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Everything posted by KJP

  1. I always liked that FORUM vision for the center. But there's nothing that would have prevented building high-rise housing atop some of the parking facilities. If I recall, that plan also would have rerouted the Waterfront Line around the north side of the center, next to the lakefront. Alas, it wasn't to be. If the riverfront site gets the nod, FC better make sure the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad station can be accommodated. I've even pondered a way to get intercity high-speed rail back into the station -- despite the construction of the Federal Courthouse Tower. But I'll discuss it at the Transportation section. KJP
  2. Here is the press release of All Aboard Ohio (the group formerly known as the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers)... KJP __________________ A L L A B O A R D O H I O FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dominic Liberatore September 1, 2005 Executive Director (614) 204-4628 All Aboard Ohio praises Cleveland Mayor Campbell for endorsing high-speed rail CLEVELAND -- All Aboard Ohio, a nonprofit organization, gratefully welcomed today’s endorsement by Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell of an achievable plan to develop high-speed rail service in Ohio and adjoining states. She was joined by longtime rail supporter Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Painesville), chair of the House Railroad Subcommittee, in advocating for high-speed rail as the next big transportation investment for Greater Cleveland. The detailed plan, called the Ohio Hub, is proposed by the Ohio Rail Development Commission to be built in phases, beginning with 79-mph trains using existing, high-quality freight tracks to Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toronto and Chicago. Cleveland will be the hub of a network of rail services, with train speeds safely increased to 110 mph with additional investments in infrastructure. For links to the Ohio Hub plan and maps, visit www.allaboardohio.org. Both Campbell and LaTourette said the 21st-century rail network would create thousands of new jobs, increase mobility and provide an affordable travel choice in an era of rising gas prices. “The success of the plan depends on having the endorsement of Cleveland’s mayor, since Cleveland will be the focal point of the Ohio Hub,” said Dominic Liberatore, executive director of All Aboard Ohio. “We are grateful to Mayor Campbell for her endorsement of a rail system that will bring Northeast Ohio into the 21st century. We are entering an era when regions reap the greatest economic rewards by being smarter in their use of natural resources.” Liberatore similarly praised Rep. LaTourette for his ongoing commitment to improving passenger rail services. Most notably, Rep. LaTourette recently introduced House Bill 1631, called the Railroad Infrastructure Development and Expansion Act for the 21st Century (RIDE 21) which would provide $60 billion in federal funding for high-speed passenger rail and freight railroad infrastructure nationwide. All Aboard Ohio, formerly the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers, advocates for passenger rail and transit improvements as part of an interconnected, multi-modal transportation system for all Ohioans. END
  3. Oh, and to bring us back to this thread's original topic... http://www.cleveland.com/sun/westsidesunnews/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1125000446237130.xml&coll=3 Station to be replaced Thursday, August 25, 2005 By DAVID PLATA West Side Sun News The aging Regional Transit Authority station on West 117th Street will be torn down beginning in about a month, then replaced with a new and larger station. The RTA board on Tuesday awarded the entire $4.6 million contract to Ohio Diversified Services Inc. The amount is 8.8 percent lower than an earlier $5.1 million estimate. The station, at West 117th and Madison Avenue in Cleveland, bordering Lakewood, was built in the 1950s, when the Red Line, moving passengers between downtown and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, was built. Officials first intended to replace the station more than a decade ago, but the project was delayed while work went ahead on the Waterfront Line, the Triskett Station renovation and other projects. Former Lakewood Mayor Madeline Cain, at the time an RTA trustee, four years ago dismissed an early design as too futuristic, looking like a space station. The new plans, with design cues taken from the UCAR Building across West 117th Street _ made of red brick with rounded windows _ were drawn up by Bialosky & Partners of Shaker Square. It's supposed to look like an early industrial building or a power plant, said Maribeth Feke, RTA director of programming and planning. That's sort of what it's reminiscent of. It does fit really well with that building. Feke said the station will remain open during the work, which will be completed in about two years. It'll be tricky, because we have a lot of construction phasing, she said. It's going to be very difficult to keep that station under operation, but we are. She said the existing station is small and somewhat hidden by the rail bridge over West 117th. She said the new station, taller and rounder, will be more visible. The bridge itself will be repainted, she said. And she said the ugly canopies along West 117th Street will be removed and replaced with landscaping and new shelters on both sides of the street. We worked with both the city of Lakewood and the city of Cleveland on the station, Feke said. The station is used by about 700 rail passengers every day, said Jerry Masek, RTA spokesman. Feke said the number of parking spaces will remain the same, at about 145. The station is a connecting point for the 804 Lakewood Circulator and three regular bus routes _ the 75X, 50 and 25. END
  4. KJP

