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Cleveland: Shoreway Boulevard Conversion

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I'm just wondering what happens to the Interstate 90 designation if, in fact, Mayor Jane is successful in converting our hallowed lakefront freeway into local boulevard with at-grade street (& pedestrian) crossings, traffic lights and the like.  Wouldn’t I-90 have to be re-routed?  (like say, following 271 (south) to 480 to 77 to 490 (then home again)?  How does that work?  Would there be any adverse affects to our region in terms of, say, Fed maintenance and expansion money (not that we NEED any more freeways around Cleveland, but you get the point)?.  Are Federally designated interstates like, say, FAA designated airports (s'pose all of those are such otherwise they can't possibly be allowed to operate), in the sense that, a city/region/state needs strict permission from the Feds to downgrade an interstate since it (probably) is designated as a major interstate (duh! -- hence its name) carrier of freight and even military equipment?

 

And while you're on it, please feel free to opine on Jane's grandiose lakefront plan.  Is it smart or a waste of time?  Is it doable?  And will it really have the positive impact on Cleveland's lakeshore she claims?

 

Anybody?

 

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Well, isn't it just the shoreway that will be downgraded?  Once the westside shoreway links up with I-90, the boulevard will hug 90 until it reaches Gordon Park.  Am I wrong?  I don't think that 90 will be touched by this plan.

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Dead mans curve is where I-90 curves away,and the shorway continues west. I also dont belive route 2(the shoreway) is a federaly designated highway as it turns into a regular roadway as it reaches perry in the east and in toledo in the west

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i believe rta and ciperman have vague plans to expand the ecp bus thingy out there when that project happens. not sure, i think i read that.

 

i say run the wfl rapid track west down the middle of the new calmed boulevard and continue it down clifton to w117th. train to the beach! train to the beach!

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Could the present waterfront line go from Muni lot to Tower city, then go to the W. 25th stop via the red line bridge and then (somehow) link to the lakefront blvd?

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i believe rta and ciperman have vague plans to expand the ecp bus thingy out there when that project happens. not sure, i think i read that.

 

i say run the wfl rapid track west down the middle of the new calmed boulevard and continue it down clifton to w117th. train to the beach! train to the beach!

 

RTA once talked about running BRT down Clifton a few years ago.  I think KJP or someone else mentioned this.  And I agree with expanding the Waterfront Line. The west side needs its own light rail route, dagnabbit!

 

Could the present waterfront line go from Muni lot to Tower city, then go to the W. 25th stop via the red line bridge and then (somehow) link to the lakefront blvd?

 

The W. 25th rapid station is a little too far away from the Shoreway.  The line would have to make a whole lot of twists and turns to get down to 25th and the back up to the lake.  It would make for an interesting route, though.

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Well, isn't it just the shoreway that will be downgraded? Once the westside shoreway links up with I-90, the boulevard will hug 90 until it reaches Gordon Park. Am I wrong? I don't think that 90 will be touched by this plan.

 

I'm not really sure either, but I kinda thought the prop'd Boulevard would replace I-90 from Dead Man's Curve/the Inner Belt to around Gordon Park, where the Shoreway jogs inward from the Lake (at ritzy Bratenhal) and technically turns into the Lakeland Freeway. I didn't get the impression that the Blvd and 90 would coexist.  Again, I could be wrong.

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[RE: waterfront line extension to the West]

 

Agreed.  I think BRT would be horrible for Clifton Blvd; can you imagine marring that majestic broad blvd of lovely homes and old brownstone apts w/ BRT-type stations?  I know, some will say, hey look at Shaker Blvd and Van Aken and even Fairmount (that one time had streetcars in its blvd).  But it's much different when the trolleys are their 1st (and I emphasize TROLLEYS not diesel/electric buses) and homes follow, not vice versa.  BRT’s a farce and with Rapid rail running near that corridor that could be cheaply  extended – relative to building a whole new right of way, choosing a BRT extension would be a total, el-cheap-o cop out – but don’t put it past Joe C, who’s suddenly become the nation’s biggest BRT champion – figures, huh?  (Joe despises the Waterfront Line, in case you missed it)

