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Cleveland: Public Square Redesign

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People who complained about the shoreway were shouted down as Agents of Westlake, as if there were no working-class Lakewood commuters who couldn't move downtown (or to Westlake) if they wanted to.  To top it off, any high-density development nearby gets shouted down by new residents who want a cul-de-sac with a view and no traffic noise.  There's your real Agents of Westlake right there.  It's the same story-- residential peace and quiet prioritized over urban needs, particularly needs of the transit-dependent who can't solve their logistical problems by moving.

 

Anecdotally, I've run into a lot of people who got screwed on bus transfers in recent months.  Minutes can count for hours when you play that game.  I deal with a lot of bus-dependent people at work.  Less anecdotally, I thought RTA had already studied this and determined they need Superior open. 

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A transit rider who lives on Clifton in Cleveland complained to me that his #55 bus today took just shy of 7 minutes to get from W 3rd to E 3rd today.


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

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It often took five minutes alone just to get off of the Shoreway and to Public Square where I would get off. The buses had trouble navigating the tight turns, often because cars had pulled past the stop bar, or because of heavy pedestrian traffic. It was often too slow to deal with, so I saw a lot of folks that I worked with get off a block west of the Square and just hop across the parking lots to the Fed. The bus was usually 3/4 empty by the time it made it to the Square.

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Yeah, buses should definitely go through public square. People are not congregating in the road in public square, people. And rerouting ALL the buses around the circle is a lot. It significantly increases the commute time if you catch the bus east of the square to take one west. Allowing some buses to run through the square alleviates a lot of the log jam that is currently trying to drive around public square.

 

Just my two cents.

 

And as for people being late -- it is impacting people. My friend R works at CMSD on E. 79th and county archives on franklin. She lives on Lake in Lakewood working two jobs. Some days she goes between these jobs and it's a big pain to take the 3 and then catch the 26 back and forth. It's added like a half hour onto her commute. When you don't have a car that adds up to A LOT.

 

A bus every few minutes during non-peak times running through the square does not give us two rectangles. It's still a uniform park -- car traffic won't be coming and it will be easy to navigate across the road still. Folks are not congregating in the road as it is now, they congregate in areas on the side: the benches around the pool or the benches on the hillsides.

 

 

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Today around 4:30pm I rode an eastbound 55 around Public Square. It took over nine and a half minutes from when the light turned green at W 3rd and Superior to make it to E 3rd and Superior (200 Public Square.)

 

That said, I chatted with RTA staff following today's board meeting and was told that the city has yet to adjust the signal timing. Apparently a big part of the problem is that the pedestrian signal in front of Tower City only changes after being requested by pedestrians who want to cross, so it is difficult to coordinate with the other signals. One other thing that was mentioned was the that there isn't enough space behind the pedestrian signal.

 

From what I have seen in front of Tower City there is room for a couple buses, but there are often more than one or two buses at a time (not to mention cars using the bus lane to skip backed-up traffic in the regular lane.) My bus actually didn't hit the pedestrian signal or the Ontario St. signal, most of the wasted time was waiting to turn on to Superior from W 3rd and waiting for W Roadway to clear (likely due to other traffic that did hit the ped signal, Ontario St., and maybe Euclid.)

 

Although things can only improve with adjusted timing, I was told that if Superior was open today "we wouldn't be having this conversation."

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More discussion about buses...

http://www.cleveland.com/naymik/index.ssf/2016/07/cleveland_mayor_frank_jackson_3.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Officials consider banning buses from renovated Public Square: Mark Naymik

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – One month after the completion of the $50 million renovation of Public Square, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and others are already thinking about making changes. 

 

They are investigating whether to permanently ban buses from passing through the square, something Jackson has long wanted. Informal discussions on the point began last week, when people and police mingled in the middle of the square during the Republican National Convention.

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Just my two cents; while it's wonderful seeing the amount of people at PS tonight, I think Mall B is just a much better location for the Star-Spangled Spectacular.

 

It really is a beautiful night out tonight though!

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I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Public Square holding the event, it is more spacious that I thought it would be. BUT. I agree with you still, the mall in my opinion was absolutely perfect for this event.

 

 

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Would having Public Square closed to buses on the weekends be an option?

 

If we stay down the path we are on, there won't be any weekend buses in a couple years....

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I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Public Square holding the event, it is more spacious that I thought it would be. BUT. I agree with you still, the mall in my opinion was absolutely perfect for this event.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Agree 100%.

 

Also, I was talking to one of the guys at the soldiers and sailors monument and he said that they've been talking with the county about putting some exterior up lighting on the shaft and that it hopefully would get done soon. And it looks like the bulbs have all been replaced in the lamp posts at the monument.

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Would having Public Square closed to buses on the weekends be an option?

 

If we stay down the path we are on, there won't be any weekend buses in a couple years....

 

Very cryptic!

