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Cleveland Area TOD Discussion

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^^^^Dan, your answer 1st surprised me, but you've since filled in some of the blanks.  Admittedly, as an East Sider, I mainly hang in the east portion of Lakewood around Edgewater and the Gold Coast.  Even though Lakewood could stand to have more rail (hopefully KJP's Lorain commuter rail quest is successful), this burb is generally seen as one of the best served, transit-wise [extensive buses, many of them rail feeders, w/ the W. 117 Rapid on its eastern border].

 

You mentioned the difficulties your brother would have shopping in Westgate, Parmatown & Strongsville, but wouldn't you, as an in-city D.C.-er face much worse headaches traveling to DC shopping centers like Tyson's Corner or Landmark or Potomac Mills?  I grant you, w/ 106 route miles (to our 32), the Metro is far more extensive in the burbs.  But that's in comparison to most cities -- and D.C.'s rare in having so many suburban malls and shopping centers directly fed by Metro as most U.S. cities -- given Americans' xenophobia, most have malls/shopping centers and, now, lifestyle centers, are deliberately made to be NOT readily transit-accessible to "them."

 

[And for the record, while DC kicks our butts in downtown employment/excitement -- we're getting there -- hands down, I'll take our "character" neighborhoods and suburbs over Washington's generally bland, cookie-cutter burbs; also for the record, even given Metro's great extensiveness, a large number of people must access it via feeder buses or cars, where people there are much more open to so doing than lazy, complaining Clevelanders, here]

 

^^^^^btw -- we love My Friends restaurant on Detroit in Edgewater.  I twisted her arm, but my friend and I, last winter, experimented taking 2 Rapids (Blue/Green + Red) and then the 326 which, during the workday, ran every 5-10 mins.  It was a snap; we walked (our food off) back to the West Blvd station-- no prob.  If you want quintessential Cleveland -- a true snapshot of our town -- Friends is the restaurant, a diverse place w/ every kind of customer from bikers, almost all racial groups in the metro area, gays, straights, punkers, union blue-collar types and the occasional yuppie (I guess that was us, more than anything).  The food is cheap and good ( I love the hotcakes, she, the homefries) -- its an old-time diner-like place sans the railroad car, itself; it even has throwback, big-haired waitresses who call you "Hon."  ... the joint's an absolute hoot; and 24 hours to boot.  We stumbled on it around 5 years ago searching for an after-hours eatery after a Sat night downtown; got there around 3am and practically EVERY TABLE WAS FILLED.  It's still like that.  It's a tribute to the West Edge neighborhood that a number of 24-hour joints exist (and all are similarly popular).  Definitely gives Cleveland a 'big city' feel.

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^^^Got a friend in Solon where they only have one bus, well 1.5 (24 and 24-Flyer -- as in rush hour only) that ends in the center of town.  Suburbs like Solon will probably never have TOD; and frankly, as you noted, the residents don't want it.

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Note a potential new development at the Spitzer dealership near the West 117th/Madison rapid station posted at ....

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3281.msg128464#msg128464


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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^ this, plus the struggles with Wolstein in the Flats, the stagnation at W. 65 (after the nice EcoCity townhouse start) and the troubles with  St. Luke's Pointe at E. 116 (which, even though nice, I still would have liked to have seen a more high-density building there rather than the cul-de-sac type suburban housing --and did I mention a small 1-story Social Security building was built across from the Rapid station where an empty gas station sat for years) indicates that we don't get the TOD thing here in Cleveland like they do in other cities.   Our Rapid still continues to be shunned by developers and looked at, largely by them, as mover of those who can't afford cars -- a shame... so our rail remains this wonderful though largely untapped development asset...

 

Yoo-hoo, could someone tap Frank Jackson on the shoulder and tell him TOD would be an excellent tool to spur both tax-generating office/retail plus intense residential growth along with excellent land use?  He/his people have apparently hit the snooze button.

 

... Well, at least Shaker Heights -- the original home of the Rapid -- seems to get it, with developments at Lee-Avalon and Stark's Van Aken-Warrensville.

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^ this, plus the struggles with Wolstein in the Flats, the stagnation at W. 65 (after the nice EcoCity townhouse start) and the troubles with  St. Luke's Pointe at E. 116 (which, even though nice, I still would have liked to have seen a more high-density building there rather than the cul-de-sac type suburban housing --and did I mention a small 1-story Social Security building was built across from the Rapid station where an empty gas station sat for years) indicates that we don't get the TOD thing here in Cleveland like they do in other cities.   Our Rapid still continues to be shunned by developers and looked at, largely by them, as mover of those who can't afford cars -- a shame... so our rail remains this wonderful though largely untapped development asset...

