OHIO VALLEY — Gov. John Kasich designated Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District (Buckeye Hills) as an Ohio Department of Transportation Regional Transportation Planning Organization.
RTPOs formalize and strengthen the rural consultation and transportation planning processes, more closely linking them to potential economic and community development planning efforts.
“Over the past two years, the RTPO pilot program has benefited Ohio in many ways,” Jennifer Townley, deputy director of the ODOT Division of Planning, said. “Not only has ODOT developed relationships with the pilot agencies, but the program has also led to increased regional collaboration. These relationships lead to better and more informed transportation decision making.”
For the past two years, Buckeye Hills has served with five organizations across Ohio in an RTPO pilot program pairing them with a Metropolitan Planning Organization mentor. Buckeye Hills’ mentor was the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
“Local participation is critical in making responsible transportation decisions with limited state and federal budgets,” Executive Director Misty Casto said. “We are pleased to be partnering with ODOT now in an official RTPO role for our region.”
Buckeye Hills is a designated Ohio local development district serving eight counties including Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington. Learn more at http://rtpo.buckeyehills.org.
“Continuing the momentum of the Pilot program, Buckeye Hills is excited to be chosen as the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for southeastern Ohio,” Development Director Bret Allphin said. “The permanent addition of transportation planning to our portfolio of existing development services places Buckeye Hills in a prime position to affect positive change on transportation in the region, helping us fulfill our mission of improving local communities and the lives of our constituents.”