Citizen Hauser challenges process flow on NEO Bridge

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 02/10/2006 - 17:50.

 

I just received an email from "Citizen" Ed Hauser, the man who saved Whiskey Island, which he sent to 100s of community leaders and members of the press and government, which challenges the process that is being followed in determining the fate for Cleveland's I-90 bridge, Inner-belt trench, and ultimately the entire look and feel of our city.

Ed works for REALNEO, when he isn't fighting for Cleveland, and I can tell you right now he is fighting for Cleveland. I'll post below the email I (and 100s of others) received from Ed, and if this interests you I suggest you visit a drupal site we provided for community discussion on these issues - http://neobridge.net - there you'll see 100s of documents and images related to these massive public transportation plans. While most of the content has been posted by Ed Hauser, that is just because he cares about these issues. The site is open for anyone to register and post content... you can even log in with your realneo account. To do so, log in there with your username as your realneo username followed by "@realneo.us" (e.g. Norm Roulet [at] realneo [dot] us) and use your usual REALNEO password.

If you are interested in these issues and you do not receive Ed's email updates, contact him at ed [at] realinks [dot] us

Here's the latest on this issue, from Citizen Ed:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Dear Media Contacts:
  
  I am forwarding the email message and attachments that I sent to our public officials.
  
  It seems as though the ODOT Public Involvement Process (PIP) and Project Development Process (PDP) is breaking down at this critical time for the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan.  What was once our greatest opportunity for transportation enhancements and economic development is rapidly becoming our region's greatest boondoggle for the 21st Century.

  At this time there is insufficient information and answers coming from ODOT.  We cannot continue to proceed with these processes until we get the information and answers needed to make informed decisions about the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan.
  
  For more information contact Gordon Proctor, ODOT's Director, I have not had much luck.  Feel free to contact me anytime.
  
  Sincerely,
  Ed Hauser
  (216) 870-9206 (cell)
 
Note: forwarded message attached.

Dear Administrator Decker and Director Proctor:
    
  Please reply to my "Assessment #2 and Requests" and my "Comments on: ODOTS PDP Schedule," immediately.  The reply that I received from the ODOT District 12 Public Information Office did not address my requests adequately.  I have added additional requests in this "Assessment #2 and Requests" that need to be addressed immediately to fulfill the requirements of the Project Development Process (PDP), the Public Involvement Process (PIP), and the Major Investment Study (MIS).
  
  I am attaching and pasting below, my "Assessment #2 and Requests" along with my "Comments on: ODOT's Project Development Process (PDP) Schedule for the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan."  Upon completing the "Updated PDP Schedule," please post it on the www.innerbelt.org website.  Feel free to post it on the www.neobridge.net, the community's Innerbelt Bridge bulletin board website, so that that PDP Schedule listed there will be accurate and up to date.
  
  I will eagerly await your replies,
  Ed Hauser
  11125 Lake Avenue #402
  Cleveland, Ohio 44102
  
  ****************************************************
  ****************************************************
  Assessment #2 Findings - Request for the FWHA & ODOT to:
  Correct the Project Development Process & Public Involvement Process and
  Reconsider the Southern Innerbelt Bridge Alignment Alternative
  -REPLY REQUESTED-
  
  February 9, 2006
  
  To: Dennis Decker
  Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration-Ohio Division
  200 North High Street, Room 328
  Columbus, OH 43215
  
  Gordon Proctor
  Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
  1980 W. Broad Street
  Columbus, OH 43223
  
  From:  Ed Hauser
  11125 Lake Avenue #402
  Cleveland, OH 44102
  
  Distribution List:
  Interested Citizens, Organizations, Public Officials, and the Media
  FHWA-Ohio Office: Herman Rodrigo, Director-Program Development; Victoria Peters, Director- Office of Engineering & Operations; Michael Armstrong- Senior Transportation Engineer
  U.S. Senators: George Voinovich, Mike DeWine
  U.S. Representatives: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Dennis Kucinich, Steven LaTourette, Sherrod Brown, Ralph Regula
  Governor of Ohio- Robert Taft
  Ohio Senators: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  Ohio Representatives: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  ODOT District 12: David Coyle, Deputy Director; Craig Hebebrand, Innerbelt Plan Project Manager
  Ohio Lake Erie Commission: Members
  Ohio Historic Preservation Office- Franco Ruffini, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
  Cuyahoga County Commissioners: Tim Hagan, President; Jimmy Dimora, Peter Lawson Jones
  Cuyahoga County Planning Commission: Members
  Mayor of Cleveland- Frank Jackson
  Cleveland City Council: Members
  Cleveland City Planning Commission: Members
  
  Dear Administrator Decker and Director Proctor:
  
  Immediate Reply Requested
  Please reply in writing to this "Assessment #2 and Requests" to address the mandated requirements for the processes regarding the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan.  I will await your immediate responses to these requests.  The urgency of your reply is to address how the FHWA and ODOT will correct the Project Development Process (PDP), the Public Involvement Process (PIP), and Title 23 of the Major Investment Study (MIS).  Immediate corrections to the deficiencies in the processes will allow for the requirements of the PDP, PIP and MIS to be met and prevent further delays. 
  
