A month ago, Cleveland’s HealthLine celebrated its 10th anniversary, and there is certainly plenty to celebrate. As one of the nation’s first examples of bus rapid transit (BRT), the HealthLine has spurred about $9.5 billion in investment over the last decade up and down the corridor where it runs.
Are you interested in building transit-oriented development in Cleveland? Join LOCUS and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EDT for a webinar on the remarkable development opportunities in and around Cleveland, OH.
Cleveland, OH’s HealthLine is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that offers rail-like convenience with the flexibility of a bus. It connects Public Square to the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland. Photo by EMBARQ Brasil via Flickr.
This post is the fifth in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the new book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice.
All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!
From Chapter 8: The Balancing Act: Setting Priorities for Different Users
Making a commitment to Complete Streets breaks open a tidy linear system that has traditionally delivered roads designed only to speed motor vehicles to their destinations. The transportation project pipeline was good at taking in a narrow set of inputs at one end and pouring out a finished road at the other. Agencies must now bring many more modes, voices, and considerations into the process all along the way. What was a pipeline can become something of a swamp; everyone involved may end up feeling caught in a morass of competing claims for limited roadway space and limited funding. Rather than simply delivering a project, transportation professionals must navigate their way toward a solution that may not quite satisfy anyone.
When the housing bubble popped in 2009, it left many American communities with foreclosed and vacant homes and businesses.
The American Jobs Act would help restore thousands of these abandoned properties and put construction workers back to work in the process with Project Rebuild. The $15 billion project would create thousands of jobs to tear down abandoned properties, renovate foreclosed homes and maintain abandoned properties until they can be sold once again. Intended to initially help communities with the largest number of foreclosed properties, Project Rebuild would create much-needed jobs and energize the country’s blighted communities at the same time. Key components of the project include:
- Stabilizing communities by focusing on distressed commercial properties and redevelopment;
- Federal funding to support for-profit development — when consistent with project aims and subject to strict oversight requirements;
- Increased support for “land banking”;
- Establishing property maintenance programs to create jobs and mitigate “visible scars” left by vacant/abandoned properties.
Commuters sitting in gridlock may find it hard to believe, but many smaller and mid-size cities in America have under-used highways. In some of these cities, highways that were built decades ago are now impeding potentially valuable real estate development. And as many highways from the middle of the last century deteriorate past the point of minor repairs to needing to be entirely rebuilt, leaders in these cities are starting to question the cost and efficiency of maintaining certain pieces of their highway systems.
In Seattle, Cleveland, Syracuse and a number of other cities across the country, leaders are debating the merits of removing portions of their underused, crumbling highway systems to allow for economic development instead. As older highway segments meet the end of their useful life, civic leaders are presented with a rare opportunity to reduce expenses on underused infrastructure and create new opportunity for development at the same time. (editors note: according to transportation engineers, a road or bridge’s “useful life” is determined to be over when repairs are so expensive and the conditions are so bad that it would cost several times more to rebuild the road or bridge than to tear it down and build something different.)
Investing in and reusing vacant properties can catalyze long-term, sustainable revitalization in a community. Focusing on the multiple benefits these projects bring to neighborhoods and local economies, the Center for Community Progress’ Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference kicked off this week in Cleveland, Ohio. The annual conference brings together a diversity of leaders working on community development issues to make our neighborhoods stronger and healthier.
Representative Steve LaTourette [OH-14] joined the sixty existing co-sponsors of the Complete Streets Act of 2009 late last week, making the bill bipartisan in the House.
Complete Streets means more than single, unconnected streets. And in communities with natural barriers like rivers and lakes, building “complete” bridges is necessary to safely connect people to their destinations, regardless of how they travel.
The Cleveland housing market is experiencing a disaster of nearly biblical proportions. Last year, more than 13,000 foreclosure cases were filed in Cuyahoga County, which includes the greater Cleveland area. In response, the County Commissioners assembled the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, a non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and restoring vacant properties into productive parts of the community. Last month the land bank took a leap forward by forging a unique agreement with mortgage giant Fannie Mae that could be a game-changer for the distressed Cleveland region — and a model for other communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis nationwide.
Artists and community developers are not the most obvious partners — except for how strongly both believe in the possibility of transformation. Community Partnership for the Arts and Culture is holding Rust Belts to Artist Belt II, a conference held in Cleveland September 17th-18th, in the belief that artists and their work can affect strong … Continued