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Friday, November 25, 2011

Ohio: A State DOT That Doesn’t Try to Hide Its Total Disregard for Bike-Ped [DC Streets Blog]




Cartoon: Jeff Darcy The Plain Dealer
Just how highway-focused is the Ohio Department of Transportation under John Kasich? Well, it’s not good. In fact, it’s sort of laughably, hilariously terrible (if you don’t live here, that is).
Yes, ODOT is showing its true colors in its dismissive attitude with the West Shoreway highway-to-boulevard project that Cleveland has been planning for decades. It’s clear from this case that John Kasich’s ODOT thinks livability projects like highway-to-boulevard conversions are pretty silly.
First of all, this project has been advanced by three governors of varying political stripes. Already $400 million in desperately needed investment is underway along the corridor. That money is what we in Ohio call economic development — the sort of thing John Kasich has built his whole governorship around attracting.
Okay, here comes the funny part. ODOT let the project go way, way over budget and now there’s not enough to complete the plan. So the city of Cleveland returned to the state DOT for its second round of funding.
But ODOT is making it clear they aren’t too enthusiastic about this kind of thing anymore.
ODOT Spokesman Steve Faulkner told the Plain Dealer last week: “Given the budget crunch states are facing, it’s really hard to justify throwing more money into a project that is designed to reduce speed, won’t alleviate congestion and in some ways downgrades a perfectly good roadway.”

[Please continue reading this entertaining discussion of why Ohio sucks for bike-ped projects at DC Streets Blog]

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