  The public record indicates that Director Proctor has responded to other citizen's public comments via email since I submitted my public comments prior to the deadline on January 31, 2006.  I am requesting an immediate reply from Director Proctor and Administrator Decker to address my requests and the critical issues raised in the public comments that I submitted.
  
  I received a reply from the ODOT District 12 Public Information Office (PIO) on February 2, 2006.  That reply did not adequately address my requests to correct the PDP and PIP.  The PIO admitted that the "Alternatives Report" and the "Economic Impact Analysis" do not exist.  The PDP is a detailed fourteen (14) step process that must be followed in order, to insure that all requirements are met in the procedural manner.  The PDP must be delayed until the ODOT updates the PDP Schedule and corrects any deficiencies in the processes and procedural requirements. 
  
  REQUESTS AS A CITIZEN, TAXPAYER AND STAKEHOLDER
  Please grant the following requests to correct the "Project Development Process" and the Public Involvement Process, before ODOT proceeds any further with the Steps involved in the PDP:
  
  1) Add this "Assessment #2 and Requests" to the Public Record under "Public Comments on the ODOT Recommended Alternative." 
  
  2) Reply to this "Assessment #2 and Requests" immediately. 
  I did not receive a reply to my "Assessment #1 and Requests" from Director Proctor and Administrator Decker, dated January 31, 2006, as I requested.
  
  3) Update the existing PDP Schedule and distribute it to the general public, stakeholders and public officials.
  The PDP Schedule explains "specifically when and how public input correlates with the overall process." The existing PDP Schedule (11/17/05) has been significantly altered since its release.  ODOT and the City of Cleveland must update the schedule for the PDP and explicitly define the PDP Step number for each requirement in the PDP schedule (i.e. #205.1.-Public Involvement Issues).  Upon completion of the revised PDP schedule, ODOT must distribute it to public libraries and post it on the www.innerbelt website for the public to "clearly understand" the remaining "Federal process."
  
  4) Address the total costs and traffic interruptions for ODOT's "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Innerbelt Central Viaduct Northern Alignment Hybrid Plan.
  ODOT has not addressed the cost to replace the existing Innerbelt Bridge.  The Southern Alignment Alternative addresses the removal of the existing Innerbelt bridge, the Northern Alignment Alternative does not.  All time frames for the traffic interruptions are based on speculation, I have not seen any reports or studies that verify any time frames mentioned by ODOT and its consultants. 
  
  5) Disregard any endorsements for ODOT's "Recommended Preferred Alternatives" for the Northern Bridge Alignment, until the flaws in the PDP, PIP and the MIS are corrected.
  
  6) Complete the "Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt." 
  A full report by ODOT that was due in December 2005 to outline ODOT's Recommended Alternative.  The full report was supposed to be made available via www.innerbelt.org and at branches of the Cleveland Public Library.  ODOT was supposed to receive public comment on this report.
  
  7) Complete the "Economic Impact Analysis." 
  An analysis by ODOT that was due in December 2005 to examine the potential impacts of the "Preferred Alternatives."  ODOT and the City were supposed hold a meeting with stakeholders to explain the Analysis results and seek input.
  
  8) Extend the Public Comment Period for at least thirty (30) days after public notification and the distribution of the Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis.
  
  9) ODOT can address public comments on its "Recommended Preferred Alternatives" after the extended public comment period is over.
  
  10) After ODOT corrects its Project Development Process and Public Involvement Process, ODOT can solicit endorsements on the "Recommended Preferred Alternatives."
  
  EXPLANATIONS FOR REQUESTS
  The reasons for my requests are to correct the flaws in ODOT's Project Development Process, Public Involvement Process, and the FHWA's Major Investment Study.  The flaws are very clear- THE PUBLIC INVOLEMENT PROCESS IS BACKWARDS.  The requirements for the PDP, PIP and the MIS cannot be met until the corrections to them are complete and documented.
  
  What happened was ODOT solicited endorsements from public officials and stakeholders for its "Recommended Preferred Alternatives" (1/23/06) prior to the deadline for public comments (1/31/06) and prior to releasing the Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis, the report and analysis that the public was supposed to comment on.
  
  The logical and correct process would have the Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis completed for the public to comment on, and then seek endorsements from public officials and stakeholders.  The Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis, do not exist at this time.
  
  The way the Public Involvement Process was supposed to proceed was defined in a document distributed at the Cleveland Urban Core Projects Advisory Committee meeting on November 17, 2005.  This document that was signed by representatives from ODOT and the city of Cleveland and stated, "As we move through the complicated process of restructuring the Innerbelt, we felt it important to make sure our immediate stakeholders and the general public clearly understand the Federal process that remains before us.  And, specifically when and how public input correlates with the overall process.  It is in this spirit that we are utilizing this opportunity to provide a detailed description and explanation of the remainder of this process." (Emphasis Added)  This document describing and explaining the remainder of the Federal process has NOT been revised, as of this date.
  
