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Cleveland: Public Square Redesign

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There are temporary ramps in place now to comply with ADA.


"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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The curb cuts exist where the jersey barriers are placed.  The city botched the implementation of the design.  They won't admit it though.  They'll double down instead.

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This attempt to fix the "terrorism and safety" threats is flawed as well.  The distance to traverse Superior may look shorter but pedestrians are still exposed in the 12' extended curb bump outs .  The Key Bank Promenades still will look like obvious paths to cross the road.    At this point it would be nice to see some philanthropist or private donation step up and donate 12 million dollars and go back to closing Superior.  This plan continues to show this design  continues to act as a band aid.  A little better in aesthetics  but still has flaws to the original implemented design.

 

Also, note that this design doesn't implement any bike lanes back thru Public Square.

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The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

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How vulnerable was the original square?  I can understand the safety concerns, but the time to address them was in the design phase not after the fact.

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The concern wasn't raised until after the design was completed.

 

Exactly.  That's a problem.  That's why we're stuck with a round peg in a square hole, until we spend more millions of dollars on it.

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This modification makes the entire continuous promenade shape obsolete.  I agree that the design flaws should have been addressed prior to any construction and now we are stuck with band aid solutions.  We are now looking a park that was supposed to cost no more than $32 million dollars now standing at $20 million in overruns. I have heard there is a shortfall coming to maintain the park and operate. The Group Plan needs to raise an additional 2 million per year for that.

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How have the buses handled the narrow right of way with the Jersey barriers? 24 feet seems very narrow and making it permanent with new curbs sounds like an awful idea.

 

The bollards seem fine. I like that people can follow the current walkway instead of getting funneled to the center, like the Jersey barriers do now.

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8.5 feet is the standard width of a transit agency bus. 24 feet is plenty of room.


"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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The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

The terrorism thing was just a cover to close the square completely.  The terror attacks provided cover.  Trust me, Frank wanted a unified square the whole time.

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The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

This is a scapegoat of an excuse. How is Public Square any more or less vulnerable to a truck attack than any other public space downtown?

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The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

This is a scapegoat of an excuse. How is Public Square any more or less vulnerable to a truck attack than any other public space downtown?

 

X is incorrect. This was a BS excuse from the beginning. Ginger Christ had a good write up about it last year https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/01/public_square_is_not_a_prime_t.html

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The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

This is a scapegoat of an excuse. How is Public Square any more or less vulnerable to a truck attack than any other public space downtown?

 

Indeed, you can drive right onto Mall B.  With sufficient horsepower you could launch yourself over the Rock Hall and into the lake.  And then, with sufficient preparation, you could transform into a submarine and attack Canada. 

 

I'm not suggesting a truck attack on Public Square is a silly concern, it's not, but the city's handing of this is beyond silly. 

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The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

This is a scapegoat of an excuse. How is Public Square any more or less vulnerable to a truck attack than any other public space downtown?

 

Who said it was?  As you rebuild spaces, you build them according to the design concerns of the day.  You don't say "let's not worry about truck attacks on Public Square because Perk Plaza wasn't built to protect against them."  Also, Public Square is one of the busiest pedestrian areas of the city.

 

The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

This is a scapegoat of an excuse. How is Public Square any more or less vulnerable to a truck attack than any other public space downtown?

 

X is incorrect. This was a BS excuse from the beginning. Ginger Christ had a good write up about it last year https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/01/public_square_is_not_a_prime_t.html

 

I'm not incorrect just because you posted a stupid article that talks around the point and says absolutely nothing about what anyone in charge of the decision making was doing or thinking when they made the decision in question.  What's the point of this article?  We shouldn't protect Public Square against truck attacks because other places in the city are also vulnerable?  What the hell kind of thinking is that?

 

The jersey barriers are there because Mayor Jackson tried to pull a bait and switch on the design.  Instead of allowing the square to function as designed he decided to put in the barriers to try to boost his faux concern of terrorism.

 

Considering the string of truck-based terrorism attacks that have happened globally since the decision was made it was no "faux" concern.  Rather, it was quite prescient.  Though if you're not a Jackson fan, I think you can give credit (he did) to his safety forces for requiring the design change.

 

This is a scapegoat of an excuse. How is Public Square any more or less vulnerable to a truck attack than any other public space downtown?

 

Indeed, you can drive right onto Mall B.  With sufficient horsepower you could launch yourself over the Rock Hall and into the lake.  And then, with sufficient preparation, you could transform into a submarine and attack Canada. 

 

I'm not suggesting a truck attack on Public Square is a silly concern, it's not, but the city's handing of this is beyond silly. 

 

A better solution should have been found by this point, if that's what you're getting at.

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I may not totally buy the terrorism argument, but I do admit that the bollards look okay and blend in fairly well.

 

The part I really don’t get though (and no one could argue a change in conditions here like the truck attacks) is why they needed to alter the configuration of the crosswalk and lanes through the middle.