 

Yoo-hoo, could someone tap Frank Jackson on the shoulder and tell him TOD would be an excellent tool to spur both tax-generating office/retail plus intense residential growth along with excellent land use?  He/his people have apparently hit the snooze button.

 

... Well, at least Shaker Heights -- the original home of the Rapid -- seems to get it, with developments at Lee-Avalon and Stark's Van Aken-Warrensville.

 

What "troubles" at st. lukes?  I don't have a problem with the development as is.  The shaker blvd to larchmere area does have a suburban layout.  I think there will be a significant uptick in users to the station when it is renovated/remodeled and shaker hadn't done any TOD development in 40 years...so lets not say they "get it" they had no choice but to "get it".

 

And we shouldn't be tapping anyone on the shoulder we should be HITTING THEM OVER THE HEAD!  Frank can't take all the blame or responsibility.  This is RTA's lack of ingenuity! 

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We certainly could "get it" to a better degree, but I think both RTA and developers are starting to get it. It's certainly not up to the scale yet that it should be, but I think Cleveland is starting to move in this direction. A quick list of TOD "movement" over the last couple years (NOTE: I am neither in transportation nor development, so this list may not be exhaustive):

 

- RTA's SmartCommute program, which expands the buying power of people purchasing houses within proximity to transit.

- RTA hires Boston-based agency to help develop a transit-oriented development strategy.

- BRT down Euclid, with specific attention to development opportunities that the bus route might create; some general rumblings about mirroring this development strategy down Clifton.

- BRT/Light rail study of Pearl (or possibly State or Broadview), with heavy emphasis on how this could revitalize Old Brooklyn's retail corridors. This is perhaps particularly exciting because it is a neighborhood-driven process. I think CDCs recognizing heavy existing transit use as an asset is a crucial step.

- Initial discussions of development opportunities near W. 117th Rapid Station.

- W. 65th Station development. With heavy neighborhood involvement, have created a node of environmentally friendly buildings, as well as an environmentally-friendly rapid station; green principles may carry over to RTA's other transit station improvements.

- W. 25th Station. Some discussions about mixed-income housing in close proximity to the Rapid Station. Definitely recognized as an amenity for nearby housing and retail along and adjacent to W. 25th.

- Generates considerable foot traffic for The Avenue at Tower City. Some initial discussions of Public Square condominiums.

- Flats-based stations remain an important element in plans to redevelop The East Banks.

- Preliminary discussions of extending Waterfront Line along the eastern lakeshore, with specific attention to TOD potential.

- Renovations at E. 55th St. stations coinciding with live-work community emerging in North Broadway neighborhood.

- Discussions of renovating University Circle Rapid Station to help spur business and residential development. Buy-in from major University Circle players.

- Discussions of realigning E. 120th station to catalyze development opportunities in the University Circle Arts & Culture District and Little Italy.

- Formerly vacant housing replaced with new housing adjacent to E. 79th Rapid Station (Shaker Line)

- Major in-fill housing project at St. Luke's Pointe; Proposed renovations of bordering E. 116th St. Rapid Station.

- Shaker Square, Cleveland's premier transit-oriented neighborhood, which not mysteriously, remains the densest neighborhood within the City of Cleveland.

 

I certainly think there are other TOD opportunities that are not being taken advantage of, that some of these projects have had considerable delays and that there needs to be more energy (and urgency) around TOD in Cleveland. But I think we do a disservice to this discussion if we don't note that there have been some considerable movements in the right direction lately. Maybe Cleveland doesn't "get it" enough, but I think it's safe to say that we get it more than we ever have before.

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Not sure if this belongs here, but here goes. This is from RTA...

 

On Tuesday, the RTA Board will discuss concession leasing:

* Stokes Windermere, where there may be a new tenant.

* Lynnfield and Coventry on the light rail, where tenants may stay the same.

* W. 65th St., where RTA received no responses to an advertisement

 

What's up with the no-response to RTA's advertisement for leasing space at the EcoVillage station? I realize ridership is pretty small there, but not all businesses depend on a walk-in trade. I will inquire further.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Saw this on the APTA's Web site from 2003 (http://www.apta.com/research/info/online/economic_importance.cfm)

 

"Most suburbanites who ride public transportation are headed for work. Due to increased rider demand, transit lines are being extended to outlying suburban communities -- and bus shuttles carry workers from rail lines to employer destinations. For service and entry-level employees with limited mobility options, transit is a key link to suburban-based jobs."

