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Cleveland: Inner Belt/I-90 News & Info

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Check out this idea for realigning the Inner Belt, including a beautiful new Cuyahoga Valley viaduct, to add millions of square feet of developable land for downtown Cleveland....

 

http://members.cox.net/corridorscampaign/Inner%20Belt%20presentation.pdf (707K download)

 

If you like this idea, make your voice heard this Thursday at a public open house, which you can visit at any time between 4:30-8:30 PM Thursday, January 20, 2005 at the Greek Orthodox Church of Annunciation located at 2187 West 14th Street in Tremont. It is accessible by RTA routes, 23, 81 & 807.

 

Or, you can attend the next Inner Belt Advisory Committee Meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday February 24, 2005, to be held at the NOACA offices, 1299 Superior Ave. downtown. For more information, contact ODOT's Craig Hebebebrand (216) 581-2100.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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How do the local politico's stack up on this issue?  Namely Voinovich and Tubbs-Jones? 

If they are both on board, maybe we can squeeze the transportation budget?!?

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What about rest of the inner belt configuration? The whole thing is a mess. They need to flatten out dead mans curve, and improve all the entrance/exit ramps along the way to the area they show

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While the idea for the new Cuyahoga Valley viaduct was proposed by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission a year ago, the proposal for incorporating that into removing/realigning the Central Interchange to create a huge redevelopment zone was advanced only in the past week. So, it's too soon to say how the local politicos feel about it yet.

 

As for the other features -- better/fewer ramps and a more gradual Dead Man's Curve -- are likely to be recommended for final engineering.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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The idea they are propelling looks like a"submerged" highway system.  This is exactly what was done in Boston and sometimes I forget the highway is there, and its a good thing.  It helps to break down the mental concept of being enclosed and cut-off, in addition this idea of "world-class" arcitecture is great.  Why not splurge and have Calatrava do the span, he would do something amazing, bridges being his specialty, and with the scale, can we say "landmark"?

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I don't think it is a "big dig" project.  Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I thought it would look something like Cincinnati’s freeways near the stadiums.  And all the new land for development would come from moving the innerbelt WAY south, creating the area near the Jake to be developed as a new neighborhood.

 

But I am all for a defining bridge.  That would be 3 great bridges over the Cuyahoga

(guess which one is my favorite)

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Very nice. I have long dreamed about doing a very dense, urban TOD on that Conrail/CSX lot that would be at the center of the area they are opening up for development- connect it to Gateway, have it go down the hill into the flats- it could open up a new market segment for downtown.

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Go the public meeting on Thursday in Tremont and tell ODOT you want it (see my message at the top of this string). These meetings could be the last opportunity to make it happen, as the Inner Belt project will go to final engineering later this year.

 

ODOT may even claim it's too late to change the planning as the alternatives analysis is done, but until ODOT starts letting contracts for construction, it's never too late. Would they actually turn their back on $90 million to $150 million from selling the land if such a new idea suddenly came along? We'll see, but only if enough people start making noise about it.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I spoke to the ODOT planner in charge of the Inner Belt project today and he said ODOT was open to the idea of a new, iconic Cuyahoga Valley bridge, but added that Cleveland city officials are responsible for land use decisions such as this. Unfortunately, he said he hasn't heard a peep from Cleveland representatives (Mayor Campbell or City Council) saying they want the new bridge. This new span is essential to realigning the Inner Belt so development can occur just south of Jacobs Field, and next to the Cuyahoga River where the highway bridge now stands.

 

Contact the following people:

 

Mayor Jane Campbell

Cleveland City Hall

601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 202

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

216-664-2220

E-mail: Mayorcampbell@city.cleveland.oh.us

 

 

Joe Cimperman, councilman for Downtown/Tremont, at....

ward13@clevelandcitycouncil.org

City Hall: (216) 664-2691

Home: (216) 687-6772

Address: 3053 West 12th Street

            Cleveland, OH 44113

HE ALSO CHAIRS COUNCIL'S PLANNING COMMITTEE

 

If you e-mail them, send them a copy of this link (make sure the two "%20" symbols appear in your message or the link won't work)....

