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Cleveland Rapid Rail Construction Projects (Non-Service Issues)

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The plan doesn't do much for me. I much preferred the prior concept for the area which proposed replacing the existing bus station with a linear facility topped by a larged, mixed-use building.

 

I like the simplification of the streets in the new plan, but I don't like placing the bus station that much farther away from the rail station or that anyone living or working on the south side of Cedar has to walk across a very wide street at street level.

 

If the area had more street presence, with shops and cafes and windows lining the sidewalks of these streets, then it might not be so bad. But there are too many blank walls, parking areas and other anti-pedestrian features to the landscape which make the increased requirement of walking a very unpleasant prospect.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^I hear ya, but I've come around.  I too liked the old scheme showing the large mix-used building, but that was pretty much a pipe dream, even pre-economic meltdown.  If there is ever demand for such a building, I don't see why it couldn't be added down the line with this plan.

 

The loss of the southern entry to the platform does strike me as a little strange though.  With POP, there's no down side to multiple entries, and while I'm not so worried about people who live and work south of Cedar (this doesn't add too much to their walk), removing the southern entry does significantly change the connection between rapids and East-bound Cedar buses.  The relocated bus terminal also makes for uncomfortable connections when the weather stinks.

 

To me, though, the awesome architecture, removal of the eyesore bus area there now, improvement to the pedestrian landscape along the north side of Cedar and street plan changes outweigh any flaws and make me very, very excited about this.

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^I hear ya, but I've come around. I too liked the old scheme showing the large mix-used building, but that was pretty much a pipe dream, even pre-economic meltdown. If there is ever demand for such a building, I don't see why it couldn't be added down the line with this plan.

 

The loss of the southern entry to the platform does strike me as a little strange though. With POP, there's no down side to multiple entries, and while I'm not so worried about people who live and work south of Cedar (this doesn't add too much to their walk), removing the southern entry does significantly change the connection between rapids and East-bound Cedar buses. The relocated bus terminal also makes for uncomfortable connections when the weather stinks.

 

To me, though, the awesome architecture, removal of the eyesore bus area there now, improvement to the pedestrian landscape along the north side of Cedar and street plan changes outweigh any flaws and make me very, very excited about this.

 

The mixed-use building was just a drawing that an architectural firm put out there. It was never really in RTA's plans. Additionally, the new covered bus station was not feasible.

 

The southern headhouse was eliminated from the plans because it would have added $4 million more to the project (total project budget is something like $8 or $12 million). An elevator would have been necessary at each side of Cedar to qualify for federal funding. If they had built on the southern side, then the architectural quality on the northern side would have been very poor. A much improved and widened sidewalk will connect the new bus station with the headhouse. They are also planning on improving the lighting and adding public art/murals underneath the bridges.

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Even with the costs of just the ADA compliant elevator, I think the South headhouse is necessary.  So now, what are eastbound rail-to-bus transferees going to do heading into Cleve Hts. during rush hour?  And, yes, south siders are going to have to contend with street level Xings over the busy street; I'm sure no overhead walkway (safety among other things) is in the works... Eliminating this connection for cash sounds penny wise and pound foolish.

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Even with the costs of just the ADA compliant elevator, I think the South headhouse is necessary.  So now, what are eastbound rail-to-bus transferees going to do heading into Cleve Hts. during rush hour?  And, yes, south siders are going to have to contend with street level Xings over the busy street; I'm sure no overhead walkway (safety among other things) is in the works... Eliminating this connection for cash sounds penny wise and pound foolish.

 

Agreed.  Lets find the money somewhere.

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Even with the costs of just the ADA compliant elevator, I think the South headhouse is necessary. So now, what are eastbound rail-to-bus transferees going to do heading into Cleve Hts. during rush hour? And, yes, south siders are going to have to contend with street level Xings over the busy street; I'm sure no overhead walkway (safety among other things) is in the works... Eliminating this connection for cash sounds penny wise and pound foolish.

 

The southern headhouse was always an option, but they decided to scrap it after listening to the community stakeholder groups. RTA said that less than 5% (approximately) of the rail users are transfering to busses that go up into the the heights. If they had kept the second headhouse, we'd be hearing how bland the new station will look because RTA needed to sink so much cash into a second elevator.

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Even with the costs of just the ADA compliant elevator, I think the South headhouse is necessary. So now, what are eastbound rail-to-bus transferees going to do heading into Cleve Hts. during rush hour? And, yes, south siders are going to have to contend with street level Xings over the busy street; I'm sure no overhead walkway (safety among other things) is in the works... Eliminating this connection for cash sounds penny wise and pound foolish.

