AMATS announced during its Dec. 8 Policy Committee meeting that the first recipients of its new Connecting Communities Planning Grant Program would be the city of Richfield and the joint applicants of the city of Akron and METRO, the transit authority serving Summit County.
The program provides two $50,000 grants to help applicants develop transportation plans and studies that focus on livability practices identified in the agency’s Connecting Communities Initiative – A Guide to Integrating Land Use and Transportation.
Heather Davis Reidl, mobility planner, says that the agency is excited about the program, which incorporates key principles of Connecting Communities.
“We sought proposals that promote economic development while encouraging alternative forms of transportation,” Davis Reidl continues, “We want to promote more transportation choices, such as walking and biking, while supporting existing neighborhoods rather than sprawl.”
She notes that it was not an easy task for the Connecting Communities Task Force to select the final recipients from among the 17 applications submitted by project sponsors throughout the Greater Akron area. “Response to the program has been enthusiastic and all of the proposals had merit,” Davis Reidl observes.
The Richfield and the joint Akron-METRO studies were ultimately selected because they have excellent frameworks for success and will support the livability practices promoted by Connecting Communities, Davis Reidl explains. (To view summaries of these studies, please click here.)
Richfield will use its grant money to craft its Crossroad of Commerce & Community Study, a comprehensive land use plan for the area surrounding the intersection of Interstates 77 and 271. The Richfield study will include the development of bike and pedestrian plans that promote access to public transportation along Brecksville Road and safe connections across the interstates to reconnect its residential and commercial areas to school and recreational facilities. There are also proposals for trail and street improvements to connect Richfield’s Historic District, its school campus and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Akron and METRO will use their grant money to develop the Downtown Akron Connectivity Study to improve connectivity, accessibility and mobility between Akron’s neighborhoods and districts located in the downtown area. The study’s recommendations will be designed to give downtown workers and visitors an array of travel and choices to move effectively and efficiently throughout downtown Akron.
For additional information, please call AMATS at 330-375-2436 or send an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).