(Tuesday, December 11, 2018) – The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) has received a $9.6 million federal grant
from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The competitive BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Developments) grant will be used to improve safety and mobility for the Amish and non-Amish populations traveling in rural Geauga County, one of the five counties served by NOACA.
“We are so excited to receive this grant which emphasizes the multimodal diversity of our region,” said NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci. “We’re thankful to the USDOT for recognizing the importance of our rural communities and we’re grateful to our leaders like Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman; and Congressman Dave Joyce for their support of this project at the federal level.”
The project aims to create safer roadways and improved mobility for all users by helping to eliminate conflicts between cars, trucks, pedestrians, and Amish buggies and allow for more efficient travel. The project will widen shoulders for buggy and pedestrian use, add buggy warning systems, and improve school zones and highly traveled pedestrian areas with signage and flashing lights.
Between 2010 and 2014, 83 crashes were recorded involving Amish buggies in Geauga County. These crashes tend to be severe, resulting in injuries and fatalities 34 percent of the time. The Amish population – which is already the fourth largest in the U.S. – is growing rapidly in Northeast Ohio. If trends continue, Geauga County’s Amish population will double by 2037, creating even more conflicts among buggies, pedestrians, and vehicles.
“I am thankful for the collaborative effort among NOACA, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Geauga County Commissioners, and Geauga County Engineer Joe Cattell for collectively spearheading the
Amish Safety Strategic Plan
,” said Geauga County Commissioner and NOACA Board member Timothy C. Lennon. “As a leader in the business community I know that it is important to ensure that all modes of transportation – including heavy trucks that service Amish-made goods – can coexist so that travel in Geauga County is safe and efficient.”
The complete $14.3 million project includes two, main components: (1) widening roadway shoulders to accommodate buggies and pedestrians; and (2) adding buggy warning systems, signage, and flashing lights. ODOT and NOACA will fund the remainder of the project.
“NOACA is proud to be able to support the region through this project which highlights the complex geography that exists in our five-county region,” said Cuyahoga County Executive and NOACA Board President Armond Budish. “NOACA is an agency that plans for the transportation needs of both the rural and urban areas of our region cohesively and to benefit Northeast Ohio as a whole.”
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The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is a transportation and environmental planning agency that represents state, county, city, village, and township officials in Greater Cleveland. NOACA addresses the transportation, air quality, and water quality needs of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. The agency and its partners cooperatively develop and implement plans to ensure that travel throughout the region is safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound. NOACA’s vision is to STRENGTHEN regional cohesion, PRESERVE existing infrastructure, and BUILD a sustainable multimodal transportation system to SUPPORT economic development and ENHANCE quality of life in Northeast Ohio. To learn more about NOACA, visit www.noaca.org
Media Contact: Jocelynn Clemings, Communications and Public Engagement Manager, 216-241-2414, ext. 253 or firstname.lastname@example.org