OPPORTUNITY FREEWAY FOR WHOM?

Submitted by Jeff Buster@rea... on Tue, 01/17/2006 - 22:28.

 

 "Opportunity Corridor" has the same level of candor as the phrase "destroy to protect" did during the Vietnam War.  "Opportunity Corridor" is the latest hypocritical corporate spin on the resuscitation of the extension of the Clark Freeway – put to bed at E55th in the 60’s.  The BIG question is:  for whom  will the proposed new highway be an “opportunity”?   The Cleveland Clinic and the University Circle Inc. constituents? or the people who have held their own for years along the proposed route and who stand threatened with eminent domain and removal?

 

Tell me one community anywhere in an established urban area that has been improved – or gained “opportunity” - by a new freeway cutting through it.  Go on….make my day…and don’t forget to address sustainability.

 

And tell me what the proponents (Clinic and UCI)’s track record is with offering infrastructure improvements and independent business opportunities to their neighborhoods.  The area around these institutions has become very sterile after years of successful land purchase and demolition strategy.  The black guard houses on fenced blocks of parking lots set a fair and accurate tone for their urban achievements. 

 

It could have been done differently and everyone would have been better off it if had been.  Consider Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Mass who pursued similar land acquisition around their campuses during the  last same 40 years, but due to effective involvement by the citizenry, and maybe some insight of their own, Cambridge today still has neighborhood stores and housing, pedestrians and bikeways. Are the neighborhoods in Cleveland strongly enough enfranchised and financed to stand up to the highway promoters?  Only with strong pushback from a effectively vocal and knowledgeable neighborhood can the best development plans be made. 

 

What happened to the "boulevard" that Herb Crowther was lobbying for a year and a bit ago that was going to go along the railroad right of way?  Now it’s an “Opportunity Corridor”.  Why don’t the proponents show us what they mean by softening their battered (military engineering term for those sloped walls seen in University Circle), buttressed and barricaded buildings, getting more pedestrians outside (like CSU on Euclid does) and producing a beta model of their “opportunity” plan along Carnegie, Woodland, and along the un-crowded and easily traveled existing roads (pointed out on the sign above) which conveniently lead to downtown, the west side, I 71, I 77, and I 90?

( categories: )

I thought this is the boulevard Herb was talking about

My vision for this corridor is a boulevard running along the train tracks - red line from E55th and RTA trench along red line to University Circel (UC). I see this as a good opportunity from many perspectives.

I believe it will for the most part pass along old industrial and rail land - although I did hear it would require demolition of many homes etc., so that may have changed. Of course, the route and surrounding development impacts must be carefully debated.

If it could be used to create a sustainable-living corridor through what is now a pretty hard-hit part of Cleveland, especially in connection with good public transportation service, that could be very positive.

I take the trains every day and am amazed we haven't better leveraged their localized value (public transportation is a high value asset). On the East side most of the Cleveland stops let off in stark, unpopulated dead zones. You don't see any housing along the tracks or near the stations. That changes dramatically from Shaker Square area on, where planning considered public transit.

Image a corridor that took these dead rail right-of-ways and made them part of a vibrant community - a healthy vein bringing more life for redevelopment (remember this is a 10-20 year planning process so let's think big picture).

I just drove through University Circle and by the Cleveland Clinic, up Cedar on a trip from East Cleveland to downtown Cleveland. Other than in the heart of UC and the Clinic zone, the entire area I crossed needs opportunity. But it doesn't come from the rushhour traffic tearing through the small, neighborhood streets to get from University Circle to the freeways to travel south and west for home in the burbs. 

I think a strong web of major throughfares, including an opportunity boulevard, is essential to keeping the outside moving through the inside of the community - especially where there is as much outside traffic as around UC.

East Cleveland will see opportunity from the Euclid Corridor transit project, which will connect the city more directly with downtown Cleveland and UC - and expect better access to I-90 at Eddy, and the East Suburbs in general. How well they manage change with roads and transit is to be determined by many factors - same goes for the opportunity corridor.

CCF wants to get rid of the

CCF wants to get rid of the REST of the near East Side.  I think that until they start ponying up property taxes, they should not be allowed to comment on big projects.  They want and want and want but what do they give? World class health care? Yes...if you can afford it.  Tax revenue for the schools? But schools can't touch payroll tax and they don't pay property tax...

But, another freeway in NE Ohio is a bad idea.  We have too many as it is.  Look at what the expansion of US 422 did for sprawl in Solon or what I 90 (east and west) and I-71 are doing to once sleepy environs such as Avon , Medina and Mentor.  This city is already easy enough to get around by car.  More transit options is the way to go...

For the record, I still think that ECIP, Dual Hub, Euclid Corridor Transportation Project or whatever it's called this month is a bad idea.  Busways would have been a better idea.  If they should do anything with the rail corridors it's pull up the rail and make a bus-only right-of-way (or a busway/rail hybrid if you want to get imaginative).  Imagine how long it would take to get to University Circle then.  That puts the eastern suburbs and SW Cleveland within 20-40 minutes from downtown with NO TRAFFIC.  And, guess how many new buses would have to be bought? Zero. 

Derek Arnold

It's good for you

Take it...it's good for you.  Something we have heard before.  Ad nauseum:
Today, Brent Larkin says it again.

Cleveland must have road to its future? Brent Larkin PD 3/30/2008

Has the clinic rushed the demolition of the Podiatric College, yet?  Expect an overnight job. Won't that be the dead-end terminus of this "road to the future?"

Ad nauseum: I also had to hear it from the councilman in Ward 16 this past week (who also sits on the city charter commission to decide council number reduction), who trotted out comparisons to his children while umbrage-taking with the citizens, who disagree with the CDC's practices, and described them as "ludicrous" in a letter sent out at taxpayer expense to residents in his ward and the adjacent ward 15.

Residents are concerned that the CDC recently fired a longstanding code enforcement officer, without warning, and installed someone with less experience, within weeks.  The longstanding code enforcement officer is suing the CDC for wrongful termination, which will cost the residents and the CDC money.  This comes after a long string of other questionable practices by the CDC. Community volunteer/residents from several neighborhood groups organized an emergency vote to remove the executive board of directors and to issue a vote of no confidence with the director of the organization.

The Plain Press will have coverage of the event in the next issue (the mainstream media has not touched the event). 

Make up your own mind--do you know what's good for you??  I, for one, am not a child.

keep on delaying that SOB

"ODOT wants to push back work on the corridor until 2025, at the earliest."

That's great news! Just keep on delaying that sucker. Delay it until it's an archived plan that never happened. Mothball that plan like you brilliant planners mothballed the Burnham Plan. Destroy that sucker like you destroyed Millionaire's Row. Too bad the Forgotten Triangle is not like the Bermuda Triangle - if it was we might lead some of these road building fanatics toward it and trip them as they near the edge.

Opportunity, my ass! This is ludicrous. Just like the Westshoreway disguised as a traffic calming, lakefront access "boulevard", when in fact it is just putting in the curb cuts for developers.

Stop looking at these ariel views in your Columbus offices and playing SIM City. There is a road from the 490 spur to the Clinic. It's called Woodland Avenue. Line it with parkland and it can be the southern Martin Luther King Boulevard - fine arts, neighborhoodway.

Building a highway through the neighborhood will not alleviate poverty. Sheesh!

Big Easy?

  A close friend who has had to work to supply contractors with materials on many large projects once said, "Ohio is the most corrupt state in the union." 

Swindle seems to be the operative word for every federal, state, county and city project.  As this mess continues to unravel, who is left to run the ship?

*

*