Sunday, April 20, 2008

Supporting the Other Ohio

Ohio's archaic state-centrism largely stems from the political dominance of Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Business as usual tends to favor these three economic centers. But what about the Other Ohio?

Rick Platt, executive director of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, said the [Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force's] makeup is reminiscent of the "Other Ohio" movement.

The "Other Ohio" movement, a coalition of newspaper executives and public officials, had a common perception that a disproportionate share of state resources go to the Three C's: Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

The [Toledo Blade's] editorial page was a major supporter of the movement.

"I think it's fair to say there are a lot of gaps in this map," Mr. Platt said referring to the locations of those on the task force.

He is among a seven-county partnership pushing for a Columbus-to-Pittsburgh highway corridor, which calls for completing a 160-mile highway link.

Mr. Platt said he fears that endeavor, as well as the transportation needs of other parts of the state, could be forgotten.

The Other Ohio should get together with the Other Western Pennsylvania (a.k.a. the Other Ohio). Ironically, successfully building the Post-Industrial Research Triangle (Columbus-Cleveland-Pittsburgh) will likely fall to all the communities situated between the three urban centers. Pittsburgh is just as guilty as Columbus and Cleveland for promoting the status quo. However, I appreciate that John Craig and Pittsburgh Today embrace an interstate regional model.

That the Northeast Ohio (NEO) regional project stops cleanly at the state line ignores the economic geography of Youngstown and provides another example of the Other Ohio problem. Worrying about connectivity to Pittsburgh is something of little interest to Cleveland power brokers. Pork from Columbus is the primary concern, instead of a stronger relationship with Youngstown. Unfortunately, NEO re-entrenches the same dysfunctional political geography that Richard Longworth criticizes in his book, "Caught in the Middle."

1 comment:

Lou said...

Stops at State Lines?

Cmon. For all the good press it gets, I think I've heard "Cleveland Plus" Mentioned Twice locally. I think it stops at the Summit county line.