 

http://members.cox.net/corridorscampaign/Inner%20Belt%20presentation.pdf (707K download)

 

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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It's interesting they used the renderings for the Banks and the Ft. Washington Way bridges in Cincinnati and the cap in Columbus for examples.  Shows you how Ohio sticks together, eh?


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Best to use Ohio examples for another Ohio project. Probably should've use a pic of an Ohio cable-stay bridge, like the new I-280 span in Toodleedoo.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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Yup.  Or the Steubenville/Chesapeake examples.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Got a call from an ODOT PR person a few minutes ago who said this afternoon's public meeting in Tremont has been postponed to Feb. 24, from 4:30-8:30 p.m., and moved to the Visiting Nurses Association offices, 2500 East 22nd Street. For more information, contact Michelle Proctor, ODOT public affairs, at (216) 584-2005.

 

Sorry! That's the second bum steer I've given on this meeting in the last week! Thirty lashes with a wet noodle....

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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A vision of downtown, highway

By Ken Prendergast

Write of Way

 

About 10 years after moving away from Greater Cleveland, a 30-something-year-old is returning to meet old friends at an Indians baseball game. He drives toward downtown, approaching the Inner Belt highway. Ahead, there is a new addition to the skyline, but it's not a building in the traditional sense. It looks like a monument, shaped like a pylon.

 

Soon, the man realizes he's driving straight toward the bright, inviting pylon. It's at the midpoint of a new Inner Belt bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River. Cables cascade downward to support the bridge from the white pylon that's as tall as a 25-story building. That height doesn't include the pylon's legs, which extend another 100 feet below the bridge to the flood plain below.

 

Attached to the north side of the new span is something else. It's a 16-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicycles, which are safely isolated from the fast-moving vehicular traffic by a concrete barrier topped by a sturdy, wrought-iron fence.

 

Several persons standing next to their bicycles are taking pictures of the downtown skyline or aiming their lenses skyward at the towering pylon. The path links Tremont and Ohio City to yet another addition that has resulted from the new bridge.

 

Even though it's been a decade since the young man was in Cleveland, he remembers the Inner Belt passing within spitting distance of Jacobs Field. It doesn't anymore. Instead, the Inner Belt bridge curves away, farther south than the old span. Between Jacobs Field and the highway is a new neighborhood whose brick and masonry buildings blot out the lower levels of the ballpark. As the Inner Belt's vehicular lanes descend, the pedestrian and bicycle path ascends to meet the new neighborhood.

 

Halfway across the bridge, eastbound traffic splits on either side of a concrete divider. The three inner lanes are marked for through traffic, with the outer two lanes destined for exits to Ontario and East 9th streets. The young man stays to the left, following prior instructions. While baseball game-bound traffic slows on the right side of the divider, cars, trucks and buses sail by safely on the inner lanes.

 

Game-bound traffic moves well, but the young man's car is moving even faster, underneath Ontario and East 9th streets. Decorative retaining walls climb up from the highway, as the eastbound and westbound lanes start spreading apart. Rising up from between them are lanes to and from Interstate 77 that add a fourth lane to the Inner Belt.

 

But the young man isn't staying on the Inner Belt. Instead, he exits right and upward to a one-way road paralleling the highway. Another so-called "marginal road" is on the other side of the interstate. New buildings line the marginal roads' sidewalks, with pedestrians making use of them.

 

A left turn at Community College Avenue takes the young man into the new downtown neighborhood, where a triangular-shaped park marks the split of Community College Avenue into East 14th and 18th streets. But, another street, a landscaped boulevard to the left, is the young man's route. He turns, heading west and, after passing another triangular-shaped park in a well-populated neighborhood, finds a parking deck only one block away from Jacobs Field. At a restaurant, on the ground floor of a townhouse collection where his friends live, he joins them for dinner.

