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Great American Tower 665'
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  1. 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.
  2. 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 The "Cow Town" moniker is outdated; Columbus has come a long way over the last several decades and has made amazing strides in infill and a shift towards more dense, urban projects throughout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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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)
  12. @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.
  13. Let me rephrase: I don't like the orientation of the green space and think that the amount of it in their master plan is excessive. And it seems that not all of the green space will be available to the general public, which is understandable for the wellness garden, I suppose, but what about the rest of the park space? @jbee1982 the "future" space in the diagram is for the relocated outpatient center (once the replacement for Prentiss is built on W. 25th & Sackett). And agreed on wanting a more cohesive building typology, thought Metro was trying to get away from its mix-matched look
  14. I don't think there is a real need for all of that green space, all though some of it would be a welcome addition to the area. I do like the long term plan to move the outpatient and senior living facilities though, but the overall design seems pretty bland, especially compared to the latest brick addition.
  15. @YO to the CLE in theory the majority of the lead issues in our housing stock could be affordably abated, but keep in mind that any lead abatement needs to be done by a contractor with the proper lead abatement license/certification, which limits the pool of who you can hire from and once you find a contractor they often charge more because of the nature of the work and it's difficult to get on their schedule. Additionally, many landlords are not held accountable and currently there isn't much being done to keep landlords accountable, unless a child is found to have a high lead level and the landlord is cited. But in that situation the cost to abate is then increased and the process is ridiculously difficult to get through due to the city's ineptitude; there is a lack of communication from city about the process and the steps that need to be taken, lack of information made available by the city, lack of communication between the Health Department and Community Development (who have shared responsibilities/programs for lead abatement/lead citations), general confusion as the case managers often provide conflicting information, and it is often difficult to get any follow up at any point of the process. I agree that we don't need to create any new lead abatement programs, but I do think that we need to reform what we have, restructure it, and streamline the process. I do think we do need to add registration/certification of properties as lead safe though, which could just be added to the rental registration process, and I believe that's what the group mentioned by KJP is advocating.
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