Monday, May 01, 2000

$6M study to evaluate Interstate 75

Traffic can tie up entire state, planner says

The Associated Press

        DAYTON, Ohio — Backed up traffic on Interstate 75 can cause more than headaches for commuters trying to get home from jobs in Dayton or Cincinnati.

        Officials in communities along I-75 are concerned that the main artery between Detroit and the Southeast is becoming less reliable and is turning from an economic asset into a liability.

        “There is an amazing amount of commodity traffic on I-75,” said Cynthia Minter, an environmental planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff Ohio Inc. “When there is a tie-up in Dayton or Cincinnati it can bring things to a halt for the whole state, or even the nation.”

        The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission is working with the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments on what is being called the North-South Initiative. The $6 million, two-year study will look at I-75 from the Ohio River to north of Piqua.

        Ms. Minter is the project coordinator for Dublin-based Parsons Brinckerhoff, which the council hired last year. The initiative will look at economic vitality, safety, trucking, rail yards, air quality, and urban sprawl along the I-75 corridor.

        Ms. Minter said a strong transportation plan that meshes with the region's land use planning is essential if the region expects to attract federal highway dollars.


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