    Peak Oil

    See if you can catch the Capitol Limited at Waterloo, though it may be sold out. Greyhound bus service out of Fort Wayne is horrible, but I'm sure you didn't need me to tell you that! KJP
  5. What's up MayDay? Are you referring to the half-hour frequencies during the day? If so, I was disappointed to learn that the 20-minute headways were reduced to 30 minutes. But I don't have a problem with the rush-hour service. There's a local and express bus alternating every 5 minutes. KJP
  6. KJP

    Peak Oil

    It takes more energy to make ethanol than the energy which is transferred by burning ethanol. There's a lot of alternative energy carriers (hydrogen, solar, etc) out there, but there aren't a lot of alternatives that have a positive return on energy investment. In fact, there are very few. Biodiesel is pretty decent because the oil has already been produced. KJP
  7. If this city wants to get a jump on others in a 21st century economy that looks to be fraught with resource limits, then... > forget the airport for travel to cities within 500 miles of Cleveland; > build high-speed rail linking big-city downtowns, moderate-sized cities, and airports; > more aggressively pursue nonconventional energy research, and attract employers willing to innovate in this endeavor; > become a distribution center (rail and water) for clean-coal liquefaction products; > use the downtown convention center for the purposes I suggested a few messages earlier in this string. I had to pose the last to bring this thread back to its original purpose! KJP
  8. A dim platform scared them away from riding the Red Line again? Wow, we Americans sure are a coddled lot! KJP P.S. what do they expect to find in a taxi cab?
  9. KJP

