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Cleveland: Opportunity Corridor Boulevard

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Look, all I am saying is that we need to look more closely at the project.  Just because it may look bad at first glance doesnt mean that we should dismiss it.  And, I really don't think that it competes with the ECP.  They are different types of transit projects.  One is meant for more TOD development and the other is meant for industrial and access purposes.  University Circle is a growing area that needs increased options for all types of commuters.  I think that we too easily fall for the romanticized idea that we can make Cleveland a better place by shutting down all roads and forcing the entire population onto the Red Line.  We would do our city a disservice if we did not take an intelligent look at all the options. 

 

Clvndr,  Chicago has built quite a lot of transit in the middle of its freeways.  And, that area could hold potential to draw increased industry.  Cleveland is hindered by its lack of available quality industrial properties.  Many businesses have left town unwillingly because they could not find adequate space within the city limits.  Access to road transportation is very important for industry.  The Access blvd could provide the greatest opportunity to retain and draw increased industrial activity to the city.  Furthermore, its location on the redline is perfect for the lower-income workers that such work draws.  I am not the Access blvd spokeman.  I feel more like I have to play devil's advocate because some, like myself, have fallen quite hard for a beautiful and intelligent new innerbelt bridge that would be great for downtown.   

 

Other random points: 

-University Circle is very interested in the access boulevard.

-While I don't place much faith in Campbell or Jackson, I also don't summarily dismiss what they say without taking a closer look

-I agree that Cleveland traffic is just fine.  But, I do think that UC would see a boost in attendance from improved access.  Growing up a westsider, UC is not very accessible.  That lack of accessibility is a drawback.  However, I wouldn't do the project for that reason. 

 

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University Circle is one part of Cleveland where traffic is not OK!  Traffic on MLK is absolutely horrible at rush hour, and Cedar and Carnegie can be a mess too.  This is our second largest concentration of employment in the region (over 30,000) and is rapidly growing.  There is no highway for over a mile!  And considering all the expansion that's going to happen there (the VA consolidation, Case West Quad, the Heart Center, etc.) it is only going to get worse. 

 

No one wants a highway plowed through the east side, but we need more than what we have.  Those roads are just about at capacity.  A boulevard, if done well, will contribute to the area where they want to run it, and may actually help the Red Line by getting some of the surrounding land redeveloped.

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Here's my take on all this:

 

> Funding for cleaning up EPA Superfund sites is limited -- certainly not enough to tackle 43 of them in a 2-3 mile stretch;

> Highway funding is more available, and can be used to remove the Superfund sites;

> Redevelopment along the corridor will occur with the UCAB, or whatever it's called now, and that could help the Red Line. But I am concerned that the Red Line will become forgotten if it remains in that trench;

> Highway and transit funding can be brought to bear to put both the UCAB and the Red Line on the same right of way, thereby putting both on the same level (physically, visually and competitively);

> Rezone properties within a half-mile of the UCAB with transit-supportive zoning so that we don't get seas of parking and newer, more modern slums out of the deal;

> Reconfigure the street layout in University Circle -- they're damned confusing as it is for east siders and threaten to become overwhelmed with lost west siders, so rearrange things so that someone can park on the railroad side of UC while taking transit, biking and walking to UC's "front door" (on Euclid);

> See my graphics on the first page of this message string to see what wild things I have in mind.

 

I think this can be a win-win for the city, but if the powers-that-be merely want to slash a road through the east side, then I can't see it doing much for the surrounding neighborhoods. In that case, what I do see are newer, auto-centric slums that have the job-creating sites spread too thin to lift the neighborhood. If that happens, the east side ends up with just another through route for suburban motorists to use as if it were a gauntlet (see Chester, Carnegie, MLK).

 

Happy motoring!

 

KJP


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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I'll have to respectfully disagree with you guys.  I still don't want the so-called UCAB, or whatever, under any circumstances and see no value to it... but in response to a couple of you---

 

--- KJP's rationale for cleaning up EPA Superfund cites is the only one I'm on board w/, to a degree.  I just wish there were other means to this end.