 

Adding all of the striping, changing the locations of the walk and signals, etc. Looks ugly and is a waste of money imo.

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Agreed. Most importantly...people don’t even use it in the intended ‘safe’ way anyways! It’s all a sham. Spend 20 minutes watching and people are crossing all over superior, crossing at the crosswalk when the light isn’t changed, etc. people are going to use that crossing in the easiest manner possible no matter how many barricades they put up.

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I may not totally buy the terrorism argument, but I do admit that the bollards look okay and blend in fairly well.

 

The part I really don’t get though (and no one could argue a change in conditions here like the truck attacks) is why they needed to alter the configuration of the crosswalk and lanes through the middle.

 

Adding all of the striping, changing the locations of the walk and signals, etc. Looks ugly and is a waste of money imo.

 

The truck attacks were never an issue.  The issue is Mayor Jackson's stubbornness on this.  I am generally a Mayor Jackson fan but I know from a very good source that he never intended to have the buses go through the square.  It's the reason he wanted the roadway to be paved in cobblestone like the rest of the square.  He agreed to allowing the compromise to get the square built in time for RNC. 

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Bike Cleveland

‏@Bike_CLE

41m41 minutes ago

Looks like no bikes in this plan? The landing page at http://www.groupplan.org  shows bikes on the sidewalk in @CLEPublicSquare so perhaps we're just sticking with that current scenario? Good news? @BollardsofCTown gets about 140 fresh new friends.

 

DfqA7goUwAYXGaX.jpg

 

Then TPH2[/member] makes a good point....

 

This seems like bad planning. We're going to have the Midway coming down Superior from the east, and then to the west we'll have the new bike lanes on the Detroit-Superior Bridge. But nothing to connect the two?


"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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What gets me about this is even Steven Litt is trying to gloss over the original approved design of the square in his article:

 

"the bollards...would be spaced 40 inches apart on either side of the central crosswalk on Superior Avenue in the square"

 

The Square was never designed to have a central crosswalk. There were 2 crossings of Superior within the square, where the promenade intersected with Superior. Speaking of the promenade...

 

"the barriers were set down across elaborately paved walkways designed...to visually unify the square"

 

The design of the walkway was about visually *and physically* unifying the square. Watch Corner's presentation on the design. It's the key to creating a unified space that  concessions to bus traffic required Superior to remain open.

 

We cannot get a straight answer on why 2 crossings through the square became 1. Were the crossings, as designed, ADA compliant? If so, where is Corner's explanation? Were the designed compliant and not built compliant? If so, how did that happen?  And regardless of the fault, why are we insisting that the fix which harms the design of the space be perpetuated in the bollard solution?

 

**edit** Litt on Twitter wrote that the butterfly crossings would be made available to pedestrians in addition  to the crossing in the center. This is obvious but would these be actually signaled crossings or just places where people technically jaywalk?

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What gets me about this is even Steven Litt is trying to gloss over the original approved design of the square in his article:

 

"the bollards...would be spaced 40 inches apart on either side of the central crosswalk on Superior Avenue in the square"

 

The Square was never designed to have a central crosswalk. There were 2 crossings of Superior within the square, where the promenade intersected with Superior. Speaking of the promenade...

 

"the barriers were set down across elaborately paved walkways designed...to visually unify the square"

 

The design of the walkway was about visually *and physically* unifying the square. Watch Corner's presentation on the design. It's the key to creating a unified space that  concessions to bus traffic required Superior to remain open.

 

We cannot get a straight answer on why 2 crossings through the square became 1. Were the crossings, as designed, ADA compliant? If so, where is Corner's explanation? Were the designed compliant and not built compliant? If so, how did that happen?  And regardless of the fault, why are we insisting that the fix which harms the design of the space be perpetuated in the bollard solution?

 

this is just another example of Cleveland leadership taking something that was designed well and hacking it up.  (see Health Line fare payment "solution")

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What gets me about this is even Steven Litt is trying to gloss over the original approved design of the square in his article:

 

"the bollards...would be spaced 40 inches apart on either side of the central crosswalk on Superior Avenue in the square"

 

The Square was never designed to have a central crosswalk. There were 2 crossings of Superior within the square, where the promenade intersected with Superior. Speaking of the promenade...

 

"the barriers were set down across elaborately paved walkways designed...to visually unify the square"

 

The design of the walkway was about visually *and physically* unifying the square. Watch Corner's presentation on the design. It's the key to creating a unified space that  concessions to bus traffic required Superior to remain open.

 

We cannot get a straight answer on why 2 crossings through the square became 1. Were the crossings, as designed, ADA compliant? If so, where is Corner's explanation? Were the designed compliant and not built compliant? If so, how did that happen?  And regardless of the fault, why are we insisting that the fix which harms the design of the space be perpetuated in the bollard solution?

 

The plan shows bollards stretched across the entire central crossing area, which includes both the promenade crossings and the middle part.  We'll have to see how it's implemented and enforced, but I'm not sure there's anything in the plan that actually diverges from the original design intent.

