Commuting by Bicycle
More than a decade ago, Sarah Abts and her husband, Howard Abts, got rid of their car. Howard seldom used it, and Sarah decided that having an unreliable car was worse than not having a car. Sarah is a part-time English Composition instructor at the University of Toledo, and Howard is an interim pastor. The couple are in their 60s and live near Highland Park in south Toledo. They now use bicycles for their primary transportation around town. Their experiences show that a bike can be reliable everyday transportation for lots of people...read more
Employment at TMACOG
TMACOG is now accepting applications for a Water Infrastructure/Watershed Planner. This position will build the capacity of TMACOG’s Water Quality department. The successful candidate will align skills closely with needs of TMACOG members and regional water quality challenges.
The position will coordinate the TMACOG Watershed Committee and assist with both the Wastewater Committee and Public Water Supply Committee. Technical functions will be to organize water quality, resource, and infrastructure data and conduct planning and watershed analyses for the Maumee, Portage, and Lake Erie Western Basin watersheds.
Applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree in an appropriate planning-related field and must demonstrate some professional management experience in a related field. Position requires skills in applying statistical and graphic procedures relevant to analyzing and presenting data.
See more information about qualifications and the scope of work on the TMACOG webpages here. Applications are due by May 27.
The Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) has completed evaluations and will make recommendation for funding two projects through the Clean Ohio Fund that will preserve about 230 acres of open space in Lucas County. If approved as expected, state funding of $1,246,000 will return to Lucas County.
Both recommended projects are part of the Metroparks of the Toledo Area. The first priority is in the Blue Creek area. It would protect 97 acres through the acquisition of four contiguous vacant parcels that abut the existing Blue Creek Metropark south of the Village of Whitehouse. The project area includes a wet woods, classified as a category II wetland. Acquisition will double the length of protected corridor of Blue Creek and improve aquatic habitat.
The second priority project is at Raab Road and Frankfort Road that would protect 133 acres with the purchase of four separate parcels. The properties are between Kitty Todd Preserve and the Irwin Prairie in western Lucas County. The land is part of the greater Oak Openings region and the acquisition contributes to a larger plan to connect the Oak Openings Preserve and Secor Metroparks. Future plans call for the area to be restored as wet prairie which is habitat for Kirtland’s Warbler, the Least Bittern,
and Blanding’s Turtle. The Metroparks will provide significant local matching funds for both projects.
The Junction Neighborhood Greening Plan
Following an 18-month educational and planning period, TMACOG and partners have completed and published the Junction Neighborhood Green Plan: A Community Vision for Beautification and Stormwater Management. TMACOG worked with the existing neighborhood group using a grant from the U.S. EPA Urban Waters Program to incorporate stormwater planning into ongoing plans for neighborhood re-development.
The Junction Neighborhood is in central Toledo, roughly bounded by Detroit Avenue, Dorr Street, Swan Creek, and I-75. It has been beset by vacancies and other blight. The area is also one of the Toledo neighborhoods with combined sanitary and storm sewers, which means that in heavy storms untreated sewage can overflow into area waterways. The greening plan is a forward-looking strategy for using green stormwater infrastructure to address broader issues of re-investment and re-development.
The greening plan envisions several different strategies. In the historic business district, the plan recommends a main street that clusters parking, creates community green spaces, and locates stormwater management practices behind commercial buildings. Neighbors have also identified a health and recreation corridor that could decommission portions of under-used streets and create a large multi-functional green space with gardens and recreation areas. Three large vacant lots at the intersection of Junction and Nebraska have potential for a stormwater wetland as well as a neighborhood gateway.
Help for Homeowners with Septic Systems
In the Wolf Creek watershed in Jerusalem Township, there are more than 450 households that rely on septic systems for treatment of household wastewater. Because the area is adjacent to the Lake Erie beaches of Maumee Bay State Park where swimming advisories are sometimes posted, health department officials in the area are trying to help ensure that all the septic systems in the area are working well and not contributing bacteria to the waterways.
Homeowners with septic systems are asked to contact the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department for a free inspection and for advice on managing their system. People can call 419.213.4100 or contact Jerry Bingham, supervisor at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, at Binghamj@co.lucas.oh.us.
The project is educational and not an enforcement program. If a system is found to need repair or replacement, grant programs are available that may defray costs. The partners working to educate homeowners have produced a short video showing how septic systems work. The video is posted on YouTube here. It shows how a standard system works and how to keep it in good working order.
Active Transportation - Commute by Bicycle
Try it in May
Join TMACOG members and partners in a celebration of spring and active transportation in May. Bike Month invites experienced cyclists and those who aspire to ride more often to join in some of the planned activities...read more
Public Comment Sought on ITS Architecture
Transportation planners, civic leaders, and the general public are invited to review and comment on the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) draft architecture in northwest Ohio. The draft will be posted on the TMACOG transportation webpages with a link for public comments.
The review period is part of an update to the area’s network of emergency communications, road signage, traffic signals, and other transportation communication systems. The ITS planning area is largely Lucas and Wood counties in Ohio and southern Monroe County, Michigan but neighboring counties are invited to participate.
The goal of the ITS Architecture update is to identify participating agencies and inventory their systems, look for ways to better integrate existing systems, and plan for growing and maintaining an efficient architecture. The goal of the review period is to ensure that ITS projects and communications between regional stakeholders are being represented correctly. It is also the time for any stakeholder who has not participated so far to make sure their future ITS plans are included in the regional architecture.
For questions on the ITS update or to comment, contact TMACOG a Transportation Planner/Database Analyst Lisa Householder,419.241.9155, ext. 124.
Ohio Conference on Freight
The 2016 Ohio Conference on Freight is moving to Cleveland this year for the tenth annual conference, August 22-24. The conference, which is created and presented by TMACOG with the support of many partners, came out of a regional drive to solidify the freight transportation and logistics industry as a fundamental piece of the economy. It is now a well-respected, well-attended event that brings top national and international speakers to address attendees from more than a dozen states and Canada....read more
Train Day Toledo is May 7
This one-day celebration of trains and train travel returns Saturday, May 7, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Events are at the Toledo Amtrak Station (415 Emerald St.) and upstairs at the Grand Lobby. There is no admission and parking is free at the Port Lawrence parking garage at St. Clair and Jefferson in downtown Toledo. A shuttle connects to the Amtrak station...read more
Thank you to TMACOG member and partner Huntington Bank for their support of the April TMACOG Tech session on Ohio Sunshine Laws. Elected officials who are required to attend this training during each elected term benefit from having it close to home. The presentations and materials are provided free by the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
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