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Cleveland: Public Square Redesign

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^ Eh.  I think its ingrained in people to expect the worst.  Just like when superior was closed off, you had to cross a street to get to the splash pool.  Some street, any street.  Its an island.  I dont expect to see "Kid hit by bus" stories.  I will stand corrected if i do...but i think people adjust.  Cross the street carefully and that is that. 

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^ Eh.  I think its ingrained in people to expect the worst.  Just like when superior was closed off, you had to cross a street to get to the splash pool.  Some street, any street.  Its an island.  I dont suspect to see "Kid hit by bus" stories.  I will stand corrected if i do...but i think people adjust.  Cross the street carefully and that is that. 

 

It works both ways.  When that poor 69-year-old woman from the Shaker Rapid was struck and killed by a bus a few months ago, some pro bus-through-the-center advocates pointed to this as an example of too many buses forced to round-about the Square when it was really just about an irresponsible bus driver who was fired by RTA and, IIRC, could still face charges.  If someone gets struck by a bus (hopefully never a child) in the through Superior roadway, the keep-it-closed crowd will point to that... It's all a matter of personal politics.

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^ Eh.  I think its ingrained in people to expect the worst.  Just like when superior was closed off, you had to cross a street to get to the splash pool.  Some street, any street.  Its an island.  I dont suspect to see "Kid hit by bus" stories.  I will stand corrected if i do...but i think people adjust.  Cross the street carefully and that is that. 

 

It works both ways.  When that poor 69-year-old woman from the Shaker Rapid was struck and killed by a bus a few months ago, some pro bus-through-the-center advocates pointed to this as an example of too many buses forced to round-about the Square when it was really just about an irresponsible bus driver who was fired by RTA and, IIRC, could still face charges.  If someone gets struck by a bus (hopefully never a child) in the through Superior roadway, the keep-it-closed crowd will point to that... It's all a matter of personal politics.

 

The amount of buses going through this roadway currently is pretty small. We're not talking hundreds of buses per hour through the Square. I can't see a situation where a kid could get struck unless a parent wasn't paying attention to them or the child is out of control. In either case, it's probably not the wisest thing to take the youngster to that splash park anyway.

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^ Eh.  I think its ingrained in people to expect the worst.  Just like when superior was closed off, you had to cross a street to get to the splash pool.  Some street, any street.  Its an island.  I dont suspect to see "Kid hit by bus" stories.  I will stand corrected if i do...but i think people adjust.  Cross the street carefully and that is that. 

 

It works both ways.  When that poor 69-year-old woman from the Shaker Rapid was struck and killed by a bus a few months ago, some pro bus-through-the-center advocates pointed to this as an example of too many buses forced to round-about the Square when it was really just about an irresponsible bus driver who was fired by RTA and, IIRC, could still face charges.  If someone gets struck by a bus (hopefully never a child) in the through Superior roadway, the keep-it-closed crowd will point to that... It's all a matter of personal politics.

 

At some point the politics have to make sense though, or they really shouldn't control policy.  Somebody got killed by a red line train in Little Italy... do we need to close that too?  The principles of TOD are being upended by all these anti-bus arguments.  "Gotta keep em separated... hey hey hey... come out and play!  [mediocre guitar riff]"

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^ Eh.  I think its ingrained in people to expect the worst.  Just like when superior was closed off, you had to cross a street to get to the splash pool.  Some street, any street.  Its an island.  I dont suspect to see "Kid hit by bus" stories.  I will stand corrected if i do...but i think people adjust.  Cross the street carefully and that is that. 

 

It works both ways.  When that poor 69-year-old woman from the Shaker Rapid was struck and killed by a bus a few months ago, some pro bus-through-the-center advocates pointed to this as an example of too many buses forced to round-about the Square when it was really just about an irresponsible bus driver who was fired by RTA and, IIRC, could still face charges.  If someone gets struck by a bus (hopefully never a child) in the through Superior roadway, the keep-it-closed crowd will point to that... It's all a matter of personal politics.

 

The amount of buses going through this roadway currently is pretty small. We're not talking hundreds of buses per hour through the Square. I can't see a situation where a kid could get struck unless a parent wasn't paying attention to them or the child is out of control. In either case, it's probably not the wisest thing to take the youngster to that splash park anyway.

 

I actually took my toddler there and she had a great time.  There was zero chance of her getting anywhere near a street, because, ya know....parenting.

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Indeed. You cannot get to Public Square itself without crossing a street. Every bus that now goes through Superior had been diverted to the street that every small child has to cross to get to the splash pool or the lawn.

