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LifeLongClevelander

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  1. And quite obviously, if an "outsider" with viewpoints that aren't aligned with yours are not welcomed. Thank you for confirming my point.
  2. What is wrong with questioning a proposed project and its feasibility? $20 million isn't chump change. RTA is cash-strapped and is getting close to being unable to provide the basic services that it was intended to provide. There are many people who rely on RTA for their only means of transportation. What happens if they cannot use the system to meet their basic needs--they cannot go to work, shop or go to the doctor? If RTA cannot even provide enough serviceable rail cars, what point is it to build a station where they won't have any rapid transit cars to stop there. Unless some wealthy individual or corporation comes out funds this public project, who gets stuck with footing the bill? The taxpayer. Where has the public been sold a bill of goods that ends failing miserably, but they get stuck with the cost? Look no farther than the "Medical Mart". Perhaps if there was more of a discussion and analysis of the information that was provided, it wouldn't have been undertaken. Is this a forum fostering a healthy discussion and bringing up reasonable counterpoints or a one-sided lecture?
  3. Would love to know just how many people are asking this question. Where are the in-depth analysis reports backing up the call for significant demand or interest for this proposed station? Right now, even before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, RTA, leadership was bemoaning the lack of money for capital projects. They have so many other projects that need money just to maintain the services they have, $20 million could go a long way towards funding those projects. There is no "bottomless pit" of money for RTA to dip into. As for Red Line rapid transit cars "soaring by", they have had troubles even keeping enough of them in operation to provide basic service. Until the rail fleet is replaced, it will be harder and harder to provide that basic service. Hasn't this area seen enough of this "if you build it, they will come" mentality for projects that yield little based upon the money spent? Until solid numbers are produced backing up this supposed demand, this is just a pipe dream that a few want the public to fund.
  4. Excellent point. I even believe it is simpler than that. I think the platform is continuous, but they have it gated off. Put up a barrier between the wall and edge of the platform to eliminate the risk of falling on the tracks. The wall(s) can be relocated to provide more space for passage between the two sides of the station.
  5. Convenient, yes, but is the demand or need really there? Is the potential demand enough to warrant spending $20 million when another alternative already exists? RTA has been struggling to exist even before the Covid-19 crisis hit. Their own statements have emphasized they have severe money issues. They have not even identified the sources to fund the system-wide rail car replacement. That $20 million could go towards purchasing 4 or 5 rail cars that they are desperately in need of acquiring. Look at where the potential passenger traffic would come from. I have serious doubts that the east side Red Line would significantly contribute towards any passengers using that proposed station. Perhaps a few could come from the University Circle area. Anybody coming from points east, beyond the ends of the existing rail lines, would more than likely use the Green or Blue Lines to get downtown. Those riders already have a station in place at Settlers Landing. They would not transfer to the Red Line to use that new station. If somebody lives downtown, they have an option already with the Waterfront Line. Those that could benefit would be west side Red Line users. The question is that would that source of potential users be enough for such a major capital outlay.
  6. This is an interesting concept, but is it really worth the $20 million to invest in another rail station literally a few hundred feet away from one that already serves that area? Just outside of the image image where the Waterfront Line's tracks curve under the Hope Memorial Bridge is RTA's Settlers Landing Station. If money could be obtained for this new Red Line station, it could very well take away money from potential projects that would see far greater return or fill higher demanding needs. From RTA's own rider counts, the existing station really doesn't serve a large number of passengers.
  7. In January, I had to go to the mall to pick up something at the Amazon drop-off locker. Notices were taped on the locker unit by CEI warning of impending electricity shut-off due to non-payment of bills. This was the same time that Chapel Hill Mall's tenants received similar notices. Decided to take walk through the mall. Notices were distributed throughout the mall. Of "better" type retailers, there was a men's shop (which is soon going to relocate to the plaza across Wilson Mills Road), a couple of shoe stores and a sports apparel store. Conrads, the movie theater and Planet Fitness have their businesses as well. The food court had a few places open. About half of the mall's stores were empty. The other spaces were "urban" apparel stores (I will leave that up to your interpretation), junky-type stuff and hair/nail salons. In a mall's "prime", those salons (aside from the ones that Sears or J.C.Penney might operate) would be off of the main concourse or be outside spots. Now, they occupy spaces that once were prime leasing spaces, but there is lots of empty "prime" space available. The Euclid Beach display takes up a former store plus it has some displays in windows of other empty stores.. It moved to Richmond Town Square after Euclid Square Mall had all of its tenants (mostly churches) kicked out when Euclid's fire marshal uncovered massive code violations. The Euclid Beach display was only visible from the concourse as nobody was around to open it up for visitors. A sign that any mall is doomed (aside from when Kohan purchases it), is when the Euclid Beach display moves in. Ample space sitting un-leased ends up having a mall's owner letting them move in rent-free.