  CONCLUSION
  As a citizen, taxpayer and stakeholder, I have participated in ODOT's Cleveland Innerbelt Plan from the first meeting in 2001 through the January 31, 2006 public comment period.  I am concerned about the breakdown of the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan processes at this critical time.
  
  I will continue to submit updated assessments and requests as I analyze:
  ·        Over 2,500 pages of public records that I bought from ODOT.
  ·        The Updated PDP Schedule.
  ·        The public records from the "Endorsement Meeting" on January 23, 2006.
  ·        The Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt, after it becomes available.
  ·        The Economic Impact Analysis, after it becomes available.
  
  I will argue that the ODOT "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Northern Bridge Alignment will cost us over $1 Billion.  That is because ODOT has not acknowledged the cost to replace the existing bridge in the future.  ODOT is postponing the burden of costs and traffic interruption for future generations to deal with, instead of addressing those issues now. 
  
  It is unknown when the existing bridge will have to be replaced and how much the cost of materials and labor will be at that time.  The public, stakeholders, and public officials must have all the information for the Northern and Southern Bridge Alignment Alternatives before there is any consensus and endorsements.
  
  At this time, there is insufficient information available to the public and inadequate explanations why the Southern Bridge Alignment Alternative was removed from further consideration.  Without that information, the public cannot provide informed and meaningful comments.
  
  Respectfully submitted,
  _______________________________
  Ed Hauser
  
  **********************************************************
  **********************************************************
  Comments on: ODOT's Project Development Process (PDP) Schedule
  for the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan
  
  February 10, 2006
  
  To: Dennis Decker
  Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration-Ohio Division
  200 North High Street, Room 328
  Columbus, OH 43215
  
  Gordon Proctor
  Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
  1980 W. Broad Street
  Columbus, OH 43223
  
  From: Ed Hauser
  11125 Lake Avenue #402
  Cleveland, OH 44102
  
  Distribution List:
  Interested Citizens, Organizations, Public Officials, and the Media
  FHWA-Ohio Office: Herman Rodrigo, Director-Program Development; Victoria Peters, Director- Office of Engineering & Operations; Michael Armstrong- Senior Transportation Engineer
  U.S. Senators: George Voinovich, Mike DeWine
  U.S. Representatives: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Dennis Kucinich, Steven LaTourette, Sherrod Brown, Ralph Regula
  Governor of Ohio- Robert Taft
  Ohio Senators: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  Ohio Representatives: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  ODOT District 12: David Coyle, Deputy Director; Craig Hebebrand, Innerbelt Plan Project Manager
  Ohio Lake Erie Commission: Members
  Ohio Historic Preservation Office- Franco Ruffini, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
  Cuyahoga County Commissioners: Tim Hagan, President; Jimmy Dimora, Peter Lawson Jones
  Cuyahoga County Planning Commission: Members
  Mayor of Cleveland- Frank Jackson
  Cleveland City Council: Members
  Cleveland City Planning Commission: Members
  
  Dear Administrator Decker and Director Proctor:
  
  I am submitting my comments on ODOT's and the City of Cleveland letter regarding the ODOT Project Development Process Schedule, which was distributed on November 17, 2005.  I realize that this is a complicated process, but at this point, I do not understand how the process sequence is being executed.  Also, it is difficult to understand where ODOT is at in the PDP because the descriptions used in the PDP schedule letter do not match the descriptions in the PDP manual.  Please clarify the concerns stated below, and update the PDP schedule so that the general public, stakeholders and public officials can clearly understand "when and how the public input correlates with the overall process."
  *Key- [EJH Comment: Annotation in brackets and bolded, added February 10, 2006] to clearly understand what has happen since the PDP Schedule was released November 17, 2005 (Emphasis added to original text). 
  
  [EJH Comment: Only distributed at the Cleveland Urban Core Advisory Committee on November 17, 2005.  This two-page document was not distributed at the general public meeting (11/17/05) or the Cleveland City Planning Commission meeting (11/18/05).   The PDP Schedule must be updated and released as soon as possible, in order to proceed with the PDP in a comprehensible manner.  As stated in the PDP Overview, "The PDP transportation decision-making approach provides a seamless process from planning through construction and encourages open communication for making informed decisions during all stages of project development."]
  
  ODOT Project Development Process- Graphic (1.8M): http://www.innerbelt.org/Innerbelt/Documents/pdpgraphic.pdf
  
  ODOT Project Development Process- Download PDF's: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/pdp/
  
  [EJH Comment: Below is the annotated ODOT and City of Cleveland letter with the remaining schedule through the "preliminary engineering and design stage of the Project Development Process in February of 2007."]
  
  *****************************************************************************
  Cleveland Innerbelt Plan - Ohio Department of Transportation - www.innerbelt.org
  
  November 17, 2005
  
  Dear Stakeholder,
  
  As we move through the complicated process of reconstructing the Innerbelt, we felt it important to make sure our immediate stakeholders and the general public clearly understand the Federal process that remains before us.  And, specifically when and how the public input correlates with the overall process.  It is in this spirit that we are utilizing this opportunity to provide a detailed description and explanation of the remainder of this process.
  [EJH Comment: This schedule has had significant changes and needs to be updated immediately so that the general public, stakeholders and public officials "clearly understand the Federal process that remains before us."  At this time it is clear that "when and how the public input correlates with the overall process" has been drastically altered.  ODOT reversed the public input process, where endorsements were made prior to the public input deadline, and before Alternatives Report and Economic Impact Analysis are completed.]
  