 

Agreed. Lets find the money somewhere.

 

RTA is trying to find more money for this project, but it is not to add another headhouse. They are working with partners to find more money to do the following: jazz up the public plaza that will be built infront of the station entrance on Cedar; add more murals, better lighting and public art under and around the bridge; improve the design for the new greenspace that will replace the old bus loop. 

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^Thanks 3231.  Frankly, there really aren't many folks walking to that station from the south of Cedar other than the residents of the buildings on Ambleside, who have to get to the southern headhouse via Ambleside as it is.  Adding the street crossing means adding the time of the light cycle, but shouldn't be such a big deal otherwise.

 

I've always been a little puzzled though why there isn't more of a Cedar bus to Red line transfer scene though.  The Cedar routes aren't very frequent, so I'm guessing they don't get a whole lot of transit by choice riders.  Or maybe they just take the bus all the way downtown?

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First - housekeeping.  This is my first post, but I have been lurking...  I am an employee at RTA within the engineering division so all of my responses on these threads will be in that light.  This is also to give me some "street cred" so to speak.  JeTDog and I have discussed some upcoming outreach we will be doing and this forum is a good place. 

 

That said - relative to this project I am a part of the RTA team.  We thank your enthusiasm on the progress so far.  It was an interesting year long planning study for us.  KJP's comment on development was inline with our thinking on the initial approach to the project.  Studying the development options was part of the criteria used in selection, but advantages in the preferred scheme outweighed the limited development potential.

 

Regarding the reconfiguration and specifically the north-only entrance, 3231 summarized it very well, especially in regards to cost and the effects on the design of the rest of the project.  We did look at overhead walkways, but the penalty of going further up from being above the roadway and back down were brutal - especially if you want to cross the freight railroads which require a minimum of 23' above the top of rail.  The only other parts I would like to add are:

 

1.  We did a survey of passenger movements around the station.  We like data  :-D.  The decision was not taken lightly; however there were light movements between the south entrance and direct loading at the slip - which are the Cleveland Heights, etc. routes.  Most people exiting that entrance went to the bus area. 

 

2.  Existing conditions have two 4' or so sidewalks with the ever-so-lovely jersey barrier as protection from the cars.  The rest is 6 lanes of auto traffic and the south bus slip (and the eastbound lanes are split by the bridge pier).  Moving all of the bridge abutments - most of which are in the control of the NS / CSX - was not an option.  When we eliminate the south bus slip, we re-rationalize the traffic centered on the piers and can make an approximately 10' wide walk on the north side while maintaining the south walk.  That allows us to construct structure, as permitted by the NS / CSX, to not only protect but make the walk a pleasant experience that will be compliant with ADA requirements.  The existing width is not conductive to any significant improvements.

 

3.  This is one of our largest bus interfaces.  If we were not building a train station with bus loop, we would be building a transit center.  Therefore, we have people who are attempting to leave only the loop.  Trying to go anywhere towards the north (John Hay / CWRU) is not pretty.  Cleaning up the intersection allows for adequate pedestrian cycle times for those who now want to go back south.  Passenger safety after they leave the train / bus is very important to us. 

 

4.  Construction does not preclude putting in a south entrance with a curb side bus stop in the future. 

 

Finally - and in grave danger of being in trouble for talking about Mayfield here - 1) relocating the station entrance was confirmed through extensive public outreach during a TLCI planning study; 2) it is in schematic development; 3) both stations are in our future capital budgets and they are not "shovel ready" for stimulus fund eligibility.  (Fun and useless history: The original plans for the interurban portion of CUT from 1929, which were never realized, had both a Mayfield and Euclid entrance with a long platform between.  And no - that is definitely not in the budget so don't even ask.)

 

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No new news, but for anyone (like me) wondering where this project was on the proposed schedule, this is from page 29 of the February 2009 presentation referenced above.  http://www.riderta.com/pdf/presentations/2009-02-03-UniversityCedar.pdf

 

•Complete Design  3/2010

•Award Construction 9/2010

•Complete Construction 12/2012

* Depending upon funding

 

As far as I know from the posts above and the RTA website the project is on track and at least the current design phase is funded.  No further news is expected until March 2010.

 

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^Hope it's still on schedule!  But man oh man, seems like an awful long project timeline for a $12M project.

