Building On Ohio’s Assets: Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati

RTA HealthLine-ClevelandBRT1Last week, CNT kicked off the BUILT (Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit) In Ohio partnership with the Office of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and the cities of Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. CNT and its partners will develop strategic advice on making new investments in transit, leveraging them towards economic development and applying for new opportunities in the federal Sustainable Communities partnership between HUD, DOT and EPA.

The BUILT partners assembled key decision-makers in each region to discuss the impacts of prior transportation investment decisions and the opportunity to move Ohio in a new, more sustainable direction. Stakeholders identified their region’s strengths, weaknesses and short term economic development opportunities.

Over the course of the next year, CNT will produce key analytical and policy documents to position each region to secure new funding opportunities from the Obama Administration.

As part of the discussion, CNT President Scott Bernstein conducted an initial Housing + Transportation Affordability scan for each region. Because of regional development patterns, stagnant wage growth and gas price volatility, transportation cost increases have outpaced the rate of growth by 125% since 2000. These costs left Ohio households vulnerable to increased food and health care costs and mortgage rate resets over that time.

CNT also toured each city. Ohio’s history of electric railway service has left behind a rich, historic urban fabric in each region’s core, from Cleveland’s transit accessible institutions and Columbus’s High Street corridor to Cincinnati’s walkable central area. With key links in place, these assets could encourage new private investment and reduce the strain on household budgets.

Read more about the BUILT in Ohio project (.pdf 70kb)

(Photo: Cleveland RTA’s HealthLine – Bus Rapid Transit)