 

-- Forgotten Red Line in the trench?  I don't think it need be and I don't think building a limited access road next to it will help... Look at the West Side Red Line... it is becoming more successful because some local leaders, in part pushed by EcoCity Cleveland (and KJP), have finally started pushing TODs.  The Red Line lies in a similar, though somewhat narrower, trench on the West Side, too, but TOD's and not a parallel freeway, are not deemed the fruits of Red Line rebirth.  Derilect factory buildings are either being razed or adaptively re-used as multi-unit housing (like what’s happening @ W. Blvd/Cudell).  If anything, the Red Line has been hampered by I-90 west, which destroyed many old Detroit-Superior homes and cut the neighborhood in 2 (aside from competing against and sucking potential commuters from the Red Line when, to me, I's 71, 480 plus Shoreway west could have satisfied commuter needs -- but I'm not a West Sider...

 

-- The Chicago Precedent – Chi-town’s a much denser/bigger city than ours so building a rail line in most any corridor there is almost guaranteed to be a success.  The 3 well-documented frwy median els you cite were either relocations or extensions of existing ancient L lines (w/ the Dan Ryan essentially being an express extension of the parallel/nearby 1892-built Jackson Park/Englewood line)... Putting rapid rail in freeways can deal w/ where-to-put-the-rail-line? space issues, particularly in a crowded city like Chicago which is really under-freeway-ed for its size.  But as a general rule, freeways and rapid rail create/attract diametrically opposed development types: rapid rail: dense/walkable; freeways: disperse, non-walkable w/ substantial parking lot needs pushing buildings further from the transit stops  – and in most cases, the freeway-inspired development trumps high-density TOD causing any new development to lower density and pushed away from transit stops.  At Chicago freeway-L stops in freeway trenches (which is most of them), commuters must walk across busy parallel marginal roads—the situation being all the more difficult if the transit stop is also at a freeway interchange…  So since Cleveland is not Chicago and since the Red Line already exists and is not being relocated or (unfortunately) extended, I think the median strip/parallel highway Chicago-type analogy falls short.

 

Right now, the rebuilding E. 105 Red Line station is attracting (if we can get it built) one of the 1st high density developments in the Fairfax/UC area outside of hospitals: the proposed Juvenile Justice Ctr on Quincy... I don't know why more of this type of TOD isn't being suggested which has nothing to do w/ UCAB... A number of years ago, there was talk of relocating the very-lightly used E. 79th Red Line stop (which is both in a low density area and a hop/skip/jump down the street from the Blue/Green line elevated stop) to the Buckey-Woodland-E.89th intersection... that busy corner, while dead and dilapidated currently, has much potential given that it's a heavy traffic corridor and much closer to Fairfax populations where there has, already, been some neighborhood rehab... why did this proposal die...

 

Also, while none of you guys are arguing it (others are), there's simply no substance to UCAB helping U.Circle in the least... The popular Flats of the 80s stands for the idea that, if you build it, they will come (from all over the Midwest and nation); even with horrific driving/parking problems the Flats used to present.

 

And sadly, given the bassackwards, negative approach we have toward urban development here in Cleveland, it wouldn’t surprise me if this UCAB plan (along w/ the much over-hyped ECP) are merely weak rubber-tire initiatives designed to put the Red Line out of business… a move that would be, of course, absurd, … but this is Cleveland.

 

... Anyway, that's my two ce--, er, ... ideas.

 

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ODOT has created a web page for the "Opportunity Corridor" with documents available for downloads....

 

http://www.innerbelt.org/OCfrontpage1.htm

 

Of particular interest should be the four proposed alternatives for road alignments in the corridor in this document....

 

http://www.innerbelt.org/2005-08-18_OC%20Workshop2.pdf

 

Cost estimates are contained in the Sept. 22 Evaluation Matrix....

 

http://www.innerbelt.org/92205ConceptAlts%20Matrix.pdf

 

For quick reference, the estimated costs of building this road are from $181 million to $272 million.

