YES Streets Initiative

The Youngstown Equitable and Sustainable (YES) Streets Initiative, a detailed multimodal transportation infrastructure study for Youngstown’s Eastside and connections to nearby regional nodes of economic activity including the Interstate 80 National Freight Corridor, Downtown Youngstown’s Innovation District, and a planned recreation area at McKelvey Lake.

The need for this strategic planning project arose through the recurring strategic discussions of the Mahoning Valley Partnership (Team MVP), a self-appointed group of leaders collaborating to improve the overall quality of life through economic development within the Mahoning Valley. The team includes executives from five organizations: Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Valley Economic Development Partners, Western Reserve Port Authority, The Youngstown Foundation, and The Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

At one time, this part of the City was home to numerous businesses and industries, all accessible by foot or mass transit, by workers living in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. However, over the past several years, Youngstown’s Eastside has seen numerous business and industry closures, resulting in unemployment, followed by the resultant blight and disrepair. Today the City has poverty rate of 38% which is three times higher than both state and national averages.

The YES Streets Initiative seeks to ensure:

  • Safe and reliable transportation for historically disadvantaged populations
  • clean energy sources are adopted to mitigate climate change
  • digital equity and smart logistics utilizing high-speed broadband
  • healthy streets reduce the effects of the urban heat island
  • resilient infrastructure mitigating the impacts of extreme weather events
  • access to recreation and greenspace in underserved urban communities

Restoration and redevelopment of Youngstown’s Eastside aligns closely with the Justice40 initiative being championed by President Biden as the study area is home to historically underserved low-income and minority populations. The study will directly advance the recently released Department of Transportation Equity Action Plan goal of expanding access by reducing transportation travel cost as a percent of income, reducing transportation travel time, increasing in access to key destinations, including work, education, grocery stores, health care; and increasing in mobility measured by number of trips at the individual level.

Connectivity Study

Eastgate is requesting Congressionally Directed Spending through the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Transportation Planning, Research and Development (TPR&D) Account. The requested funding will be used to conduct a Connectivity Study for the Youngstown Equitable and Sustainable (YES!) Streets Initiative.

The intent of the study to provide Eastgate and their regional partners with a level of project readiness and technical feasibility to competitively leverage Bipartisan Infrastructure Law discretionary grant and formula funding. The study will also advance DOT Equity Action key performance indicators by increasing in the number of USDOT discretionary grant applicants from disadvantaged communities in urban who have never applied for USDOT funding before and increasing the number of new projects in disadvantaged communities utilizing formula funds added to Eastgate’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Additional Documents

Letter of Support - Western Reserve Port Authority
Letter of Support - Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber
White Paper
Study Area Map