Submitted by jerleen1 on Sat, 05/14/2011 - 13:20.


He has even sat in on meetings and out right said it was "illegal" for valets to charge and park on public streets.  Why does ne not call for "monitoring" and an investigation when Tremont residents {including elderly and handicapped} complain about having to drive around for up to three hours before they could park close enough to their house to be able to walk there?


( categories: )


Parking problems continue to plague Tremont
by Jerleen Justus

(Plain Press, February 2010) Permitted and non-permitted valet zones in Tremont have changed the streets of this Historical District into nothing short of an obstacle course. The City of Cleveland's Commissioner of Assessments and Licenses continues to hand out one hundred dollar ($100) permits, and high-end business owners mark off their territory with a display of bright orange cones brandishing "valet" tags near the middle of the street.


Bus drivers, residents and other travelers, navigating through the orange cone invasion into on-coming traffic, find maneuverability cumbersome and unsafe. During peak business hours, motorists, turning the corners or making their way through intersections on Professor Avenue, are often held up in a traffic jam or crowded into dodging valet cones.

According to Cleveland's Codified Ordinance 451.33, prior to the establishment of any zone, the Division of Traffic Engineering shall establish whether the proposed zone would create or contribute to a traffic flow or traffic congestion problem; whether there is adequate off-street areas for standing or parking vehicles in areas already experiencing traffic congestion; and whether or not the proposed zone cannot be implemented without resolving, accommodating or decreasing traffic congestion.

After investigating and considering all relevant traffic, Traffic Engineer, Rob Mavec, provides a report to Martin Flask, the City's Director of Public Safety, who in turn notifies and advises the Commissioner of Assessments and Licenses on the issuance of a Valet Permit. Tremont residents have begun to wonder if reports actually exist, since the city has issued a number of Valet Permits to restaurants/bars/nightclubs operating within only a few feet of each other. With the parking non-compliance running rampant in Tremont, questions continue to arise as to why the City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing continues to be so lax with enforcement.

One College Avenue resident, (who wishes to be unidentified) states, "I don't believe that we'll see any changes until the FBI steps in and cleans up the corruption. A good place to start would be in the Dept. of Building and Housing." The long time Tremont resident continued, "Most of these businesses just make a joke out of the Zoning Board."

These zones have not only created problematic and hazardous driving conditions, but is also affecting other long-time businesses in the area. Polish Veterans' Alliance Post #1 (corner of Professor and Literary) Manager John states, "I have to rely on walking customers. There's just no where to park with the valets taking over the whole neighborhood."

With the latest valet zone being permitted at Dante's up-scale establishment, near the corner of Professor and Literary, proprietors of the long-standing Professor Market are also falling victim to the onslaught of Valet Parking Zones surrounding their entranceway. Owner Nash says, "I can see where it's going to be a problem. I'm hoping to be a good neighbor and give Mr. Callichia an opportunity to work something out. I think he needs to go to the community meetings."

Patrons of the thirty-year old store are not feeling quite as generous. One resident witness, Frankie Richards said, I watched in disbelief as the police pulled up and ordered a customer, parking at the 15 minute parking sign, to either move or get a ticket." He further stated, "I overheard the officer tell her that she was too close to the valet zone. With no other place to park, how are we supposed to shop at the store with three valet zones back to back on this corner."

The opening of Dante's on January 9, 2010, refueled the decade old parking war among many residents living on College, Professor, Literary and West 7th Street. Residents returning home in the evening found what they described as a "nightmare" unfolding before their eyes.

While the St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Church parking lot was filled to the max with more than twenty-five vehicles, valet runners also nabbed every empty space they could find on the residential streets. Residents in close vicinity spent more than seven hours listening to car engines, slamming doors and loud yelling. They were forced to endure the sound of tires spinning on the incline to the church lot; and valet's running down the middle of the street, triggering screaming alarms until 1:00am in the morning. Some residents, returning home from a long day of working out in the cold, found themselves parking on the tree lawn or sitting in the street for twenty minutes hoping for a space to become available.

What angered most was the fact that on May 26, 2009, A "Good Neighbor Agreement" (GNA), advocated by Councilman Joe Cimperman as being the way of the future, was agreed to and signed by restaurant owners Giancarlo Callichia, Dante Buccozzi, Tremont West Development Corp. Executive Director Chris Garland, TWDC SII Project Manager/Development Director Sammy Catania and two Central Tremont Block Club co-chairs, was incorportated into and ratified as per the Resolution handed down by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Good Neighbor Agreement states:

"Dante's agrees to using the Parking at St. Peter and Paul as employee parking.

Dante's agrees to provide the most efficient use of the parking lot, including but not limited to striping, plowing, keeping clean as used, lighting, and screening to be determined as best means to distract lights and sound (could be shrubs, screening, both or some application thereof.)

The number of parking spaces legally allowed in both lots be worked on and agreed to by the licensed general contractor and the City of Cleveland's Building and Housing Dept.

If there are more than employees parking at the church lot, they must be valet in and a parking attendant/valet/security guard should be in attendance to not only guard the lot and ensure the cars are safe but to also ensure only valets are using it AND that the security person would be the eyes and ears for the area."

While more than seven months have passed since the signing of the GNA, to date there have been eleven parking spaces striped off in the church lot and a few feet of stockade fencing installed near the middle section. Pointing across the street at the unfinished fence, Amanda Thompson stated, "The spirit of the effort has surely failed."

