Submitted by Martha Eakin on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 12:14.

Clearly University Circle wheels are squeaking and the PD has agreed to be an unquestioning amplifier. A couple weeks ago there was a spate of articles/editorials and then readers were  given a break, but now the pd is  back at it…”We got to have it- that Opportunity Corridor- we just gotta."  After all, “important people” want it.


Steve Litt and the editorial board use the term “boulevard" to describe this road that we desperately need. Wonder if it might be the same kind of boulevard that was proposed for the West Shoreway until they realized they couldn’t use state money for a road that called for speeds slower than 50mph? Remember, the proposed highway is just an extension of the Clark Freeway, and its purpose is to get people to UC, not have them stop along the way. Brent Larkin would have us believe that the disadvantaged area some PR person has brilliantly referenced as the Forgotten Triangle will be uplifted if only this road cuts through it.


The PD’s editorial on 5/12 advised us to look to St. Paul for a vision of the wonders a new road might bring, including new businesses, new houses, parks and schools.  We have a glut of empty new houses, not to mention abandoned and foreclosed old houses. Maybe UCI should work on cleaning up its contiguous backyards before going to play in someone else’s? There are a number of existing roads that empty near or into U. Circle already. These roads and their houses and businesses (or lack thereof) could definitely use some development money, but perhaps UCI would prefer to keep these downtrodden areas “forgotten” in the minds of their clients and visitors.  Also, it’s easier to start new than to fix the old. Maybe Toby Cosgrove didn’t learn about slash and burn operations in school- how this kind of M.O. generally wreaks havoc on the civic environment.  Since we are already in an air quality non-attainment zone, you’d think the medical-cultural heart of our region would be brainstorming on how to entice visitors to use the existing and new transit stops  instead of demanding more asphalt.




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The long-standing leadership

The long-standing leadership strategy has been to make Cleveland two "neighborhoods" -

one is downtown and the other is university circle.

Anything the two "neighborhoods" want, desire, hanker for, the Pee Dee favors without any real discrimination as to whether it helps the entire community or if it damages. 

Nothing else really matters, especially where people actually live. And extra especially if those people don't have resources to get the PD's attention.

Here's another example of a leadership that doesn't look beyond its nose - that means its own self-interests.



highways defining neighborhoods

Yesterday I walked from the Coast Guard Station back to the Sunset Grille with an architect. As we ambled over the hill, we talked about downspout disconnetion and other sustainable planning and green building issues. (His wife is very concerned about water quality issues, and we had met at an Ohio Environmental Council meeting on watershed issues a year or so ago.) Then I hit the wall with this guy. I mentioned that we need the "opportunity corridor = more highway paving" like we need a hole in the head. I said all those smart people at the hospitals and the universities should get a map and learn where Woodland and Quincy Avenues are. Uh oh... He said that we NEED the opportunity corridor because highways define neighborhoods. He sited Tremont as a good example of a neighborhood that was "defined" by I-71. (hmmm... I thought yes the Greek Church certainly has garnered recognition in this way.) He said he drives all over town and finds that the innerbelt is only problematic at rush hours - "this is why we need maps", I said. "No", he said, "we need to complete I-490 all along the rail line to I-90 near Eddy Road". "Wow" I said, "should we just make a new version of I-90 but through the east side of Cleveland and East Cleveland?" "Yes indeed",  he said, "after all there is nothing at all in East Cleveland worth saving and traffic flow would be much better for the entire region if we just mowed it down and put in a freeway there."

Hmmm... I wonder if he has any projects going in East Cleveland. Probably not... I'll think of this guy as the "my way is the highway guy" from here on out I guess. Maybe he should read this report from The Brookings Institution on The Effect of Government Highway Spending on Road Users’ Congestion Costs

From the report: "We have estimated that one dollar of government spending on highways in a given year reduces road users’ congestion costs eleven cents that same year. Given that motorists, trucking operations, and firms incur $37.5 billion in annual congestion costs, states would have to spend nearly $350 billion annually to eliminate these costs.33 Nor is reallocating funds among and within states to minimize congestion costs a realistic option. To be sure, highway spending serves functions other than reducing congestion, but it is clearly an inefficient way to address the problems caused by congestion. Such spending also does not appear to substantially increase throughput, which would benefit certain travelers."

Visit larger cities and know what congestion means. In Cleveland, we don't really have congestion. In addition, you can always leave a bit earlier or travel at times other than rush hours or take an alternate route. Try a map and help our air quality and water quality. It could be a small price to pay for another idea.

defined by I-71

Just the other day, this architect said we need the opportunity corridor because Tremont for example is "defined by I-71". Well, today it certainly is and will be for the foreseable future. Yes indeed...

"The Ohio Department of Transportation closed the West 14th Street ramp onto Interstate 90 eastbound early Thursday evening, saying the ramp may be unsafe.

The ramp, which is in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, is used by 5,700 vehicles a day. It was closed indefinitely and motorists will be detoured to the Lorain-Carnegie bridge.

ODOT is focusing on steel supports that connect the bridge to the ramp, which was widened in 1983.

The shutdown was prompted by calculations by inspectors and consultants Thursday on the ramp's corrosion and movement caused by traffic, spokeswoman Jocelyn Clemings said. Inspectors will begin a more detailed look today." ljohnsto [at] plaind [dot] com Plain Dealer

The New Freeway

It sounds like your government is as out of control as the one here in Mesa, AZ if not more so. You should get these people to do nothing for a year, and see if the city at least does not get worse.

More so...

Ironically, at yesterday's CWRU commencement, the university awarded Raymond Shepardson an honorary degree for preserving our cultural heritage and saving the theaters of Playhouse Square--all the while, CWRU administrators will do anything it takes to appease the Clinic and UCI to go along with this Opportunity Corridor scheme for delivering their patients to their doorstep.

The Carnegie Medical building and the adjacent building that housed Seglin's are being systematically stripped and deromanticized, so that they can be buried without a funeral.  And RTA's investment or even routine maintenance on the Redline appears to have ground to a halt with the priority of the Euclid Corridor, when it could have been improved to deliver patients to the Clinic, too. 

But the gods don't want common sense.  No, I am to pay for this boulevard and patient delivery route, along with everyone else, and especially, the forgotten city residents along the proposed demo route. 

Of course, it is all worth it! Got to get those rich, old folks with money in their pockets to the Clinic pronto.  Why not rent a helicopter?  Why not attach a special car to the Redline and allow passengers from the airport to view a virtual Cleveland through specially coated windows that will masque the real reality outside?  

Why do that, when we can apply leeches to the poor and have the healthy, rich blood we need for "our" city?