 

I'm not sure, though, whether extending the Waterfront line along the West shoreline is the way to go; maybe.  Yes, I know that empty subway deck of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge looks too attractive to pass up.  It's just that this western corridor not a particularly wide transit-less area before the lake line slopes inward toward the Red Line stop @ West Blvd/Cudell.  However, I am all for extending Rapid service from their westward through the heart of Lakewood to Rocky River and beyond over the lightly used NS tracks, where service is so light I'm sure RTA could strike a deal to share tracks in a day passenger/night freight deal -- although I suppose sleepless Lakewood residents along that stretch would be none-to-pleased at that set up.  Such a NS Lakewood line would give Lakewood riders a speedy shot directly into Tower City as well as an airport transfer option at W. Blvd.

 

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what's so bad about BRT if done properly?

 

lrt has dedicated lanes, defined stations, and overhead catenary (at least cleveland's in this case)

BRT (silver line) has dedicated lanes, defined stations, overhead catenary, signal timing, and damn cheaper

 

(KJP or anyone feel free to correct me, i'm living up to my title now)

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I believe one argument is that "a bus is still a bus," but I'll let some of the other BRT-doubters explain in more depth if they want.

 

As for the boulevard and how it relates to I-90..  My initial impression was that the Lakefront Boulevard would basically commence at the shoreway where it splits at Dead Man's curve.  That would allow I-90 to remain I-90 since that's where it turns south.

 

But I'm looking at a map on the Cleveland Planning Commission site and it appears that they are indeed proposing that the boulevard go all the way out eastward to Gordon Park (sort of branching out at the northen end of MLK.  But the map shows what appears to be the proposed boulevard running alongside the currently existing freeway along the lakefront.  They propose moving the i-90 interchange at E. 55th south towards the railroad tracks (which, incidentally, are denoted as a waterfront line extension east out to Collinwood)..  The interstate then swings back north around Kirtland park before turning south at a more gently-arched innerbelt curve.

 

This layout confuses me because I don't see how a lakefront boulvevard is going to co-exist situated north of the existing highway since I-90 hugs the shoreline so tightly as it does in a lot of spots.  It seems physically impossible given the current geography unless the interstate gets cut down to 2-3 lanes apiece.  Is the boulevard just a glorified version of that north Marginal road?  Especially just north of that big powerplant where unless they extend the shorelne out a bit there's definitely not enough room for anything that can be called a "boulevard".    And even then I'm not sure how "pedestrian friendly" such a boulevard would be with 4-6 lanes of interstate highway flying by just something like 100 feet south of it. 

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The perception is that BRT is a poor-man's light-rail line. And, Pope, your use of the word "cheaper" than light rail transit is correct in one way -- it's usually a cheap imitiation of rail. And, depending on how either is designed, the net fiscal impact of a BRT line may not be better than an LRT. Too often, transit agencies give too much weight to the capital and operating cost side, and not enough to the operating revenues and economic impact.

 

Back to issue of the Lakefront Boulevard... Technically, the Shoreway ends at I-90's soon-to-be-eased "Dead Man's Curve." There, it will have a new interchange with the Lakefront Boulevard, which will continue east to the Gordon Park area (even underway the Lakefront Parkway option).

 

All questions can be answered by looking at the city's maps or PowerPoint presentation at:

 

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/lakefront/cpc.html

 

KJP

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KJP the question is, how is the Lakefront Boulevard going to extend east to Gordon Park if the highway is sitting right there.

 

The maps show both roadways running what I will call "ridiculously close" to one another and often in places where it does not appear geographically possible.  There are a couple spots between dead man's curve and Gordon Park where the highway runs as little as 20-40 feet from the shore:

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=cleveland,+oh&ll=41.536957,-81.642880&spn=0.004935,0.007703&t=k&hl=en

 

As far as I can tell from the maps on the planning commission's website, the power plant site just south of the highway in that photo will not be touched, so where is there room for a boulevard, is the question.  Is the shoreline going to be extended out somehow to make room, or is the highway going to shrink?  I kind of sense that this portion of the boulevard, with so little room for development since it's right up against the lake, would be more for purposes of access for near east siders coming by car to the alleged development that would happen west of the airport.

