JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE: NICKNAME FOR $25 MILLION LAKEFRONT PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE BRIDGE PROJECT IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Fri, 01/30/2015 - 15:58.
JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE: NICKNAME FOR  PROPOSED $25 MILLION LAKEFRONT PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE BRIDGE PROJECT IN CLEVELAND, OHIO! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WHY?
 
The Bridge Project represents a “business as usual” attitude at Cuyahoga County – despite all the talk about reforms in county government. 
 
The proposed project will connect the northern tip of Mall C with the North Coast Harbor – when we already have two existing multi-modal crossings – on East 9th and West 3rd Street. The $25 million project in a city with a 37% poverty rate -- is scheduled to be ready in time for the Republican National Convention in 2016 
 
Questions pertaining to the justification for a new bridge -- when we already have two existing multi-modal crossings are not being answered in a forthright manner despite multiple reminders sent via e-mail. 
 
Even Armond Budish, the new Cuyahoga County Executive, cannot explain contradictions between his words and actions about eliminating wasteful duplication (why do we need a new bridge when we already have two existing multi-modal crossings) despite multiple reminders. 
 
On January 22, 2015 after I spoke in the Public Session and requested a written response to questions, Chair Greenspan of the Finance & Budgeting Committee of the Cuyahoga Council literally passed the buck and said, at the end of the meeting, it was not his responsibility to provide a response and that I should be contacting the County Executive’s Office.
 
 
*SHARING THE COST:
Out of the $25 million – the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are contributing $10 million each and the State of Ohio the balance of $5 million. Both Cleveland and the County are borrowing money using bonds. Ohio will be using money from a special fund reserved for capital projects. It should be noted that in the absence of a justification, -- why do we need a new bridge when we already have two existing multi-modal crossings -- the US and Ohio Departments of Transportation are not providing a single penny for the project.
 
*PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING CLEVELAND’S LAKEFRONT PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE BRIDGE A.K.A. JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE!
 
 

 
 
 
 
*CLEVELAND’S “RED CARPET INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS” IN A CITY WITH A 37% POVERTY RATE!
 
THE REPUBLICANS ARE COMING:
THE REPUBLICANS ARE COMING:
 
The Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held in 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18 to 21 at The Q: Quicken Loan Arena – the home of our Cavaliers.
Three projects are slated for completion before the Republicans come marching into town.
 
*$272 Million, 32-story, 600-room, Convention Center Hotel, with no on-site parking. Construction is in progress. Ground breaking was on April 28, 2014. 
 
*32 Million radical makeover of Public Square, with closure of Ontario Street & narrowing of Superior Avenue from 77 ft. to 48 ft. and limited to four lanes of buses – projected to cause, in my opinion, traffic nightmares. Construction was scheduled to start in Fall 2014. Now we are told it will start in February 2015.
 
*$25 Million unnecessary Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge a.k.a. as the Jimmy Dimora Bridge -- when we already have two existing multi-modal crossings @ East 9th Street & West 3rd Street. Construction was scheduled to start in early February 2015 – now it has been delayed by 2-3 months.
 
 
 
*AN UNNECESSARY BRIDGE:
The Bridge Project is an unnecessary project because we already have two existing fully operational multi-modal crossings at East 9th Street and West 3rd Street: cars, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians.
 
*ABSENCE OF JUSTIFICATION FOR A NEW BRIDGE:
Public projects should be justified based on needs.  A justification would include a traffic study that would show that the two existing bridges (East 9th and West 3rd) cannot handle the volume of pedestrians and bicyclists in the area and thus a new bridge would be needed.
 
In the absence of a justification, the US and Ohio Departments of Transportation are not providing a single penny for the project.
 
I spoke at the November 13, 2014 Public Meeting (organized by Cuyahoga County’s Department of Public Works) and asked:
 
“What rationale was used to justify a new bridge when we already have three existing crossings – of which two are operational?” 
 
So far I have not received any response.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
WASTEFUL DUPLICATION:
I was present at the January 4 Inauguration where our new Cuyahoga County Executive Budish said:
 
“WE must work to save money and eliminate wasteful duplication, both with both county government and our 59 local communities”
 
Unfortunately, Mr. Budish, despite multiple e-mail requests, has not explained why building a new $25 million Lakefront Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio – a.ka. Jimmy Dimora Bridge  – when we already have two existing crossings (West 3rd Street and East 9th Street)– in a city with a 37% poverty rate is consistent with his statement of eliminating wasteful duplication.
 
Mr. Budish was present at the January 28, 2015 meeting of the Cuyahoga County Council and did not respond to my comments. I am used to politicians who cannot match their words with consistent actions. Instead of opposing the unnecessary project a.k.a. Jimmy Dimora  Bridge -- Mr. Budish has chosen to go along and do nothing about wasteful duplication.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SPEAKING IN PUBLIC SESSIONS AT CUYAHOGA COUNTY COUNCIL MEETINGS:
I attended two Cuyahoga County Council meetings and was the lone speaker in the public sessions against the bridge project.
 