    Peak Oil

    I wouldn't be surprised to see $3 gas prices in a few days, if Katrina has damaged the oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf area. One-third of this nation's oil supplies are produced in the Gulf, and more oil, from foreign lands, is offloaded at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform and pumped to the mainland via underwater pipelines. There are also numerous oil and natural gas refineries along the coast. We have zero spare capacity, and any loss of this infrastructure for an extended period could cause some significant hardships. But it will be at least couple of days before we learn just how much damage was done. If you haven't bought gas at less than $2.70, do it now just to be safe. KJP
  10. Unless you bring a change of clothes with you. Several people I know do that, and they bike to work, where showers for cyclists are available. But most car-free folks I know just take trains or buses to work here in Cleveburg. KJP
  11. Thanks for the link. I've updated the list at the top of this string. I hope to continue updating the list. If the pace of transit-friendly redevelopment picks up along the Red Line, the 10 percent ridership increases it's experienced in the last year or two could accelerate. We have a tremendous, but untapped asset in this city -- one that will only increase in value as gas prices keep rising, the baby-boom generation ages and the "cool factor" of urban living spreads further among young people. But, unless the barriers to redeveloping around Rapid stations are removed, it will remain an opportunity missed. Let's keep the momentum moving forward. KJP
  12. I doubt RTA has ever given the West 25th station the power-washing it so desperately needs (or other stations). I often see an RTA vehicle with a big water tank on it, power-washing bus shelters along city streets. Why not with the stations? They're a bigger investment. Why can't RTA expand it's Adopt-A-Shelter program to create one called Adopt-A-Station? Could RTA sell naming rights to stations and give those companies' employees a community-activism role in maintaining the stations? Adding better landscaping? More amenities? ...The Great Lakes Brewing Company Station at Ohio City?The National City Bank Station At Puritas? The Forest City Enterprises Station at Tower City? The Cleveland Clinic Station at University Circle? OK, maybe the Adopt-A-Station might be as far as it goes..... KJP
  13. NEWS OHIO RAIL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION 50 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 (614) 644-0306 telephone or fax (614) 728-4520 http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Stu Nicholson Date: August 24, 2005 (614) 644-0513 Ohio Senator Co-Sponsors Major Rail Bill ORDC Praises Senator Mike DeWine For His Support of Bill to Improve & Invest in Passenger Rail (Columbus) – The nation’s first comprehensive federal legislation to develop and grow high quality passenger rail service has gained an important co-sponsor. Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) has officially signed on in support of Senate Bill 1516, the Passenger Rail Investment & Improvement Act of 2005: a bill introduced just weeks ago by Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi). “This legislation can be a huge help in getting our Ohio Hub Plan rolling”, says ORDC Executive Director James Seney, “and Senator DeWine’s co-sponsorship will ensure that Ohio’s interest in developing both passenger rail and increased capacity for freight rail traffic is considered.” Senator DeWine’s staff says ORDC’s input was key in their decision to join Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Kay Bailer Hutchison (R-Texas) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) in support of this bill, which has already been passed by the Senate Transportation Committee. In joining as a co-sponsor, Senator DeWine says, ““I am proud to co-sponsor the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2005. The legislation would improve rail safety and security, increase rail capacity and strengthen Ohio’s transportation infrastructure promoting economic growth. If enacted, it would reduce congestion on our roads, making them safer for families. This safe and reliable transportation plan directly addresses transportation needs in Ohio and across the country.” ORDC is about to release it’s final report on the results of 10 month series of public meetings on it’s own high speed rail plan: The Ohio & Lake Erie Regional Rail / Ohio Hub Plan. SB-1516 will create the very federal funding mechanism that has been the missing link in advancing the Ohio Hub Plan, as well as plans now being developed in at least 24 other states. The bill also calls for both significant reform and first-ever long-term funding to stabilize our national passenger rail system currently operated by Amtrak. “The response we have gotten from the public, community and business leaders to the Ohio Hub Plan has not only been overwhelmingly positive, “ says Seney, “ but their comments carry a clear sense of urgency that this plan needs to be funded and put into operation now. But one nagging gap in this and other regional rail plans has been the absence of a federal funding system dedicated to rail. Senate Bill 1516 literally lays the tracks to close that gap.” Similar legislation in the U.S. House has been introduced by Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette in HR 1630 and HR 1631. ORDC has also provided input to the Congressman’s staff on these bills as well. Says Seney: “We’re encouraged to see this issue being dealt with in both houses of Congress and in a comprehensive way. We will continue to communicate with both Senator DeWine and Congressman LaTourette as these bills move forward.” Seney says one feature of both bills he particularly likes is that they call for a system of matching spending between federal and state dollars at the same 80-20% funding split as is done for highway and aviation modes. Balancing the funding, he says, helps balance the overall transportation system and helps our economy flow and grow. Links to the Ohio & Lake Erie Regional Rail / Ohio Hub Plan can be found at the ORDC website: www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/ (The Ohio Rail Development Commission is an independent agency operating within the Ohio Department of Transportation. ORDC is responsible for economic development through the improvement and expansion of passenger and freight rail service, railroad grade crossing safety and rail travel & tourism issues. For more information about what ORDC does for Ohio, visit our website at http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/ )
  14. I think the idea of a rebuilt convention center might work -IF- it's done in conjunction with providing other things to make it more useful for Cuyahoga County residents and the region's economy, namely.... > Creating a climate-protected pedestrian link between downtown and the lakefront; > Incorporating a regional multi-modal transportation center; > Offering facilities for a point of collaboration, idea-incubation and career-building between all Northeast Ohio institutions of higher learning and employers; > Creating more year-round links between downtown buildings; > Providing community festivals (below ground in winter, on the mall in summer); > And, yes, providing a location for conventions, trade shows and large meetings. The great thing about all these activities is there are local, state and federal funding programs in place TODAY for each and every one of them. If we incorporated multiple uses into this facility, Cuyahoga County voters wouldn't have to vote on whether to increase local taxes for rebuilding the facility. But it would require our state and federal legislative delegations to work hard for the funding for this. KJP
  15. Great news. Now, let's string together more wins and make this contagious! BTW, does this mean the jobs will remain at the Federal Building, or would they need to move to a less-expensive location, such as the office building Wolstein proposed at the north end of the Flats East Bank? KJP
  16. I believe county and some state funds were used. Check out: http://www.hemispheredev.com/case/coltman.html KJP
  17. Not specifically. Can you post the link to the website and I'll adjust the information in the first message. I would like to continually update/correct that list as needed. KJP
  18. There will be a new station at or near Euclid-East 120th. Where and when it will be built, I do not know. NOACA didn't hold up the grant for station-area planning for that site. It was denied, as was a TLCI grant for a station-area plan at Lee and Van Aken. I don't know the reasons why, but I suspect it was because RTA had submitted four grant requests and there was only $1.1 million to go around for the five-county NOACA region. By the way, the fourth grant request by RTA, which NOACA approved, was for RTA establishing TOD guidelines for all station-area developments. At West 65th, to my knowledge, RTA has solicited proposals for developing the vacant parcel between the station's driveway and the Lorain Avenue overpass of the tracks. A post office, organic food store, or some other use that would be beneficial to enhancing ridership at the station is desired by RTA. But I haven't heard of any proposals by developers for the site. Immediately west of the driveway, there are used car lots and other land uses that don't do much for enhancing ridership at the station. An apartment building or townhouses was discussed for that site. But I'm not aware of any concrete efforts to acquire those properties for the purpose of relocating their users to make way for redevelopment. It's just not easy to redevelop land in the city, even if the property is vacant. And, RTA doesn't have the staff or other resources to pursue TOD with greater vigor -- despite it being a stated priority by the board of trustees. They need to put their money where their policy is. KJP
  19. West Side Housing Plan To Be Reviewed 08-23-2005 8:25 AM (Cleveland, OH) -- Planners of a public housing complex on Cleveland's west side are on a tight deadline. They want community response this week before submitting final plans to the federal government at the end of September. There are four sites under consideration in the Ohio City neighborhood. The original site near Riverside Towers was scrapped because of unstable ground. The public meetings are tomorrow and Thursday nights at Lutheran Hospital. Copyright 2005 Metro Networks Communications Inc., A Westwood One Company
  20. KJP