 

Nowhere in any of the documents is anything said about its impacts on transit ridership, opportunities for TOD to reduce the need for the road, or related issues. But, then, it was ODOT's nickel (actually, yours and mine) who paid for these studies. IF continued efforts ignore these matters, then I encourage the formation of a Transit Riders United Cleveland (TRU Cleveland). And the first official act would be to file a lawsuit against such destructive transportation planning that devalues existing transit facilities and those that are under construction.

 

KJP


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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I despise this UCAB folly.  It's a waste and WILL ABSOLUTELY harm if not destroy Red Line service.  (and I wouldn't be surprised if JoeC's all for it)...

 

... btw, I rode the Red Line to U.Circle the other day from downtown.  Contrary to popular believe, and even my own misconception, the open-cut corridor along NS and the Red Line isn't all that wide, really -- certainly not wide enough for the wide type of boulevard/freeway they're planning (and certainly not in the portion from E.55 to the Circle).

 

We cannot give up fighting this thing.  Even our misguided pols (council people, mayoral candidates) all have bought into the myth that this thing will boost their neighborhoods...

 

... wow, I sure wish our pols could junket to other cities like Chicago, D.C, etc, that really do know about real city building, ... urban density building.

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Clvlndr.  I agree. This will not only hurt the current redline but the people - regardless of how few or there income - who currently reside in the area's affected.

 

we need to improve rail transit up the east side and the west side to stop the "i can't get anywhere QUICKLY via public transportation" BS.

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MTS, like a bad penny, this stupid project just keeps coming back; won't go away.  We in Cleveland have such a propensity to engage in city-sapping/killing projects so it's always 2 step forward, 2 steps backward.  And the pols are telling us how great this will be for the city... after coming back from the Steelyards ribbon-cutting ceremony.  argh!

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Why would this hurt Redline ridership?  The idea behind the project should lead to an increase in demand for transit to the area.

 

The idea of the project is to open up land for industrial development.  Many firms are leaving the area because they cannot expand or because they are poorly situated and don't have streets that their trucks can get through.

 

 

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If this will be industrial corridor, then it will be of marginal benefit to the Red Line. Most industries these days require single-level factories. Anything single-level is not high density. And lack of density favors auto use, not transit. For the limited transit ridership that will likely be generated by these light-densit uses, the times that this will occur is at shift changes.

 

Now, if there is a mix of light-industrial, offices, high-density housing, ground-floor retail (especially grocers and others that are sorely lacking in the urban core), then this will offer the kind of round-the-clock ridership generators that is needed. Each station needs to be the focal point of concentrated "village" of mixed uses, stacked one on top of the other, to be of meaningful value to a high-density transit facility like the Red Line.

 

Given that this corridor is so badly emaciated, there is a real opportunity to "start over" when it comes to land use, including high-density uses clustered in pedestrian settings around stations. And this can be done without the NIMBY factor that has threatened such transit-friendly land use at the Ohio City Red Line station. If our only hope for cleaning the abandoned, polluted, industrial sites along the Red Line on the east side is to build a road through them, then we have truly failed our urban areas.

 

KJP


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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"If our only hope for cleaning the abandoned, polluted, industrial sites along the Red Line on the east side is to build a road through them, then we have truly failed our urban areas."

 

I think its obvious that we have failed that area of the city. 

 

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Looks like there are some serious hurdles to overcome if this project is to go forward.  Brancatelli's worries are the biggest concern.  I would bet that the project would not go forward if the Slavic Village takes are not lowered considerably.

 

The article mentions four churches.  I believe those are non-traditional church structures (empty storefronts renovated for church use).

 

 

 

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I mentioned to Joe Cimperman the idea of putting the Red Line down the middle of the Opportunity Corridor. Getting the Red Line out of that trench would provide people at stations in that area a greater sense of visibility and security while giving better access to new job sites. His response was that that sort of inclusive thinking is needed for projects of this type. We'll see how inclusive ODOT's thinking is.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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Maybe not, but it would allow them to tap federal transit funds to pay for some infrastructure while keeping more of their precious federal highway funds for other projects.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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If the following were implemented (see maps below), it could save RTA operating and maintenance costs by:

1. having the Red, Blue and Green lines share more right of way, thus reducing the track-miles and overhead catenary wires/structures that need to be maintained;

2. exchanging two or possibly three bi-level stations (with their escalators, stairs, more substantial structures, etc) with single-level stations;

3. eliminating the need to maintain substantial bridge structures on the Blue/Green lines between East 55th and East 93rd;

4. Only two existing stations, the East 79th stations on both the Red and Blue/Green lines, would need to be closed, replaced by one new, single-level station at the intersection of East 79th and the new boulevard.