 

[...]

 

"To promote economic development, we need to extend our Cleveland area transit systems within the next decade to provide a cost-effective and reliable 'reverse commute' for suburban job concentrations as well as for employees in the urban core. "

 

--Thomas Adler, Co-Chair of Greater Cleveland Growth Association's Logistics and Infrastructure Coalition

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Shaker Square, Cleveland's premier transit-oriented neighborhood, which not mysteriously, remains the densest neighborhood within the City of Cleveland.

 

Yup, 8Shades, this is correct -- I live in the hood and didn't even know it was the most populous nabe tract until I read the Cleveland Neighborhoods website and compared to other areas (I'd thought Edgewater-Cudell beat us, but it doesn't).  The Square area, which includes Buckeye, Woodland/Larchmere and extends at least as far as E.116 (which includs the Fairwood community) contains around 31,000+ Cleveland's biggest, by far... Also, drawing a 2-mile circle using E. 118 and Shaker Blvd as the center point captures by far the city's largerst and densist population mass.

 

 

Discussions of realigning E. 120th station to catalyze development opportunities in the University Circle Arts & Culture District and Little Italy.

 

BTW, there's a blog out there where somebody suggests that, in moving E. 120 to LI, we're actually simultaneously cheating E. Cleve out of a station and suggested, in addition to the E. 120 relocation, RTA create a new station at Lakeview Ave next to the recently torn down massive factory building --which contains considerable TOD possibilities (although I'm sure there'd need to be a lot of brownfield cleanup there)... not a bad idea; and it dovetails into my beliefs that we've got to stop ignoring East Cleveland's problems lest they stymie the positive growth in adjacent Cleve neighborhoods. 

 

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Wow...I knew Shaker Sq. was dense, but I people always referred to edgewater area being the denses between NYC and Chicago.

 

I'm glad to see we can now say we have some of the densest neighborhoodS between NYC and Chicago

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A little off topic, but I've always heard Shaker Square referred to as the densest neighborhood in Cleveland proper. While Edgewater is pretty dense, it is usually the municipality of Lakewood that I hear referred to as the densest city between Chicago and NYC. Lakewood probably does indeed beat out Shaker Square in this category.

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These images were part of an RTA staff presentation made today at the RTA board meeting. The presentation dealt with land use planning around the renovated or relocated rapid stations in the University Circle area. Much of the presentation centered around the pending renovatation of the Cedar station, with some discussion of the renovation/relocation of the Euclid/East 120th station.

 

Anyway, here's the images........

 

A composite of land use plans in the UC area (sorry I don't have a clearer image):

 

univcircomposites.jpg

 

Conceptual site plan for the Cedar station:

 

univcirrtatod2s.jpg

 

Rendering of the Cedar station and station-area development. Note how the bus loop/station is reached by walking through the proposed building (appears to be residential). I would hope the pedestrian corridor would be lined with retail and basic services. If it is, I also hope the building would be taller:

 

univcirrtatod1s.jpg


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Allthough I dont quite understand how that building is supposed to work with the bus loop and pedestrian corridor. I like that rendering, anything that gets rid of boondangle intersections is a good thing.

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This is stuff the Urban Design Associates did for UCI last year.  I thought that RFPs were due into RTA a little bit ago for the Cedar Hill Rapid Station (wait, I think it was for the Mayfield/120th station).  Hope to see some architectural renderings soon for that one.

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Nice looking at U. Circle Cedar.  How it gets beyond the talking/concept stage... As to E. 120 relocation, where are they on that?  That's another project that was talked about briefly then went quiet.  Where is this project?  MOCA and the plans to finally use that god awful gravel parking strip along Euclid from Ford to E.115?  ... again, do you sense there is real movement?  RFP's? deadlines?

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I believe that the station will be moved so that its halfway between 120th and Mayfield. I think that both streets will have a headhouse (correct term?).

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What I want to know is how RTA might be able to drop a stairwell/elevator from the midpoint of that overhead walkway to the railroad tracks for future commuter rail service out to Mentor, Painesville, Madison etc. I know there's nothing planned right now. But can the walkway be designed for that contingency?

 

As for the bus turnaround areas, you can see at least one of them in the image. The one that's closest to the intersection is an open-air layover point. But it also looks like the driveway that goes through the building is also a bus layover point, given the size of the portal. You can follow the pedestrian corridor to the right from that location and mentally follow it through the larger part of the building to the rail station.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Has this been posted anywhere?  I suppose it could go in either the RTA thread or here. 