 

I'm cautiously optimistic that the buses won't have that much of an effect. The few times I've been there I tried to gauge what it would be like, and to be honest I didn't even see that much bus traffic. At least not enough to cause concern.

 

If the city does decide to close off Superior I do hope that they add brick pavers to "square-in" the square.

 

It's not that I mind the "butterfly" aesthetic; but rather I hate seeing the concrete ghost of Superior Ave infringing upon PS.

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Buses' return to Public Square indefinitely delayed

 

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/buses_return_to_public_square.html#incart_m-rpt-1

 

I think we should have at least seen how they affected the connectivity of the square. While I like the idea of a unified square, I don't think they'll actually be as bad as some people think

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I wonder if that was the plan all along. A little lipservice to RTA to get their support and when it comes down to it, squeeze them out. There is clearly a lack of support for RTA so you won't see a public outcry now that the square is open.

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They better figure out what to do with the design if they're going to keep buses out.  A non-functional road cutting through the square looks pretty strange to me.  Also, walls on either end aren't working for me.

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I'd be curious to see, and too lazy at the current moment to go in and figure it out, how many buses would be running through the square per hour throughout the day. Anyone know that off the top of their head?

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All of that money spent on the park and design only for a major portion of the design to be worthless. Other than when they potentially set up street vendors, etc the "road" would turn out to be a real waste of valuable space. If only somebody would have been talking about completely closing off traffic before construction began...

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They better figure out what to do with the design if they're going to keep buses out.  A non-functional road cutting through the square looks pretty strange to me.  Also, walls on either end aren't working for me.

 

Maybe this is a solution we are all not seeing.  Let the buses run through during peak periods.  During quieter hours and weekends, they go around.  We could install those hyrdraulic posts that come up out of the ground to block the road, and make that section "prettier" some how?

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^Sure, that could be done.  But the entire final design of the square took into account we needed to maintain a road coming through it.  The possibilities if we didn't need to do this are endless.  We go from that to possibly having hydraulic bollards coming out of the ground...

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^ Exactly. I'm torn on the bus issue because on one hand the new square seems to be immensely popular without them. The problem is nobody knows for sure yet how much or how little busses will impact the current environment. But more importantly, whether you are pro bus or not certainly this is something that should've been set in stone from the beginning. I am really shocked that they are pulling this now. As was said if Superior would've been out from the beginning we could've had a completely different looking product. The entire square was DESIGNED around Superior being open!!!

 

 

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I'd be curious to see, and too lazy at the current moment to go in and figure it out, how many buses would be running through the square per hour throughout the day. Anyone know that off the top of their head?

 

Joe Calabrese says there are 4,000 buses per day operating through Public Square. But I don't know if that's all on Superior or operating around the perimeter of the square.

SOURCE: http://www.ideastream.org/news/public-square-renovation-where-will-buses-go


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

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^ Exactly. I'm torn on the bus issue because on one hand the new square seems to be immensely popular without them. The problem is nobody knows for sure yet how much or how little busses will impact the current environment. But more importantly, whether you are pro bus or not certainly this is something that should've been set in stone from the beginning. I am really shocked that they are pulling this now. As was said if Superior would've been out from the beginning we could've had a completely different looking product. The entire square was DESIGNED around Superior being open!!!

 

 

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I definitely agree with this. The contractor did his job in building an absolutely beautiful, balanced, people-friendly park. But the pols and planners dropped the ball. They should have weighed the conflict beforehand and come up with a workable solution, not wait until work was done and figure it out.  Instead $50M was spent to throw stuff against the wall and what sticks. I'm still of the belief that buses through the middle undermines the goal of planners and the architect, but RTA should be compensated for whatever loss they can prove is caused by removing these buses to the perimeter.

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I know I already posted my thoughts, but this is really irking me this morning!  30 years from now when people don't know the story behind this, they're going to wonder why the heck there's a 4 lane road bisecting the square.  It's not even a small alley street.  It's a damn highway!  I didn't like the thought of it initially, but I felt they did the best they could considering.  I hate to be so negative, but it's truly a Cleveland thing, lol.  It's just like knocking down the Ameritrust building on public square only for them to be parking lots for the next 30 years.  Most people don't know the story behind that either. 

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I know this isn't an RTA thread (although RTA is inextricably tied to this discussion) but again why not route some of those through-the-Square buses along Prospect behind Tower City where they could layover.  The upside besides removing them from PS' middle is Prospect allows for an even better, more direct connection to the Rapid as Prospect sits directly over RTA 's subway station and their are entrances and escalators down to the station on both sides of the street.  It also seems this would solve RTA's fuel problem because this route is direct and geneally lightly trafficked.

 

The downside? I know some passengers and transit advocates will object to stigma unloading/boarding bus passengers at TC's back door instead of the front door; as if passengers should be kept invisible from PS... and I get that, too.

 

 

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OKAY

 

So here's the math for anyone interested about buses that would run through Public Square during the weekdays according to newest schedules starting later this month.