 

What's a travesty is that the Square's design has been mangled by the new so-called safety precautions.  Both visually and functionally, it is a disaster.  The square was designed to have (1) a busway on Superior at least 5 days a week, and (2) TWO pedestrian crossings of that busway along the "promenade".  Putting the chosen path of the pedestrian walk aside for a moment, was that 2-crossing design flawed from a safety perspective from the start?  If so, how did it pass review?  Why has there been no comment sought from the designer?  No one's saying "What was Corner thinking with this promenade crossing a busy busway twice with absolutely no street markings?"  At what point did the powers that be decide that they'd try to get away with never opening Superior?  Bus shelters were erected but as I recall from my time there, there are absolutely no signals installed for pedestrians to cross via the "promenade".  Who missed that? How were all these concerns ignored?  That is not corporate interests twisting the arms of hapless politicians. That's incompetence from incompetents.

There are (or were) pedestrian signals at both of the crosswalks inside the promenade.  Use the photo here: http://bit.ly/2mxKDBW and check out the 360 view.

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Thank you for that photo.  Cleveland.com today:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/03/ugly_public_square_is_evolving.html

 

"I would say 'what's out there now is functional.' It's kind of ugly. It's probably not what's going to be there in the long run," Mike Schipper, deputy general manager of engineering and project management for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, said during RTA's Citizens Advisory Board meeting Thursday. "This is going to evolve."

 

RTA CEO Joe Calabrese even suggested the two existing crosswalks might eventually be used.

 

That's not even a direct quote from Calabrese, but nice to know that the existing crosswalks that were designed into the thing "might" eventually be used.

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Sorry if this has already been answered---if the Feds wanted their $ back because it was for the BRT project---wasn't that a long time ago? Isn't there a rule that Federal money must be used as requested for seven years and after that cities are no longer obligated to it? I wish Jackson would have stuck to his guns. He almost---for the first time--was showing some leadership.

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Sorry if this has already been answered---if the Feds wanted their $ back because it was for the BRT project---wasn't that a long time ago? Isn't there a rule that Federal money must be used as requested for seven years and after that cities are no longer obligated to it? I wish Jackson would have stuck to his guns. He almost---for the first time--was showing some leadership.

 

A full-funding grant agreement with the FTA does not have an expiration date. Jackson showed the opposite of leadership by refusing to abide by agreements (federal, for the Superior transitway; local, for the design of Public Square) that his administration signed after extensive public engagement processes, by using false information and bullying the RTA board to get his way, by forcing an already financially distressed RTA to devote significant expenses to reroute buses, by forcing RTA staff to spend much of their time negotiating/fighting with the city when they should be working to address its declining financial situation. He was doing the bidding of Key Corp and other Public Square sponsors who didn't want "those people" messing up their beautiful playground. What mayor Jackson showed was cowardice, by kow-towing to the privileged few and ignoring the working masses who actually make the city run -- secretaries, janitors, restaurant servers, laborers -- who use transit and were greatly inconvenienced by a mayor who showed he has forgotten from where he came.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Sorry if this has already been answered---if the Feds wanted their $ back because it was for the BRT project---wasn't that a long time ago? Isn't there a rule that Federal money must be used as requested for seven years and after that cities are no longer obligated to it? I wish Jackson would have stuck to his guns. He almost---for the first time--was showing some leadership.

 

A full-funding grant agreement with the FTA does not have an expiration date. Jackson showed the opposite of leadership by refusing to abide by agreements (federal, for the Superior transitway; local, for the design of Public Square) that his administration signed after extensive public engagement processes, by using false information and bullying the RTA board to get his way, by forcing an already financially distressed RTA to devote significant expenses to reroute buses, by forcing RTA staff to spend much of their time negotiating/fighting with the city when they should be working to address its declining financial situation. He was doing the bidding of Key Corp and other Public Square sponsors who didn't want "those people" messing up their beautiful playground. What mayor Jackson showed was cowardice, by kow-towing to the privileged few and ignoring the working masses who actually make the city run -- secretaries, janitors, restaurant servers, laborers -- who use transit and were greatly inconvenienced by a mayor who showed he has forgotten from where he came.

 

So FTA has an unlimited clawback period?  That seems crazy, especially when the value of the grant obviously depreciates over time. 

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Why should the rules suddenly change just because time passed?  I wish I could do that with my credit cards.  We're not talking about the depreciating object.  We're talking about the money, whose value grows over time.

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^Aren't the rules essentially contractual in this case? I don't think there are any statutes or regs at work here. I'm skeptical that the City of Cleveland can never for the rest of time alter the Transit Zone without being liable to the federal government for some kind of clawback.

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Why should the rules suddenly change just because time passed?  I wish I could do that with my credit cards.  We're not talking about the depreciating object.  We're talking about the money, whose value grows over time.

 

The grant money isn't growing; it was earmarked for and expended on a depreciable asset. 