 

Levin College Forum

GCRTA Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Guidelines

Thursday, February 22, 2007

8:00 a.m. - Noon

Co-Sponsored by Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Levin College Forum, Ohio Planning Conference (OPC)

 

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has developed TOD guidelines for joint development projects adjacent to its transit facilities. Join us for a discussion of these guidelines, along with TOD best practices, information and displays featuring TOD future development opportunitiesand discussion of local examples of TOD projects. 

 

Keynote Address - Best Practices in TOD

Jeffrey Tumlin, an expert in the TOD field and Principal with the San Francisco-based transit consulting firm Nelson\Nygaard

 

Presentation of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, TOD Guidelines

Maribeth Feke, Director, Programming & Planning, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

 

Panel Discussion

John Buttarazzi, Liberty Hall Advisors, Moderator

James DeRosa, Euclid Corridor Transportation Project Deputy Project Manager, Real Estate, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Abraham Bruckman, AICP, Director of Real Estate Development, Ohio City Near West Development Corporation

Joyce Braverman, AICP, Director of Planning, City of Shaker Heights

Mandy Metcalf, AICP, EcoVillage, Project Manager, The Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation

 

Free and open to the public.  Registration requested at 216-523-7330 or online here.

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I thought I had posted it under "Events" but I guess not!


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I wasn't able to attend, but someone told me that GM Joe said "We need to look at TOD on our existing rail system because rail expansions won't happen in my lifetime." He also regurgitated the unsubstantiated stat that new rail construction costs "$100 million per mile." Some might cost that much, but others will likely cost much less. See the Columbus streetcar project, with its several miles of routing and estimated price tag of $80 million or so. Even the Waterfront Line, the cost for which included the huge Settlers Landing park, was $72 million for 2.2 miles. I wish he would allow himself to be educated about rail.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I wasn't able to attend, but someone told me that GM Joe said "We need to look at TOD on our existing rail system because rail expansions won't happen in my lifetime." He also regurgitated the unsubstantiated stat that new rail construction costs "$100 million per mile." Some might cost that much, but others will likely cost much less. See the Columbus streetcar project, with its several miles of routing and estimated price tag of $80 million or so. Even the Waterfront Line, the cost for which included the huge Settlers Landing park, was $72 million for 2.2 miles. I wish he would allow himself to be educated about rail.

 

How about an article in the Sun as well as a "educated" letter to Joe.  How about drafting a letter here and we each email him.  hint..hint..

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^ OK, so how is this guy qualified to be a transit boss? He always sounds like he went to the Debbie Downer School for Public Works. What a drag.

 

Honestly, I think the existing lines are so valuable and underused, we almost don't need more lines anytime soon if they did a real, honest push for TOD along the stops. 

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I think the positive spin on Mr. Calabreze's comment is that TOD must be a priority for Cleveland's rail infrastructure. 

Doesn't it make sense to leverage the investment on existing infrastructure before spending more $$ on something new?  Rail in Cleveland, especially the eastern part of the Red Line, are ripe, beyond belief, for strategic implementation of TOD incorporating light industry/advanced manufacturing, retail, & dense housing.

When the public is convinced that living/working sans auto is a feasible lifestyle in Cleveland THEN we can begin to think about RAIL expansion.  To get to that point, we've got more than enough work to do!

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because Joe can't recite reasonable construction costs for rail off the top of his head, i always get a little worried.

 

btw, is the standard norm per mile still in the 10-20 million dollar range?

 

bottom line, at least Joe is recognizes the need for TOD, lets hope he can pull cleveland's TOD head out of its ass.

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Yes, I think on the whole that this forum was a big positive step for RTA.  They were the ones pushing to have this conversation and that's a good sign.  They've obviously been trying to do TOD for years, but there's never been a clear strategy or directive for their efforts system-wide.  Now, they have one on paper and its the product of a long process of consultation with national experts in TOD. 

 

I agree that I was disheartened (and pissed) to hear Joe C spout off speculatively high numbers like he did and to hear the "not in my lifetime" quote (both of which I wrote down with the notion of passing them along to you lot).  However, he did raise some interesting questions later in the forum about the ability of developers to obtain financing when they are leasing, rather than buying, the property that they are to develop.  The keynote speaker (Jeffrey Tumlin) said that this is a nationwide problem and is one that our lobbyists should work on changing at the federal level.

