Parking problem raises safety concerns in Tremont (This is from the April Plain Press) by Tremont's own Jerleen Justice

Submitted by Henry Senyak on Sun, 04/05/2009 - 22:12.

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.

Compliments of the Plain Press


( categories: )

Thank you for sticking up for the residents

 of Tremont... sOMeone has to!

Great work

  Every one should pick up this month's Plain Press.  And, if you get the chance--commend Chuck Hoven for carrying the torch for free speech and freedom of the press in NEO.



Commend Both Jerleen and Chuck

Hi everyone

This is my first time posting  on RealNeo even though I have been reading everybody's comments for some time.

Let me say that I also have read the Plain Press for years and every month I pick my copy up at the Laundry Mat on West 14 Street.  Lately, I've been known to drive as far as Dave's to pick up a copy if Chuck hasn't delivered down this way yet.  I don't mind saying, he has several good writers including himself, but I  do really enjoy reading Jerleen's interesting commentaries and colorful stories.   

I think that everyone should commend both Jerleen and Chuck for being brave enough to step up to the plate and as you say carry the torch.  Chuck should be given an award for his many years of dedication and devotion in providing such simple basics as free speech and freedom of the press.

The story Jerleen wrote on parking causing safety concerns in tremont is so dead on that when I read it I clapped my hands and said its about dam time.   My sister who lives in Brooklyn comes to visit me and sometimes we drive around at night and you find valet cones half way out in the street, cars parked on the sidewalks, cars blocking walkways, blocking driveways, people in the middle of the street.  Its crazy and unsafe. 

I've been following the Frank Giglio story and I want to say, that I met him once and he seemed like a very nice man.  But anybody that has gone through what he has gone through would have broken a long time ago.

Even though I'm pretty low key I've heard a little about what's going on and I think the people in Tremont are lucky to have someone like Jerleen standing up for them.



Welcome vickyd and Props to the Plain Press

Last week the Plain Press had a reporter at the Slovenian Club on West 130th where Cleveland City Council President Sweeney made  a mini "state of the City" presentation to the Ward 20 Republican Club.   I'm not sure who the reporter from the Plain Press was, but he had good hard questions to ask Mr. Sweeney. 

The question I liked the best was about CDC funding - the reporter pointed out that if the council was determining how the CDC funds were to be spent, and then approving those expenditures, the Council was exercising both executive and legislative functions.   Mr. Sweeney was a little stumped by the question.  

If anyone knows who the reporter was I would like to know and to get more of his outlook on the CDC funding....

Here is a link to the Plain Press

Notice that Jeffrey Sugalski is helping on the Plain Press technical side and producing the Old Brookline reports.  Web news organizations like the Plain Press, and Realneo included,  are in print because of cooperative efforts from numerous people with diverse skills.    

Good to have you jump in and comment too vickyd.


Old Brookline?

  Guess, we can't take the Haaaavaaard out of the boy...Old Brooklyn, man!  Soon to be New Brooklyn :)

Thanks for the heads up on the Cool Cleveland link error, but no way for me to correct it here.  Go to this week's current issue

Scroll down and check out the Tim Zaun interview with Cleveland Public Library's Director Felton Thomas.

JB, thanks for coverage on the Sweeney explains all...the enormous cost of print/reprinting City of Cleveland materials and communications doesn't seem to phase "the reformers."

Chuck Hoven


As promised, Chuck Hoven was the reporter  from the Plain Press who covered the Martin Sweeney - Slovenian Club City Council presentation.

If you would like to contact him, you can do that through the e-mail address: plainpress [at] yahoo [dot] com 




Yes,  props to the Plain Press and welcome to vickyd.

I put a call in to Chuck Hoven to see which one of the guys went to that meeting. Had to be one of the three  kings,  Chuck Hoven, Joe Narkin or Frank Barnett.  Will advise as soon as I know.