December 21, 2015                                                                   Volume 5, Issue 12
NOACA awards Transportation for Livable Communities implementation grants
At its meeting on December 11, the NOACA Board of Directors approved funding 19 transportation projects through its Transportation for Livable Communities (TLCI) implementation grants. The projects, totaling $506,000, are the first to receive federal funding assistance through the TLCI since NOACA's Board of Directors adopted the new TLCI policy in January 2015. The approved projects include bicycle facilities, crosswalk improvements, transit access improvements, wayfinding signage and other projects that enhance the multimodal transportation system.
Now entering its 11th year, NOACA's TLCI has provided funding assistance to dozens of communities and public agencies to develop planning and land-use studies that will strengthen community livability and support the multimodal transportation system. NOACA's TLCI policy splits the annual $1 million allocated for the TLCI evenly between planning and implementation grants. The implementation grants will enable communities to move forward and install infrastructure improvements recommended in their completed TLCI or other local planning studies.

"We are pleased to help communities implement projects that will improve neighborhood connectivity and safety and expand transportation choice," says Grace Gallucci, NOACA executive director. "A goal of the TLCI is to help communities develop plans that strengthen community livability and lead to transportation infrastructure improvements. Now, with TLCI implementation grants, NOACA is helping communities realize their plans and construct beneficial transportation projects."

Apply for 2016 TLCI planning and implementation grants

NOACA is now accepting applications for 2016 Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) grants. Communities can find applications for both planning and implementation grants on NOACA's website. The deadline for applications is noon on Friday, January 29, 2016.
ODOT recognizes NOACA programs as Regional Models of Cooperation  

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has recognized NOACA's Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) and Transportation Asset Management Program (TAMP) as successful Regional Models of Cooperation under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Every Day Counts initiative. Every Day Counts offers a framework and process for state departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) such as NOACA to work together to deploy plans and agreements that improve communication, speed project delivery, enhance roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion and improve environmental sustainability across agency boundaries.
NOACA's TLCI provides federal funding and technical assistance to communities to accelerate planning work and program projects that strengthen community livability and enhance quality of life. NOACA's Transportation Asset Management Program focuses on systematically restoring and optimizing Northeast Ohio's aging roadway infrastructure to a state of good repair. NOACA researched and implemented innovative funding strategies to advance this critical regional program. The TLCI and TAMP comprise two of the 11 Regional Models of Cooperation identified by ODOT this year.

Attend Cleveland City Club discussion about the future of transportation and community planning
How will transportation and community planning shape Northeast Ohio in the years to come? NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci and Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study Director Jason Segedy, who will soon be the City of Akron's new planning director, will discuss Planning for the Next Northeast Ohio at the Cleveland City Club at noon on Friday, January 8, 2016, as part of the City Club's Local Heroes Series. The conversation will focus on how Northeast Ohio's  communities are working for their residents, how they can work better, what the path forward looks like and what we are learning about the diverse needs of Northeast Ohio residents.

The discussion will review planning decisions of the past and the challenges the region now faces as a result of those decisions. To attend this discussion, visit the Cleveland City Club's website and follow the registration links.

NOACA forms a Rural Advisory Council  
NOACA's Board of Directors approved forming a Rural Advisory Council that will report to the agency's External Affairs Committee. This council will help the agency better understand and integrate the unique transportation and planning needs of rural area constituents and serve as a conduit of communication between urban and rural entities. Membership on the Rural Advisory Council could include farming businesses, land conservancy advocates and members of the Amish community from Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. NOACA anticipates convening the first meeting of the council in June 2016.

Cleveland's West 73rd Street extension opens 

On Saturday, December 12, local officials cut the ribbon on the long-anticipated West 73rd Street extension project. The roadway extension includes a new railroad bridge/tunnel under the Norfolk Southern tracks and a bicycle/pedestrian path,
The West 73rd St. extension is open to traffic. 
providing multimodal access to Edgewater Park and the lakefront for the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.
This project, to which NOACA committed $15 million, is part of the city's Lakefront West Project to expand public access to the lake, improve community livability and spur economic development in Cleveland neighborhoods.

The Lakefront West Project also includes transforming 2.5-miles of the West Shoreway into a tree-lined boulevard, a project now under construction.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization   
NOACA publishes plans that help communities identify multimodal transportation improvements
NOACA has recently published plans for three communities considering transportation improvements that will enhance safety, access, walkability and connectivity for residents. NOACA prepared these plans as part of the agency's Technical Assistance Program, which provides staff technical expertise to local jurisdictions for planning and implementing low-cost multimodal transportation improvements, such as bicycle facilities, sidewalks and curb improvements, traffic signal upgrades and safety projects.
NOACA posted the three completed studies/plans to its website:
Communities can apply for NOACA Technical Assistance for SFY 2017.

NOACA adds projects to Connections+ 2035
Charles Berry Bascule Bridge in
 Lorain, Ohio
At its December 11 meeting, the NOACA Board of Directors approved adding
the rehabilitation of the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge in Lorain and RTA's Federal Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Grant Program to the region's long-range transportation plan and State Fiscal Years 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The long-range plan, Connections+ 2035, outlines the development of Northeast Ohio's transportation system and identifies transportation investments that are planned through the year 2035. The TIP is the comprehensive, four-year listing of federal-aid transportation improvement projects scheduled for implementation in the NOACA region. 
Board of Directors releases 2016 meeting schedule   

NOACA's Board of Directors approved the calendar year 2016 meeting schedule for the agency's Board, committees, subcommittees and councils. The Board will meet quarterly on the second Friday of March, June, September and December 2016. The Board will hold a brief meeting on Friday, January 22, 2016, to elect officers to serve during 2016 and seat new members.
Grace Gallucci, Executive Director
1299 Superior Avenue | 216.241.2414, ext. 100