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Depreciation has nothing to do with this.  The grant consisted of money and money does not depreciate.  As far as I'm aware the city has no grounds to tell the feds "too late ha ha."  But I wouldn't put it past them to try it, they've tried everything else.

 

Walked an old lady from court to Tower City this morning.  Neither of us felt like zigzagging through the square so we avoided it altogether.  Public Square is now a bewildering mess for pedestrians.  Some of that is due to the initial design flaw of ignoring Ontario, some of it is due to Jackson's recent changes.

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No more room for compromise on Cleveland's Public Square #transit

https://t.co/e4HUOAS0DW


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Those barriers are an eyesore.

 

There's a company who's already looking for more appealing solutions for the jersey barriers downtown. Those are there for Homeland Security concerns with weaponized vehicles, but the concrete is only a temporary solution. Hopefully pretty soon we'll have some black brass pedestrian poles, hopefully something appealing to the rust belt history of Cleveland...

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No more room for compromise on Cleveland's Public Square #transit

https://t.co/e4HUOAS0DW

 

I definitely agree with the writer's sentiments.  Cleveland should be doing more things first class -- like the Flats, UC Uptown and Ohio City -- and even much of downtown today (and even though the PHS chandelier is a little goofy, I definitely don't hate it as much as this writer).  The settling mentality is the old Cleveland and the Public Square adventure portends to be just that -- unless the City can fix the ugly barricade situation and soon.  Even with the ugly barricades in the background, the Euclid/Tower City half of the Square is still attractive and lively.

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They have those barriers in lots of public spaces now unfortunately, though not ideal, they don't have to totally ruin a place as long as everything else is done well.

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The barriers contravene the entire design of the Square's promenade, which was the unifying factor of the design.  Whether they're ugly as the concrete K-rails currently in place or something less visually offensive, the design has been compromised and we've now got 2 separate halves of a once unified square.

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Those barriers are an eyesore.

 

Still mad at Cleveland Scene and Sam Allard for their public outcry re: the extra 221 seconds I spent on the bus everyday.

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Those barriers are an eyesore.

 

Still mad at Cleveland Scene and Sam Allard for their public outcry re: the extra 221 seconds I spent on the bus everyday.

 

Last time I checked there are ZERO barriers on the south side at Ontario.  One truck could hop the curb and wreak havoc, but Frank Jackson seems none too concerned about that. It's all about proving a point after trying to keep transit out of the square.

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The added barriers that I noticed are all along Superior - the argument for them is that pedestrians would cross willy-nilly and get hit by buses. 

 

Either someone forgot to design crosswalks and signals in the two places where the promenade crosses, or they WERE designed, but not installed because someone thought they could open the square with no buses and was hoping they'd never have to actually allow the buses in.

 

 

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The crosswalks were designed as continuations of the cobblestone promenades.  There were crosswalk signals installed. Both of these areas were ADA compliant.  The argument was made from Mayor Jackson that they were unsafe due to their color being too similar to the other pavement areas. The safety traffic study done by RTA felt that a centralized crosswalk would be safer and would shorten the pedestrians' Pashto cross Superior since the promenade crosswalks are curved.  That is why Public Square's odd crosswalk path came to be.  None of those points made in the safety concerns makes any sense.    The Homeland Security's request for the added planters along the promenades further confuse me.  Why they are placed halfway into the park makes absolutely no sense. Any vehicle can pull into the park and make an impact into pedestrians before those points. This includes the backside of the Rebol restaurant.  At this point I do not trust anyone involved in the planning and execution of the renovated Public Square to get the design correct. $50 million spent for too many obvious flaws.  In a recent interview Nora Romanoff of LAND-Studio stated pop up bollards were not installed along Superior as part of the renovated design due to underground utilities. I thought they stated the initial need to raise the budget to move all underground utilities to accommodate all the design elements. Odd she would state that since they were part of the protective design elements when the park was to be used as a unified space.  I would like to see the money used for the public art such as "Protest" to be put towards correcting the flaws of the Field Operations designs.

 

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His initial intent may have been a unified Square but it is obvious the 50 million dollar design was a northern and southern section with Superior Avenue opened to public transit. He can state that but was never an option without serious monetary consequences to RTA.  His decision not to open the park immediately to public transportation instead opened Pandora's box to ,imho, design elements to justify his threats of terrorism.

 

I will be interested to hear what the corrective/permanent design elements Field Operation proposes and how much additional costs those elements will entail.

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To my surprise today I noticed the portable concrete barriers were removed from public square (and placed in the middle of superior to the east).

 

Anyone know if this is a longer term thing? Or was this only for the car even on public square.

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To my surprise today I noticed the portable concrete barriers were removed from public square (and placed in the middle of superior to the east).

