Newspaper Record of XXXXX/JACOBS in Avon,
9-29-05 to 12-31-05

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A public meeting on the proposed I90 interchange will be held on 1-19-06 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Avon Senior Center, 36786 Detroit Road. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting and by email until 2-3-06.

10-5-05 I-90 interchange meeting on 9-29-05

10-5-05: Information presented at the I-90 interchange meeting on 9-29-05, by Susan C. Swartz, PE, AICP, TranSystems Corporation

12-1-05 I-90 interchange meeting on 12-1-05

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 10-13-05, By KEN PRENDERGAST, Staff Writer

[Westlake tries again for money to widen Detroit Rd. to five lanes]

... Westlake has tried each year for the past several to win more than $25 million in Ohio Department of Transportation funds to [go to five lanes] along the busiest stretch of Detrolit Rd., 2.62 miles between Crocker and Columbia roads. And, each year, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's request, on Westlake's behalf, has been denied funding by ODOT.

NOACA uses a scorecard that measures the desirability of road construction projects and submits the highest-ranking projects to the state for funding. ODOT's Transportation Review Advisory Council has its own scorecard for ranking projects, which differs from NOACA's ...

NOACA submitted only four projects to ODOT this year [2005], citing limited funding. In addition to Detroit Road, lanes are proposed to be added to Pearl Road (U.S. Route 42) in Strongsville, Interstate 77 south of State Route 82, and Interstate 271 from Bedford Heights to Oakwood. Total cost of those four projects is $117 million. Of that, $82 million in ODOT funding is requested, said NOACA's Executive Director Howard Maier ...

NOACA's scoring criteria measures traffic, number of trucks, safety concerns, regional economic issues and if the project is in the urban core. ODOT also ranks traffic, trucks and safety highly, as well as whether the funding is spent on a so-called "macro corridor" - a route of statewide or national significance. And, ODOT doesn't single out where economic development occurs as long as it does occur.

"Our rankings lean heavily to Interstates," said ODOT spokesman Andrew Gaul. "It's an issue of jurisdictional control. Under home rule, state roads are going to fall under the responsibility of the municipality."

Another issue is that, in recent years, local projects could recieve extra federal funding passed through ODOT, thanks to a strange wrinkle due to the Ohio Turnpike. Since the Ohio Turnpike is a self-sustaining part of the Interstate highway system, the federal government compensates Ohio with "toll revenue credits." Local governments can apply for those credits in lieu of a local funding match.

Ohio recieved an unusually large amount of toll revenue credits in the 1990s, as the Ohio Turnpike added a third lane in each direction, costing more than $1 billion. Completion of that project reduced the amount of credits to normal levels.

"It's not that we're giving less money," Gaul said. "We're just not able to offset the local [funding] match [with toll revenue credits]."

He noted that northeast Ohio is receiving substantial amounts of highway funding through ODOT. He cited more than $1 billion, in total, for the Innerbelt (I-90) through downtown, the Shoreway (state Route 2) along Cleveland's lakefront, the reconstruction of I-90 west of Cleveland and other highway projects.''

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[The next 'stakeholders' meeting is on Thursday, 12-1-05, at 7 pm in the Avon City Hall at 36086 Chester Rd.]

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 10-5-05, By Julie A. Short

[I-90 interchange meeting on 9-29-05]

AVON -- It's been more than a year since the last meeting of stakeholders in the process to bring (or not bring) an interchange in Avon off I-90 somewhere between SR 83 and the Cuyahoga County line. A group of approximately 75 people gathered Sept. 29 [2005] to get the ball rolling again.

The study was put on hold for several months because TranSystems (hired by the city of Avon to conduct the interchange study) was waiting for traffic projection figures from Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). Those figures are in, and TranSystems is still evaluating the projections. The fourth of six stakeholder meetings included updating the group on the project's progress, discussion of the project's purpose and need, and asking for input on developing alternatives.

"This may be a frustrating evening for a number of you," TranSystems Project Manager Susan Swartz told the group. "We had to revisit lots of the traffic issues and NOACA provided us with the traffic info which we have been working on."

Swartz did outline a timeline for the group to move forward which included a meeting in November [7 pm on 11-17-05 at the Avon City Hall] to discuss more alternatives prior to the general public meeting, which is to take place in either November or December. A December, or possibly January, meeting is slated to discuss recommendations.

During the presentation, TranSystems pointed out to the group that several interchanges in the area are failing at peak times such as the afternoon rush hour. The Crocker/Bassett interchange at I-90 received a grade of F. "If you can get a D during peak periods, you are okay," Swartz said.

