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Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport - Ideas for Alternative Use

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Ideas flying about land near Burke

City explores uses for airport area

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Mayor Frank Jackson wants to put prime, underused land surrounding Burke Lakefront Airport to better use...

 

 

© 2006 The Plain Dealer

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1152174647299580.xml&coll=2

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So much potential surrounding the Airport!  Right now those areas are physically and psychologically inaccessible. There needs to be a master plan centered on a waterfront that is completely walkable, as in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Better walking patterns will connect the Rock Hall, Science Center, Voinovich Park, and any new developments surrounding Burke.

 

It would have been very cool to have integrated the Coast Guard and Naval Offices (didn't know they left!) into a combined retail and residential mix, with plenty of public access. But since 9/11 any military facility-or airport- will obviously look like a fortress surrounded by barbwire, etc. More barriers to public access.

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I'm not a huge advocate of closing Burke all together - at least at this point. Stark's "pescht" plans for the area north of the East Bank and west of the Brown's stadium seem much more like an area to tackle first to create a new neighborhood. But the block directly east of the Rock Hall is WAY underused and if there is one site in the city that could be an extremely profitable "tourist-oriented" development - this would certainly be it. A mixed-use development with a hotel, restaurants, clubs, and a little retail with lake, skyline, and Rock Hall views would draw a ton of people.

 

I'm glad that Jackson is making press about the issue, but to me it sounds like the same plans/steps were taken by Brown during the Campbell administration for the lakefront. Until they get a developer signed on, I don't see how this article indicates any progress- other than Jackson endorssing "Campbell's" plan.

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Jackson has always been a little strange about the lakefront plan. When he was once asked about it, he responded "well, there is the lakefront plan and then there is the lakefront plan." ??

 

Vulpster, I agree with you about Burke.  Help out the portions that are adjacent to NCH and make inexpensive improvements to any other unused land (but please don't move the Crawford-Auto and Aviation Museum to that abandoned high school hanger!!). Otherwise, we should Burke be Burke for the foreseeable future.  Here's why: In the 1990s, we seemed to build a lot of projects that tried to stand alone. Now we've got a Rock Hall and Science Center that are disconnected from the rest of the city, a waterfront line that is dying on the vine and a football stadium on the most under-utilized land in the city.  I would like to see us build out from our strengths. God bless him, I hope that Stark is successful in developing the parking lots in the WHD. Then, move towards the lake.  We have some very nice areas in our downtown that are connected by some extensively decaying areas.  Delay any re-use of Burke until we string together a continuous and positive urban experience that connects the Avenue District, CSU, Playhouse Square, Euclid Ave, E.4th, Public Square, WHD, Flats, Pesht, and North Coast Harbor.

 

Eventually, I'd love to tap into Burke. But let's first go after the spaces in the core of the city.

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Is this news?  There have been lakefront plans stating the need to develop this area for decades!  I guess the news is that Jackson is "making this a priority" or something.

 

I'll say one other thing...I rode my bike along the North Marginal, past the crowds who were congregating for the Grand Prix a couple weeks ago and there were just tons of people walking from North Coast Harbor to the various festival entrances at Burke.  And let's face it...racing fans are not known for their desire to walk from place to place...but this was happening!  And how many of us have been down there for Browns games?  The place is flooded with pedestrians and there are really no options for a place to stop in a grab a bite or a t-shirt or other tourist item without going into one of a few big facilities.  At the very least, they need to line the pier with tents and booths during the summer months...get people down there shopping and eating and mulling around, instead of just heading to the destination and then back to the car!

 

so I guess that was more than one other thing...

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I heard a little about Jackson's thoughts on this topic. He said that the lakefront plan has a lot of creativity on the west side of the Cuyahoga but is really lacking creativity on the east side. His directive to the staff is to come up with some better ideas.

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The Grand Prix and Air Show are also reasons not to be so quick and build over Burke. I think it is kind of cool and unique to be able to have events like that right downtown and on the lake.

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Yeah, they are. And I like having them here. The community needs to make a choice -- what is more beneficial to it? Events on two weekends out of 52 each year but draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Burke? Or a huge neighborhood and recreational area on land now owned by the city that's happening 365 days each year? Also, consider the viability of each option with respect to the possibility that fuel prices will continue to rise in the future, possibly as sharply as they have in the last three years.