 

As far as revelations for Cleveland, I heard none.  It remains that this is a critical area of development for our region and transit authority to capitalize upon, but I am still more concerned on a day-to-day basis with RTA's general operating deficiencies than I am with their potential to do TODs.  The TOD will occur if the market pushes for it.  The market will push for it if more people (I mean, LOTS more... not just an annual increase of .05%) want to utilize our existing transit system.  What RTA can do about that NOW is make their system more user friendly.  Their catchy ads of late and the very popular Downtown trollies are steps in that direction, but they need to step up their game in regard to maps, station waiting areas, and the like (see the RTA thread for more on this). 

 

In the meantime, they can promote TOD all they want (and I'm glad they are beginning to), but until the market sees proximity to transit as a "deal maker" and worth the extra cost and headache to make happen (zoning changes, land leases, brownfields, etc.), I am not going to hold my breath.

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did they display any maps showing the areas for TOD?  It also seems that a developer could buy land next to RTA and use that land for development, potentially leveraging the RTA owned land for structured parking or greenspace to support the development, if financing was an issue.

 

i'd be curious to see a graphic of where all of this RTA land is - and why they still own any of  it if it isn't necessary for the operation of rail.

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i'd be curious to see a graphic of where all of this RTA land is - and why they still own any of  it if it isn't necessary for the operation of rail.

 

I thought most of RTA's land was in the form of parking lots. 

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Well, obviously, some of the land they owned is used for facilities.  One of these that was highlighted as a potential site for TOD is the CRT depot on Euclid, near E. 44th.  It's 5.2 acres and goes all the way to Chester.  They cited the adjacent developments by Heartland and a few others.  They have plans to combine the CRT depot with another facility, so this should come up in the future.

 

The RTA and keynote speaker focused on land owned by transit authorities and the potential they have to use the development of these properties as revenue generators.  Other speakers, like Joyce Braverman from Shaker Heights, talked about the developments on adjacent land, like Heartland's project at Shaker Town Center.

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As far as revelations for Cleveland, I heard none.  It remains that this is a critical area of development for our region and transit authority to capitalize upon, but I am still more concerned on a day-to-day basis with RTA's general operating deficiencies than I am with their potential to do TODs.  The TOD will occur if the market pushes for it.  The market will push for it if more people (I mean, LOTS more... not just an annual increase of .05%) want to utilize our existing transit system.  What RTA can do about that NOW is make their system more user friendly.  Their catchy ads of late and the very popular Downtown trollies are steps in that direction, but they need to step up their game in regard to maps, station waiting areas, and the like (see the RTA thread for more on this). 

 

 

So is Joe C saying (or you, i'm confused) that increased ridership will increase TOD development?

 

I think i'm confused, or someone is putting the cart before the horse.

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I agree with most of the comments here, but I think RTA has to do a little more marketing of their properties so that they emerge from all the other properties to build on in the city (primarily those in the Land Bank). And some conceptual site plans for each station-area property wouldn't hurt either. After all, the CDCs have their masterplans which they ask developers to comform to. I realize RTA has its TOD planning guidelines. That's the essential nitty gritty. But sometimes having a conceptual site plan sparks a gleam in the eye of a prospective developer. Never settle for "good enough" because it seldom ever is.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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“What we have to do is make sure that TOD is not a project, like a ‘lifestyle center’ such as Crocker Park or Legacy Village,” Volpe said. “You can’t fabricate an urban environment. TOD is about places and spaces that are linked together with transportation. It (TOD) is a system and a strategic thought process about the choices in how we live our lives.”

Truer words were never spoken. I like the idea of taking the city owned land near W. 25th and making it a TOD zone. I'm no longer a fan of blanket tax abatement, but I think instead the City should crank up Tax abatements for TOD's -  this is all exciting news to me about Shaker I did not know about their high density plans very cool. I am really lucky to be here, ty to Gildone for getting me to Urban Ohio. 

 

RTAs new 150th transit stop is kick a____ gorgeous and I think they need to start promoting TOD's there too; there is room to do it.

 

And while I'm at it, do you guys feel like there is a glimmer of hope with Jackson's admn? I think I like this new Brian Reilly (Is that his name?) who is head of Econ Dev Ofc at the City. I've heard him talk twice and for some reason feel his ideas to streamline the Econ ofc to make it more efficient working with consumers and developers will help projects like TOD get going faster. Maybe I'm nuts.  Am I nuts?

