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Great American Tower 665'
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    Cleveland, OH

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  1. Maybe, but I think the larger downside is that one would now have to either be rich or raise a whole lot more money to campaign in those expanded wards. Not to mention when you get to office you'll now make less but still have the same staff size (our city council might pay council members more than other cities, but our council also has a much smaller staff size). Then while making less you now have more constituents and a larger geography that you are responsible for, and those citizens and places might have very different needs, making it much harder for you to work for your constituents. Given all of that, how would this proposal make city council better? If anything this could shrink the pool of good, qualified people who want to run for office. Not to say that I am happy with council in it's current form. There are definitely changes I would like to see, including the following: Re-draw boundaries to match communities/get rid of some of our gerrymandered wards (bye Dona Brady!) No longer allow resigning council members to pick their replacements Or at least cut down the time frame in which members are allowed to pick a replacement Ex: if a council member has a 1+ year left in their term, have a special election Reduce the number of council members (due to population decline), but to 15, not to 9 like in the ballot proposal AND/OR convert some members (1-3) to At-Large positions
  2. Although I would love if we re-utilized the subway deck of the DS bridge and had streetcars running down Detroit and 25th St., I think that the 25th St corridor, as far as transit is concerned, needs improved travel times/frequencies for the existing bus lines more than an expensive streetcar line at this time. To do this I think that W. 25th should have dedicated bus lanes all the way to the Cleveland/Parma border (or at the very least to the zoo). North of Bridge 25th is more than wide enough to accommodate and the parking lanes between Bridge and Lorain would be better utilized as bus lanes. In this section of 25th buses have to weave in and out of traffic which impedes everyone; plus with people circling and trying to park on 25th now they often block the travel lanes and impeded the flow of traffic, so changing the parking lanes to bus lanes would really help travel times for everyone. And south of Lorain the curb lanes could easily transition to dedicated bus lanes; with the current construction on 25th by 90 this stretch is down to a lane in each direction and, outside of rush hour, it is clear that multiple lanes are not needed for car traffic. And having dedicated bus lanes would vastly improve travel time/frequencies/ridership for our existing bus lines in that corridor; a dedicated ROW can more than double bus speeds and haven been shown to increase ridership by 2-9% (source). A recent example of this would be 14th St. in NYC, and dedicated ROW for buses are a major component to Seattle's increased bus ridership (source). Think that the creation of these bus/transit lanes could also be done relatively inexpensively. And to even further improve the transit corridor we could also work towards decreasing dwell time (which can account to about a third of travel time) by instituting P.O.P./all door boarding, signal prioritization, and low level boarding (which I believe most if not all of RTA's buses serving this corridor already meet). But given RTA's current issues with P.O.P. and the city's unwillingness to utilize signal prioritization on the Healthline I doubt those improvements would be made.
  3. ^Yeah, the comments about parking is some BS, but to be fair the parking garage will allow for the removal of 3 parking lots and a new building for the business school.
  4. I have not yet listened to the Sound of Ideas interview with India Birdsong myself, but if Matt Rolf's overview is any indication it looks like new leadership at GCRTA will not lead to positive change, for now: I am quite disappointed with this. Utilizing P.O.P. on the Healthline (and other bus lines) is one of the key components of improving bus service (as well as all door boarding, signal prioritization, and dedicated bus lanes). And not seeking new funding sources at this time would be understandable if changes were first going to be made that decreased waste/misappropriation of funds, but we clearly need more funding to solve our larger issues (rail car replacement, maintenance, etc.). Beyond that, I find it even more discouraging that the rail line is looked at as "dressing on the salad" and not as a major asset to our transit system. Not to mention this reliance on the failing Uber/Lyft just confounds me; it has been proven that they do more to hurt transit ridership and I don't see them operating in the same capacity for much longer as they will have to turn a profit at some point and they won't be able to do so in their current form.
  5. Is this comment really necessary? Besides being dramatic, it's also incendiary. The "Cow Town" moniker is outdated; Columbus has come a long way over the last several decades and has made amazing strides in infill and a shift towards more dense, urban projects throughout the city. We do not succeed by putting other cities down and Ohio is blessed to have three, distinct, vibrant cities. And who says we're failing in the convention business? From the articles I've seen it looks like we are doing well and growing, but that there are improvements that can be made to attract more and larger events...and that's not a failure. We should always be striving to improve and I think that there are steps that can be taken to make our convention business stronger; like building more hotels with meeting spaces, expansion of convention center over the railroad tracks (which if done in conjunction w/ lakefront transit center could have far greater impact on our city), or other options that have no doubt been discussed in this and other, more appropriate threads like this one.
  6. Thanks @KJP! Article seems to indicated that the interim director Carver has indeed "changed the tenor" of their dealings with the contractor and is being more assertive/aggressive than the past administration. Hopefully Birdsong will do the same.
