OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS - 1980 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223
Ohio’s Transportation Conversation targets State’s Diverse Regional Needs
Opinions also reveal Ohio motorists and businesses changing moods and modes, blaming record-high gas prices for switch to alternative transportation
(COLUMBUS) May 15, 2008 – As more Ohioans join the state’s “Transportation Conversation” by saying record-high gas prices have changed their moods about alternative modes of transportation, the conversation over Ohio’s future is set to grow even louder in the coming weeks at a series of regional meetings of the Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force.
Eastern Ohio residents are encouraged to attend and join the conversation at the regional meeting scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 11, 2008, at Ohio University’s Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Over the past several weeks, hundreds of Ohioans have submitted ideas and opinions to the task force online at TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov. A popular topic has been the impact of recent prices for gasoline and diesel fuel.
Adding to those public comments are reports into the Ohio Department of Transportation revealing more Ohio motorists are choosing to leave their cars at home. Transit agencies in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati have reported increases in ridership rates (the Central Ohio Transit Authority reported a 17.5 percent increase in April over the previous year). Businesses are also choosing alternative options for moving freight. According to the Association of American Railroads, freight traffic on U.S. railroads was the second highest on record last year.
ODOT traffic counts on Ohio’s urban and rural roadways also show a decline over the past year. Overall average daily traffic dropped 1.1 percent in 2007 compared to the previous year – the first time ODOT has recorded overall decreased traffic counts on interstate, freeway and arterial roadways across the state.
Launched last month, the Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force has been charged with envisioning Ohio’s future transportation system – determining how the state can best balance the movement of people and freight, create jobs and generate economic development, and link all modes of transportation by connecting highways to rail, aviation, water ports, transit, bike paths and walkways.
The task force, comprised of experts from both private and governmental sectors, is also examining the fairest ways to finance Ohio’s future transportation system.
To gather more public input and information about Ohio’s diverse regional needs, the task force will host a series of open meetings across the state. In addition to learning more about the task force, Ohioans will be able to share their vision of the type of transportation system they believe Ohio needs for the 21st Century.
Details about all meetings, including times, locations and directions, can be found at: TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov.
Statewide Regional Meetings:
All regional events are from 4 pm – 8 pm
Miami Valley Reg. Plan. Comm. 1100 W. Third Street
Dayton, OH 45407
Ohio University Campus
Walter Hall (Room 135)
Athens, OH 45701
University of Toledo
Toledo, OH 43606
Ohio Univ.-Eastern Campus
St. Clairsville, OH 43950
Ohio Expo Center/State Fairgrounds
Columbus, OH 43211
Cleveland State University
Joseph Cole Center
Cleveland, OH 44115
John S. Knight Center
77 East Mill St.
Akron, OH 44308
For more information contact Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640 or Becky McCarty, District Communications Office, at 330-308-3949.
Additional information can also be found at http://TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov
Please note: the website does not contain the typical www prior to the address.