  8. Kohan Retail Investment group is some sort of sham operation. Back when Kohan purchased Richmond Town Square, I read that other mall properties he owned ended up shutting down. One mall lost of its tenants and closed. Another was closed due to non-payment of utilities a third was closed due to safety and building code violations. This all happened before he purchased Richmond Town Square. In the following months, Sears and J.C.Penney closed at that mall leaving no anchor tenants. Before that purchase, he purchased another dying mall--Chapel Hill Mall. What have been the headlines about both malls in the last few months? Chapel Hill tenants received notices of utility shut-offs. The same thing happened to Richmond Town Square tenants; it just wasn't mentioned in the news headline. J.C.Penney closed their store at Chapel Hill leaving no anchor tenants there as well. Both malls have delinquent property taxes. Now Richmond Town Square is closed as it has major building and safety code violations. Chapel Hill Mall had foreclosure filings by Summit County. On December 8 2016, Cleveland.com ran an article about Kohan's purchase of Richmond Town Square: https://www.cleveland.com/hillcrest/2016/12/richmond_town_square_mall_in_r.html. In that article, it stated: "It's a great mall that's in a great location 10 miles from downtown," said Kohan Retail Investment Group President Mike Kohan of the company's purchase, finalized on Nov. 10. Kohan is also the recent buyer of Akron's Chapel Hill Mall and owns 19 other malls around the country. When asked if he had any plans to make upgrades at the mall, Kohan, speaking from his office in Great Neck, N.Y., said, "I'm not a developer. We want to place tenants at the mall." "As such, Kohan will focus on bringing new retailers to Richmond Heights." In February, Kohan purchased Ashtabula Town Square Mall: https://www.cleveland.com/business/2020/02/owner-of-akrons-struggling-chapel-hill-mall-buys-ashtabula-mall-for-102-million.html. In that story, there was this statement: "In an interview with the Star Beacon, which first reported the story, Kohan said he hopes to increase traffic and add tenants at the Ashtabula mall, which is at about half-capacity." Doesn't that sound familiar? How long before Ashabula Town Square suffers the same fate as Richmond Town Square, Chapel Hill and those other malls owned by Kohan? As an aside, any talk of a mall owner making repairs to a nearly dead mall where a developer wishes to purchase it to demolish it is a load of cow manure. Just as the other cited cleveland.com article stated, Kohan would never see any return on money spent on repairs. The handful of low-end retailers and service providers that comprise most of that malls remaining tenants generate next to no mall revenue. Expect this show to go on for many months and probably years.
  9. Here is the problem with high taxes and an increase in taxes to support RTA: the general public does not want to pay higher taxes to fund an agency that is badly mis-managed and wastes a lot of money. Most of the other major transit agencies in the state are currently funded by sales taxes except for Cincinnati (income tax) and Toledo (property tax). The ones funded by sales taxes, aside from RTA, receive funding from 0.25% or 0.50% sales tax rates, while RTA receives 1.0% county sales tax. Cuyahoga County is still the second largest county in the state in terms of population. That should be more than enough in sales tax revenue. The theft, waste and corruption in the system over many years has been extremely well documented. The general manager was rewarded with contract renewals, pay raises and bonuses, even though the system was in a steep decline in ridership and services. In a normal world, that sort of performance would have cost the general manager his job, not being rewarded for it. To add to the problems, the county has high tax rates. The sales tax (partly due to RTA) is the highest in the state. Property taxes are high. What do the residents get for high taxes? Scandal after scandal of theft, corruption, waste and personal enrichment by its leaders. It has been happening for decades. The names change, but the scandals continue. Even though taxes are high, services decline along with the overall quality of life. Finally, many of the county's school districts are the worst performers in the state. Year after year, the same districts are in the bottom 5% in performance. More money thrown at the districts hasn't produced any measurable improvements in results. The property taxes paid in these communities for these poor performing school districts contribute towards Cuyahoga County having collectively the highest property taxation rate in the state. Has one ever wondered why there is urban sprawl in this area? Maybe it is to get away from high taxes and quality of life issues. They want to live where schools are better. Taxes are a necessity of life. Most people have problems paying high taxes that do little towards improving the community where they live.
  10. RTA was seriously talking about having ballot issues to increase the county's sales tax from its current 1.0%. It can seek an increase to 1.5%. At 1.0%, it is double the rate of what Columbus and Laketran's systems are funded (or any other transit system in the state). The other option was to seek increased funding via a property tax increase. As more and more bad publicity came out regarding the waste, theft, abuse and mis-management by the system's leaders, the board of trustees decided that either proposal would go down in flames on election day. Furthermore, RTA has become an undesirable mode of transportation in the county. Poor, infrequent or non-existent service coupled with lower gas prices, reasonable and abundant parking options make driving the commuting option of choice. As jobs have left downtown, RTA has never adjusted service options for those companies that have grown in the suburbs. Plus, people don't need transit or a car when they work from home. Cuyahoga County already has the highest sale tax rate in the state. It's property taxes are some of the highest in the state as well. If people don't need or want the service that RTA provides and the system is plagued with massive problems, an increase to the tax burden will not be approved by the voters.