Alternatives proposed by TranSystems:

  • improving Crocker (with and without connections to Avon Rd. and Clemens),

  • improve the existing SR 83 interchange in Avon,

  • improve Crocker and SR 83 together,

  • construct a new interchange at Jaycox Road,

  • build a new interchange at Nagel Road,

  • construct a new interchange at Avon Commerce Parkway/Napa Boulevard,

  • associated recommended improvements for each option and finally

  • a "no build" option.

    Swartz then asked the audience for its input on other alternatives and several obliged, offering interesting ideas.

    "Why not create a split interchange?" David Maxwell of the Willow Creek sub division near I-90 asked. "Half the traffic would exit at Jaycox and half at Nagel and meet in the middle. It would be less of an impact. The city would create an access road in the middle ..."

    [Putting the proposed interchange between Jaycox and Nagel has been proposed at several of the stakeholders meetings; but TransSystems has not yet evaluated this alternative.

    Extending Middleton as a marginal road for I-90 from Jaycox to Avon Rd. was proposed. The new Middleton should be a "vehicle access street" with no private driveways and should be paid for as part of a new interchange project.

    Chester Rd. should be widened to five lanes and connected to Clemens in Westlake, which also should be paid for as part of a new interchange project.]

    Several residents were in attendance from Willow Creek including Laura Rouse who provided TranSystems with some additional information regarding health concerns should an interchange be built in their backyard.

    The discussion also included Westlake's proposed plans for closing Avon Road at the county line ... Avon resident George Bliss asked how long the city has to wait to hear from Westlake, as few have been in attendance at the stakeholder meetings ...

    Representatives from Avon Lake were in attendance, including Mayor Rob Berner, who gave figures regarding Avon Lake's build out. "We're 80 percent built out residentially," he said. "Sixty-five percent in dustrial, and 95 percent commercial."

    Taylor "Jack" Smith, president of the Avon Historical Society, referred the audience to Avon's 1992 Master Plan and shocked the group with his figure th at Avon will have 74,000 residents at full build-out, a figure Mayor Jim Smith was quick to dispute. "We changed our density," the mayor said. 'Those numbers have to come down. We're now at approximately 60 units per 100 acres. A population of about 40,000 is a more realistic estimate."

    [Avon reached a total of 14,880 residents in July, 2004. To put this into perspective, we should look at the 1992 Avon Master Plan, submitted to Mayor Pearl Olearcik on 7-23-92 by Metro One Design Group Inc. On page 28, Metro One calculates that Avon's 7627 acres of R1 (single family) zoned land will produce a build-out population of 58,333; there will be a total build-out population from all residentialy zoned land of 74,156.

    On page 16, Metro One recommends that 4470 acres of Avon's R1 land be changed to R1WR (R1 Western Reserve) with a minimum lot size of two acres. At build-out, R1 would have 24,144 people; R1WR would have 6884 people; and there would be a total build-out population from all residentialy zoned land of 44,754.

    No R1 land has been given mandatory R1WR zoning, although R1WR is a rarely used voluntary option. Thus Avon's build-out population, without a massive rezoning of Detroit Rd. to R3 (multi-family), will be about 74,000, according to Metro One.

    Avon has an area of 20.9 square miles. Parma has an area of 20.8 square miles and a 2004 population of 87,000; So, if you think traffic is bad with an Avon population of about 15,000, just wait. Remember, Parma was built on a grid; Avon's developments are almost impenetrable mazes.

    No calculations have been provided showing that Avon's current ordinances will produce a build-out population in the 40,000s.] ...''

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    ``I-90 Access Study, City of Avon

    Information presented at the I-90 interchange meeting on 9-29-05, by Susan C. Swartz, PE, AICP, TranSystems Corporation

    Background:

    The City of Avon has hired TranSystems Corp to study access needs in relation to I-90. The study will follow Steps 1-4 of ODOT's Project Development Process (PDP).

    2004 street map

    2004 street map -- Click here for a larger view.

    Open land in the study area is zoned Manufacturing, [Commercial], Office or Residential. Service lines are already in place.

    Majority of residential land is currently developing or planned for development Office and Manufacturing land is being developed but at a slower pace. [For a potential major commercial development, see FIRST INTERSTATE DE-ACTIVATES CHESTER CENTRE ]

    study area

    study area -- Click here for a larger view.

    Stakeholder Committee: Community officials of Avon, Avon Lake, Westlake, Lorain & Bay Village; Lorain & Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office and Planners; ODOT, NOACA, FHWA, County Commissioners, other Elected officials; Transit agencies; Community & Business Groups; Interested Citizens and neighborhood representatives.

    Remaining meetings: Today [9-29-05], Background, Review Transportation Needs, discuss options to be considered; November - Review alternatives prior to public meeting; November/December, General public meeting; December/January, Discuss recommendations;

    Primary Needs:

    Serve existing/expanding businesses in Avon and future development according to existing land use plans.

    existing traffic

    existing traffic -- Click here for a larger view.