 

Plus, RTA should gain new ridership with:

1. safer, more visible station locations (rather than the existing Red Line stations in the railroad trench);

2. improved access for transit riders to existing and potential residential and employment locations "across the street" from, and at the same elevation of the new Red/Blue/Green line;

3. easier/faster to travel by rail between Shaker Heights and University Circle by bringing the transfer point a total of three miles closer to their point of origin/destination;

4. potentially massive TOD opportunies in the vicinity of Buckeye/East 90th as well as along and near East 79th Street;

 

OK, here's the maps from west to east.....

 

oppcorridortransit01S.jpg

 

oppcorridortransit02S.jpg

 

oppcorridortransit03S.jpg

 

oppcorridortransit04S.jpg

 

Frankly, my concern is that if the existing rail transit lines (especially the Red Line) are not rerouted down the Opportunity Corridor, they will be considered redundant to potential bus services that would use the Opportunity Corridor. Then, some in this town will rationalize that the rail lines are no longer needed. I'd rather see our rail services strengthened than be marginalized.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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I love the idea of sharing this right-of-way...if the corridor is to have the potential for jobs and housing that it claims to posess, the more multimodal we are, the better!  Anyone who's ever ridden the east-side rail lines has seen the route that these three lines run and how useless it is for a large part of that trip.  It would be amazing to link up a realignment to this project.  And if it could bring in more funding, that makes it even more attractive!  One problem, though, is that there are already a few big capital projects in the works for stations on the Red Line along this route.  Given that this project is about a decade off, this wouldn't be a total waste of money, but I'm curious to see what kind of effect this proposal would have on these investments.

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Potentially, there may be no impacts to recent/ongoing station projects. The only two stations that are affected by the realignment are the East 79th stations on both the Red Line and the Blue/Green Lines. To my knowledge, there is no active planning underway for renovating either.

 

The most recent project is the new East 105th/Quincy station, which would be left in place under the scenario I proposed above. However, if the Red Line were continued in the middle of the new boulevard until the boulevard turns north onto East 105th, then that new station would have to be relocated. Instead, I turned the Red Line toward its old alignment before reaching Quincy/East 105th, but that could eliminate (or complicate) a potential development site.

 

The East 55th Station renovation also wouldn't be touched since there is no need to realign the rail lines anywhere near the Central Rail Facility -- which would be hugely expensive to attempt anyway!

 

Nor would I suggest relocating the East 93rd/Woodhill station on the Blue/Green lines in order to potentially save money. But if the acquisition of properties and the demolition of structures on the south side of Buckeye Road proves too expensive or controversial, then the rail line could stay on Buckeye at a low elevation as the lanes for Buckeye rise up the hill on either side of the rail line. In that case, the station might have to be relocated to the east side of East 93rd, between the lanes of Shaker Boulevard. But I'm not aware of major renovation plans for this station, either.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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yeah, I was referring specifically to the East 55th Street station project that just went through the concept approval phase with City Planning.  There was mention several times of the effect that the Opportunity Boulevard would have on the station location...this is pretty much where the boulevard would start, correct?

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Yes. ODOT proposes having the boulevard head straight east from I-490 at East 55th, which would requiring demolishing numerous homes on the east side of East 55th. In my first diagram, I have the boulevard veering a bit northeast, starting on the west side of East 55th to avoid as many demolitions as possible. However, that brings the boulevard closer to the rail station, but opens up some land on the southwest corner of the I-490/East 55th intersection for development. There are going to be some trade-offs.....


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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^I believe that that there are some very expensive utilities issues at the northwest corner of E 55th & I-490 that would prevent pushing the blvd to the north.  Additionally, ODOT/HNTB are racking their brains to avoid any as many takes as possible in Slavic Village.  KJP, have you forwarded any of your ideas on to RTA?