  Following the this week's round of meetings, ODOT will continue through a set of milestones that will bring the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan to the preliminary engineering and design stage of the Project Development Process in February of 2007.  The coming months will proceed as follows:
  
  [EJH Comment: ODOT hired a Bridge Consultant for the ODOT "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Northern Bridge Alignment on December 14, 2005.  This step was premature because this action was taken prior to the forthcoming report, analysis, public comments and concurrences.  The PDP Sub-Step number must be included to clearly understand where ODOT is at in the PDP.] [?PDP Step #207.11?]
  
  Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt - December 2005  [?PDP Step #206.3?]
  A full report will be available via www.innerbelt.org, and at branches of the Cleveland Public Library which will outline ODOT's Recommended Alternative.  ODOT will receive public comment on this report.
  [EJH Comment: On November 17, 2005, the Innerbelt Project Manager stated that the process is currently in PDP Step #6.  I'm not sure what Sub-Step number this falls under?  This Alternatives Report does not exist at this time.  Public comment is dependent on this document and the PDP cannot proceed further until this Step is completed.]
  
  Economic Impact Analysis - December 2005  [?PDP Step #206.3?]
  Analysis will be available from ODOT as to the potential economic impacts of the Preferred Alternative, specifically as related to the proposed changes to the Innerbelt Trench.  ODOT and the City will hold a meeting with stakeholders to explain the Analysis results and seek input.
  [EJH Comment: On November 17, 2005, the Innerbelt Project Manager stated that the process is currently in PDP Step #6.  I'm not sure what Sub-Step number this falls under?  This Economic Impact Analysis does not exist at this time.  Public comment is dependent on this document and the PDP cannot proceed further until this Step is completed.]
  
  [EJH Comment: ODOT solicited endorsements from public officials for the ODOT "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Northern Bridge Alignment on January 23, 2006.  These endorsements were premature because they were made prior to the forthcoming report, analysis, and public comment deadline.] [?PDP Step #207.9?]
  
  Public comment period on the ODOT Recommended Alternative - December 2005 through January 2006  [?PDP Step #206.3?]
  [EJH Comment: The public comment period was over on January 31, 2006.  At this time the Alternatives Report and the Economic Impact Analysis does not exist.  Therefore, the general public does not have sufficient information to comment on ODOT's "Recommended Preferred Alternatives."  The Project Development Process cannot proceed further until these Steps are corrected and completed.]
  
  ODOT to begin to address public comments on ODOT Recommended Alternative - January 2006  [PDP Step #206.3?]
  [EJH Comment: The public comment analysis does not exist.]
  
  ODOT to submit Access Modification Study to FHWA - February 2006  [?PDP Step #207.7?]
  A technical report that provides detailed operational analysis of the proposed traffic revision to the transportation network.
  
  Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval of the Access Modification Study - April 2006  [?PDP Step #207.9?]
  
  ODOT to circulate preliminary environmental impact findings to the public and resource agencies - July 2006  [?PDP Step #207.8?]
  The findings on the environmental impacts will be made available for comment.
  
  ODOT to host a public meeting on ODOT Preferred Alternative and Environmental Impacts - July 2006  [PDP Step #207.8?]
  A meeting will be hosted by ODOT to review the environmental impacts to the community and the public will have an opportunity to comment.
  
  Public comment period on ODOT Preferred Alternative Impacts - July through August 
  [?PDP Step #207.8?]
  ODOT will continue to receive public comment following the public meeting.
  
  Begin to address comments on the Preferred Alternative Impacts - August 2006  [?PDP Step #207.8?]
  
  Submit Environmental Assessment (EA) to FHWA - December 2006  [?PDP Step #208.1?]
  The EA is a report which summarizes potential environmental impacts to the community.
  
  FHWA approves EA - February 2007  [?PDP Step #208.3?]
  FHWA will approve or suggest revisions to the assessment of the environmental impacts
  
  Begin Design Detail - February 2007  [?PDP Step #208.4?]
  
  ODOT will gather public comments throughout the various steps outlined about via the website, www.innerbelt.org, via letters which should be sent to ODOT Innerbelt Project Manager, 5500 transportation Blvd., Garfield Hts., Ohio 44125 and through meetings with community groups and the public.
  
  Throughout the process outlined above, ODOT will continue to gather comment from the public and that input will be woven into the Environmental Assessment that ODOT will submit FHWA.  The Assessment will detail all potential environmental (including social, economic and geographical) impacts the Innerbelt Plan may have on the community and will be thoroughly evaluated by FHWA.
  