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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The community needs to make a choice -- what is more beneficial to it? Events on two weekends out of 52 each year but draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Burke? Or a huge neighborhood and recreational area on land now owned by the city that's happening 365 days each year?

 

 

Question: Say Burke is eventually developed. Why then can't we just keep the race course? As in Europe, it could be integrated in the new community. Now that would be a draw!!!

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That would be damn cool. I wonder if the new port island could be designed in such a way to land some aircraft for the air show, and put up temorary bleachers on the island or at Edgewater Park for the flybys and races?


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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^i'm all for closing burke - eventually.  but as long as there are surface parking lots, and underused buildings all over downtown - the lake and river areas included, then a functioning airport should stay.  there are actually quite a few take offs during the day, and although they may be small planes, it is still getting used.

 

that's why i like jackson's approach here.  let's not argue about what the airport land should be in 15 years - it is worth discussing - but how can we better use the area around the airport now. 

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True, besides it takes a long time to close down an airport, especially one that has received federal funds.


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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I would like to see the whole thing demo-ed, its a spectacular waste of waterfront. IF we were to determine that we MUST have an airport I would like to see it demo-ed and move up to the nothren part of the area, and use the newly vacant land along north marginal into a new neighborhood.

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I disagree that Burke should be demoed. My fear is that it would create another downtown, when we are far away from completing the one we allready have. Until we are to the point that the downtown urban area is fully functional and complete, I think Burke should stay as it is. Besides it is kinda of cool to have an airport right downtown. I would like to see it expanded to be able to land larger jets and be more profitable. The biggest mistake this city ever made was not building the Jetport in the lake. (All of you under 30 can set the wayback machine and google "Cleveland Jetport" and learn more about it)

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I am of the opinion that as oil prices continue to skyrocket in the future, that we'll need as much land for walkable, transit-accessible housing and basic services near the urban core as possible. And I further believe that more airlines will disappear into financial oblivion, private aviation will become affordable only to the super rich and airports will become less important in our future. Car races and air shows? They may still exist, but only to show off the latest renewable energy technologies (as pricey and low-yield as they may be).

 

In my vision of Cleveland in 2050, the urbanized area has been redesigned (land use, transportation, etc.) to reduce oil use by 50-75 percent. In that vision, Burke as an airport no longer needs to exist.


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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I'm just crazy about Crain's today!

 

An inspiring Opinion column:

 

Rework Burke

 

6:00 am, August 7, 2006

 

Federal Aviation Administration isn’t fond of decommissioning airports. It does not like to take runway capacity out of the nation’s air traffic system. We nonetheless believe the administration of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson should explore the permanent closure of underutilized Burke Lakefront Airport...

 

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20060807/SUB/60804030/1018

 

 

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I'm just crazy about Crain's today!

 

An inspiring Opinion column:

 

Rework Burke

 

6:00 am, August 7, 2006

 

Federal Aviation Administration isn’t fond of decommissioning airports. It does not like to take runway capacity out of the nation’s air traffic system. We nonetheless believe the administration of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson should explore the permanent closure of underutilized Burke Lakefront Airport...

 

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20060807/SUB/60804030/1018

 

Good God, if you're going to close Burke...please, please, please...have a ready to redevelop option on the spot. Get the construction cranes moving right away. They way things move in Cleveland....a worse eye-sore would be to have an abandoned airport by downtown with seven different interests bitching about what to do with the property for 10-20 years.

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I'm just crazy about Crain's today!

 

An inspiring Opinion column:

 

Rework Burke

 

6:00 am, August 7, 2006

 

Federal Aviation Administration isn’t fond of decommissioning airports. It does not like to take runway capacity out of the nation’s air traffic system. We nonetheless believe the administration of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson should explore the permanent closure of underutilized Burke Lakefront Airport.

 

 

Who is "We"? Was this an OpEd? Just wondering

 

 

 

 

The decommissioning of Burke and reuse of its land would be unwelcome by promoters and fans of the Cleveland Grand Prix and Cleveland National Air Show, both of which stage their events at Burke.

 

 

What if a street layout was built that was pedestrian and development friendly (assuming Burke is redeveloped) but was done in a way that still allowed for the race once a year. Are there other cities that do this? Isn't there a Grand Prix in Europe somewhere that has the drivers racing through a city? I'm think it's Monte Carlo, or someting like that.

