June 22, 2015                                                                       Volume 5, Issue 6

NOACA Board approves State Fiscal Years 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program


At its meeting on June 12, 2015, the NOACA Board of Directors approved the State Fiscal Years (SFY) 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP includes $1.8 billion in federal-aid transportation improvement projects scheduled for implementation in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties over the next four state fiscal years. Projects include road rehabilitation and resurfacing, bridge repair and replacement, public transit facilities, bikeways, pedestrian facilities, traffic signal systems and transportation asset management.


"The TIP is a significant planning document and very important to communities sponsoring transportation improvements," said NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci. "Maintaining a Board-approved TIP ensures that federal transportation funding will continue to flow into our region for transportation improvement projects." In related action, the Board approved the annual priority list of TIP projects NOACA expects to commit federal funding to in SFY 2016, beginning July 1, 2015. A sampling of projects scheduled for implementation in SFY 2016 are:

  • Rehabilitate North and South Marginal Roads in Cleveland
  • Replace buses and light transit vehicles for Laketran
  • Construct pedestrian bridge over North Coast Harbor in Cleveland
  • Construct Valley Parkway Connector trail in North Royalton and Broadview Heights
  • Upgrade traffic signals along Hilliard Road/Franklin Boulevard from SR-237 to Ridgewood Avenue in Lakewood

NOACA Board approves projects for MPO carry forward funding


In 2014, NOACA received a commendation from ODOT for successfully processing almost all of its state fiscal year 2014 projects to construction on schedule. NOACA's performance was rewarded by ODOT with an additional $1.68 million in redistributed funds from other Ohio large metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) to commit to northeast
NOACA committed funding to RTA for purchasing replacement trolleys.  
Ohio projects. The NOACA Board voted to allocate the redistributed funding to projects that improve mobility and enhance transportation in northeast Ohio as the region prepares for the national spotlight of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Six projects will benefit from this unique funding infusion. They are:
  • Replacement trolleys for the Greater Cleveland RTA
  • Improvements/enhancements to North State Street in the City of Painesville
  • RTA wayfinding signage to better connect neighborhoods and transit in Cleveland
  • Bike storage boxes in the Flats sponsored by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority
  • Public art installed in the right-of-way for RTA's Red Line rapid transit
  • Cleveland Bike Share program, sponsored by Cuyahoga County's Office of Sustainability and BikeCleveland

Save the date for NOACA's Annual Meeting 


Join NOACA on Thursday evening, September 24, 2015, for its 2015 Annual Meeting. This event provides a forum for northeast Ohio's local officials, business leaders, planners and the public to discuss current transportation and environmental issues and share perspectives about how to make the region more attractive to live and work in. The Annual Meeting also includes the presentation of the annual Walter F. Ehrnfelt, Jr. Award for Outstanding Regional Contribution and NOACA Commuter Choice Awards. Save the date and plan to attend.  


Apply for NOACA's Commuter Choice Award    


Does your employer encourage employees to use environmentally friendly modes of transportation, including transit, carpooling, bicycling, and walking? Does the company go the extra mile by providing incentives that make it easier and more cost-effective for employees to use alternative commute modes? If you can answer yes, then your employer could earn a NOACA Commuter Choice Award.


To apply for an award, a representative from your organization must complete a short online survey. You may wish to look through the survey first to think about the questions before you begin filling it out. Participating organizations can receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating based on the percentage of employees who use environmentally friendly commuting alternatives and on the organization's incentives, programs, policies and investments that support commute alternatives. The deadline to apply for an award is Friday, July 31. Award recipients will be recognized at NOACA's Annual Meeting on September 24.


In 2014, the first year of the awards program, NASA Glenn Research Center earned a Gold rating and top honors for promoting environmentally friendly commuting in northeast Ohio. Might your employer be equally as worthy of a Gold rating?


NOACA Board awards $475,000 in planning grants


On June 12, the NOACA Board awarded $475,000 in planning grants to seven communities for neighborhood planning projects as part of the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI). The grants, ranging from $60,000 to $96,000, will help fund planning studies that strengthen community livability, enhance quality of life and foster economic development.


"NOACA's TLCI planning grant awards have helped communities prepare studies with great recommendations for cultivating multimodal transportation," said NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci. "TLCI studies can also serve as the catalyst for moving projects forward to the implementation phase."


In January 2015, NOACA adopted a TLCI policy that equally divides funding allocated to the annual TLCI program between planning grants and implementation grants. Implementation grants fund low-cost, multimodal transportation improvements derived from TLCI or other locally completed studies. Staff recommendations for implementation grant recipients will be considered by the Board of Directors at its September meeting.


Fifteen organizations receive funding to help transport seniors and people with disabilities


NOACA is committed to addressing the transportation needs of people who are unable to drive, including older adults and people with disabilities. NOACA administers the federal Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program (Section 5310), which provides capital and operating grants to private non-profit corporations and public agencies that transport senior citizens and people with disabilities to the places they need to go.  


On June 12, the NOACA Board approved Section 5310 funding grants totaling $3.1 million for 15 communities and social service agencies. The funding can be used for special wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles, vehicle operations, computers/equipment, and mobility management and coordination programs.


NOACA adopts new Technical Assistance Policy


For more than a decade, numerous communities in the NOACA region have benefited from the free technical planning and engineering expertise of NOACA staff. NOACA's Technical Assistance program has helped communities plan, design and implement projects that strengthen community livability, improve safety, build a multimodal transportation system and promote sustainable development.


To broaden opportunities and fairly consider requests, NOACA has adopted a Technical Assistance (TA) Program Policy that standardizes application procedures for communities seeking NOACA professional staff assistance. The policy supports an annual project review and selection process, with approved projects becoming deliverables in NOACA's Overall Work Program. If you have received NOACA technical assistance in the past, review the policy's updated eligibility requirements and sponsor responsibilities.


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

Website: www.noaca.org