Citizens brainstorm regional transit goals
By Justin Dennis
Members of Eastgate Council of Government’s Citizens Advisory Board suggested things such as light rail or tube transport development between Ohio’s metropolitan areas and designated pickup zones for ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft as ways to build the region’s transportation infrastructure.
The board, made up of more than a dozen people, met this week at Eastgate’s downtown office and brainstormed possible future goals for the council. Members presented and voted on their favorite ideas, some of which were:
High-speed underground tube transportation or light rail development: “Youngs-town can be a central hub for routes like Columbus to Cleveland [or] Cleveland to Pittsburgh,” one board member wrote.
Installing artificial intelligence to monitor traffic flow and adjust timed traffic signals accordingly.
The return of rail passenger service, such as Amtrak.
Transit service to Kent State Trumbull in Warren.
Development of a roundabout along Mahoning Avenue, from Stavich Family Bridge to Meridian Road, including a reduction to two lanes with a green meridian and turning lanes, and dedicated bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossings.
Designation and marking of preferred cycling roads, based on certain safety criteria like traffic volume and visibility.
Construction of sound walls along Interstate 680 south of U.S. Route 224, “to protect Poland Municipal Forest.”
Walkable connections between shops and plazas along U.S. Route 224 in Boardman.
Technology to assess pavement condition.
The board has marginal policy voting power within Eastgate, said Sara Daugherty, program manager, and passed several resolutions this week.
Most notably, one resolution amends Eastgate’s 2018 to 2021 Transportation Improvement Plan to include construction phases for major rehabilitations along state Route 7 (Market Street) and U.S. Route 224 and U.S. Route 62, all in Mahoning County, expected to cost $6.1 million, $6.9 million and $3.8 million, respectively.