  We hope that you find this document helpful and assists you regarding your important input in the project.  If you have any questions on current or coming steps related to the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan, or if you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
  
  Respectfully,
  Craig Hebebrand, Project Manager
  Ohio Department of Transportation
  Phone: 216.584.2113
  
  Mark Ricchiuto, Public Service Director
  City of Cleveland
  Phone: 216.664.2231
  

02-09-06 ODOT Innerbelt Bridge Assessment #2.doc
2542613916-02-09-06 ODOT Innerbelt Bridge Assessment #2.doc

02-10-06 Understanding the Federal Process .doc
2720209792-02-10-06 Understanding the Federal Process .docDear Administrator Decker and Director Proctor:
    
  Please reply to my "Assessment #2 and Requests" and my "Comments on: ODOTS PDP Schedule," immediately.  The reply that I received from the ODOT District 12 Public Information Office did not address my requests adequately.  I have added additional requests in this "Assessment #2 and Requests" that need to be addressed immediately to fulfill the requirements of the Project Development Process (PDP), the Public Involvement Process (PIP), and the Major Investment Study (MIS).
  
  I am attaching and pasting below, my "Assessment #2 and Requests" along with my "Comments on: ODOT's Project Development Process (PDP) Schedule for the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan."  Upon completing the "Updated PDP Schedule," please post it on the www.innerbelt.org website.  Feel free to post it on the www.neobridge.net, the community's Innerbelt Bridge bulletin board website, so that that PDP Schedule listed there will be accurate and up to date.
  
  I will eagerly await your replies,
  Ed Hauser
  11125 Lake Avenue #402
  Cleveland, Ohio 44102
  
  ****************************************************
  ****************************************************
  Assessment #2 Findings - Request for the FWHA & ODOT to:
  Correct the Project Development Process & Public Involvement Process and
  Reconsider the Southern Innerbelt Bridge Alignment Alternative
  -REPLY REQUESTED-
  
  February 9, 2006
  
  To: Dennis Decker
  Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration-Ohio Division
  200 North High Street, Room 328
  Columbus, OH 43215
  
  Gordon Proctor
  Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
  1980 W. Broad Street
  Columbus, OH 43223
  
  From:  Ed Hauser
  11125 Lake Avenue #402
  Cleveland, OH 44102
  
  Distribution List:
  Interested Citizens, Organizations, Public Officials, and the Media
  FHWA-Ohio Office: Herman Rodrigo, Director-Program Development; Victoria Peters, Director- Office of Engineering & Operations; Michael Armstrong- Senior Transportation Engineer
  U.S. Senators: George Voinovich, Mike DeWine
  U.S. Representatives: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Dennis Kucinich, Steven LaTourette, Sherrod Brown, Ralph Regula
  Governor of Ohio- Robert Taft
  Ohio Senators: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  Ohio Representatives: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  ODOT District 12: David Coyle, Deputy Director; Craig Hebebrand, Innerbelt Plan Project Manager
  Ohio Lake Erie Commission: Members
  Ohio Historic Preservation Office- Franco Ruffini, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
  Cuyahoga County Commissioners: Tim Hagan, President; Jimmy Dimora, Peter Lawson Jones
  Cuyahoga County Planning Commission: Members
  Mayor of Cleveland- Frank Jackson
  Cleveland City Council: Members
  Cleveland City Planning Commission: Members
  
  Dear Administrator Decker and Director Proctor:
  
  Immediate Reply Requested
  Please reply in writing to this "Assessment #2 and Requests" to address the mandated requirements for the processes regarding the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan.  I will await your immediate responses to these requests.  The urgency of your reply is to address how the FHWA and ODOT will correct the Project Development Process (PDP), the Public Involvement Process (PIP), and Title 23 of the Major Investment Study (MIS).  Immediate corrections to the deficiencies in the processes will allow for the requirements of the PDP, PIP and MIS to be met and prevent further delays. 
  
  The public record indicates that Director Proctor has responded to other citizen's public comments via email since I submitted my public comments prior to the deadline on January 31, 2006.  I am requesting an immediate reply from Director Proctor and Administrator Decker to address my requests and the critical issues raised in the public comments that I submitted.
  
  I received a reply from the ODOT District 12 Public Information Office (PIO) on February 2, 2006.  That reply did not adequately address my requests to correct the PDP and PIP.  The PIO admitted that the "Alternatives Report" and the "Economic Impact Analysis" do not exist.  The PDP is a detailed fourteen (14) step process that must be followed in order, to insure that all requirements are met in the procedural manner.  The PDP must be delayed until the ODOT updates the PDP Schedule and corrects any deficiencies in the processes and procedural requirements. 
  
  REQUESTS AS A CITIZEN, TAXPAYER AND STAKEHOLDER
  Please grant the following requests to correct the "Project Development Process" and the Public Involvement Process, before ODOT proceeds any further with the Steps involved in the PDP:
  
  1) Add this "Assessment #2 and Requests" to the Public Record under "Public Comments on the ODOT Recommended Alternative." 
  
  2) Reply to this "Assessment #2 and Requests" immediately. 
  I did not receive a reply to my "Assessment #1 and Requests" from Director Proctor and Administrator Decker, dated January 31, 2006, as I requested.
  