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"The shoreway" aka route 2 aka lakeland parkway, is combined with interstate 90, from the 90/2 interchange on the border of euclid and wickliff, they seperate at dead mans curve. The proposed shoreway changes occur at dead mans curve and to the west, i dont think it is phsyicaly possible to change anything from dead mans curve and to the east, nor do i think there are any plans for that part.

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Preach, KJP!!  BRT as alternative for rail BECAUSE it's cheap is a farce auto interests and conservatives (one in the same?) are shoving down our throats. Boston's a perfect example of over planning.  This city rates as my #2 transit system in the country, after NYC, but they've been marching in reverse in recent years – and let’s not even discuss that ghastly “Big Dig.”  Boston was so anxious to tear down the old Orange Line el over Washington Street, they didn't stop and think how damaging to ridership relocating that line to a railroad ROW at the edge of its original corridor, they were forced to develop the "Silver Line" BRT along Washington St.

 

Well, guess what?  Savvy "T" riders shun BRT buses as if they virus quarantines and Orange Line totals have been hammered.  So no, Pope, I don't see BRT as a viable alternative to rail in any context.  And if the goal is to save money, why bother in the 1st place?  -- and BRT ain't cheap either; not for meager "benefits" it reaps for cities.

 

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As for the updated (Nov 04) lakefront slideshow, I'm sorry, call me Mr. Wet Blanket.  Is it just me, but don't those "goals" seem very amorphous and intangible, and isn’t it rather late in the process for us to still be at this point with nothing of substance really happening yet?  I mean, this has been Jane Campbell’s centerpiece program since early on in her administration  Also, didn't too many of those artist renderings have a bunch of cars in them?  And wasn’t there a good deal of emphasis on auto access – again, maybe it’s just paranoid me… There were none w/ Waterfront line trains in any artist rendering even though the plan gives some vague lip service to expanding the line eastward.  Did you notice that?

 

And what about the most vexing problems that must be addressed and solved before anything can really get going, like relocating the Port Authority (what's the latest since Jane's big blowup w/ the County Commissioners?).  What about the cleanup of the brownfields -- mentioned as a program.  The question is -- who pays?  I don't know much about Superfund, even if it's still a viable program, so maybe someone can enlighten me.

 

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Does anyone know when construction is supposed to start?  Also, I yet to truly understand the location of the new boulevard.  As I drive down the shoreway, I see a bluff, trees and railroad tracks.  Where will the boulevard be located in reference to those items? 

 

The list of projects in the print edition looks promising.  They are quite vague in their descriptions.  I think the Westinghouse electric area has the greatest potential

 

 

Developers bet Shoreway rehab will bring boom

Monday, August 01, 2005

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

Veteran architect Robert Maschke has an eye for art and for the next big thing in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.

 

He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars converting a greasy spoon into an art gallery and offices at West 64th Street and Detroit Avenue, anticipating the ripple effects of a transformed West Shoreway.

 

By 2010, the three-mile stretch of 50-mph high way, rued by West Siders as a concrete hurdle to the lake shore, should debut as a friendly, 35-mph boulevard, featuring multiple intersections and a parallel bike path to the north.

 

For the first time in 50-plus years, West Side neighborhoods will have direct access to Lake Erie by foot, car and bike.

 

"It's the reason I bought this building," Maschke said last week. "Cleveland can reclaim a lakefront it's turned its back on.

 

"I think it's going to have a real accelerating effect on the neighborhood."

 

That's what city officials count on. The West Shoreway project stands as the first, big-ticket investment in Mayor Jane Campbell's 50-year plan to redevelop eight miles of forbidding shoreline...