 

 

 

...but we believe Cleveland Hopkins International Airport easily could pick up the flights Burke handles now.

 

 

Or the county airport, right?

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I'm all for Burke becoming a neighborhood, but I'd like to see Pesht go forward first. Burke is so disconnected from everything due to I-90. It would feel like an island. I would hate to see the downtown housing momentum be usurped by Burke. Pesht and the Aveunue District would unite much of downtown and help enliven Euclid, Prospect, and the lakefront. Burke would be its own thing (kind of like Mud Island in Memphis). Again, I am all for redeveloping Burke, but let's do it when the time is right.

 

Also, there would be some severe connectivity issues with Burke. This would/should be home to thousands of residents. How would they get in and out? E.9th and north marginal? They would need to create more access..but how? The shoreway is a giant hurdle.

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i'm a little disappointed by this editorial. 

 

if only everyone could focus on the existing parking lots and underutilzed land ALL OVER DOWNTOWN, the river and lake, and not just 1 piece - burke - that has all sorts of potential hurdles to any future development. 

 

Could the burke land be nicely developed?  absolutely.  but, where do they think the demand for building is going to come from if the city can't build up existing underutilized land?  surely there is more demand now for a residential tower attached to tower city or in the middle of the warehouse district, or overlooking jacob's field but none of these are anywhere close to reality.

 

another thing i don't like is the 'chicago' reference again.  E9 area is a 'poor man's version of what chicago offers' - well, i think chicago has 150k living downtown.  cleveland has 10k.  maybe, just maybe, things might look a little different here or be of a different scale. 

 

if they really want to start developing the lakefront, the city needs to get off its ass and develop their 'temporary' parking lot on the pier.  where are all of these grand plans??

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It's a nice idea but until the Shoreway is reduced to boulevard, the area would be as cut off by that highway as any in the city.    This is an area of about half a sqare mile (if my calculations are correct.  You can put 35 of the WHD's "superlots" in that space.

 

We have the port operations west of the Browns' stadium sitting on lakefront land, a swath of highway ramps southeast of Gateway, and an airport sitting on lakefront property as well.  We'd all like to see it used to it's fullest potential, but making the land "available" doesn't create instant demand for whatever uses we put there.

 

Not trying to rain on parades, but to have a redevelopment plan on the spot for 13 million square feet, even if portions of it are park/greenspace, without corresponding increase in demand, floods the market and will either hurt other portions of downtown and the region, or fall flat on it's face for lack of support. 

 

 

 

ETA:  Looks like I echoed a lot of people's sentiments. :-)  At any rate I think the development of Burke should be in the backs of people's minds as we move forward, but as a priority, it's pretty far down the list.  Kind of reminds me of the Apollo 13 movie where Tom Hanks' character Jim Lovell says "Now listen, there's a thousand things that have to happen in order. We are on number eight. You're talking about number six hundred and ninety-two." 

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What if a street layout was built that was pedestrian and development friendly (assuming Burke is redeveloped) but was done in a way that still allowed for the race once a year. Are there other cities that do this? Isn't there a Grand Prix in Europe somewhere that has the drivers racing through a city? I'm think it's Monte Carlo, or someting like that.

 

 

You ever have one of those moments when you are going crazy trying to find info you know is buried in your head, but can't find it.

I just had one of those moments.

 

It was Monte Carlo I was trying to think of...

 

Anyway, when this was being discussed a few years ago by City Hall, there was an understanding that Burke is a reliever airport for Hopkins and the only way it could even begin to be considered for decommissioning, the county airport at Lost Nation would have to expanded first.

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I'm all for Burke becoming a neighborhood, but I'd like to see Pesht go forward first. Burke is so disconnected from everything due to I-90.  It would feel like an island. I would hate to see the downtown housing momentum be usurped by Burke. Pesht and the Aveunue District would unite much of downtown and help enliven Euclid, Prospect, and the lakefront. Burke would be its own thing (kind of like Mud Island in Memphis). Again, I am all for redeveloping Burke,  but let's do it when the time is right.

 

Also, there would be some severe connectivity issues with Burke. This would/should be home to thousands of residents. How would they get in and out? E.9th and north marginal?  They would need to create more access..but how? The shoreway is a giant hurdle.

 

 

In my head, I would think.  Muni lot would be closed and I-90 "dropped".  this way the street grid could descend down, north.

