What Strickland does to reorganize ODOT will have the greatest impact on the future form and function of NEO

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 01/10/2007 - 20:49.

I'm loving living in Ohio and America these days. We have a new governor, and everything has changed about Ohio, and we have new leadership in Washington, D.C., and everything has changed about America. Every day is a thrill, and the next two years, leading to the replacement of George Bush, and many bush-league politicians, will take what is already globally significant revolutionary social transformation to much higher levels. But, even in the early days of the new era of progress in America and Ohio, we can count many blessings. Most significant for the form and function of the NEO region, for the next many decades, is our new Governor Ted Strickland's elimination of many of the people who have corrupted ODOT for many years, leading to moronic plans for roadway redesigns across our region that have threatened to destroy the long term potential of our regional economy. Former ODOT Director Proctor has already resigned, and, as reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 2007, " incoming Gov. Ted Strickland, who took office Monday, is replacing all 12 district directors who served under Republican Gov. Bob Taft." This means we can throw out all the poor plans ODOT developed for a five-lane bridge out of Cleveland to nowhere, and the destruction of the local economy around the "Innerbelt" trench, as we see all the planners, engineers and contractors of that fired and Strickland's replacements bring sanity to regional planning.

Even without knowing who Strickland will choose to lead ODOT, it is safe to say the transformation Strickland leads will be excellent for NEO - in fact, things couldn't be worse! During Strickland's campaign for election, he focused on the failures of ODOT and their leadership's corruption and assured voters he would put an end to all that. In an interview with the Urbana Daily Citizen, on 9/25/2006, Strickland promised "As governor, we are going to have new leadership at ODOT" and stated "We are going to bring transparency to the decision making and we're going to make the community a part of that decision-making process," also pointing out he believes decisions at ODOT are flawed because of "questionable and unethical" decisions made by officials at ODOT. Well, that era has ended.

 Time to make some lists regarding collusion with the failed ODOT leadership and planning in NEO, so we can be certain to make sure Strickland knows all the people who must lose their jobs and be driven out of town and office here. The list should include all the ODOT officials and employees, representatives, and corporate and government cronies who supported the "questionable and unethical" actions of ODOT rather than the intelligent perspectives available in NEO - the litmus test will be the I-90 Bridge - the secondary standard will be the trench. Time to go through all the source documents and media reports and list all the community leaders and hacks and politicians and media agents who have preached the ODOT mantra and get them fired and driven out of office. I don't care who is chosen to replace them, as the process will hereinafter be transparent.

Ed Hauser is best qualified to compile that list, and under his eye there is no place for the corrupt to hide.  Beyond "my way or the highway", we will see heads roll. But then, what is a revolution without bloodshed? BTW, Cleveland politicians, while your new public stand on the "Trench" is inspiring, your past support for ODOT and ongoing support for the moronic bridge plan is inexcusable! Now everyone else will jump in on the side of reason... get over there, as you have not been truly enlightened and enlightening, to date. Today, "Ideas" says you are all looking for compromises - there are no compromises, but rather there is a need for real intelligence.

road to nowhere/road to somewhere

I, too, am elated that ODOT's plans may be hurled back toward a more reasonable consideration, but I would suggest that many politicians see the innerbelt in Cleveland not as the road to nowhere, but as the road to Columbus. It goes one way, back to Bexley. If they deign to come to the nation's poorest city, then at the end of their day, they would like the most expedient exit. We noticed that even the guy from the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office, who came to tour the buildings that might be torn down for the ODOT project, was in a hurry to get back to Columbus “before dark”. Seriously, I thought that he might jump out of the van at any moment and suggested to him that hailing a cab in Cleveland is not easy, especially not on the Scranton Peninsula. It is the way back to the office for those who visit from the capitol, and for Strickland, it may be the way back to his hometown haunts in Lucasville.

I am hopeful though, like you are. I hope that incoming ODOT administration can apply serious consideration and patience to the process because, as you say, this is the biggest change to our built environment in decades; uh… in 5 decades. If the new administrations at the state and federal level have their thinking caps on, they will allocate some of the gas tax and other highway subsidies to public transportation development and maintenance, and mandate lower emissions and fuel efficiency from auto manufacturers. We should at least be on par with China! John McGovern has posted about new auto technologies here. May we all be riding the train and going to and fro in fuel efficient cars (maybe even ones we share) while the next administration is in office.

I agree with all of this

Couldn't say it better. One thing I think we have on our side is Lt. Governor Lee Fisher is from the Cleveland Area - college at Oberlin and the Case Law School - and he will be the director of economic development for the state. I think he and Strickland will be very supportive of Cleveland interests.

Disrupt IT