 

Later, at the ballpark, discussion of the stunning new landscape on the south side of downtown is a recurring theme among the young man, his friends and other spectators. He learns all the changes were a late-addition to the billion-dollar Inner Belt project, and almost was left out.

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation was open to the idea, but late lobbying by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and, ultimately, by city officials who make the land-use decisions, made it happen.

 

At the end of the baseball game, the young man and his friends wander into the new neighborhood, across Carnegie Avenue from Jacobs Field, to visit the bright, busy shops and cafes.

 

In the distance, the pylon towering over the Inner Belt is bathed in red, white and blue light. He learns it will take on green and red hues in December. The new icon draws him and others to walk out on the bridge to absorb the awesome sight. He reconsiders his move from Greater Cleveland.

 

If you want to see what this could look like, download a presentation I've posted at http://members.cox.net/kenatsun/InnerBelt.pdf on the Internet. Tell Cleveland Mayor Jane Campell and City Council what you think of the idea.

 

And, be sure to attend some upcoming public meetings. An open house is scheduled from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 24, at the Visiting Nurses Association offices, 2500 East 22nd Street. For more information, contact Michelle Proctor, ODOT public affairs, at (216) 584-2005.

 

There also will be an Inner Belt Advisory Committee Meeting at 9 a.m. Feb. 24, to be held at the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, 1299 Superior Ave., downtown. For more information, contact ODOT Inner Belt planner Craig Hebebrand at (216) 581-2100.

 

END


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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Is the last part about the County Planning Commission lobbying for this change fact, or a part of the vision?

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Yeah, I went down there and the parking attendant guy didn't even know that it was cancelled.  Did they give any reason why?  These sorts of changes can sap people's enthusiam to participate.

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Michelle at ODOT said they would call the church to have them put a sign on the door, saying the meeting was postponed and moved.

 

But, you're right. ODOT distributed in December a postcard, announcing the Jan. 20 meeting. But I never got any notice that it was postponed. You'd think they'd notify the media so we could get the word out? Silly me...

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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AaronClark: Could you open the PDF at the link I provided? Some people said they've had problems with it. Bear in mind, it is a 740K download, so for those who have dial-up, it could take a few minutes.

 

X: That part is fact. The director, Paul Alsenas, is the one to blame for turning me onto this idea, but his vision was geared more for riverfront development, plus the iconic Inner Belt bridge. The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission developed a PowerPoint presentation about it just last month. The 5 MB document is available from their website or can be downloaded by clicking on this link:  http://cpc.cuyahogacounty.us/docs/innerbeltbridge.pdf

 

They have some other interesting documents available for download from their site, too.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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They are full of great ideas.  I wish they had the authority to do regional planning for the county, and not just "advisory" plans and suburban comp plans.

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The problem in this town would be this:  inner-belt re-alignment would take a back seat to lakefront plan (even though both ideas SHOULD go and in hand.)  I don't think public dollars exist for both re-design the innerbelt exchange, and turn the shoreway into a tree lined blvd.  And with millions of Fed. $$$ going toward the Euclid BRT, I wonder where additional financing would come from.

 

Jeez, when did i become da wet blanket. 

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The problem in this town would be this: inner-belt re-alignment would take a back seat to lakefront plan (even though both ideas SHOULD go and in hand.) I don't think public dollars exist for both re-design the innerbelt exchange, and turn the shoreway into a tree lined blvd. And with millions of Fed. $$$ going toward the Euclid BRT, I wonder where additional financing would come from.

 

Jeez, when did i become da wet blanket.

 

Let me dry up that wet blanket. All three of those projects have a substantial funding commitment in place -- the local shares are all, or mostly all, in place for each, with $230 million in ODOT funding committed to the Inner Belt project (with it ranked highly enough for additional funds in subsequent years), $50 million in ODOT funding to the Lakefront Boulevard project (also ranked highly enough for additional funding in subsequent years), and finally, $82 million from the Federal Transit Administration and $50 million from ODOT for the Euclid Corridor Transitway.

