FIRST DAY OF HUNGER STRIKE: 3-HR. DEMONSTRATION ROCKS CLOSED PUBLIC SQUARE!

Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Mon, 03/09/2015 - 23:00.

 

FIRST DAY OF HUNGER STRIKE: 3-HR. DEMONSTRATION ROCKS CLOSED PUBLIC SQUARE, IN CLEVELAND, OHIO, DURING EARLY MORNING (6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.)!

 

218-year old Public Square was closed to traffic for construction that should last from March 9. 2015 (today) to June 2016 – shortly before the Republicans come marching in to town in July 2016 for their National Convention.
 
HUNGER STRIKE:
The Hunger Strike started at 12:01 a.m. earlier today (March 9, 2015).
 
While not a religious person, I did bless myself with holy water from Knock (Ireland) in keeping with a tradition in our house. My late wife made sure that I was properly doused with the holy water any time she felt I needed heavenly collaboration in my endeavors. Our cats (Wee Willie, Tess, Maddie, Heather, Kara, and Duffie) and Galena our pet golden retriever looked at me with amazement as I went through the ritual.
 
This will be my second Hunger Strike fighting corruption in the Administration of Mayor Frank G. Jackson of Cleveland, Ohio. The first one lasted 21-days. I am a 73-year old Sikh American.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*THE PUBLIC SQUARE PROJECT: 
 
LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE!
DON’T CLOSE ONTARIO STREET!
DON’T NARROW SUPERIOR AVENUE!
DON’T MESS UP THE TRAFFIC!
 
The proposed $32 million radical makeover of Public Square will require the permanent closing of Ontario Street – a major artery and the narrowing of Superior Avenue – another major artery -- from the existing 77 ft. to 48 ft. and limiting the avenue to bus traffic only. However, when there are major events, the narrowed Superior Avenue will also be closed to bus traffic. 
 
However, during construction (March 9, 2015 to June 2016), both Ontario Street and Superior Avenue will be closed to traffic.
 
The renovated square is scheduled for opening in time for the Republican National Convention in July 2016.
 
*MONEY FOR RENOVATION OF PUBLIC SQUARE:
So far our Foundations have contributed a total of $18 million (Cleveland - $8 million, Gund -- $5 million, Keybank - $4 million, and. Kent Hale Smith -- $1 million) and also have secured naming rights to parts of the renovated park. The Sewer District has contributed $3 million for green infrastructure to be paid over a number of years. 
 
While, we don’t know where the balance of the money will be coming from, Cuyahoga County is considering using bonds backed by TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) to provide $7.5 million.
 
OPPOSITION:
I have been actively opposing the proposed $32 million radical makeover for the past eight months. So far there have been nearly 240 hours of demonstrations. Our LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE signs have been seen by thousands. One has to stand at the main intersection of Ontario Street and Superior Avenue – and quickly conclude that the traffic has nowhere to go except create gridlocks and delays in travel time.
 
This project is going to have so many traffic nightmares – and this is from the 2012 Traffic Study - that City Hall and the RTA have no idea what monster they have unleashed.
 
During Construction: When construction starts, both Ontario Street (6 lanes) and Superior Avenue (4 lanes) – two major arteries will be closed and the traffic from 10 lanes will be routed around the 3-lane perimeter roads – creating a ring of steel -- where the inner lane is already dedicated to the 63-foot long articulated buses of the HealthLine. According to the 2012 Traffic Study, this condition will create traffic gridlocks resulting in delays in travel time and up to $3.5 million in additional operating cost to the RTA.
 
So two lanes of the perimeter roadway will have to accommodate cars and buses from ten lanes.
 
In addition, the traffic will be further constricted in the southwest quadrant (opposite the casino and Renaissance Hotel) where the outer roadway has two RTA stops – one for four trolleys and two bus routes, and the other for six bus routes. 
 
In addition to causing gridlocks and delays in travel time, this constriction poses a safety hazard.
 
How will ambulances or firetrucks reach a vehicle that needs attention and is stuck in the middle?
 
RTA cannot explain how other 60-foot long articulated buses (Cleveland State Line, #22, and #26) will make turns at almost right-angled corners without encroaching in to the adjoining lanes and cause accidents?
 
After Completion: When the renovated Public Square opens, Ontario Street will still remain closed while Superior Avenue will open to four lanes of bus traffic only. The remaining traffic will flow on the perimeter roads. The traffic gridlocks will continue and
 
RTA will be spending $1 million every year in additional operating costs
 
 
 
WHY A HUNGER STRIKE?:
 
*Corrupt Process: A corrupt process was used in the development of the radical makeover of 218-year old Public Square. The proposed renovation dubbed a masterpiece in urban park design – - based on Mayor Jackson’s vision of one big square -- was actually a defective design which his honor knew would cause delays in travel time to thousands of Clevelanders and cost the RTA $3.5 million in operating costs during construction and $1 million annually after completion.
 