 

http://imgur.com/XHkIWo9

 

According to the data, if buses could run through public square you would have frequency for a bus every 2 minutes from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. From 6:00 pm to 6:00 am it's less than that.

 

Why not let buses run through the square 12 hours from 6:00 am - 6:00 pm and then close it when there are less buses that need to be rerouted. That would save a lot on congestion woes which ARE very bad during rush hour when congestion is at its peak downtown -- let's be very clear about that.

 

Then in the evenings, programming can happen and people can relax in their nice downtown park with a bus every 4 minutes cycling around like a roundabout in a very happy pattern that we all can agree is a good compromise.

 

Compromise is good.

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The downside? I know some passengers and transit advocates will object to stigma unloading/boarding bus passengers at TC's back door instead of the front door; as if passengers should be kept invisible from PS... and I get that, too.

 

That would be a more valid point if people's objections (spoken and unspoken) were about race or economic status instead of behavior.

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KJP,

 

There's approximately 600 buses of 4000 buses that would cut through the square. That's about 15% of bus traffic that could go be kept from doing the roundabout thing. Obviously during rush hour this proportion is more meaningful than off-peak frequency. But just wanted to through that out there.

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KJP,

 

There's approximately 600 buses of 4000 buses that would cut through the square. That's about 15% of bus traffic that could go be kept from doing the roundabout thing. Obviously during rush hour this proportion is more meaningful than off-peak frequency. But just wanted to through that out there.

 

Thanks for doing the research.


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

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KJP,

 

There's approximately 600 buses of 4000 buses that would cut through the square. That's about 15% of bus traffic that could go be kept from doing the roundabout thing. Obviously during rush hour this proportion is more meaningful than off-peak frequency. But just wanted to through that out there.

 

600 buses a day?  Assuming 500 fall between 6am and 6pm, that's 42 an hour. 

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KJP,

 

There's approximately 600 buses of 4000 buses that would cut through the square. That's about 15% of bus traffic that could go be kept from doing the roundabout thing. Obviously during rush hour this proportion is more meaningful than off-peak frequency. But just wanted to through that out there.

 

600 buses a day?  Assuming 500 fall between 6am and 6pm, that's 42 an hour. 

 

00:00-00:59 14

01:00-01:59 10

02:00-02:59 8

03:00-03:59 7

04:00-04:59 12

05:00-05:59 25

06:00-06:59 36

07:00-07:59 42

08:00-08:59 41

09:00-09:59 34

10:00-10:59 28

11:00-11:59 28

12:00-12:59 28

13:00-13:59 28

14:00-14:59 30

15:00-15:59 43

16:00-16:59 32

17:00-17:59 33

18:00-18:59 26

19:00-19:59 22

20:00-20:59 19

21:00-21:59 19

22:00-22:59 18

23:00-23:59 18

 

This is the buses per hour (excludes park and ride)

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KJP,

 

There's approximately 600 buses of 4000 buses that would cut through the square. That's about 15% of bus traffic that could go be kept from doing the roundabout thing. Obviously during rush hour this proportion is more meaningful than off-peak frequency. But just wanted to through that out there.

 

600 buses a day?  Assuming 500 fall between 6am and 6pm, that's 42 an hour. 

 

00:00-00:59 14

01:00-01:59 10

02:00-02:59 8

03:00-03:59 7

04:00-04:59 12

05:00-05:59 25

06:00-06:59 36

07:00-07:59 42

08:00-08:59 41

09:00-09:59 34

10:00-10:59 28

11:00-11:59 28

12:00-12:59 28

13:00-13:59 28

14:00-14:59 30

15:00-15:59 43

16:00-16:59 32

17:00-17:59 33

18:00-18:59 26

19:00-19:59 22

20:00-20:59 19

21:00-21:59 19

22:00-22:59 18

23:00-23:59 18

 

This is the buses per hour (excludes park and ride)

 

How about just running buses from 0600-1000 and 1400-1800 when there are 30+ buses per hour. That leaves lunch hours open. Or would schedule changes be too complex for people to follow?

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I think that would be too complicated. Having the Square open to pedestrians between 7 pm (22 buses) and 5 am (25 buses) during the weekdays and during all hours on the weekends could be a good compromise. If the bus signals are timed appropriately around the square, unlike the Healthline (Euclid Ave.) due to political considerations, then these queues could be further reduced.

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It's not even a small alley street.  It's a damn highway! 

 

Yes... it's The Grand Army Of The Republic Highway and it spans this entire continent.  America's longest and perhaps most important road passes through Public Square.  And here we are lamenting that it can't become yet another downtown lawn, all because of that pesky transit system and our unfortunate neighbors who depend on it.  I cannot recall ever seeing so much anti-transit sentiment on this forum.  I grow more concerned every day about the increasing economic segregation of the city. 

 

The comments on this topic are beginning to bother me on a visceral level so I think I'll step away from it for a while.

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