 

 

 

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

 

tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

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^I agree - imagine having a loft-style condo in the Westinghouse building and having access to a rooftop deck there. Unimpeded views of both the lake and downtown that currently only exist in the Gold Coast.

 

I think in some cases they may extend some of the streets northward to create the intersections. If they didn't they'd have to mow down places like Tillman Park, etc. and I doubt that's the plan.

 

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thanks KJP,

 

still, it seems hard to determine how the lakefront will be connected when there are still the tracks and the bluff.  They need to start working on this now so that I have a better idea of what it will look like. :)

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Fantastic!

 

 

With the Rapid , and the I-90 freeway, West Side residents are well connected to Downtown. The Shoreway is redundant.  Maybe Cleveland can atone for some of its sins from the destruction of West Blvd. , Lorain and other streets for I-90.

 

 

Now, let's see some highrise residence towers to expand the Cleveland skyline beyond Downtown!

 

 

 

...dreaming in Dixie ...

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Yes, but is it going to be exactly in the same location?  In some places, for example, it could hug the bluff and create more space for Edgewater park.

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Are there any plans to incorporate a future extension of blue or green line to serve this area? 

 

It seems with all of the proposed development from the PD map, that this would be a good opportunity to try and get a line over the river with stops that roughly approximate with Detroit/Superior possible underground station at w.25 (or above ground at w28) and then above ground out to 45th, 54th, 65th/Edgewater, and 76th. 

 

Even if the right of ways were built into the middle of the new blvd that would be a start.

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The Lakefront Boulevard is probably going to be in the same location. Look at the development sites that open up between the boulevard and the tracks. And, for access to the south side of the tracks, I would think the extension of West 65th Street northward will be quite beneficial.

 

There are no plans for incorporating a rail transit line into the new boulevard. Plans are tol add transit stops for existing buses. Transitioning one lane in each direction as bus-only lanes shouldn't be too difficult, creating a defacto BRT.

 

KJP

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City Says Boulevard To Be Created By 2010

 

CLEVELAND -- The redevelopment of the west Shoreway into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard may soon be a reality. The plan will make access to the waterfront easier for residents of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.

 

Right now, Lake Erie and Edgewater Park are blocked by speeding cars and barbed wire fencing.

 

But the city says that by 2010, the plan is to create a boulevard with traffic slowing to 35 mph, pedestrian crosswalks to the lake, a bike path, street lights and new proposed housing.

 

The new elements will mix with what is already there, places like the Tillman Park condos and restaurants like The Harp.

 

Planners say the Detroit Shoreway project will also make the city a major player for future development, with big projects planned for Whiskey Island while working alongside the Cleveland Metroparks System.

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Great to hear that they are going to move fairly quickly on this.  2010 isn't that far off, really.

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I think that no "improved" rail options along the roadway is wrong.

 

Rapid Rail could be marketed as a quick way to get downtown, now that the "shoreway" will become a "boulevard".

 

Improved bus service (dedicted lane) on this roadway doesn't make those that use it now for a quick trip down town happy.

 

Connecting our neighborhoods and making transportation a FIRST CHOICE EVERYDAY PART OF LIFE instead of an ALTERNATIVE is smart and will increase development.

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Im very happy to see the blvd get some more push..  BUT.. I have to disagree with Conoovercourt..  I take the shoreway in from west blvd every day because of how "retarded" I--90 is.. from the drivers to the entire drive itself..  I hate it...  I will use the blvd once completed for both the view and my hatred for of 90... 

 

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KJP,

 

Do you know when construction is supposed to start?

 

No, but I'm tempted to write an article about it for Sun.

 

KJP

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I can't wait to ask, or hope that someone will ask, WHY there is no plan to incorporate RAIL into this plan!!!!  You are taking a heavily traveled corridor, that directly links the most densely populated areas of the region to downtown, along with projects that will cut down on parking lots downtown.....and you AREN'T promoting public transportation with rail????  Makes no real sense to me.  This new Blvd will be a parking lot every morning and evening.  I hope someone is there tht can TRY to convince me that there will be some "really cool BRT".....F that.   This is a great chance to expand rail to an area that would actually USE IT and it also has potential for TOD.....