  3) Update the existing PDP Schedule and distribute it to the general public, stakeholders and public officials.
  The PDP Schedule explains "specifically when and how public input correlates with the overall process." The existing PDP Schedule (11/17/05) has been significantly altered since its release.  ODOT and the City of Cleveland must update the schedule for the PDP and explicitly define the PDP Step number for each requirement in the PDP schedule (i.e. #205.1.-Public Involvement Issues).  Upon completion of the revised PDP schedule, ODOT must distribute it to public libraries and post it on the www.innerbelt website for the public to "clearly understand" the remaining "Federal process."
  
  4) Address the total costs and traffic interruptions for ODOT's "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Innerbelt Central Viaduct Northern Alignment Hybrid Plan.
  ODOT has not addressed the cost to replace the existing Innerbelt Bridge.  The Southern Alignment Alternative addresses the removal of the existing Innerbelt bridge, the Northern Alignment Alternative does not.  All time frames for the traffic interruptions are based on speculation, I have not seen any reports or studies that verify any time frames mentioned by ODOT and its consultants. 
  
  5) Disregard any endorsements for ODOT's "Recommended Preferred Alternatives" for the Northern Bridge Alignment, until the flaws in the PDP, PIP and the MIS are corrected.
  
  6) Complete the "Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt." 
  A full report by ODOT that was due in December 2005 to outline ODOT's Recommended Alternative.  The full report was supposed to be made available via www.innerbelt.org and at branches of the Cleveland Public Library.  ODOT was supposed to receive public comment on this report.
  
  7) Complete the "Economic Impact Analysis." 
  An analysis by ODOT that was due in December 2005 to examine the potential impacts of the "Preferred Alternatives."  ODOT and the City were supposed hold a meeting with stakeholders to explain the Analysis results and seek input.
  
  8) Extend the Public Comment Period for at least thirty (30) days after public notification and the distribution of the Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis.
  
  9) ODOT can address public comments on its "Recommended Preferred Alternatives" after the extended public comment period is over.
  
  10) After ODOT corrects its Project Development Process and Public Involvement Process, ODOT can solicit endorsements on the "Recommended Preferred Alternatives."
  
  EXPLANATIONS FOR REQUESTS
  The reasons for my requests are to correct the flaws in ODOT's Project Development Process, Public Involvement Process, and the FHWA's Major Investment Study.  The flaws are very clear- THE PUBLIC INVOLEMENT PROCESS IS BACKWARDS.  The requirements for the PDP, PIP and the MIS cannot be met until the corrections to them are complete and documented.
  
  What happened was ODOT solicited endorsements from public officials and stakeholders for its "Recommended Preferred Alternatives" (1/23/06) prior to the deadline for public comments (1/31/06) and prior to releasing the Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis, the report and analysis that the public was supposed to comment on.
  
  The logical and correct process would have the Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis completed for the public to comment on, and then seek endorsements from public officials and stakeholders.  The Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt and the Economic Impact Analysis, do not exist at this time.
  
  The way the Public Involvement Process was supposed to proceed was defined in a document distributed at the Cleveland Urban Core Projects Advisory Committee meeting on November 17, 2005.  This document that was signed by representatives from ODOT and the city of Cleveland and stated, "As we move through the complicated process of restructuring the Innerbelt, we felt it important to make sure our immediate stakeholders and the general public clearly understand the Federal process that remains before us.  And, specifically when and how public input correlates with the overall process.  It is in this spirit that we are utilizing this opportunity to provide a detailed description and explanation of the remainder of this process." (Emphasis Added)  This document describing and explaining the remainder of the Federal process has NOT been revised, as of this date.
  
  CONCLUSION
  As a citizen, taxpayer and stakeholder, I have participated in ODOT's Cleveland Innerbelt Plan from the first meeting in 2001 through the January 31, 2006 public comment period.  I am concerned about the breakdown of the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan processes at this critical time.
  
  I will continue to submit updated assessments and requests as I analyze:
  ·        Over 2,500 pages of public records that I bought from ODOT.
  ·        The Updated PDP Schedule.
  ·        The public records from the "Endorsement Meeting" on January 23, 2006.
  ·        The Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt, after it becomes available.
  ·        The Economic Impact Analysis, after it becomes available.
  
  I will argue that the ODOT "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Northern Bridge Alignment will cost us over $1 Billion.  That is because ODOT has not acknowledged the cost to replace the existing bridge in the future.  ODOT is postponing the burden of costs and traffic interruption for future generations to deal with, instead of addressing those issues now. 
  
  It is unknown when the existing bridge will have to be replaced and how much the cost of materials and labor will be at that time.  The public, stakeholders, and public officials must have all the information for the Northern and Southern Bridge Alignment Alternatives before there is any consensus and endorsements.
  
  At this time, there is insufficient information available to the public and inadequate explanations why the Southern Bridge Alignment Alternative was removed from further consideration.  Without that information, the public cannot provide informed and meaningful comments.
  