 

Based strictly on its merits as an airport, Burke in our view no longer plays a critical air service role in Northeast Ohio. Until the recent start of passenger service out of the airport by carrier Destination One, commercial travelers hadnt flown into or from Burke for the better part of two decades. Its closing might inconvenience certain users, but we believe Cleveland Hopkins International Airport easily could pick up the flights Burke handles now.

 

Of course, Mayor Jackson could follow the lead of his Chicago counterpart, Richard Daley, who gave the FAA no warning and in the middle of a March night in 2003 had bulldozers tear up parts of the runway at the citys Meigs Field to make it unusable. We would hope city officials here wouldnt need to resort to such trickery if Cleveland decided to seek Burkes closure.

 

I totally thing the new flights planned for burke are ridiculous, when hopkins is only running at something like 75% capacity.  i think the Federal Reserve and Federal Government (accounting/payroll) operations would be the only REAL affected end users of Burke closing.  Again, hopkins is the answers.  As I think the "county" airport in Richmond Hts. is a lil too far away to be useful for those agencies.

 

Frank...grow some balls and blow up the damn runway....I dare you...I double dare you with a cherry on top!  :-P

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In the past, someone told me that Jones Day would be as good as gone if Burke is closed.  Not sure if that's true, but again, I echo the statements made above that the rest of downtown and the flats should be filled in before Burke is shut down and opened to development. 

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I'm all for Burke becoming a neighborhood, but I'd like to see Pesht go forward first. Burke is so disconnected from everything due to I-90.  It would feel like an island. I would hate to see the downtown housing momentum be usurped by Burke. Pesht and the Aveunue District would unite much of downtown and help enliven Euclid, Prospect, and the lakefront. Burke would be its own thing (kind of like Mud Island in Memphis). Again, I am all for redeveloping Burke,  but let's do it when the time is right.

 

Also, there would be some severe connectivity issues with Burke. This would/should be home to thousands of residents. How would they get in and out? E.9th and north marginal?  They would need to create more access..but how? The shoreway is a giant hurdle.

 

 

In my head, I would think.  Muni lot would be closed and I-90 "dropped".  this way the street grid could descend down, north.

 

Based strictly on its merits as an airport, Burke in our view no longer plays a critical air service role in Northeast Ohio. Until the recent start of passenger service out of the airport by carrier Destination One, commercial travelers hadnt flown into or from Burke for the better part of two decades. Its closing might inconvenience certain users, but we believe Cleveland Hopkins International Airport easily could pick up the flights Burke handles now.

 

Of course, Mayor Jackson could follow the lead of his Chicago counterpart, Richard Daley, who gave the FAA no warning and in the middle of a March night in 2003 had bulldozers tear up parts of the runway at the citys Meigs Field to make it unusable. We would hope city officials here wouldnt need to resort to such trickery if Cleveland decided to seek Burkes closure.

 

I totally thing the new flights planned for burke are ridiculous, when hopkins is only running at something like 75% capacity.  i think the Federal Reserve and Federal Government (accounting/payroll) operations would be the only REAL affected end users of Burke closing.  Again, hopkins is the answers.  As I think the "county" airport in Richmond Hts. is a lil too far away to be useful for those agencies.

 

Frank...grow some balls and blow up the damn runway....I dare you...I double dare you with a cherry on top!  :-P

 

Then what? It's one thing to want to get rid of Burke...it's another to have a plan to do something with it. C'land has enough abandoned land/surface parking to deal with right now with out adding more unused acreage into the mix.

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I'm all for Burke becoming a neighborhood, but I'd like to see Pesht go forward first. Burke is so disconnected from everything due to I-90.  It would feel like an island. I would hate to see the downtown housing momentum be usurped by Burke. Pesht and the Aveunue District would unite much of downtown and help enliven Euclid, Prospect, and the lakefront. Burke would be its own thing (kind of like Mud Island in Memphis). Again, I am all for redeveloping Burke,  but let's do it when the time is right.

 

Also, there would be some severe connectivity issues with Burke. This would/should be home to thousands of residents. How would they get in and out? E.9th and north marginal?  They would need to create more access..but how? The shoreway is a giant hurdle.

 

 

In my head, I would think.  Muni lot would be closed and I-90 "dropped".  this way the street grid could descend down, north.