I am not a city planner nor am I an expert on transportation....but this seems to make sense to me.  I would love to hear some of the resident experts chime in with their opinions.

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WHY there is no plan to incorporate RAIL into this plan!!!!

 

Because its OD :evil: T's project. What did you expect?

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Along this boulevard will there be any stores or stores on the bottom-homes on the top type apartment/condos? Or will it be something like a scenic drive?

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I can't begin to emphasize how easy it would be to add LRT to the West Shoreway, and I suspect RTA wouldn't have to ante up a single nickel of local funding to pay for its construction. How?

 

Do it the St. Louis way. This is something I wrote for the next issue of the Ohio Passenger Rail News, due to come out soon....

 

  The first leg of St. Louis' MetroLink light-rail system opened in 1993, including a downtown subway and a bridge over the Mississippi River to Illinois. The tunnels and bridge, once used by freight trains, offered more than a physical path to building a modern light-rail service. They also offered a financial path for the community to start its light-rail system without spending a single cent of local taxpayers' money.

 

  The secret was in the value of the abandoned railway tunnels and bridge, estimated at nearly $90 million. A federal transportation funding provision allows a community's equity in a right of way to be counted as part of the local share. In the case of St. Louis, that equity counted for the entire local share, and was used to leverage $355 million in federal funds -- at a 75/25 percent federal/local matching basis.

 

What similar rail assets could we contribute to the construction of LRT down the West Shoreway? Why, the lower deck of the Detroit-Superior high-level bridge and its two subway stations, of course! Based on estimates of other right-of-way contributions (including St. Louis and potentially Cincinnati), the lower deck of the Detroit-Superior bridge could offer a local equity share of $30 million toward leveraging a federal grant.

 

If the feds are willing to offer only a 50 percent matching share, then that might get another $30 million. But if the federal share is 80 percent, then the equity from the bridge and subway stations could yield $120 million in federal funds.

 

The biggest physical barriers to doing this is between the existing tracks in Tower City and the old subway ramp in Superior, and burrowing out the center-median highway ramps to the West Shoreway from the West 25th/Detroit intersection. After that, there could be a ready-made right of way for LRT, all the way from downtown into Lakewood.

 

This was a topic of discussion at:

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1916.0

 

And that discussion evolved into realizing that extending LRT into Lakewood could be done for even less money if it were extended west from the existing Red Line at West Boulevard. And, on top of that, it could be done for even less money still if a dual-mode electric-diesel light-rail equipment were used. But ... before even that much money could be secured, there needs to be an effort to eliminate the skepticism about rail locally -- hence the need for a long-term demonstration project. And that's where we are now with the Cleveland-Lorain Regional Rail stakeholders meeting July 19.

 

I think the equity value of the lower deck of the Detroit-Superior bridge might be better used to secure funds for a downtown streetcar system, so all those historic trolleys hiding in Tower City's underbelly can see the light again.

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Great response, KJP.  So, if the equity from the bridge right-of-way is used once, that's it?  What are the possibilities of doing this from Downtown without using that equity?  Should I just re-read the other thread?

 

ODOT should be a major player in rail development throughout Ohio, but they aren't (correct me if I'm wrong!).  RTA should be actively pursuing this, but they aren't (correct me if I'm wrong!).  Who's talking about this?  RTA's 2010 and 2025 long term plans both place rail expansion high on their list, but they don't seem to be pushing for any of it.  NOACA?  Where are they?

 

And the difficulty of making this happen with the approaches and the underground stations and all that...well, that's where the engineers can come in and re-establish themselves as our allies.  It's possible, so find a way to make it happen.  Don't just feed us the results that ODOT wants you to!

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By the way, I actually received a notice for this meeting in the mail yesterday...a full 12 days before the event!!!

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