  Respectfully submitted,
  _______________________________
  Ed Hauser
  
  **********************************************************
  **********************************************************
  Comments on: ODOT's Project Development Process (PDP) Schedule
  for the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan
  
  February 10, 2006
  
  To: Dennis Decker
  Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration-Ohio Division
  200 North High Street, Room 328
  Columbus, OH 43215
  
  Gordon Proctor
  Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
  1980 W. Broad Street
  Columbus, OH 43223
  
  From: Ed Hauser
  11125 Lake Avenue #402
  Cleveland, OH 44102
  
  Distribution List:
  Interested Citizens, Organizations, Public Officials, and the Media
  FHWA-Ohio Office: Herman Rodrigo, Director-Program Development; Victoria Peters, Director- Office of Engineering & Operations; Michael Armstrong- Senior Transportation Engineer
  U.S. Senators: George Voinovich, Mike DeWine
  U.S. Representatives: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Dennis Kucinich, Steven LaTourette, Sherrod Brown, Ralph Regula
  Governor of Ohio- Robert Taft
  Ohio Senators: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  Ohio Representatives: Representing Greater Cleveland Districts
  ODOT District 12: David Coyle, Deputy Director; Craig Hebebrand, Innerbelt Plan Project Manager
  Ohio Lake Erie Commission: Members
  Ohio Historic Preservation Office- Franco Ruffini, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
  Cuyahoga County Commissioners: Tim Hagan, President; Jimmy Dimora, Peter Lawson Jones
  Cuyahoga County Planning Commission: Members
  Mayor of Cleveland- Frank Jackson
  Cleveland City Council: Members
  Cleveland City Planning Commission: Members
  
  Dear Administrator Decker and Director Proctor:
  
  I am submitting my comments on ODOT's and the City of Cleveland letter regarding the ODOT Project Development Process Schedule, which was distributed on November 17, 2005.  I realize that this is a complicated process, but at this point, I do not understand how the process sequence is being executed.  Also, it is difficult to understand where ODOT is at in the PDP because the descriptions used in the PDP schedule letter do not match the descriptions in the PDP manual.  Please clarify the concerns stated below, and update the PDP schedule so that the general public, stakeholders and public officials can clearly understand "when and how the public input correlates with the overall process."
  *Key- [EJH Comment: Annotation in brackets and bolded, added February 10, 2006] to clearly understand what has happen since the PDP Schedule was released November 17, 2005 (Emphasis added to original text). 
  
  [EJH Comment: Only distributed at the Cleveland Urban Core Advisory Committee on November 17, 2005.  This two-page document was not distributed at the general public meeting (11/17/05) or the Cleveland City Planning Commission meeting (11/18/05).   The PDP Schedule must be updated and released as soon as possible, in order to proceed with the PDP in a comprehensible manner.  As stated in the PDP Overview, "The PDP transportation decision-making approach provides a seamless process from planning through construction and encourages open communication for making informed decisions during all stages of project development."]
  
  ODOT Project Development Process- Graphic (1.8M): http://www.innerbelt.org/Innerbelt/Documents/pdpgraphic.pdf
  
  ODOT Project Development Process- Download PDF's: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/pdp/
  
  [EJH Comment: Below is the annotated ODOT and City of Cleveland letter with the remaining schedule through the "preliminary engineering and design stage of the Project Development Process in February of 2007."]
  
  *****************************************************************************
  Cleveland Innerbelt Plan - Ohio Department of Transportation - www.innerbelt.org
  
  November 17, 2005
  
  Dear Stakeholder,
  
  As we move through the complicated process of reconstructing the Innerbelt, we felt it important to make sure our immediate stakeholders and the general public clearly understand the Federal process that remains before us.  And, specifically when and how the public input correlates with the overall process.  It is in this spirit that we are utilizing this opportunity to provide a detailed description and explanation of the remainder of this process.
  [EJH Comment: This schedule has had significant changes and needs to be updated immediately so that the general public, stakeholders and public officials "clearly understand the Federal process that remains before us."  At this time it is clear that "when and how the public input correlates with the overall process" has been drastically altered.  ODOT reversed the public input process, where endorsements were made prior to the public input deadline, and before Alternatives Report and Economic Impact Analysis are completed.]
  
  Following the this week's round of meetings, ODOT will continue through a set of milestones that will bring the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan to the preliminary engineering and design stage of the Project Development Process in February of 2007.  The coming months will proceed as follows:
  
  [EJH Comment: ODOT hired a Bridge Consultant for the ODOT "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Northern Bridge Alignment on December 14, 2005.  This step was premature because this action was taken prior to the forthcoming report, analysis, public comments and concurrences.  The PDP Sub-Step number must be included to clearly understand where ODOT is at in the PDP.] [?PDP Step #207.11?]
  
  Rollout of the Alternatives Report for the Cleveland Innerbelt - December 2005  [?PDP Step #206.3?]
  A full report will be available via www.innerbelt.org, and at branches of the Cleveland Public Library which will outline ODOT's Recommended Alternative.  ODOT will receive public comment on this report.
  [EJH Comment: On November 17, 2005, the Innerbelt Project Manager stated that the process is currently in PDP Step #6.  I'm not sure what Sub-Step number this falls under?  This Alternatives Report does not exist at this time.  Public comment is dependent on this document and the PDP cannot proceed further until this Step is completed.]
  
