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Tell the Ohio Legislature: Don’t Raise My Bill for Dirty Energy!

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The Ohio legislature continues to aggressively move forward with legislation that will gut our clean energy and efficiency standards.  Now comes breaking news that they want YOU to pay for their plan to kill the future.
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Save Ohio’s Butterflies!

Flower and ButterflyDo you enjoy the summer butterflies? Well, as these pollinator populations dwindle, the OhioDepartment of Agriculture and Wayne National Forest are planning to spray a dangerous insecticide called BtK all over Ohio to decrease the Gypsy Moth, a non-native moth that impacts trees through eating of leaves. Unfortunately, BtK doesn’t just kill the Gypsy Moth – it could wipe out every type of butterfly or moth it touches.  Read More

Years of Living Dangerously

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Years of Living Dangerously

New Showtime documentary showing the human impacts of climate change. Learn more and what you can do as an individual to #actonclimate

See the first episode here

 

 

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Transportation

As energy prices remain high and our state’s economy continues to sag, Ohio needs clean, green, and economically viable transportation options more than ever. Our state is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the transportation sector produces about one-third of this pollution. Forced reliance on the automobile puts greater financial stress on Ohio families, increases oil dependence, damages the environment, harms public health, and limits the mobility of citizens, particularly seniors, students, the disadvantaged, and the disabled. Meanwhile, Ohio spends less than 1% of its transportation dollars on public transit. Visit our Transportation Committee page to learn more about our efforts and how to get involved.

 

Transportation - Latest News

The Ohio Transportation Committee has focused its efforts at aligning group efforts to promote sensible and cents-ible alternatives to highway expansion with the national Green Transportation campaign. Our goals are to promote bike-ped development and transit and to oppose expensive highway expansion projects that devastate communities, harm human health, and endanger our natural resources. We currently have strong representation from NEO, COG, and the Miami Group, and we encourage other groups to let us know about transportation issues in their areas.

What’s at stake?

Ohio Governor John Kasich and Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray have embarked on a policy that strongly discourages transit alternatives in favor of expanded highway networks in a state that already has one of the highest per capita rates of interstate highway. The Ohio Chapter has worked with a statewide network of transit allies to promote policies which guarantee that a portion of the state’s transportation public support environmentally sound projects from bike-ped networks to transit. We plan to redouble our efforts in the year ahead, because the new federal highway formula allows funds once reserved for green transportation to be redirected to new highway construction. Fix-it first is a much more sensible solution!

Examples of bad planning from Cleveland to Cincinnati

Despite national trends showing people moving back to the urban core and driving less, planners in Cleveland continue to promote the sorely misnamed “Opportunity Corridor” which would pave over and isolate low-income neighborhoods on the city’s East Side. Akshai Singh is leading the battle in NEO to organize community leaders, but we need more members to speak out against this expensive and polluting project. We know that asthma rates go up and life expectancy goes down in areas with high vehicular traffic.

Down in southwest Ohio, the proposed Eastern Corridor Highway remains a major threat to the Wild & Scenic Little Miami River and the health of tens of thousands of children and elderly who live in the valley or use the many parks and recreational facilities there. Despite strong and consistent opposition from the Village of Mariemont, the Village of Newtown, and Cincinnati’s Madisonville Community Council, ODOT continues to push forward with a billion-dollar boondoggle.  What’s even more appalling is the huge waste of tax dollars to hire a major marketing firm to promote the highway, even a new YouTube video which purports to show the highway is the only way to reduce traffic congestion. ODOT planners just admitted this week, the computer model used to predict traffic patterns doesn’t even use traffic data! Our own analysis of actual ODOT traffic data in the area as well as an independent study confirmed the national trends that people are driving less, and traffic has declined in the area consistently over the last several years.

CoGo bike share spinning through Columbus

But we have to end on an optimistic note, and for that we take you to Central Ohio and the CoGo bike share project. In just one month, 10,000 people have traveled 26,700 miles using the 30 different CoGo locations. Columbus ‘CoGo’ bike share was rolled out through downtown Columbus in July. Featuring 30 automated rental (and portable) kiosks each contain approximately ten bicycles, 300 in total. This was made possible by the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department contracting with Alta Planning + Design, based in Portland, on a five-year partnership for an initial $2.5 million city investment. The purpose is to promote the use of bicycles for short trips rather than cars. Annual members – $75 per year – receive the first 30 minutes of each bike ride free.  Although these bicycles can be rented for one or three days by any adult with a credit card, the concept is to encourage short trips and turnover from station to station. Columbus is first in Ohio and beat out San Francisco’s recent bike share implementation! We hope other Ohio cities will follow Columbus’ lead.  For more info: www.cogobikeshare.com  info@cogobikeshare.com http://parks.columbus.gov/ColumbusBikeShareProgram.aspx http://www.altabicycleshare.com/

Eastern Corridor Alternate LogoIn the ongoing saga of the Eastern Corridor Highway project, one of Cincinnati’s potentially affected local communities, Madisonville, recently affirmed its opposition to the segment (Segment I) of the project that would impact it.  At a community meeting on Thursday, July 18, the Madisonville Community Council voted unanimously to support the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) “No Build” option instead of one of the potential new configurations of the Red Bank Corridor, which is primary thoroughfare through Madisonville, that ODOT has proposed. Read More

Ohio needs to invest in transportation choice and ensure that its transportation system is safe and efficient for all users.  This will benefit our environment, health, and economy.  Click here to read our testimony.

View Smart Choices, Less Traffic: 50 Best and Worst Transportation Projects in the United States in a larger map

The Sierra Club recently released a report identifying the best and worst transportation projects across the nation – Smart Choices, Less Traffic: the 50 best and worst transportation projects in America. Read More

The Ohio Department of Transportation is in the process of updating it long range plan, called Access Ohio, which will guide transportation in Ohio between now and 2040. It’s important that we stress the need to prioritize automobile alternatives — cycling infrastructure, safe sidewalks, and transit and rail — as well as a multimodal, complete streets approach that reduces our environmental footprint and more fairly serves all groups.

 

You can see our comments on the Objectives, Goals, and Critical Success Factors (metrics) of Access Ohio here.

 

If you haven’t yet taken ODOT’s survey about Ohio’s transportation priorities and future, you can access it here.