Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments 50th Anniversary Annual Report
WATER QUALITY Stormwater Coalition • Stormwater Coalition added the Village of Whitehouse for a total of 26 members in Lucas and Wood counties. This group works together to meet permit regulations, share municipal policies related to stormwater management, and learn how to incorporate green infrastructure into stormwater management plans. • Clean Ohio Fund continues to return Ohio tax dollars to Lucas County. In 2017, grant money was awarded to phase one of the Metroparks Toledo plan for the Marina District in Toledo. To date, this program has preserved or improved about 2,100 acres in 35 projects. • Clear Choices, Clean Water - Greater Toledo Lake Erie Chapter was launched in April, 2017. This program focuses on actions that residents of northwest Ohio can take to protect water quality. • A partnership with the Lucas County Land Bank and the City of Toledo replaced blight with beautiful useful green spaces in several locations. Rain gardens and biocells were engineered and installed after demolition of blighted structures. Partners in this program include City of Toledo, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Ohio EPA, and the Junction Neighborhood Coalition. Educational signage will be installed at many rain gardens for continuing public information and education. Regional Water Planning Committee • Regional Water Authority discussion was ongoing in 2017. Initial discussions were TMACOG forums. Thanks to a generous contribution from the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, a facilitator was hired. Discussions moved to smaller working groups and new venue. Stakeholder communities are considering a Regional Water District (a Section 6119 District) as the structure to provide regional service and establish redundancies for maintenance or emergencies. • Stakeholders in the regional water authority discussion are Fulton, Lucas, Monroe (Monroe South County Water), Wood (Northwestern Water and Sewer District) counties, the cities of Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, and Toledo, and the village of Whitehouse. Others concerned and participating are Lucas County Township Association, City of Bowling Green, and City of Oregon. Learn more about agriculture, phosphorus, and water quality. >Ohio Phosphorus Index >Phosphorus dynamics in Lake Erie tributaries Learn how households can make a difference in water quality >Clear Choices Clean Water >Support the Student Watershed Watch Student Watershed Watch The Student Watershed Watch has been an annual TMACOG program since 1989. Thousands of junior high and high school students have learned how to measure water quality, chart their findings, and make presentations to a Student Summit of their peers. Each year several hundred young people from classrooms throughout northwest Ohio participate. The program involves teacher training, testing supplies, and presentations by people working in environmental sciences. Local partners including the City of Toledo, Lucas County, First Solar, Perstorp, and GM provide essential support for this program. 10. TMACOG launched new initiatives that became part of the mission to bring public and private agencies together to create strategies and implement plans to build a strong regional community. TMACOG membership increased as both Ottawa and Wood counties rejoined. In 1993, membership stood at 60. >Learn about Septic system maintenance 1990’s 1
TRANSPORTATION TMACOG transportation planners and analysts are working to improve safety in the current system, while anticipating disruptive changes to the transportation system in the near future. For 50 years of TMACOG, infrastructure has been based on the idea that people drive to work, drive to a grocery store served by trucks, take vacations in the car. But the picture is starting to change. More people work remotely, more groceries are delivered to home, and younger people don’t want to buy and maintain expensive vehicles. Businesses are emerging - Uber and bike sharing services, for example - based on shared vehicles. Manufacturers are seeking to diversify their industry through autonomous vehicles. The twenty-third Transportation Summit, held in March, made a compelling case that autonomous vehicles are on the way sooner than you might think. Engineers, planners, and elected officials heard from a panel of experts about the investments that traditional manufacturers are making in the new autonomous industry. Engineers and planners are incorporating vehicle communication technology into new or renovated road projects. A new bike law was the focus for TMACOG’s annual Bike Month, held in May. Recognizing the rise in the use of bicycles in the transportation system, the state of Ohio passed the 3-Foot Rule in 2017, requiring drivers to leave that margin when passing cyclists. The law also permits cyclists to “take a lane” on the road rather than crowd the curb or cycle in the door zone of parked cars. An additional provision says that a cyclist can proceed through an intersection after coming to a full stop and yielding the right of way even if a detector in the roadway does not trigger the traffic signal to change. Bike Month includes events and public education about bicycle and cycling safety including the Ride of Silence. The Ride of Silence has been held in the Toledo area since 2009. In 2017 a ride was also held in Bowling Green. Cyclists gather for a quiet, slow group ride to remind drivers to be aware of cyclists on the road and to remember the people hurt or killed while cycling. Other Bike Month events include Bike to School Day and Bike Day at the Farmer’s Market among other park, club and city-sponsored rides. The 2017 program of events was sponsored by Metroparks Toledo and Wood County Park District, with additional partners Live Well Greater Toledo, Maumee Valley Adventurers, Sylvania Slow Ryders, TARTA, and We Are Traffic. 1990’s Beginning in 1999, TMACOG hosts the first Women in Politics Forum with state and local elected and appointed officials. The forum runs through 2003. 11.