 

Anyone know if this is a longer term thing? Or was this only for the car even on public square.

 

I assume it was only for the car event. They have done this every time that they've closed Public Square for an event (e.g. Ninja Warrior & Common Ground CLE)

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Bummerrrrrr. The square was fully reopened to traffic when I walked by so I wasn't sure.

 

It's amazing no one has been seriously injured since they aren't up ?

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Yes they were only removed for the "Cars In Cleveland" event. It shows just how great Public Square looks without them.  Fyi. Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills has added the same concrete barriers to the famed street. Recently they added them to protect patrons to cafe tables and chairs along the street.  They at least painted them forest green. Still ugly.  I wonder what the cost is to move those concrete barriers on Public Square every time they close off Superior for an event. 

 

As much as I enjoy this type of event wouldn't this be better suited for Malls B and C ?  The vehicles could be placed along the West Mall Drive and East Mall Drive allowing public transportation to remain open on Superior and activating the unused Burnham Malls.  This could also involve more activation of the convention center interior spaces. 

 

The Group Plan Commission has failed to activate both open spaces.

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Speaking of unnecessary added design elements added by Mayor Jackson's safety concerns. Who knew these planters were to bring awareness to  The Prayers from Maria organization.  The paint sure doesn't help their looks.  I have always wondered how the placement of these protect anyone standing on the outside perimeter are not protected from cars that easily can enter the  walkways up to those planters. Not sure why a simple stainless bollard couldn't replace these.

 

from the official Cleveland Public Square website:

Prayers from Maria flowers on display in Public Square

A local group has added both color and life to Public Square after planting flowers in a series of planters around The Square.

 

Prayers from Maria started working with the Group Plan Commission in June. The goal was to come up with a plan to raise awareness for their cause and spruce up planters that the city of Cleveland had placed in the Square to reinforce safety.

 

The signature green paint was donated by Sherwin-Williams, and the sunflowers came from Prayers from Maria. Plant experts from Prayers from Maria also designed the bed layouts.

 

Group Plan Commission CEO Sanaa Julien, who oversees daily programming, maintenance and operation of Public Square, stressed the importance of adjusting to change in a public space and community engagement through the changes.

 

“The successful transformation of Public Square has drawn interest from many businesses and community organizations. Prayers from Maria wanted to engage and we had an opportunity with the planters, which were not part of the original design and are temporary, potentially to be replaced with a security mechanism that supports the design of the Square. This partnership allows us to message about the importance of childhood cancer research while visually enhancing a safety mechanism. We continue to look at our Public Square as Cleveland’s premiere public space and have to note safety as a primary tenant of our management practices.  Prayers from Maria helped us manage through a short-term challenge.”

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Cool! Now how about replacing those damn Jersey barriers with bollards!

 

Watch Lake Erie ice form, break from public art in Public Square

http://www.rockthelake.com/buzz/2017/11/watch-lake-erie-ice-form-break-public-art-public-square/


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Cool! Now how about replacing those damn Jersey barriers with bollards!

 

Watch Lake Erie ice form, break from public art in Public Square

http://www.rockthelake.com/buzz/2017/11/watch-lake-erie-ice-form-break-public-art-public-square/

 

I wish the jersey barrier replacement was higher priority than more public art in Public Square. LAND Studio is behind both projects. There seems to be an abundance of art already in place. I am interested to see where this video kiosk is planned.  I would prefer if the televisions in Rebol incorporated the live video feeds. 

 

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https://www.clevelandpublicsquare.com/stories/november-2017/corner-light-a-collaborative-story-about-clevelan

Corner Light in Public Square

Neighborhoods define the character of a city. The triumph and tragedy experienced by its residents give meaning to the nondescript buildings that populate the skyline.

 

Day in day out, neighborhood life generates stories, many of which are forgotten, others living on to form a narrative unique only to us. Whether a story emanates from a living room, corner store, playground, or intersection there is always a visual language that holds it together.

 

The collection of symbols and signs before you uses a vocabulary best understood by those who have contributed to the story of Cleveland.

 

Corner Light is a monument to what gives us character, the neighborhoods that emanate from our city’s center.

 

Corner Light was created by Cleveland SGS, a collaborative of artists based in Cleveland, Ohio. For over a decade Cleveland SGS has investigated the hidden meaning behind the commercial narrative of their hometown.

 

From pawnshops to carryout, hair care to daycare, back alleys to bar stools, SGS chronicles their discoveries in paint, pixels, motion, and sound.

 

 

 

 

 

Not a big fan of the amount of different public art that is being created and displayed in Public Square.  Place some of these art installations along the Mall B and C promenades. 

DSC_0248.JPG.1dd0a9d53d8af9722e9076e020554c6c.JPG

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