  7. The article also mentions that the contractor is only obligated to provide technology that was available 10 years ago, but seems to indicate that GCRTA had the option to scrap the contract but chose to implement the older technology now. For those with more knowledge, like @KJP, is that wise considering the advancements that have been made? Are we going to get a something sub-par? Will this older technology be able to adapt to knew technology and potentially work in conjunction with similar tech in other cities?
  8. Paint encapsulation isn't the only (or best solution) though. Often times to correctly abate a lead hazard you might have to replace/encapsulate wood door frames, thresholds, windowsills, window casings, and siding with a vinyl/aluminum. This is not a cheap or easy fix and if not done by a licensed lead contractor and following government guidelines your property wouldn't be considered lead safe, to do so the following would need to be met: Use a licensed lead abatement contractor and risk assessor Contractor would need to follow protocol for abating lead risk Containing construction zone (including exterior work, an added expense for properties w/ little to no setback) when conducting prep work (like scraping paint, removing hazardous materials, etc.) and abatement Conducting the third party approved lead abatement work (concealment, encapsulation, etc.) Post-construction cleaning that follows lead guidelines (means, methods, disposal) Third party assessor to test/sign-off/approve of work performed These requirements make the job more expensive, not mention these aren't in and of themselves easy jobs to do, even if you are going the DIY route. And I can't believe you would actually suggest that a tenant perform this work themselves, especially tenants who are not wealthy. As a real world example, I had to lead abate a property and the interior work alone was $4,500 (wet scrape, seal, paint for stabilization 16 window casings/windowsills, 2 walls, and 3 door frames. The post construction lead safe cleaning alone was $800 and the contractor charged a $500 "lead safe guidelines" fee. I know to you that might not seem like a lot of money, but for many people it is. And I should also mention that this was on a house that had been relatively well maintained, so the amount of items that had to be abated was not that extensive (many of the windows had actually been replaced with vinyl, just had wood casings/frames). Many houses that aren't lead safe need much more extensive work, including costly exterior work.
  9. As others have pointed out, those are not apple to apple comparisons to Cleveland. Things to consider are the percent of properties that are rental vs. owner-occupied, number of properties, average/median income of each city, population change, and other demographic information. And I feel like it is also important to point out that, if you receive notice from the city/county/state, not just anyone can perform the abatement work, it must be someone who is certified by the state to do that sort of work. That added certification increases the cost of that work and, depending on the scenario, you must also need to hire a third party inspector to verify that your property is now lead safe. So, it's not as simple as just painting a windowsill and if the lead issue is with a rental property that's not something the tenant would take care of, hence the need to hold landlords accountable, which is more of an issue in Cleveland than it is in the cities you mentioned. This is not to say the city shouldn't be held accountable, the city definitely has room for improvement, but we have to acknowledge that the circumstances are different than the suburban areas with the same/similar housing stock.
  10. And I don't recall there being a curb cut from their property onto Old Ontario St. and I don't see it in historical aerials. So, not sure how the removal of Old Ontario renders their property inaccessible now. But yeah, looks like the city messed up by not following procedure and these owners are taking advantage.
  11. Some more background on India Birdsong, seems promising and like we might be getting the leader GCRTA has been in desperate need of: GCRTA selects India Birdsong as top choice for next CEO and GM GCRTA’s Board has entered negotiations with Birdsong who has experience managing transit systems in Chicago and Nashville. MISCHA WANEK-LIBMAN India Birdsong has been selected as the top choice to be the next CEO and general manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). The GCRTA Board of Trustees voted unanimously on July 3 to enter contract negotiations with Birdsong following a nationwide search. [...] Birdsong is currently the chief operating officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority where she is responsible for all of WeGo Public Transit’s bus and rail operations, including maintenance, improvement and supporting the system's 25-year growth plan. She leads more than 550 employees, including union and administrative staffers, two garages and maintenance shops, a commuter rail line and a downtown transfer central hub. Over the past year, the Nashville system has launched several improvements and initiatives, including updated bus routes with tracking services on a mobile app and tech upgrades such as USB chargers and free Wi-Fi on buses. Read More...
  12. It seems that modifying platforms could be an inconvenience that would be ultimately pointless if there are in fact rail cars that have retractable platform gap fillers. That type of rail car would seemingly be the best option as they could be used on all three lines and wouldn't require the modification of platforms and the coordination hurdles that that would entail when switching from our current rail stock to the new vehicles. Unless I'm missing something/there's a downside of going with a vehicle with the gap fillers.
  13. To add to W28th comment that caused some confusion, if you take a look at the developers's website, specifically their portfolio and "current projects" page and I think it is understandable as to why some people, myself included, are skeptical of the project being built as designed.
  14. Are these just for 2018? If so, I wouldn't get so doom and gloom without looking at historic data to determine whether or not this is a trend or just the result of some outliers (like a major investment in one year in one metro that isn't indicative of normal growth)
  15. @freethink - Wayfinding for The Flats has been spearheaded by Flats Forward, although I believe Metro Parks (and other community stakeholders) have been involved in the planning process. They hired Guide Studio (formerly Studio Graphique) for planning/design of the signage.
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