  Economic Impact Analysis - December 2005  [?PDP Step #206.3?]
  Analysis will be available from ODOT as to the potential economic impacts of the Preferred Alternative, specifically as related to the proposed changes to the Innerbelt Trench.  ODOT and the City will hold a meeting with stakeholders to explain the Analysis results and seek input.
  [EJH Comment: On November 17, 2005, the Innerbelt Project Manager stated that the process is currently in PDP Step #6.  I'm not sure what Sub-Step number this falls under?  This Economic Impact Analysis does not exist at this time.  Public comment is dependent on this document and the PDP cannot proceed further until this Step is completed.]
  
  [EJH Comment: ODOT solicited endorsements from public officials for the ODOT "Recommended Preferred Alternative" for the Northern Bridge Alignment on January 23, 2006.  These endorsements were premature because they were made prior to the forthcoming report, analysis, and public comment deadline.] [?PDP Step #207.9?]
  
  Public comment period on the ODOT Recommended Alternative - December 2005 through January 2006  [?PDP Step #206.3?]
  [EJH Comment: The public comment period was over on January 31, 2006.  At this time the Alternatives Report and the Economic Impact Analysis does not exist.  Therefore, the general public does not have sufficient information to comment on ODOT's "Recommended Preferred Alternatives."  The Project Development Process cannot proceed further until these Steps are corrected and completed.]
  
  ODOT to begin to address public comments on ODOT Recommended Alternative - January 2006  [PDP Step #206.3?]
  [EJH Comment: The public comment analysis does not exist.]
  
  ODOT to submit Access Modification Study to FHWA - February 2006  [?PDP Step #207.7?]
  A technical report that provides detailed operational analysis of the proposed traffic revision to the transportation network.
  
  Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval of the Access Modification Study - April 2006  [?PDP Step #207.9?]
  
  ODOT to circulate preliminary environmental impact findings to the public and resource agencies - July 2006  [?PDP Step #207.8?]
  The findings on the environmental impacts will be made available for comment.
  
  ODOT to host a public meeting on ODOT Preferred Alternative and Environmental Impacts - July 2006  [PDP Step #207.8?]
  A meeting will be hosted by ODOT to review the environmental impacts to the community and the public will have an opportunity to comment.
  
  Public comment period on ODOT Preferred Alternative Impacts - July through August 
  [?PDP Step #207.8?]
  ODOT will continue to receive public comment following the public meeting.
  
  Begin to address comments on the Preferred Alternative Impacts - August 2006  [?PDP Step #207.8?]
  
  Submit Environmental Assessment (EA) to FHWA - December 2006  [?PDP Step #208.1?]
  The EA is a report which summarizes potential environmental impacts to the community.
  
  FHWA approves EA - February 2007  [?PDP Step #208.3?]
  FHWA will approve or suggest revisions to the assessment of the environmental impacts
  
  Begin Design Detail - February 2007  [?PDP Step #208.4?]
  
  ODOT will gather public comments throughout the various steps outlined about via the website, www.innerbelt.org, via letters which should be sent to ODOT Innerbelt Project Manager, 5500 transportation Blvd., Garfield Hts., Ohio 44125 and through meetings with community groups and the public.
  
  Throughout the process outlined above, ODOT will continue to gather comment from the public and that input will be woven into the Environmental Assessment that ODOT will submit FHWA.  The Assessment will detail all potential environmental (including social, economic and geographical) impacts the Innerbelt Plan may have on the community and will be thoroughly evaluated by FHWA.
  
  We hope that you find this document helpful and assists you regarding your important input in the project.  If you have any questions on current or coming steps related to the Cleveland Innerbelt Plan, or if you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
  
  Respectfully,
  Craig Hebebrand, Project Manager
  Ohio Department of Transportation
  Phone: 216.584.2113
  
  Mark Ricchiuto, Public Service Director
  City of Cleveland
  Phone: 216.664.2231

ODOT charette???

Is that an oxymoron?

The ODOT meeting today was summarized here by Marc Lefkowitz. 

Hunter Morrison apparently suggested a charette.

“What we need is a vision, a city plan for the businesses and the area around the Innerbelt,” Morrison said. “The city needs to have a charrette to create that civic vision.”

A charrette is a design session where the public and professionals put pencil to paper to find out how well the Innerbelt fits into the city rather than the opposite. For example, will ODOT’s proposed two-lane “frontage” or marginal road get integrated into the city grid, or is it part of ODOT’s domain?

Glad to see Cleveland coming to bat for itself. Apparently the meeting became animated...

"One of the highlight moments came in an apt but offhand remark from commission member David Bowen. When reviewing crash statistics, Hebebrand stated the answer to reducing crashes is to fix the highway ramps. Bowen shot back: “Or, (people can) move downtown.”"

Step back ODOT. It's Cleveland; you've got to be tough.