    Reduce congestion to improve access to I-90 for Avon, Avon Lake, Bay Village and Westlake.

    Associated Goals: Serve All Involved Communities; NOACA Plan Objectives; Socio-economic Need; Residential Growth; Industry & Tax Base; Commercial Growth; Industry; Business Economics, "Just in Time"; Expansion; Attracting and Retaining Employees; 75% of Industrial Property within Avon still to be Developed.

    Tax Base -- 2002 net property tax rates:

    Avon, 49.39 mils

    Avon Lake, 53.06 mils

    Bay Village, 72.64 mils

    Westlake, 54.27 mils

    Commercial Growth: Services for Residents and Employees; Recent Developments; Traffic Consequences; Traffic Needs; SR 83 & I-90 Interchange and Adjacent Intersections.

    2004 Results:

    Ramp Intersections = Level of Service C & D

    Adjacent Intersections = Level of Service F

    2030 traffic

    2030 traffic -- Click here for a larger view.

    2030 Results:

    Ramp Intersections = Level of Service C & E;

    Adjacent Intersections = Level of Service F

    Crocker Road & I-90 Interchange and Adjacent Intersections;

    2004 Results:

    Westbound Ramps Intersection = Level of Service F;

    Adjacent Intersections = Level of Service E & F;

    2030 Results:

    Westbound Ramps Intersection = Level of Service F;

    Adjacent Intersections = Level of Service F;

    Other Study Area Intersections:

    Most currently operate at an acceptable level of service; in 2030, most will continue to operate at acceptable Level of Service.

    Exceptions:

    Bradley & Clemens (Level of Service F in 2004, 2030)

    Bradley & Detroit (Level of Service F in 2030)

    Nagel & Detroit (Level of Service E in 2030)

    Alternatives:

    No Build

    Improve Existing Crocker Interchange (with and without connections to Avon and Clemens)

    Improve Existing SR 83 Interchange

    Improve Crocker and SR 83 Interchanges together

    Construct New Interchange - Jaycox

    Construct New Interchange - Nagel

    Construct New Interchange - Avon Commerce Parkway/Napa Blvd.

    [Although it has been suggested at several stakeholder's meetings, placing the proposed interchange between Jaycox and Nagel has not yet been considered by TranSystems.]

    Associated recommended improvements for each option

    Comparison Factors: Traffic Performance; Service to Existing Industries and Development; Safety, EMS, Crime & Motorists; Community Impacts & Quality of Life; Property, Social, Cultural and Environmental Reasonably Foreseeable Consequences.

    What's Next:

    Alternatives will be Developed and Evaluated Based upon Comparison Factors''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-2-05, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

    ``I-90 options in Avon mapped out

    AVON -- Building a new road [Napa Blvd.] in Avon to accommodate an additional Interstate 90 interchange could be one way to relieve traffic congestion, according to a transportation consultant hired by the city.

    This and other options for adding a I-90 interchange in Avon were presented last night [12-1-05] to between 60 to 70 people at City Hall.

    Susan Swartz, project manager for TranSystems, who is studying where a new interchange might go on I-90, discussed pros and cons of possible locations.

    Upgrades of existing exits were also discussed, as well as the consequences to the city by 2030 of doing nothing at all.

    Swartz said new interchanges could be built at Jaycox Road or Nagel Road, or at roads that don't yet exist. [For the first time, TranSysterm considered placing the interchange between Jaycox and Nagel.]

    She said upgrading the present exchanges at only SR 83, or SR 83 and Crocker Road, were also alternatives.

    Construction costs for the various options were estimated to run from $230,000 to $9.9 million, based on 2010 inflation projections. [These estimates do not include the cost of right-of-way, engineering, etc.; and they seem to be seriously under-estimated. See at the top of this page: "Westlake has tried each year for the past several to win more than $25 million in Ohio Department of Transportation funds to (go to five lanes) along the busiest stretch of Detrolit Rd., 2.62 miles between Crocker and Columbia roads. And, each year, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's request, on Westlake's behalf, has been denied funding by ODOT."]

    No matter what is decided, Avon residents will have to be patient.

    ''Construction could begin in 2008 or 2009, if all your funding is private [or City of Avon],'' said Swartz. Seeking money from state or regional transportation authorities would push back the start date to 2012 or 2013, she said.

    Laura Rouse, a resident of the Willow Creek neighborhood for the last two years, said she was concerned about the impact a new interchange might have.

    ''The Napa Boulevard option would be the worst for us,'' she said, referring to a north-south street that could be built east of Nagel Road.

    ''The Nagel Road location would be second worst. Either could produce more trash on the streets or increased crime by offering easy getaways. More cancer and higher levels of asthma in children could come from increased pollution. We'd rather see the Jaycox interchange, or improving SR 83 and Crocker,'' said Rouse.