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Yes. But, they've had less than one day to chew on it. I believe the utilities you speak of is an RTA substation.

 

For any of this happen, ODOT has to get the city's OK first. But the city won't push for something like this if RTA isn't. Thus, RTA must be the first public entity to embrace it (of course, some nudging by affected CDCs couldn't hurt!).


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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It's proving hard to get RTA's interest in this. Their concern is that the Red/Blue/Green Lines route consolidation for another mile or so wouldn't save them enough operating and maintenance costs to justify RTA spending a large chunk of valuable capital dollars for leverage a federal share. I can understand that. But I think there may be a way for to come up with new capital dollars up front, and get the rest reimbursed....

 

 

Potential sources for an RTA funding share of the Opportunity Corridor rail line

 

Revenue bonds from parking garages at existing or proposed stations to avail space for Transit-Oriented Development. Assumed are two 800-car parking garages. Property acquisition, demolition & construction costs are estimated at $4 million from federal grant leveraged by sale/lease of partial station properties. Net annual revenue from parking garages (80% occupancy@$4/car/day less expenses of one-third gross revenue)=$1.2 million (rounded). $1.2 million per year, at 5% bond interest rate, can retire a 20-year bond issue of about:

... $15 million

 

Sale of 1.25 miles of Blue/Green Line between East 68th Street and Ambler Street (such as to Cuyahoga County for biking/hiking trail construction, or to communications/fiber optics/utility or other uses):

... $1 million to $5 million

 

Sale of 1.5 miles of Red Line between Kinsman Avenue and vicinity of East 105th Street (such as to Cuyahoga County for biking/hiking trail construction, NS for track capacity expansion or industrial track leads, Flats Industrial Railroad for same, communications/fiber optics/utility or other uses):

... $1.25 million to $6 million

 

Scrap value of rails, ties, catenary, wires, East 79th Station(s) materials, hardware, etc. from the above segments (range of 15-30 percent value of new materials):

... $2.5 million to $5 million

 

 

Total $19.75 million to $31 million (RTA contribution)

 

 

Discussion

 

The proposed Opportunity Corridor rail route mileage would be about 2.15 miles. Construction of the Waterfront Line in 1994-96 cost about $70 million for a similar distance. With the Opportunity Corridor, much of the right of way could be provided for the rail line within the new boulevard’s median, saving significant costs. Thus, construction costs for the rail line were assumed to be $20 million to $30 million per mile, or $43 million to $64.5 million. If a 50 percent local share is required for the construction of the Opportunity Corridor rail line, the amount could range from $21.5 million to $32.25 million. If a 25 percent local share is required for the rail line’s construction, the amount could range from $10.75 million to $16.13 million.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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I'm so against this.  Another street/highway, no matter how you sugar coated is not needed.

 

that money could be used to build a better rail transportation network and fix current streets

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I disagree..I like to think of some of the positives

It better opens up University Circle, to the west side. Cleveland Clinic and all the others are among the cities largest employers and future growth should be supported as much as possible, since the city seems to be banking on biosicence as the new thing.  It remedies brownfields. Opens up that side of town to better industrial development or any type of development.

 

But lets face it the root of the reason for this is because joe westsider, dosent like his commute from westlake to his job in university circle, instead of moving closer to the job.

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Yeah, it's no secret that the whole project started as a way to get people from 490 to University Circle -- and that makes me uneasy. However, if you think about the area the new street will go through, there really isn't hope for any other kind of economic stimulus.

I'm still on the fence about it.

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But lets face it the root of the reason for this is because joe westsider, dosent like his commute from westlake to his job in university circle, instead of moving closer to the job.