 

Based strictly on its merits as an airport, Burke in our view no longer plays a critical air service role in Northeast Ohio. Until the recent start of passenger service out of the airport by carrier Destination One, commercial travelers hadnt flown into or from Burke for the better part of two decades. Its closing might inconvenience certain users, but we believe Cleveland Hopkins International Airport easily could pick up the flights Burke handles now.

 

Of course, Mayor Jackson could follow the lead of his Chicago counterpart, Richard Daley, who gave the FAA no warning and in the middle of a March night in 2003 had bulldozers tear up parts of the runway at the citys Meigs Field to make it unusable. We would hope city officials here wouldnt need to resort to such trickery if Cleveland decided to seek Burkes closure.

 

I totally thing the new flights planned for burke are ridiculous, when hopkins is only running at something like 75% capacity.  i think the Federal Reserve and Federal Government (accounting/payroll) operations would be the only REAL affected end users of Burke closing.  Again, hopkins is the answers.  As I think the "county" airport in Richmond Hts. is a lil too far away to be useful for those agencies.

 

Frank...grow some balls and blow up the damn runway....I dare you...I double dare you with a cherry on top!  :-P

 

Then what? It's one thing to want to get rid of Burke...it's another to have a plan to do something with it. C'land has enough abandoned land/surface parking to deal with right now with out adding more unused acreage into the mix.

 

Sweetie.  I think in a previous post I agreed with the majority of people here that believe we should concentrate on infill projects FIRST, while carving out a plan for Burke and how it can be better connected to the heart of the city, so that WHEN it is time to develop the area....we can move forward quickly. 

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In my head, I would think.  Muni lot would be closed and I-90 "dropped".  this way the street grid could descend down, north.

 

 

Down the line I don't think there's any question the Muni Lot would close - and that portion of highway is mostly Route 2 there as 90 curves away further up the shore.  The northeast portion will always been kind of remote, as long as I-90 exists.    I don't think you need to sink Route 2 because ideally all of Route 2, west of the curve, would become a regular road. You could try your bet to connect the former airport to the rest of the city but the railroad tracks right at the bluff or whatever are a barrier as well.

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In my head, I would think.  Muni lot would be closed and I-90 "dropped".  this way the street grid could descend down, north.

 

 

Down the line I don't think there's any question the Muni Lot would close - and that portion of highway is mostly Route 2 there as 90 curves away further up the shore.  The northeast portion will always been kind of remote, as long as I-90 exists.    I don't think you need to sink Route 2 because ideally all of Route 2, west of the curve, would become a regular road. You could try your bet to connect the former airport to the rest of the city but the railroad tracks right at the bluff or whatever are a barrier as well.

 

 

Lo Siento....i meant Route 2.  But doesn't it sit up a bit from the highway and muni lot??

 

I don't drive downtown so i haven't been on Route 2 in ages..........

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Burke Lakefront Airport?

(Cleveland) Plain Dealer

Monday, October 02, 2006

 

The debate continues as to whether Burke Lakefront Airport would serve Cleveland's future better if it were transformed into something like Burke Lakefront Recreational Park and Condominiums.

 

As Chicago built the famous Lake Shore Drive, and parks and residential buildings for downtown waterfront living, Cleveland built a 3,600-foot dirt runway on top of a landfill. Burke, which opened in 1947, occupies more than 550 acres of lakefront green space north of downtown Cleveland just off North Marginal Road near East Ninth Street ...

 

... More at http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1159778161227330.xml&coll=2

 

 

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Personally, I'm in favor of keeping BKE if and only if it is completely renovated/expanded into an attractive airport--both aesthetically and from business standpoint.  If we're going to dedicate lakefront space to an airport, we better make it worth our while!  CLE's proximity to downtown and central location strengthens the argument for expanding/rebuilding the airport in its current location.  BKE can serve as  Cleveland's MDW while CLE is more of an ORD.  Again, in a perfect world, this may be the case?  Keeping BKE as this private travel airport is wasting the prime space along the lake.  If it were to be kept/expanded, there could be restrictions placed on flights to accommodate a future waterfront population.