    Avenbury Lakes resident Bob Fedor was not pleased with the Jaycox option.

    ''I don't like the Jaycox choice, because it's just next door to us,'' he said. ''Middleton Road would become a major thoroughfare. Avon needs a new interchange desperately, but I like the Nagel proposal the best. It's a major road already.''

    Ronald F. Twining, director of Lorain County Community Development Department, said he endorsed the city of Avon's decision to hire a consultant and hold meetings.

    The success of Avon's industrial park on Chester Road, west of SR 83, has been excellent, but access to I-90 has become an issue, he said. ''I applaud the city for being proactive and hiring a consultant before the system breaks down totally. This is really a local decision, although it affects all of Lorain County.''

    Although Interstate 90 runs through Avon, it also serves as a major east-west artery for Avon Lake. Joe Reitz, assistant city engineer for Avon Lake, said his community has one concern for the new interchange.

    ''We want traffic to flow north,'' he said. ''We support any solution that will bring vehicles to and from Avon Lake. We don't want to see a bottleneck like the one currently at the SR 83 interchange.'' [Residential development is occurring in western Avon Lake, but no mention was made of the SR 611 - I 90 interchange.]

    Swartz said last night's meeting was held to distribute her results, with maps illustrating the options and their effects on traffic volumes, so that citizens could review them, ask questions, and express their concerns.

    She plans to hold an open house in January to show her alternatives to a wider audience and get their comments.''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 12-7-05, By Julie A. Short

    ``Stakeholders compare alternatives for proposed I-90 interchange [on 12-1-05]

    AVON -- After almost two years of meeting to discuss a possible I-90 interchange in Avon, more than 60 stakeholders have finally narrowed the alternatives down in anticipation of a public meeting tentatively planned for early January.

    Susan Swartz, project manager for TranSystems (hired by the city to conduct the justification study), shared with the audience a list of pros and cons of possible locations, as well as the no build option. Each stakeholder was given an aerial view of the alternatives mentioned. The documents also graded each of the affected intersections for the proposed alternatives.

    The possible interchange locations include Jaycox Road, Nagel Road, Napa Boulevard and the recently proposed Chester/Middleton site. Alternatives to building an interchange include upgrading the Crocker Road interchange in Westlake and/or improving the SR 83 interchange in Avon.

    The Chester/Middleton option was presented during the Sept. 29 [2005] stakeholders meeting by David Maxwell of the Willow Creek subdivision near I-90.

    "Why not create a split interchange?" Maxwell asked in September [2005]. "Half the traffic would exit at Jaycox and half at Nagel and meet in the middle. It would be less of an impact ...

    [The Chester/Middleton option would require a "vehicle access" (no private driveways) Middleton from Jaycox to Nagel as a south marginal road to be paid for as part of the interchange project. Middleton could be continued east to connect with Avon Road.

    Chester/Just Imagine would be the north marginal road and would be expanded to five lanes to adequately serve Avon's industrial area, the cost being included in the cost of the interchange. Chester/Just Imagine should be connected to Clemens in Westlake.]

    "The timeframe for construction to begin is 2008 or 2009, if fully funded locally," Swartz said. "NOACA is currently funding projects for 2012."

    As with previous meetings, several residents were in attendance from the Willow Creek subdivision off Avon Road. Some have raised issues regarding health concerns and traffic should an interchange be built in their backyard.

    Some audience members questioned the reasons for the study and the need for the interchange in general ... Audience members also wanted to know who makes the decision on which option is chosen.

    "This group and the public," Swartz said. "We will make a preliminary recommendation, along with input from the city following discussion with ODOT and NOACA."

    Avon resident George Bliss again questioned why the city of Westlake is not more involved in the discussions. According to Swartz, a scheduling conflict prevented Westlake officials from attending the Dec. 1 [2005] stakeholders meeting.

    Taylor "Jack" Smith, president of the Avon Historical Society, asked Swartz if consideration has been given to a commuter rail line from Lorain through Avon and continuing through Cuyahoga County. "A commuter rail line is no closer to being built than an interchange," Swartz said. "It would cost millions of dollars."

    [In other words, the impact of a commuter rail line from Lorain through Avon and continuing through Cuyahoga County has not been considered and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.]

    The stakeholders were asked to review the material presented and report back to Swartz with any concerns or issues within the next few weeks leading up to the general public meeting. Information on the upcoming public meeting will be listed in The Press.''

    [A public meeting on the proposed I90 interchange will be held on 1-19-06 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Avon Senior Center, 36786 Detroit Road. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting and by email until 2-3-06.]

    More Documents Relating to the June 8, 1998, Decision Against Avon

    Newspaper Record of XXXXX/Jacobs in Avon

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