft TIP will be available through June 12, 2015, for public review and comment. In addition, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will host open houses focusing on the TIP and statewide TIP on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 4 - 7 p.m., at ODOT District 12 headquarters, 5500 Transportation Boulevard, Garfield Heights, OH 44125-5396
  • Thursday, April 9, 2015, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., at ODOT District 3 headquarters, 906 North Clark Street, Ashland, OH 44805

2015 Board Resource Guide highlights NOACA planning work and responsibilities

 

If you'd like to better understand NOACA's federally required responsibilities as northeast Ohio's metropolitan planning organization; the agency's transportation, air quality and water quality planning functions; composition of the Board of Directors; and more, take a look at Navigate NOACA - A Resource for the Board of Directors. This resource guide can help you get better acquainted with NOACA's programs, products and services, Board members and staff. Each page of the guide links to a companion Web page where additional details can be found about that page's topic. 

 

NOACA convenes new Business Advisory and Community Advisory Councils

   

NOACA launched its Business Advisory Council (BAC) and Community Advisory Council (CAC) with a joint meeting on March 20, 2015. The councils will provide insight and feedback about how NOACA's programs and policies affect northeast Ohio. At the joint meeting, staff engaged members with a presentation about NOACA and its responsibilities, distributed the 2015 Board Resource Guide and reviewed the council charters, which outline the goals of each council and role of members. City of Cleveland Chief of Government and International Affairs Valarie J. McCall chairs these new councils, whose meetings are open to the public.

 

Workshop to assist communities with Storm Water Management Program updates

 

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) has issued new storm water discharge permits for communities with Municipal Separate Storm Water Systems (MS4). The new permit requires MS4 communities to update their Storm Water Management Programs to incorporate approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) recommendations for various pollutants for the watersheds in their community.

 

To help communities update their Storm Water Management Programs, NOACA, Ohio EPA, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District and Chagrin River Watershed Partners have developed assistance materials. Two sessions of a half-day workshop are planned for Tuesday, April 7, 2015, to explain the new permit requirements, present the assistance materials and examine best practices. Participants can attend a workshop from 8 a.m. - noon or 1 - 5 p.m. at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, 4055 Highlander Parkway, in Richfield, Ohio. For details about the materials and workshops, contact NOACA Senior Water Quality Planner Pamela Davis, pdavis@mpo.noaca.org.

 

NOACA supports Stand Up for Transportation Day

   

Highway and transit facilities in northeast Ohio-as well as in the rest of the nation-are aging and require rehabilitation or reconstruction to continue to meet the public's mobility needs. Many projects, however, have been delayed due to the lack of available funding to fulfill all of the repair needs.

 

Through legislative advocacy, NOACA encourages including a predictable, sustainable funding mechanism for transportation improvement projects in the next surface transportation law. NOACA is reinforcing that message by partnering with the Greater Cleveland RTA to support Stand Up for Transportation Day on Thursday, April 9. This event, founded by the American Public Transportation Association and celebrated in major cities across the nation as a way to bring attention to the nation's roadway and transit improvement projects, will help educate elected officials about the region's unique transportation infrastructure and need for a long-term transportation funding bill.

 

NOACA and RTA invite the public to attend a media event at RTA's Tower City rapid station in Cleveland at 10 a.m. on April 9. This event will be followed by a groundbreaking ceremony for RTA's new Brookpark Red Line rapid transit rail station.

 

Ozone Action Day Program begins April 1

 

NOACA's 2015 Ozone Action Day Program begins on April 1. Ground-level ozone pollution, which results from a combination of heat, sunlight and emissions from vehicle exhaust, is a summertime concern. Ozone pollution can create a variety of health problems, including impaired breathing, throat irritation and coughing, and can worsen existing respiratory conditions. NOACA's Ozone Action Day Program is active from April through October, when seasonal heat and sunlight are at their highest.

 

On days when ozone pollution levels are anticipated to rise, NOACA issues ozone advisories and encourages the public to implement the following voluntary actions to help reduce pollution levels:    

  • Take public transportation, carpool, ride a bike or walk to work.
  • Avoid excessive vehicle idling.
  • Refuel vehicles after 7 p.m.
  • Combine errands to conserve fuel.
  • Delay lawn mowing or grilling until after 7 p.m.
  • Reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

Watch for ozone advisories this summer, or sign up to receive a personal notification.

 

Employers: Help your employees choose an environmentally friendly commute option

 

Spring has arrived, and the promise of longer days and warmer weather makes riding a bicycle or walking to work more attractive as a commute option. People who choose to commute by walking or bicycling help reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and reap health benefits from active exercise. Employees who bike, walk, carpool or take

Bicyclist using bike rack
Take the bus or bike to work for a cleaner commute.

transit to work tend to be happier, healthier, and less stressed than those who drive alone and fight traffic.

 

Employers can help influence employees' commute behavior by making it easier and more cost-effective to use environmentally friendly modes of transportation.For example, employers that provide bike racks, changing areas, lockers and showers can motivate employees to try biking to work, and subsidizing transit passes can encourage employees to use transit.

 

NOACA applauds employers that provide facilities and programs that make alternative modes of transportation attractive for their  employees, and recognizes these organizations through its annual Commuter Choice Awards. NOACA will begin collecting applications for this awards program in June. Do you think your employer has what it takes to win a gold, silver or bronze Commuter Choice Award? Check out some best practices that encourage alternative commuting in NOACA's Commuter Choice brochure, and implement them! 
 
 
Contact:
Grace Gallucci, Executive Director
1299 Superior Avenue | 216.241.2414, ext. 100

Website: www.noaca.org