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I wasn't able to attend, but someone told me that GM Joe said "We need to look at TOD on our existing rail system because rail expansions won't happen in my lifetime." He also regurgitated the unsubstantiated stat that new rail construction costs "$100 million per mile." Some might cost that much, but others will likely cost much less. See the Columbus streetcar project, with its several miles of routing and estimated price tag of $80 million or so. Even the Waterfront Line, the cost for which included the huge Settlers Landing park, was $72 million for 2.2 miles. I wish he would allow himself to be educated about rail.

 

How did we allow such a loser to head such an important local operation as RTA?  I shake my head at this city sometimes.

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Calabrese

 

Elected by the RTA board.

 

Need to get new board members to elect a rail lover like KJP

 

First thing who are board members?

 

Who is up for appointment to board?

 

Which board member do we tell that there  reAppointed is only going to happen if they support someone like KJP and not calabrese.

 

 

Then we need to bring in Dr Melis the renown Spanish Transit designer to come and take apart the RTA in a public forum.(anyone know anyone in cleveland who would donate the money to bring Dr. Melis in this summer)

 

That all for now

 

8-) :clap: :wave: 8-)

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No GM positions for this guy!


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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KJP, I really like your idea for a land use master plan around all of RTA's property.  I wonder if they've made any moves towards this as part of the TOD guideline process.  I was surprised and dismayed to find that no comprehensive land use or master plan study had been done for land along the Euclid Corridor.  This should have been done in conjunction with "Dual Hub" and other planning efforts over the decades and would have been a major cause for any version of the project coming true.  As it is, we're working on it now in a piecemeal basis, which just isn't how this whole thing should've gone down.

 

In response to the Pope's question, I typed a response yesterday, but lost my internet connection and the response with it.  So, I'll try to sum it up again...  I can see where the cart/horse issue comes up here.  Is it TOD that will increase ridership, or will TOD happen only if demand for RTA is intensified?  TOD is clearly a strategy that RTA should be targeting every chance they can get.  However, in the meantime (and over the past several years), they could have been increasing ridership through better management and capital investments that would lure and keep current riders (I've written more on this in the RTA thread).  If they weren't constantly turning people off with the way the system functions (or doesn't function), they would see even more ridership increase than they already have.  This would lead to more demand for TODs from private developers.  The cart/horse is clear, but I think it makes a load of sense for the RTA to start with its own management and operations, rather than now coming up with the "aha!" moment of TOD, which will involve complex real estate and development partnerships that it has relatively little (or no) experience with. 

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the strange thing about the RTA TOD strategy is that they aren't that concerned about increased ridership, they seem more interested in getting revenue from their property.  although i understand that each ticket bought only pays for roughly 1/3 the cost of transit and it certainly makes sense to maximize revenue from existing property, it still seems they should be focusing on increasing ridership - through prudent operations (which they are doing now to some extent), innovations to run more efficently and to attrack new riders, and longer term land use strategies such as TOD.

 

an additional million rides a year without any service expansion would seem to help the bottom line as well.

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KJP, I really like your idea for a land use master plan around all of RTA's property.  I wonder if they've made any moves towards this as part of the TOD guideline process.  I was surprised and dismayed to find that no comprehensive land use or master plan study had been done for land along the Euclid Corridor.  This should have been done in conjunction with "Dual Hub" and other planning efforts over the decades and would have been a major cause for any version of the project coming true.  As it is, we're working on it now in a piecemeal basis, which just isn't how this whole thing should've gone down.

 

In response to the Pope's question, I typed a response yesterday, but lost my internet connection and the response with it.  So, I'll try to sum it up again...  I can see where the cart/horse issue comes up here.  Is it TOD that will increase ridership, or will TOD happen only if demand for RTA is intensified?  TOD is clearly a strategy that RTA should be targeting every chance they can get.  However, in the meantime (and over the past several years), they could have been increasing ridership through better management and capital investments that would lure and keep current riders (I've written more on this in the RTA thread).  If they weren't constantly turning people off with the way the system functions (or doesn't function), they would see even more ridership increase than they already have.  This would lead to more demand for TODs from private developers.  The cart/horse is clear, but I think it makes a load of sense for the RTA to start with its own management and operations, rather than now coming up with the "aha!" moment of TOD, which will involve complex real estate and development partnerships that it has relatively little (or no) experience with.  

 

The fact no comprehensive TOD planning went into Dual Hub is indicative of how poorly it was planned (like sticking in a pointless/expensive Blue-Green line connection at E. 116 St) and why, ultimately, it failed...