 

A lot of people like to frame the development this way.  However, that is just a part of the reason for the Opportunity Corridor.  Much of the analysis that is going into this project is focusing on opening up and accessing abandoned land along the corridor so that the city can attract and retain more industrical businesses.  The design favors a blvd that creates as much frontage and connections as possible to the 'existing' neighborhoods. Also, its true that the rising employment numbers in the Circle and access to the museums and arts facilities are very important parts of the equation.  The museums think that this project will help Cleveland better support the existing arts instituttions that suffer from a perceived isolation.  Many west siders just don't travel to UC because of its 'crazy and confusing' road system.  By the way, maybe some folks will be interested in attending next Thursday's MLK corridor study as UCI continues its planning to redesign MLK Drive through the Circle.

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HELL...THE F'IN WEST SIDERS NEED TO ASK FOR BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND GET OUT OF THEIR F'IN CARS!

 

ohhh....don't get me started..  I'm not in the mood to get my pressure up today!

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I have always edged toward favoriing the boulevard and if something like KJP's sketches is considered then I have to say bring it on.

 

As it is though I just kind of worry.  I live in an east side suburb and therefore am prejudiced against the west.  You had me at "Joe Westsider doesn't like his commute from westlake to his job in university circle" and "because of the 'crazy and confusing' road system."  Screw them, if you don't like your commute, live closer.

 

What frightens me is the potential for negative impacts on surrounding places.  Granted, the UC area creating jobs is a good thing and if access from the west side is necessary for it, that's fine.  But how necessary is it?  What worries me is a lot of people living nearby in order to be close to their jobs suddenly decide, "ooh, now I can live in Brecksville or Bay Village" or some other such place because there's a nice corridor here.

 

I don't know the area very well but excuse me for asking, what about making the areas along the boulevard itself a place to live if you with in University Circle?  Using KJP's plan above you have so much more Opportunity for something they are lamely dubbing the "Opportunity Corridor".  Increased transit opportunities - TOD and all that along the corridor would REALLY transform the area more so than just putting in a road.  Add the benefits of better access for West Siders combined with the added visibility for the rail line (especially to those same West Siders) and you have a lot of positives.

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I think the reaction to this blvd concept points out exactly why Clevelanders are ignorant as to the issues that this city faces. The whole "let the suburban residents take the bus" argument is not addressing the problem. 

 

 

1.  We are bleeding jobs because we don't have available acreage within the city for new  or expanding industrial businesses.  Whether existing vacant sites are brownfields or are poorly connected to the transportation and utilities network, businesses have much better options in the suburbs.  Our tax base will continue o dwindle unless we create a strategy to attract more business.  The industrial land bank, if implemented, is an excellent idea.

 

2. The "THE F'IN WEST SIDERS NEED TO ASK FOR BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND GET OUT OF THEIR F'IN CARS" argument is not productive.  The arm-twisting style of convincing suburbanites to come to University Circle by bus is never going to work.  C'mon now.  Let's give them another reason to be afraid of Cleveland.

 

3.  "Screw them, if you don't like your commute, live closer."  This is another attitude that will not help bring back residents to Hough, Fairfax, Glenville, etc. Can you imagine if Frank Jackson led off his inaugural address with this type of plan for improving Cleveland?   We need to plan so that people will want to move closer to UC.  Creating better, non-invasive access is just part of the strategy to create a more vibrant Greater University Circle area.  More jobs, better housing options, a calmer and less confusing road pattern, better schools, safer city streets--these things will bring people back into the neighborhoods near University Circle." 

 

The militant, anti--anything-that-doesn't-look-like-NYC attitude is very short-sighted and doesn't address the problems that face Cleveland. I can understand why we don't need more highways in this city, but this project doesn't fit that category.  The Opportunity Boulevard, in the end, may not be a viable strategy.  There are still may issues to study. However, the mentioned reasons for why it should not be built miss the point and ignore the problems that Cleveland faces. 

 

Matches, have you driven the corridor?  What negative impacts could you see?  Overall, its as blown-out as any neighborhood in the US.  Also, TOD is definitely part of the foreseen developments that would be targeted for this area.

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Wimwar, you are wise beyond your years!


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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I might be mistaken, but isn't there already a freeway (the Shoreway) that allows West Siders to get to University Circle???  They bill this POS as a boulevard just so urbanites will greenlight it.  I envision this will end up as a roadway with a 50 mph speed limit which, quite frankly, is another freeway.