 

With the redesign and land usage, along with all that traffic, I dont think that is a long timeline at all.

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I guess you guys are right- there's less than two years of actual construction time in there.  I wonder if construction completion includes the street reconfiguration and greenscaping of the current bus area too.

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I guess you guys are right- there's less than two years of actual construction time in there.  I wonder if construction completion includes the street reconfiguration and greenscaping of the current bus area too.

 

I'm assuming all of the above is included.

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Great news! This is from a press release....

 

http://brown.senate.gov/newsroom/press_releases/release/?id=A4A16591-B35F-4B27-94C8-91C2E4E1774E

 

Sen. Brown Announces $10.5M to Reconstruct and Modernize Transit Station in Cuyahoga County

New Road, Bridge, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Networks to be Built at the University-Cedar Rapid Transit Station

October 15, 2010

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $10,500,000 was awarded to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to reconstruct the University-Cedar Rapid Transit Station in Cleveland. These funds, distributed by U.S. Department of Transportations (DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II grant program, will help to modernize one of Ohios largest public transportation systems. These American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds were awarded through a competitive process.

 

Cleveland commuters cyclists, walkers, and motorists will be able to enjoy a modern transportation infrastructure at the University-Cedar Rapid Transit Station, Brown said. These funds will help to enhance the quality of life for Ohioans who live and work in the area.

 

TIGER II grants are awarded to projects that contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities and/or enhance the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections.

 

There are 59 transit systems in Ohio a fleet that employs more than 5,200 workers. More than 4,200 of these Ohioans work in operational positions in transit systems that serve more than 200,000 people. Ohio is 12th in the nation for public transit ridership.

 

Brown has been a longtime advocate of public transportation. In March 2010, he joined Ohio transit workers from across the state to outline legislation that would save transit jobs, prevent fare increases, and preserve mass transit service. His legislation would give transit agencies increased flexibility to use federal funds for operating assistance as well as capital investments helping to prevent layoffs and preserve access to affordable transit service.

 

###

 

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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This is great news.  This project really has to get moving for obvious reasons (as well as the Mayfield/120th St station).  These are the two most important stations on the red line after downtown and the airport and hopefully will spur some TOD (not to mention that the Cedar Hill station and surrounding area is just a mess...the proposed plans will really enhance the area)

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BTW, the Mayfield/Little Italy station has been slowed because Norfolk Southern, as an adjacent property owner, has to review and approve RTA's plans before work proceeds. NS has been sitting on the plans for nearly a year and RTA is calling around for help to get NS to act on them. The freight railroads have a long and glorious tradition of this kind of crap.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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BTW, the Mayfield/Little Italy station has been slowed because Norfolk Southern, as an adjacent property owner, has to review and approve RTA's plans before work proceeds. NS has been sitting on the plans for nearly a year and RTA is calling around for help to get NS to act on them. The freight railroads have a long and glorious tradition of this kind of crap.

 

Why?

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Why?

 

Because a rapid transit station doesn't contribute to their bottom line so it's a very low priority for them.

 

This is tremendous news, I wonder when they will get started?

 

I dunno. It will probably be a while since they will have to sign lots of paperwork with the Federal Transit Administration, then go out to bid, then have the winning bidder organize materials and labor, then schedule it with the construction season. I wouldn't be surprised if it's spring 2012 before work gets underway.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Jerry - I should also add the University station should be expected to grow in riders more than the Windemere station. It's still the main Univ. Circle station and Univ. Circle is growing in leaps and bounds the next few years.  Can't wait to see the new one go up between Mayfield and Euclid, too.  Do you think it will begin next year?  Is the one at E. 120th to be closed (I'm sure it is but am asking anyway).

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^ Thanks for asking. Here is an update. :clap:

 

University Circle Station: The station will stay open during construction, which is slated to start in summer 2012 and last for two years. :-D

 

East 120th Street Station: The present station is at East 120 and Euclid. The new station is on the RTA tracks over Mayfield Road. The design is 60 percent complete and should be completed in 2012. After that, RTA has to shore up funding sources, award bids and supervise construction. The current station will stay open until the new one opens, so closure will never be an issue. 8-)

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Thanks for the update.  Question - why so long for the design process of the Mayfield Rd. station?  Will it be dragged out until final plans are made for the adjacent parking lot?

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^ This answer comes from Project Manager Maribeth Feke.

 

"This is a complicated design project. It includes the construction of a new station on a bridge that is close proximity to the N & S railroad right-of-way and close to other adjacent landowners property. It is a tight site.