 

While I think RTA could do a lot more to encourage rider growth, I think TOD involves bigger issues.  An offshoot of TOD is larger transit growth but I don't think it is necessarily the goal.  It's about smart city planning and regional attractiveness.  It's larger than RTA and why, while RTA can be involved on some level, this should be a Cleveland and regional initiative.  JoeC talks about wanting TOD growth but, really, given his track record as being anti-rail, do you really want him to shepard something as important as TOD?  Yeah, I know he's said: lets focus on the rail we have; but come on, do you buy that?  Especially given all the things MapBoy talks about that have happened under Calabrese's regime to piss rail riders off -- the rail service cuts, the squeezing passengers on too few cars -- 2 on the Red, one-car trains on blue/green (even during a number of big events); that shutting down all-night service on New Year's eve, ending summertime, late-night rail service on Friday and Sat nights, etc, etc.  He's has no investment in the future of rail in this town -- he in fact is totally against ANY expansion -- so really, isn't it foolish to even suggest he/his agency be in charge of TOD?

 

TOD should be a Frank Jackson/City of Cleveland initiative.  It's Frank's city that continues to build the Steelyards while watching speedy rail cars zip by mile-after-mile of highly developable land, particularly at stations... And while people here like to harp on the fact the Red Line lies next to freight rail and goes by many factories -- many derilect now -- it's beyond question that many more stations are either in or at the edges of very popular, high growth/potential high growth areas.  Examples:  West Blvd/Cudell (Edgewater/West Edge), W. 65 (Detroit Shoreway), University Circle, E. 116, Puritas, Triskett, E. 120, Flats East Bank... and many others.  

 

What people don't seem to understand is that TOD is NOT just about transit users; it's about everybody.  People like high-density, walkable neighborhoods.  Funny thing is, when they are built, I'd bet the majority of people who arive are by auto; yet the very existence of a TOD is owed to transit, usually rail, which allows it's population to suddenly enlarge exponentially -- giving patrons the option of not driving while, concomitantly, allowing businesses, therein, to thrive with the excitement of density... Every downtown of every major city, particularly older ones, like Cleveland and Cincy, and others that grew prior to WWII, is essentially a TOD... Now, of course, in places like Detroit where the once good streetcar and commuter rail service disappeared over time, downtown has lapsed into serious decay and only is recovering, today, on a very limited basis -- fact is, no mater how much Detroit leaders posture about how much better downtown is, it will NEVER be totally healed until leaders finally make the hard choice and address its lack of rail transit access...

 

I visited LA on biz in the early 90s and was shocked that the 2nd largest city in America had a downtown that was actually smaller than Cleveland's.  How could this be?   A major answer: transit.  Now, with the expansion of light, heavy and commuter rail, a new LA has emerged.  Don’t get me wrong, it still is largely a far flung, suburban-like, sprawl metro area.  But that’s a-changing.  Downtown has grown with more office and high-rise residential growth.  Likewise, TOD’s, esp. more high-density condos, apts and mixed use development is springing up all over the now 80-some mile rapid rail network; and is even popping up along the 400-mile MetroLink commuter rail network.  The average Joe likes this new LA, but isn’t sure why.  He certainly isn’t, more than likely, oriented toward hopping a rail car to get to these exciting neighborhoods, yet he’s attracted nonetheless.  

 

Paul Weyrich is a very odd man: an uber-conservative guru who LOVES mass transit.  He’s written many articles noting how he’s an oddball among his right-wing pals.  But he’s argued vociferously: how can you be in favor of a free market society when auto-only clogged cities slow down commerce significantly.  Texas A&M University released a study a few years ago highlighting, city-by-city, how many business hours were lost due to managers/workers being stuck in traffic.   Look at Washington (DaninDC will love this); it went from being a backwater, Southern burg in the 60s, to being one of the hottest growth cities on the continent; much of this attributable to the smart-growth around transit stations.  Indeed, DC with its mini-Metro cities developed around transit stations practically wrote the American book on modern TOD in the auto age.

 

So why not Cleveland?

 

Frank Jackson is getting high praise for thinking out of the box on his regional initiative, particularly the anti-biz stealing/water rate deal he's working with the burbs.  TOD is also a key area where we must think outside the box.  It’s Frank’s city that’s suffering, not Joe Calabrese’s (every night JoeC hops in his car and heads to sprawl-burb Westlake to lay his head —what stake does he really have in TOD?)  It’s Frank Jackson and the City of Cleveland who need to take the lead in TOD.  Down business and retail is suffering.  While apartments are growing, more could be done.  Finally, it seems (if he can get out of court) Scott Wolstein gets it and is building a massive TOD adjacent to the most hated transit operation in the city: the Waterfront Line no one here believes has any worth.