 

All three of these projects are "go" -- the only questions remaining are:

 

1. the final form of the Lakefront Boulevard (will it be a 50 mph freeway on the west side or a 35 mph boulevard throughout?), and

 

2. the final form of the Inner Belt (will the Inner Belt have more or less entrance ramps, an inconic Cuyahoga Valley span, and a new alignment south of downtown to generate signficiant additional revenues for ODOT).

 

The Euclid Corridor Transitway is done with final engineering and has started construction, though modifications may continue to be made.

 

As for concentrating on which Inner Belt exit to take vs. enjoying the scenery, remember that some of us drive the Inner Belt so often that this isn't an issue for us, plus not everyone drives alone, others drive/walk/ride the city streets and would like a stunning new feature added to the skyline, and if the Inner Belt bridge has a bike/walking path on its north side, you can take time to enjoy more of the city's sights, not just our pretty, green highway signs.  :-D

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I hope they have a legit architecht (starchitecht) deisgn it if they go that route, I dont want some punk over at ODOT trying to do it.  We can do MUCH better than that bridge in Boston.  I have gone across it many times and it aint nothin special.

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blaah, those new cable bridges are already looking cookie cutter, dated and boring. thats the last thing cleveland needs. jump on the bland bandwagon after its already been done many times over around the country and the world....just great. do better or leave it alone and spend the $$$ on something more worthwhile like real transit improvements.

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I agree that a unique bridge is better. Did you know that in Brataslava, in the Czech Republic, they built a variant of the cable-stayed bridge but put a restaurant/viewing platform at the top of the pylon? It's accessed by a walkway/bikeway next to the roadway portion of the bridge, with an elevator that takes people up to the top. Now that would be an interesting and unique feature for Cleveland!!!

 

Unfortunately, ODOT can't spend more money on transit unless it's pass-through transit funding from the federal government. Our state constitution prohibits using state gas tax dollars on anything other than highways.

 

There may be an exception however. In Oregon, they have the same constitutional prohibition as Ohio, yet they use about $7 million in gas tax funding each year for transit and support of passenger rail service on the segment between Eugene and Portland that continues up to Seattle. How'd they do it? Lawnmowers.

 

Since people buy gasoline for lawnmowers, chainsaws, weedwackers, tractors etc. at the same pumps that people fuel their cars, that portion of the gas tax doesn't go to highways. So, instead, they figured out how much gas is used by those non-highway gas tax payers and indexed it for rail and transit purposes. On a per-capita basis, Ohio could get about $25 million to $30 million per year for rail passenger and transit programs. They may not sound like much, but it's more than Ohio is spending on rail passenger and transit now! It would be a relatively painless way to implement the Ohio Hub System.

 

Now, back to the bridge issue....

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I think that there is plenty of inspiration for a unique, totally new style within our own Flats.  How many mechanical lift bridges and cool high levels do we have already?  What about all the unique shapes and motifs that come from the steel mills and silos and warehouses below?  Could those be used to inspire a truly unique, industrial, yet 21st century,  "Cleveland School" bridge design?  One that might make other cities try to copy us for a change.

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Absolutely. The steel mills were the inspiration for the vertical light standards at Jacobs Field, which no other ballpark has. Imagine a similar design for the Inner Belt bridge, especially since a new one would be located right next to the West 3rd Street lift bridge. Somehow, a new design could "bridge" the shapes of West 3rd, Jacobs Field, plus the other structures nearby. I think you're on to something!

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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Anyone have any photos of the old Central Viaduct (that used to run near where the present day innerbelt is)?

 

Otherwise there's a multitude of cable designs and bridge designs out there.

You could probally spend a whole day looking at bridges via google.

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MayDay, that picture should be your new avatar.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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