 

The design also includes the rehabilitation of RTA's bridge. Presently, RTA is awaiting approval by the railroad for rights required to for the project. RTA anticipates a reply within the next few weeks. Upon that answer, RTA can proceed with designing this project.

 

RTA anticipates the design will be concluded in 2011. Construction of the station will depend upon locating the capital funds required for the project."

 

I hope this answers your question.

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Ahem.....

 

BTW, the Mayfield/Little Italy station has been slowed because Norfolk Southern, as an adjacent property owner, has to review and approve RTA's plans before work proceeds. NS has been sitting on the plans for nearly a year and RTA is calling around for help to get NS to act on them. The freight railroads have a long and glorious tradition of this kind of crap.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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FYI. I learned yesterday that capital construction funds for relocating the Euclid/E.120th station to Mayfield were in the omnibus federal funding bill that Congress decided it could NOT pass this session. So the legislation will be deferred to the next session where the funding will be tougher to get.

 

RTA is also interested in taking the Blue Line extension to the next phase of federal planning, which is preliminary engineering. I believe this is for the extension to North Randall, not just the first step: extension across the Warrensville intersection. If so, this is surprising considering RTA hasn't finished the North Randall alternatives analysis yet! They must feel pretty confident that their preferred alternative will show characteristics that make it eligible for federal construction funds.

 

Lastly, it's great to see construction has advanced so far on the new East 55th station. Until yesterday, I hadn't taken the Rapid over to the east side in months. Hopefully the new station will spur more redevelopment interest, but I suspect this will wait until the Opportunity Corridor Boulevard moves forward (or not).


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^Thanks for the updates.  I want that new Mayfied Red Line station so bad it hurts.    So come on Norfolk Southern and congress and hurry up!  Would have been awesome to get it in time for the opening of the various Uptown projects.

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Here is an interactive map I created with web links to specific rail projects in Cuyahoga County (mostly RTA Rapid transit projects). I edited and merged an old message of mine so it would be the first message in this thread. I thought this might help orient visitors to what's going on project-wise with rail transit in Greater Cleveland...

 

http://members.cox.net/corridorscampaign/Cleveland%20Rail%20Projects.ppt


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^Thanks for the updates. I want that new Mayfied Red Line station so bad it hurts. So come on Norfolk Southern and congress and hurry up! Would have been awesome to get it in time for the opening of the various Uptown projects.

 

Time for a Mayor Jackson nudge, no?

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clvlndr, your posting over at the 3C thread was very well stated. The outcome of GCRTA's rail rebuilding efforts should result in a more attractive rail system with TOD at some stations, and GCRTA has refocused bus services to feed the rail system to save money since the trains are electric and not subject to fuel price increases.

 

The rebuilt stations, facilities and trains for the Red, Blue and Green lines is an asset this region needs to rally around, especially as fuel prices march upward again. If you look at GCRTA's 2025 long-range plan, it anticipated investing $136,720,000 to modernize the rail system just in the 2005-09 period!

 

SOURCE: http://www.artsintransit.gcrta.org/pdf/transit2025/Transit_2025_March_2006_Final_ch4.pdf


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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OK, I guess $136.7 million in capital projects for the rail system wasn't such a big deal. Because the five-year capital budget prepared in 2010 estimates the following for Cleveland's rail system....

 

http://www.riderta.com/pdf/annual_reports/2009_CAFR.pdf

 

Rail Projects - $155.5 million

This commitment of funds includes the upgrade of the Catenary system, station and track

rehabilitation, bridges, train control systems, rail vehicles overhaul, and signage. Rail projects

include the rehabilitation of the rail stations totaling $47.0 million, overhaul of the heavy rail

vehicles of $7.9 million, rehabilitation of the rail tracks of $24.9 million, upgrade of Catenary

electrical system of $18.5 million, upgrade of our train control and signal systems of $8.1

million, and the extension of the blue line of $49.1 million.

 

Bridge Rehabilitation and Other Improvements - $12.7 million

Funding has been provided for the rehabilitation of five track bridges.

 

So the total rail capital budget is actually $168.2 million!


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Anyone got photo updates of the East 55th Station construction? It's got to be nearly done, right?


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Drove by? What is that?? :)


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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No thanks, I use toenail clippers instead.  tyty.gif


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Anyone got photo updates of the East 55th Station construction? It's got to be nearly done, right?

 

Yes, it is nearly done. It will open in September. The exact date has not been set.

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