 

In this City one of our biggest problems is the balkanized/fiefdom approach we have towards planning and growth.  We clearly see it with our Growth Association (or whatever it’s called here).  We’re in a canoe and everyone’s oar-ing in diff directions.  A number of City councilman get it w/r to TOD: Matt Zone – who championed the W. 65 station/Eco City rebuild/build is one.  Joe Cimperman is another.  Frank needs to get on board.  It’s HIS city.  RTA is THE rail transit line potentially has the most impact on that city growth.  It’s time for Frank to come out of the box.  (forget for a moment, why Frank isn’t cheerleading rail expansion – that’s a topic for another day).  

 

It’s easy to do the wrong thing growth wise, here.  The Steelyards, Legacy Villages, Croker Park’s, Eton’s of the world pop up quickly like acne… TOD, on the other hand, has been tedious and iffy.  Look at Wolstein’s struggles.  Look at the pain-staking, on-again/off again Triangle at U. Circle.  Look at the fallow lands that sit next to W. Blvd’s Red Line Station while we only TALK about growth there – Chicle is nice, but small compared to what needs to be done, there.

 

This is long, I know, but in the end, I hope we realize that bigger thinking needs to be done, here, and we must look past RTA to the bigger stakeholder this initiative: Cleveland, particularly, and its close-in burbs, secondarily.

 

 

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^Clvlndr, thanks for sharing.  I think you adequately highlight a lot of people's frustrations (including mine) with City Hall in Cleveland.  Perhaps Mr. Jackson should meet Chris Zimmerman, Supervisor for Arlington County, Virginia.

 

 

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KJP & Clvlndr.  Can we condense what was just said and get it to:

 

The Mayor

RTA - Board members

Cleveland city council transportation

The county leaders

Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Congressional transportation/Rail proponets at the local/state/ federal level.

 

How can our voice(s) be heard

 

Clvlndr...I sensed a ton of emtions in that letter, just the kind of thing we need to get better overall transportation options on an poppin'

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Per Clvlndr & MyTwoSense's Sunday posts: Mayor Jackson does have a "Sustainable Programs Manager", whose charge includes energy and other resource conservation issues.  The position is akin to what Chicago is doing.  His name is Andrew Watterson and I would expect he would be open to your message. 

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Clvlndr...I sensed a ton of emotions in that letter, just the kind of thing we need to get better overall transportation options on an poppin'

 

Actually, MTS, I tried to steer away from emotion and look at the problem realistically and theoretically; to look at TOD as bigger than just a transit-only issue -- which is where our problem begins imho.  Those names are certainly places to start, but to me it begins and ends with Frank -- he's closest to the situation and has the biggest bully pulpit.   

 

Per Boreal's note: it's good to know Frank has a Sustainable Programs Mangager.  The trick is, of course, is to get Mr. Watterson to function more than just in name only.  Let's see if we can grab his ear; turn him on to this thread or its ideas, at least. 

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he's young and interested...

 

I haven't been in touch with AW lately, though, but I know a lot of people were curious about the future of the position, being that it was a Jane Campbell appointment.  I gather that it would be a very poor move to eliminate such a position, considering on the very surface that what he does focuses a great deal on saving the City money...

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OK folks, give me a minute here to rant....

 

I learned today that the Aldi's grocery store on West 117th just north of Madison will, in fact, not be built "on the sidewalk" or for that matter, anywhere near it. Instead, the grocery store which is typically a favorite for low-income shoppers will be far back from West 117th and a bank will be built in front of it, but still not on the sidewalk.

 

Worse, when Lakewood city officials said to Aldi's officials that they should build next to the sidewalk and have the bank in the same building next to it on the sidewalk, Aldi's officials threatened to sue the city. When I heard that, I said "so let them sue." City officials apparently weren't in the mood for legal action.

 

So here's my suggestion to all who read this:  boycott Aldi's, write a letter to the editor of the PD, Lakewood Sun Post and Lakewood Observer. If you'd rather try something else, how about this:  let's say you're a pedestrian coming over from the Rapid station and you get tagged by a car in Aldi's parking lot -- consult an attorney about legal action against Aldi's for not following the wise suggestions of city officials.

 

The only way we can improve this site is for the Aldi's to fail, close its doors, get demolished and start over. And take the friggin' bank with you. In the meantime, how crappy is it that a grocery store marketed to lower-income customers has designed its site to be as inaccessible as possible to transit? I encourage you all to act against this stupidity.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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They certainly could, and should.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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