  11. The HealthLine is a joke. It is perceived as a successful BRT line because its rider counts are falsely inflated numbers. RTA's officials cite the "increase" in ridership as compared to the counts of the preceding routes 6 and 6a that traveled from the Stokes-Winderemere and University Circle Rapid Transit Stations to Public Square via Euclid Avenue. They omit the fact that several other bus lines also traveled downtown and ignore those rider counts from the overall comparison. Some routes operated significant portions of the day downtown and others offered rush hour service downtown. When the HealthLine started operation, RTA discontinued running those other routes downtown. If somebody wanted to ride a bus to get downtown, they had no other choice but to use the HealthLine. A strong argument can be made stating that the HealthLine did more to hurt the overall system ridership than help. A bus trip downtown, already rather long from eastern Cuyahoga County, became longer. A transfer takes time, even if a HealthLine bus is waiting for passengers. If there isn't a HealthLine bus at the transfer point, people had to wait. In addition, the buses from the outer routes made significantly fewer stops than the HealthLine buses. More stops add to commuting time. Many of those now truncated routes that once operated downtown provide a fraction of their former frequencies or have been completely discontinued. People do not like long (and uncomfortable) bus rides and they don't like making transfers when they once had none to deal with. It also doesn't help with RTA's financial picture as the HealthLine has well-publicized problems of people riding that line not paying fares.
  12. Not exactly certain about the never used subway connector tunnel(s), but I think they end at Ontario. When the Terminal Tower project was under construction, the excavation basically stopped at Ontario. Depending on what was done for Ontario, there may be little bit underneath, but I don't think that Ontario itself was disturbed for that project's construction. In the 1920's subway-type construction was cut-excavate-cover, not the boring operations done today. As for the west side of the Terminal Tower Complex, at one time there was the intent to connect the Detroit-Superior High Level Bridge trolley subway to the Terminal Tower tracks. The lack of money during the Great Depression ended all potential planning on that type of connection.
  13. Doesn't anybody ever question some of the other numbers that get tossed around for this project--like when they become reality? The "Big Dig" project in Boston was projected to cost $2.5 billion. When it was completed, it cost $24.3 billion. If what happened in Boston comes true in the Cleveland to Chicago hyperloop (projected to cost $24.7 to $29.8 billion), would the "final" price tag come in the range of $250 to $300 billion? These projects always have a way of costing much more than projected. Then there are the projected ridership counts. Per a March, 2018 Cleveland.com article: https://www.cleveland.com/architecture/2018/03/is_hyperloop_hyped_in_ohio_pro.html it stated that 54,720 people would use the service between Cleveland and Chicago a day. Assuming that is the number is for both directions, 27,360 would take a one-direction trip. If the 40-passenger capsules are used, it would amount to 684 trips in one direction a day. This translates to one departure every 126 seconds during a 24-hour period. If 28-passenger capsules are used, it becomes 1 departure every 88 seconds for the entire day. How long will it take to load and unload a capsule? Hopefully a station would have multiple platforms for this purpose. So, roughly every 90 seconds to 2 minutes, a 28 to 40 passenger projectile will be launched in closed tube and they will travel at speeds of 760 miles per hour. If one of those capsules suddenly becomes disabled and stops, who would want to be in that stopped capsule? Or who would want to be in one of the multiple ones that follow?
  14. When a mall gets the reputation of having security/safety issues inside and on the parking lots outside, its days are numbered. One or two incidents spread out over an extended period of time can be written off as exceptions. When they happen with regularity and major media coverage, that is the beginning of the end. One also has to wonder with the demise of Richmond Town Square, has the frequency and severity of shoplifting hit there as well. Macy's at Richmond Town Square as well as J.C.Penney at Richmond Town Square were regular locations for shoplifting incidents in the local reporting of Richmond Heights Police Blotter items.
  15. Nothing is worse than using outdated information, especially when it comes from the county government. Richmond Heights eliminated its curbside recycling program at the start of 2019. The city's leaders cited increased cost in the new waste hauling contract starting in 2019 and low residential participation rates. The rates given came in at about 5% to 8% of the city's residents participated in recycling. If somebody didn't want to leave recyclables at their curbside, they could drop it off at the service garage. When the recycling program was eliminated, even the recycling dumpsters at the service garage were eliminated. The low participation rate was not higher due to the city's not having separate containers for recycling. People had to pile up plastic bags for recycling pick up and hope that it wasn't windy on collection day. One Richmond Heights city council member predicted that more cities would follow suit due low demand for recyclable materials and increased costs to recycle when it came time for their waste hauling contracts to be renewed.
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