 

EDIT: Of course, the plan shows a zebra striped crosswalk right in the middle, which wasn't originally there, but I mean it's not clear yet that you won't also be able to cross the busway in the promenades, as originally intended. That's where the bollards are spaced 40" apart. In the very middle, they are spaced 9' apart.

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What gets me about this is even Steven Litt is trying to gloss over the original approved design of the square in his article:

 

"the bollards...would be spaced 40 inches apart on either side of the central crosswalk on Superior Avenue in the square"

 

The Square was never designed to have a central crosswalk. There were 2 crossings of Superior within the square, where the promenade intersected with Superior. Speaking of the promenade...

 

"the barriers were set down across elaborately paved walkways designed...to visually unify the square"

 

The design of the walkway was about visually *and physically* unifying the square. Watch Corner's presentation on the design. It's the key to creating a unified space that  concessions to bus traffic required Superior to remain open.

 

We cannot get a straight answer on why 2 crossings through the square became 1. Were the crossings, as designed, ADA compliant? If so, where is Corner's explanation? Were the designed compliant and not built compliant? If so, how did that happen?  And regardless of the fault, why are we insisting that the fix which harms the design of the space be perpetuated in the bollard solution?

 

The plan shows bollards stretched across the entire central crossing area, which includes both the promenade crossings and the middle part.  We'll have to see how it's implemented and enforced, but I'm not sure there's anything in the plan that actually diverges from the original design intent.

 

The new plan shows them extending the curb to the central area where they’ve relocated the crosswalk (with striping) and also relocated the ADA detectable warnings and pedestrian signals.

 

The original version had two crosswalks, one to the left and one to the right. Why do all of this work when two perfectly usable crosswalks are already there?

 

EDIT (to follow your edit :p): Yeah it looks like nothing will actually stop you from crossing where you want. Just seems like a waste of time and money to make this change.

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This whole thing is so laughable. It sucks that buses run through Superior, but that battle was fought, lost, and now the mayor's OBVIOUS retaliation are ugly barricades or ludicrously expensive bollards.

 

Spend that money on security in the area instead Frank. It gets way too thorny around the casino, people throw their shit everywhere (do we NOT have littering laws?), and the place is like a holiday inn for homeless/panhandlers at night.

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^^I agree with you. The bollards are fine, and if you buy the terrorism threat, an obvious solution that doesn't affect the design integrity. But the other changes are just signs of dysfunction.

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So driving a car around PS sucks. Biking through there sucks. Now walking through there sucks.

 

What else is there to screw up at this point?

 

 

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if Mayor Jackson is concerned of the threat of vehicular terrorism aren't Malls A, B, and C just as vulnerable?  Does anyone know what is the reason the crosswalk has been shortened to 24 feet? 

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if Mayor Jackson is concerned of the threat of vehicular terrorism aren't Malls A, B, and C just as vulnerable?  Does anyone know what is the reason the crosswalk has been shortened to 24 feet? 

 

Yes they are just as vulnerable, but terrorists want to kill as many people with their vehicles as they can, not make tire tracks on rarely-traversed grass lawns.

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if Mayor Jackson is concerned of the threat of vehicular terrorism aren't Malls A, B, and C just as vulnerable?  Does anyone know what is the reason the crosswalk has been shortened to 24 feet? 

 

Hell Public Square is still vulnerable!  A dump truck at full speed from the Ontario side would be able to launch anywhere into the square.  Jackson is totally perpetuating the security dog and pony show.

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Sometimes I think the only way to have a truly secure public square is to not have a public square at all. Anytime you have large groups of people together, it is going to be insecure. There may be options for making things totally secure, but I can't imagine them making life enjoyable.


"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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I am glad to hear that the local news is beginning to address the oversights to yet another attempt to modify the flawed redesign of Public Square. Interesting that Councilman Kerry McCormack is the only on eta comment on the lack of bike lanes from The City.  Shouldn't Anthony Coyne be held responsible since he is the head of the Group Plan Commission overseeing the design elements from Field Operations?

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I was playing around with another option that would make the center area of Public Square safer and would include the reactivation of the promenades as crosswalk paths.  The need for the bollards would be obsolete. Replace them and define the center crosswalk with raised bed planters that mimic the designs of the others.  These add more greenery/planting areas and protects the pedestrians from the threat of terrorism from vehicles.  The added feature for safety and helps to define the center areas for use would be the addition of full barrier crossing arms, aka train traffic arms.  I also don't see why bikes would be banned from Superior. 

 

Public_Square_safety_modifaction_idea_copy.pdf

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Call me a pessimist (aka a "realist" in the city of Cleveland) I'd give the train traffic arms about 2 weeks before an RTA driver took one out.  Then it would take the city of Cleveland a week to show up and duct-tape it back together, and at least a year to actually replace it. 

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The traffic arms are a bit much IMO. I don't get why we can't just have the original crosswalks as well as bollards. It's as if the city thinks people have never seen a crosswalk before.

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