    Peak Oil

    Awesome column. I saw that posted at www.peakoil.com the other day. KJP
  21. On the subject of TOD, I was thinking about what's starting to happen along the Red Line. Let's take this station by station, from west to east (please offer any corrections or updates): Airport -- no TOD planning or development activities known; Brookpark -- a $16 million redevelopment plan approved by RTA board in March 2005 with Brookpark RTA Ventures Ltd. of Beachwood, including a new station, 1,000-car parking garage, hotels, restaurants and retail on the 15.5 acres of land; Puritas-West 150th -- NOACA awarded on May 13, 2005 a $70,000 TLCI planning grant to project co-sponsors RTA and the Bellaire-Puritas Development Corp. for the development of a station-area redevelopment and pedestrian-access plan; West Park -- no TOD planning or development activities known; Triskett -- no TOD planning or development activities known; West 117th-Madison -- Lakewood and developer considering development options for recently vacated DeLorean Cadilac Dealership and adjacent properties. If no development option is pursued in the short-term, Spitzer may open its own car dealership on the site. RTA awarded contract to rebuild station facility on Aug. 23, 2005; West Boulevard -- Renovation of the 1888-built, five-story Chicle Gum Factory into apartments completed in 2005. Development plan approved by city on April 28, 2005 for the construction of up 40 new Chicle Townhouses; West 65th-Lorain -- EcoVillage continues to advance. In 2003, 20 townhomes were built and all were sold by 2004. A second phase of townhome development is starting. On Sept. 21, 2004, RTA opened its new station facility. Planning underway for major reconstruction of Matthew Zone Recreation Center. RTA seeking redevelopment of Lorain Avenue station frontage; West 25th-Ohio City -- CMHA director George Phillips and Ward 14 Councilman Nelson Cintron favor relocating CMHA's proposed high-rise residential building, containing 120-160 units "on top" of the RTA station. The tower, part of CMHA's Hope VI development, was originally planned for a site next to an unstable hillside at West 25th and Franklin; Tower City Center -- New Federal Courthouse Tower built 2004 with pedestrian walkway to Tower City Center and RTA station; East 34th-Campus -- no TOD planning or development activities known; East 55th -- Station slated for reconstruction, with a design that would support some station-area redevelopment; East 79th -- no TOD planning or development activities known; East 105th-Quincy -- RTA broke ground on Jan. 11, 2005 for a new $1.3 million station facility, replacing the old station. The station is next to the site for a proposed $120 million juvenile detention center, but the center's location could change. University Circle -- no TOD planning or development activities known; Euclid-East 120th -- RTA has funding in hand for station replacement or possible relocation. RTA request for TLCI planning funds from NOACA denied. Following the environmental remediation of a former oil storage depot on East 120th and Coltman Avenue, Hemisphere Development Corp. is planning for the construction of 28 townhouses or condominiums, called the Little Italy Renaissance Development, on 1.2 acres of land. Superior -- no TOD planning or development activities known; Windermere -- Head Start pre-school opened at the rebuilt station in 2002, after RTA secured the funding for building demolitions, site work and construction. Additional development, called Windermere Village, was recently announced, with plans incorporating a mix of uses including more than 50 new homes and apartments, 40,000 square feet of office space and medical services, a bank, restaurant, expanded library and a restored church. KJP
  22. With gas prices getting expensive, this could save Cleveland a ton of money by saving city workers from having to go back and forth to the office to file reports. That's another advantage this could give the city. KJP
  23. Another is down near Roscoe Village/Coshocton -- or at least it used to be the last time I rode it, in 1979. KJP
  24. Somebody is getting these Fortune 500 companies. When you try to keep them and don't, I would be more disappointed if Clevelanders weren't upset at the loss(es). There is every reason to be upset at the loss. What's Ohio's economy supposed to consist of, delivering pizzas to each other? KJP
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