 

I don't know how many of you have been to Amsterdam but their waterfront is something to investigate.  The city center's waterfront is not like Chicago's--who has miles and miles of green space.  Instead, in Amsterdam, the urban fabric rolls right up to the seawall.  In may places, there isn't even a railing.  The diff. between Cleveland's  and Amsterdam's urban occupation of the waterfront is that people can actually use the waterfront as piece of infrastructure.  Tram lines, bikes, cars, pedestrians, in addition to residential bldgs, the train station, and industry occupy the shore making the area very active and utilized to it's full potential.  When my studio was there a few weeks ago, we were riding bikes and I could totally imagine a similar situation where BKE is right now.  We shouldn't only think of lakefront OR riverfront access as completely green, because a combination may make for a more dynamic, more "Cleveland" solution.  Emphasize the lakefront by deemphasizing it (in a good way--not like it is now).  Chicago pushed all of its industries to the south side of the city and Indiana.  We have our industry adjacent to downtown and maybe this can justify a hybrid green/gray approach to the lakefront. 

 

 

 

 

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By the way, has anyone looked at the Toronto Waterfront Competition entries?  Very cool!  I know Cleveland has a scheme  it looks more like a masterplan.  Hopefully there can be competitions to develop components of the plan b/c it'd be a shame to one firm design the entire thing.  It would be very redundant and not living up to its full potential. 

 

Oh, and I emailed West 8 the info about the CLE Design Comp. a couple months ago.  Wouldn't it be cool if a couple of their guys entered as individuals?  They should definetly be on the team if/when any Group Plan Mall projects including a train station or con. center surface.

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Look we need more lakefront access - that is clear, but I really don't understand the obsession with Burke. No offense to BW, but I took a political science course last semester in public opinion and I think there were either problems in BW's study or the PD reporting (which is often the case in reporting public opinion studies). Nothing in the study indicates exactly how redeveloping the Burke site in particular will increase the likelihood of public visits/enjoyment of the lake. First of all - "Would you visit the lake more if there was more public access?" - Its not a bad question but of course the majority of people are going to say yes because it sounds good. But where, how often, and why do county residents currently access the lake? 

 

Those are important questions to ask, because as someone who has grown up living within a mile of the shore in a lakefront community- I believe that the people who live 15+ miles south of the shore aren't really aware of all the different community parks, beaches, marinas, boat launches, bike trails, etc. that exist on Lake Erie. A lot of people really don't make the effort to enjoy the lake. Maybe we need a larger, more visible, and centrally located park in the region - but we do have Edgewater (which could be improved), the West Shoreway redevelopment, and most notably the potential to relocate the port authority. Everyone is always singling out the BKE, but why not the Port Authority on the other side of downtown?

 

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^^ There are several pros and cons about shutting down BKL. Like I said before, my biggest concern would be after shutting down the airport, we'd have 10 groups fight over what to do with the land over a long period of time. If you're going to develop it into something else....then have the bulldozers on standby the day after it closes. Nothing would look worse for the city than having essentially a giant 1-mile abandoned brownfield site right on the lakeshore and right next to downtown.

 

I also 'appreciate' the PD angle of playing the upper middle class against the poor. Like shutting down the airport will fix the '30-percent poverty' problem in the city.

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I think there were either problems in BW's study or the PD reporting (which is often the case in reporting public opinion studies).

 

When participants were presented with nine different options for Burke, 48 percent selected keeping the airport, but adding more public use, as their highest priority. The same percent said closing it and converting the land to entertainment and recreation was their first choice.

Only 27 percent listed simply retaining Burke at its current use as an airport as their highest priority.

 

Thanks Vulpster for mentioning that.  The above line from the article just makes no mathematical sense and has tobe the result of editing or condensed writing to save space.  A respondent can only select one "highest" priority, if the question is posed correctly.  So if 48% of the respondents said that their highest priority was keeping the airport and adding more public use, and 48% also said their highest priorty was closing it and converting it, then that's 96% of all respondents.  So where does the 27% saying their highest priority is keeping it as is come from?

 

And yes, more access to the lake is a fine ideal but "improved access" is going to come only with shoreway conversion.  The airport currently sits at the crux of the innerbelt curve.  There's threads here on improving access to Edgewater itself, what with the west shoreway sitting there.  We'd have the same problem on the east side if the airport weren't an airport, but a park.  If you could bury the curve then you've got something interesting.  Or if not the curve, the stretch of 90 at E. 72nd where we already have Gordon Park, Rockefeller Park, and Dike...whatever number dike it is.  Wishful thinking, I know.

 

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