Inasmuch as most of the valet zones are permitted while others are not, residential denizen Mary Slone says she believes that many of the bars and restaurant owners are still operating under the city's "free pass" system and there's no one to count on for protecting the rights of the residents. Slone said, calling on Tremont West is a waste of time when it comes to protecting people's quality of life issues. They don't care about old people, how much noise and grief we have to put up with; they're only concerned with how much liquor they can pour into this community."


Cimperman playing dumb?????

Oh, I forgot........ he is not playing.


Parking problem raises safety concerns in Tremont
by Jerleen Justus

(Plain Press, April 2009) Tremont is a community of strategically placed Historical District signs, but signs more crucial to preserving life and limb are missing.

Many street poles in the neighborhood are missing “no parking from here to this corner” signs. On some streets this means partially blocked or no visibility at all for oncoming traffic at intersections.

Other signs missing from their respective posts are: tow away zones, no stopping and no parking signs. The City of Cleveland Department of Traffic and Engineering is the department with the responsibility to rectify this matter.

In driving through other destinations and entertainment districts in the city of Cleveland, it seems signage is complete and compliant creating a safer thoroughfare for both drivers and pedestrians.


Since safety at crosswalks is contingent on discerning observations, parking in no parking zones creates dangerous and threatening circumstances that cannot be ignored, especially by those at the helm of Tremont West Development Corporation. In comparison to Tremont, the Warehouse District, Ohio City and East 4th Street, all have proper signs mounted exactly where they need to be.

At a Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC) Economic Development/Long Range Planning Committee meeting on March 5, 2009, the penciled in agenda topic of “parking in Tremont” was opened for discussion. Committee Member Henry Senyak raised the issue of parking as a safety concern.  TWDC Staff member Sammy Catania made his position known when he responded that safety had nothing to do with parking.

One TWDC member in attendance at the Economic Development and Long Range Planning Committee meeting said "Sammy Catania went berserk when somebody mentioned somethin’ about parkin' causing safety issues." The orator chuckled and continued, "I thought him and Henry were gonna duke it out,"

"I dispute the fact the statement that parking concerns in Tremont are not a safety factor as stated by TWDC Strategic Investment Initiative Development Director Sammy Catania,” states Tremonter Henry Senyak.

 "Tremont is a great destination place for all to enjoy but starting in the evenings parking is a real problem. Face it, visitors will park wherever they think they can park, including crosswalks, driveways, bus stops, and in front of fire hydrants. All it will take is one incident like a mother and her children from the neighborhood to be run down in the middle of Professor Avenue coming to or from the Jefferson Branch of the Cleveland Public Library," continued Senyak.

Safety is one of the comprehensive amenities mentioned by residents in the notorious Tremont Strategic Investment Initiative concept planning meetings. Many of these diverse denizens either out of necessity or by choice take the bus.

Tremont's Strategic Investment Initiative plan spells out as a positive aspect the effectiveness of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). A safe gateway to public transportation is essential and relied on by local commuters. For some it is their only fare to shopping, medical facilities, going to and from work or just travel in general. For public transit to work well, access to bus stops is a necessity. Also important is the ability of RTA operators maintaining set schedules.

The detail omitted from the soft soaped Strategic Investment Initiative script is that during the valet parking hours of the high-end restaurant/bars, there is no one patrolling the streets of Tremont to assure bus shelters are free and clear of parked vehicles. Thus there is no guarantee of safe on and off avenues for those waiting for the long locomotive trying to weave it's way through a traffic jam of valet cones and double-parked cars.

It recent weeks, valet parkers have been documented, placing valet cones, at or near bus stops and blocking both corners of certain streets. These obstacles create hazardous and unsafe conditions, which could result in serious injury to both motorist and RTA riders.  This is not to mention the added pressure and burden for the handicapped in trying to squeeze and maneuver a wheelchair between parked cars to gain access to public transit. Per federal law all buses in service shall be ADA accessible which would clearly make blocking bus stops not only hazardous but discrimination as well.  

Senyak states, "RTA needs to investigate this matter and ask the City of Cleveland to provide proper transit waiting areas, signage and enforcement so both parties are not discriminating against handicapped passengers utilizing public transportation. RTA should use it's police force to write parking tickets in Tremont to help an already over burdened Cleveland police force," continued Mr. Senyak.

Legally permitted valet parking zones can only be issued after an application is made, and investigation and final inspection completed by the office of the Traffic Engineering Department. Only two of five existing valet zones in front of Tremont area restaurant/bar establishments, were found to be operating with the proper City of Cleveland permits. These locations are currently Fahrenheit and Lolita's.

City Codified Ordinances state that valet parking must not impede the flow of traffic. Being at the red light intersection of Professor and Jefferson, during prime time, motorists are often stuck behind double parked cars and big busses, waiting up to five minutes at a time for a valet steward to return from two or three blocks away from having just valet parked someone's vehicle on a public street. Valet parkers tailed, after charging patrons, have been seen parking cars on residential streets, robbing residents of their parking spots.  

Due to more and more restaurants/bars utilizing valet services and the growing need for additional parking, it is mind boggling that TWDC committees refuse to address this issue on the basis that it is none of their business. These same committees, rigidly support and endorse new business growth in the retail district, and openly admit that parking issues must be addressed, yet will not take responsibility in trying to resolve the parking space shortage.

Henry Senyak believes that there is a solution to the problem,  "All parties need to come together including each and every restaurant owner along with TWDC, and all the impacted block clubs to create a feasibility study on how to rectify the lack of off-street parking for the Professor Avenue business district." Senyak further states, "St. John Cantius is the only legitimate option to provide relief. Their enormous parking facilities can rectify 90% of the entire off-street parking problem in Tremont.

jerleen promte your cimperman post to the home page