 

Cleveland is in the shape it's in because people keep subsidizing sprawl.  Why does anyone think that embracing the status quo is going to change anything?

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It depends on what constitutes "West Siders". People who live in Bay, River, Westlake and Lakewood for the most part take I-90 to Chester Avenue or MLK to reach University Circle. Now if you mean West Siders as in the Clifton/Edgewater/Cudell/Detroit-Shoreway, this boulevard won't provide much benefit.

 

Even so, while the Shoreway becomes I-90 with an exit onto MLK which leads to University Circle, it's not at all convenient to the employment centers such as the Clinic and University Hospitals. MLK's speed limit was bumped up to 35mph but it's not designed to be a commuter route. An average trip during the workweek from say, River would be 20 minutes from River to downtown via I-90 and another 20-30 minutes from downtown taking Chester or MLK. And while I don't think that our priority should be increasing Cleveland's car-friendliness, wimwar is exactly right - there's a saying that goes "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar". 

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There are going to be approximately ten thousand new jobs coming to UC in the next ten years (West Quad, VA Consolidation, CC Heart Center, and numerous smaller developments).  The roads to and from UC are all at or near capacity.  UC is one of the few places in metro Cleveland where this is so.

 

Yes, the Shoreway comes within a mile or so of UC, but it requires that the last mile be taken on residential, commercial, or park streets.  East 105th can't be widened to allow more traffic without demolition of what is left of its commercial strip, and it would be a shame to see East Boulevard or MLK redesigned to accomodate more traffic because they are currently beautiful tree lined avenues.  I would rather see this new access boulevard cut through an area in desperate need of investment than the above listed options. 

 

Would I rather see something like KJP's proposal, with the relocated Rapid and the development being transit oriented?  Yes, of course!  But even if that doesn't happen, the worst thing for our city would be to choke off the one part of town that is actually growing in jobs.  High paying jobs.  The kind of jobs that are increasingly available only in the suburbs, thus making people more likely to live out in the suburbs.

 

Do we need to have better transit to connect our city neighborhoods?  Yes, of course!  But the transit system needs to be considered as a whole and made into the best and most attractive system that it can be to service the growth in demand, not just used as an overflow to take trips that we opt not to service by car.

 

We need to think about what we need to do to make our city work pragmatically, not idealistically or rhetorically.

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X, what you propose is the same fallacious argument that has been made for over 60 years.  Paving more roadway only serves to undermine what little of a transit system there is, and also removes valuable land that could otherwise be used for development.  You have created a self-fulfilling prophecy.  No one will use the transit system (except for the poor, disabled, and elderly) if driving is by far the easiest way to get anywhere. 

 

This boulevard is little more than the status quo all over again, and is an ugly and expensive precedent for future development in the city.

 

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Paving more roadway removes valuable land that could otherwise be used for development.  You have created a self-fulfilling prophecy.  No one will use the transit system (except for the poor, disabled, and elderly) if driving is by far the easiest way to

 

Dan,

 

Have you read about this study?  Do you know where it will go? Do you know why its called the Forgotten Triangle?  Before you expoud with a knee jerk response, look at the facts of the situation.  The OC is being proposed because the land is not developable as is. Businesses have fled.  Residents have fled.  It is a dead area that is the last place an industry would choose.  The road network is convoluted and isolated.  Conceptually, the boulevard would provide many of the advantages that businesses seek.  Furthermore, if the land is developed it should increase both vehicular traffic and transit ridership.  The entire project would be a TOD--putting industry next to or close to rapid stations. 

 

Or, would you prefer that we send our businesses to Strongsville or Mississippi? 

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BS.  There is plenty of developable land in Cleveland.  The city chooses to use much of it for parking lots.  Transit options for this corridor have been proposed and ignored, even though TOD is a far more efficient means of development.  Furthermore, this roadway will do nothing to improve traffic circulation in University Circle.  It will simply add several thousand cars a day to the existing mess.   

 

Wimwar, I resent your implication that I have provided a knee-jerk response.  I can assure you I am well-studied in transportation issues.  As it is, Cleveland is sending jobs to both Strongsville AND Mississippi. 

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