On January 22, 2015 – I attended the Cuyahoga County Finance & Budgeting Committee meeting where the committee voted 6-1 to approve the county’s share of $10 million for the project.
 
On January 27, 2015 – I attended the Cuyahoga County Council  Meeting where the committee voted 9-1 to approve the county’s share of $10 million for the project. One member was absent. 
 
When I spoke at this meeting, I closed my remarks by saying:
 
NO TO UNNECESSARY BRIDGE! 
ELIMINATE COUNTY WASTE!
NO TO BUSINESS AS USUAL!
STOP THE RUN AROUND!
STOP JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
RESOLUTION APPROVED BY CUYAHOGA COUNTY COUNCIL TO PAY FOR THE COUNTY’S SHARE ($10 MILLION) 
FOR AN UNNECESSARY $25 MILLION LAKEFRONT PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE BRIDGE A.K.A JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE IN CLEVELAND, OHIO:
 
The resolution (2014-0253) was approved by the Finance & Budgeting Committee (6-1) and the full Council (9-1):
R2014-0253: A Resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of Cuyahoga County Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2014 (Lakefront Pedestrian Bridge), in an aggregate principal amount not-to-exceed $10,000,000.00 for the purpose of acquiring an interest in, and paying or reimbursing a portion of the cost of constructing and maintaining, a pedestrian/bicycle bridge to be located between the northeast corner of Mall C and the downtown lakefront in the vicinity of the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and spanning railroad tracks owned by Norfolk Southern, CSX and Amtrak, GCRTA Waterfront Line tracks, City-owned property (Amtrak parking lot), Memorial Shoreway (SR2) including the mainline and access ramps, and Erieside Avenue, and for the purpose of paying capitalized interest on the bonds and paying the costs of issuance in connection therewith; authorizing the preparation and use of a preliminary official statement; authorizing the preparation, execution and use of an official statement; approving and authorizing the execution of a trust indenture and a continuing disclosure agreement; authorizing other actions related to the issuance of the bonds; and declaring the necessity that this Resolution become immediately effective.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONSTRUCTION:
Construction was scheduled to start in early February 2015 – now it has been delayed by 2 – 3 months. The County and the City of Cleveland still have to agree on who will own the bridge and who will pay for the maintenance and long-term repairs. 
 
DEMONSTRATIONS:
NO TO UNNECESSARY BRIDGE!
NO TO JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE!
 
Demonstrations have started outside the Cuyahoga County Headquarters in downtown Cleveland, Ohio using the NO TO UNNECESSARY BRIDGE and the NO TO JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE signs. The latter signs are attracting a lot of attention and questions from some Clevelanders who cannot believe a bridge would be named after Mr. Dimora – but soon make the connection that waste is still going on and it is business as usual in the reformed Cuyahoga County Administration.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When I ride the RTA bus from the west side to downtown and back, bus riders are amused by the JIMMY DIMORA BRIDGE signs – a discussion follows  -- and they are disappointed by the continuing incompetence in the affairs of the county.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REFERENCES:
 
1. Previous posts on REALNEO:
 
01-02-15: OHIO DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION NOT FUNDING UNNECESSARY $25 MILLION LAKEFRONT BRIDGE PROJECT IN CLEVELAND, OHIO!
http://realneo.us/content/ohio-dept-transportation-not-funding-unnecessary-25-million-lakefront-bridge-project-clevela
 
11-08-14: AN UNNECESSARY $25 MILLION LAKEFRONT BRIDGE PROJECT IN CLEVELAND, OHIO!
http://realneo.us/content/unnecessary-25-million-lakefront-bridge-project-cleveland-ohio
 
2. City, county seek public response to three concepts for lakefront pedestrian bridge, Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer, Nov. 6, 2014 
 
http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2014/11/city_county_seek_public_respon.html
 
3. Cable-stayed design, preferred by public at meeting, is likely choice for lakefront pedestrian bridge, Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer, Nov. 14, 2014 
http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2014/11/cable-stayed_design_preferred.html
 
4. Building Cleveland pedestrian bridge to the waterfront: Editorial Board Roundtable, The Plain Dealer, Nov. 26, 2014 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cleveland.com%2Fopinion%2Findex.ssf%2F2014%2F11%2Fdesign_concepts_for_cleveland.html&ei=GVWnVMiOJoycNtGFgtgC&usg=AFQjCNHP32K1V-pJW3XLsB4p8epWffVmbA&bvm=bv.82001339,d.eXY
 
5. Group Plan Commission:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.groupplan.org%2F&ei=W95eVO75CYaoyASI0ICgBQ&usg=AFQjCNG7eI08ka8-Cgmw458UDn_65ht8cA&bvm=bv.79189006,d.aWw
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I love you Mr. Puri:-)

Thank you for speaking out against this insanity.  It is so depressing to suffer under these fools.

Jimmy Dimora Bridge!

 Laura, you should come to the Cuyahoga County Council meetings and speak in the public session (3 min.). You can say what's on your mind and our "wise" leaders have no choice but to listen. May not solve the problem at hand -- but very good therapy.