March 26, 2013
It might not have been a knife in the back, but it certainly felt a bit like one as I read a recent local newspaper article.
Ohio officials are working on a transportation bill that would earmark 90 percent of the $1.5 billion in bond proceeds to be spent in the northern half of the state, including the Akron metropolitan region where I live. Great news considering that the art of dodging potholes has recently become a score-worthy family past-time.
But, I may not be able to put aside the scorecards just yet. According to a Cleveland Plain Dealer report, Jason Segedy, the Akron-area transportation planning chief, said that he’s “against building new highway lanes that encourage costly and economically unsustainable sprawl and drain money and business from the region’s shrinking cities.”
Instead, Segedy notes that, while the state has “major unfunded liabilities in terms of infrastructure maintenance,” more money should go to mass transit while the state simply maintains existing roads.
Like it or not, Segedy’s message may have legs. He already serves as the head of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, one of four metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) that oversees how federal dollars are spent in a 12-county region. All four MPOs in the region have seen his proposal, and he’s sharing his presentation with the directors of the other 17 MPOs in the state.
As someone who loves the ‘burbs, I don’t believe they are a drain on cities. In fact, my local metropolitan area has been enjoying a revitalization for nearly a decade. And, as much as I love a good road, I hope they don’t all lead to Rome. Formello, Ariccia, and Pomezia need roads too.