Category Archives: Transportation

Public Hearing on a remaining piece of the Eastern Corridor

This information is from the Eastern Corridor/Ohio Department of Transportation
A Public Information Meeting Will Be Held Tuesday, July 21,
to Provide an Update on the Duck Creek Connector Project in Madisonville

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the City of Cincinnati are holding a public information meeting to share information with the community about the upcoming Duck Creek Connector project.

The Duck Creek Connector project was developed in close coordination with local community, business and school representatives, and other area stakeholders. It is a component of the Red Bank Corridor improvement plan that will be implemented in a phased approach as part of the Eastern Corridor Program of projects.

The meeting will be held at the following time and place:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Madisonville Recreation Center – Gymnasium
5320 Stewart Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45227

This meeting will be held in an open house style format – you may come at any time during the meeting to review project information and talk with project team representatives.

Project representatives will share brief remarks at 5:30 p.m., and once again at 6:30 p.m.

Public input has been and continues to be an integral part of our work. The public is invited to submit written comments to the project team at the meeting and during the public comment period, which will remain open until Tuesday, August 4. Comment forms will be provided at the meeting and made available online after the meeting concludes.

More information is available at www.EasternCorridor.org.

June Update on the Eastern Corridor Highway Project

After meeting with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a handful of other stakeholders at an invite-only “focus group” on June 4, the Sierra Club is cautiously optimistic that transportation planners will abandon the proposed new Eastern Corridor highway in favor of making improvements to existing roadways and the region’s public transit system. Sierra Club supports plans to expand bicycle infrastructure in the region.

Better EC MapFor more than 15 years, the Little Miami River Valley has faced the looming threat of a proposed new highway that would cut through or pave over much of what makes that area special. Sierra Club and others were concerned that the Eastern Corridor project would pollute the river, degrade air quality, destroy important cultural and historic resources, disrupt recreational activities, displace communities and induce unwanted suburban sprawl.

The Eastern Corridor highway was originally intended to facilitate development in eastern Hamilton County and in Clermont County, and to accommodate the increasing numbers of commuters that would come with that development. But at the June 4 stakeholder meeting, officials from ODOT and Clermont County acknowledged that new growth and traffic projections show more people are choosing to live closer to downtown, and the need for a new highway may no longer exist.

Representatives from ODOT noted that the project’s anticipated environmental, cultural and socio-economic impacts in the Little Miami River Valley were “too challenging” to overcome. This confirms Sierra Club’s long-held position.

The Eastern Corridor project is separated into four segments, starting at Red Bank in Madisonville and continuing east to Bells Lane in Clermont County. ODOT had intended to build a new east-west highway through Segment II from Fairfax to Newtown Road. Moving forward, Segment II will now include purported improvements to SR 32, US 50 and SR 125. ODOT continues to anticipate that Segment III will require relocating SR 32 northward, from Newtown Road to Bells Lane.

Officials from the City of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) have stated that the Eastern Corridor project should focus on improving public transportation instead of providing more accommodations for automobile traffic.

Last year, ODOT released a Statewide Transit Needs Study, which concludes that Ohio should be spending far more proportionally on public transportation than new highways. This decision about the Eastern Corridor may mark ODOT’s first step toward addressing the Transit Needs Study.

ODOT will continue to consider plans for passenger rail along existing roadways and railways within the Eastern Corridor.

Sierra Club remains concerned about the possibility that ODOT’s plans might still call for the construction of a new or relocated bridge (or bridges) over the nationally recognized Wild & Scenic Little Miami River. ODOT is still required to complete its project review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and Sierra Club will continue to participate in the planning process.

Sierra Club is similarly concerned that ODOT’s plan to relocate SR 32 in the Segment III area from Newtown Road to Bells Lane may yet create unacceptable environmental and socio-economic impacts in Newtown and surrounding communities.

ODOT has not addressed Sierra Club’s concerns about Segment I of the Eastern Corridor project in Madisonville. That proposal still calls for the construction of a new connector road across the John P. Parker Elementary School grounds, which would put students at risk from air quality and safety hazards. ODOT has acknowledged that the proposed design will need to be updated according to the latest traffic projections, now that proposed Segments II and III have been revised.

Sierra Club has urged ODOT to open all future meetings about the Eastern Corridor to the public. Outside of the transportation planning process, Sierra Club and its partners will investigate options to protect the Little Miami River Valley from future proposed incursions and preserve it for generations to come.

Tell Congress: Stop the Attacks on Trail Funding!

Tell Congress: Stop the Attacks on Trail Funding!Trails, sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes aren’t luxury items. They’re essential to help people safely get where they need to go—in small towns and large cities alike.The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is the largest dedicated source of funding for trails, and walking and biking infrastructure in America. But this critical program is coming under attack in Congress.

Source: Tell Congress: Stop the Attacks on Trail Funding! – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Eastern Corridor / ODOT hold closed meeting.

“We think all meetings should be public and transparent,” said Nathan Alley, who will represent the Sierra Club at the meeting. “It does seem like there are people missing from the conversation who have important perspectives.”

After objections were raised, ODOT opened the meeting to aides from Commissioner Monzel and Hartmann.  Will they be the only ones allowed in?

Read more at the Cincinnati Enquirer

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/05/28/eastern-corridor-meeting/28067351/

 

Ohio Legislature adds language forcing decisions on Eastern Corridor

The current language, which has been vetted by Jerry Wray, Todd Portune and Rep. Brinkman, requires ODOT to make a “report of advancement” on the Eastern Corridor by the end of this year.  ODOT will have to decide whether it is moving forward with plans for the new highway, and will have to recommend a preferred alignment so that the public “can respond to something.”  The bill will not direct unspent funds back to Cincinnati, but Jerry Wray will send a letter to Hamilton County officials promising that the funds would indeed be spent here if the Eastern Corridor highway does not proceed.

Stop the Eastern Corridor ! Protect the Little Miami River !

A new amendment has been added to the state budget bill, putting a deadline on the decision to move forward with the Eastern Corridor Highway or not. That deadline is the end of 2015.  How the Ohio Department of Transportation could get through the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) approvals by the end of the year is a mystery.  Unless they plan to approve it without going through the EIS process.  Let your elected state representative know you want green transportation, not another polluting highway!

Read the latest from the Enquirer.

Find your state representative here.

Email us to join Sierra Club’s efforts to protect the National Wild and Scenic Little Miami River.

Donate (tax deductible)

Why oppose the Eastern Corridor Highway

stop the eastern corridorIt’s expensive, and it will increase truck traffic by the thousands!

According to a recent editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer, “The goals of the Eastern Corridor are…insufficient to justify both the cost – estimated at $1.4 billion for all the components – and the damage it could inflict. Research suggests that building new roads only temporarily alleviates traffic congestion; after a period…the congestion returns.”

It’s not healthy!

The same Enquirer editorial concluded that the proposed highway “would attract more auto traffic through a low-lying valley, increasing both air and noise pollution. Thousands of scientific studies demonstrate that automobile exhaust generated by traffic can harm our health and result in complications such as asthma, heart disease and cancer. Our children and our elderly are at greatest risk.

It will destroy our neighborhoods!

Up to half the homes and businesses in Newtown would be affected, and Mariemont could lose its historic South 80 recreational and archaeological area. Madisonville is currently fighting for slow-speed “Complete Streets” to support local schools, businesses and residents.

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Stop the trucks from I-74!ec planning doc

Protect the Little Miami River Valley!