*Mass Deception: Once the project is completed, Ontario Street will be completely closed while Superior Avenue will be narrowed from 77 ft. to 48 ft. -- with four lanes of bus traffic and eight bus stops within Public Square – between the East and West Roadways.
 
However, the rendering by world-famous Landscape Architect, James Corner Field Operations of New York City, shows only one bus – as far as the eye can see.
 
EIGHT BUS STOPS AND ONLY ONE BUS!
ONE BUS!
REALLY!
WHOM ARE THEY KIDDING?
Planners in City Hall say: WOW! AWESOME!
I say: MASS DECEPTION!
 
As someone who is actively involved in opposing the project for the past 8-months -- with my LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE signs -- during rush hours I can easily count 12 to 24 buses. After all the RTA has 4,000 bus trips in to Public Square every day. With buses nowhere to turn, Superior Avenue, in my opinion, will be transformed into a virtual parking lot for buses.
No one has asked why the Group Plan Commission, the official promoter for the project, was engaging in mass deception by showing only one bus – as far as the eye can see.
 
I believe the full closure of Ontario Street and Superior Avenue during construction, and after construction - the full closure of Ontario Street and narrowing of Superior Avenue – and the rerouting of traffic around the perimeter roadway -- will cause traffic gridlocks, delays in travel time, and add to the operating costs for the RTA. I am not alone in this assessment. The 2012 Traffic Study (the only study made partially public so far) as reported in The Plain Dealer and on cleveland.com came to the same conclusions:
 
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDUQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.cleveland.com%2Farchitecture%2F2012%2F06%2Fpublic_square_traffic_study_by.html&ei=lk31VNfIMITjsATvtYDoDQ&usg=AFQjCNGNk02NK1Y3zUyOyQlqZiUXc_yY-Q
 
 
*Traffic Test & Public Meetings: Mayor Jackson never responded to the e-mail of December 29, 2014 and the certified mail of December 30, 2014 requesting a One-Week Long Traffic Test to verify the latest Traffic Plan and City-Wide Public Meetings to discuss the Traffic Test and the Traffic Plan.
 
The absence of the Traffic Test and the Public Meetings will be seen as a denial of due process and the imposition of the will of City Hall on 40,000 bus riders who use RTA buses in Public Square; other bus riders who use Laketran and other buses; and thousands of vehicle drivers.
 
*No Response: For the record, Mayor Jackson never responded to any of the multiple e-mails sent since August 24, 2014.
 
*Public Safety: Mayor Jackson never responded to issues dealing with public safety – requested via e-mail on February 16, 2015 and via certified mail on March 2, 2015.
 
Where will fire trucks & ambulances go when Public Square is closed during construction for 16 months & afterwards when Ontario Street will be closed and Superior Avenue narrowed from 77 ft. to 48 ft. And limited to buses only?
 
*EIS (Environmental Impact Statement): Mayor Jackson never responded to the request for an EIS– requested via e-mail on February 25, 2015 and via certified mail on March 2, 2015.
 
“Please provide an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) to demonstrate that the noise, vibrations, dust, etc. from the construction of the proposed renovation of Public Square and the relocation of underground public and private utilities which may contain hazardous materials (asbestos, lead, mercury, etc.) will not adversely impact the safety, health, and well being of thousands of Clevelanders who visit Public Square every day and also live and work in the neighborhood.
 
Please allow sufficient time for the public review and comment process on the EIS before start of construction.”
 
 
 
 
 
PREVIOUS RELATED POSTS ON REALNEO:
 
03-07-15: CALL FOR HUNGER STRIKE: FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE PROJECT! 
 
02-20-15: GREATER CLEVELAND RTA THROWS 40,000 CUSTOMERS UNDER THE BUS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE PROJECT! 
 
02-14-15: IS CITY HALL COMPROMISING WITH SAFETY BY CHOKING PUBLIC SQUARE’S MAJOR ARTERIES?
 
12-27-14: A 3-HOUR DEMONSTRATION IN PUBLIC SQUARE ON A PLEASANT FRIDAY, 12-26-14, AFTERNOON!
 
12-21-14: CAVS vs. GRIZZLIES! FANS SUPPORT THE LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE CAMPAIGN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO!
 
12-14-14: BROWNS vs. BENGALS! FANS AGAIN SUPPORT THE LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE CAMPAIGN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO!
 
12-07-14: BROWNS’ FANS SUPPORT THE LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE CAMPAIGN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO!
 
12-04-14: PUBLIC SQUARE ROCKS WITH TWO DEMONSTRATIONS ON A COLD THURSDAY, 12-04-14, AFTERNOON!
 
11-27-14: CONFLUENCE OF TWO DEMONSTRATIONS IN PUBLIC SQUARE IN CLEVELAND, OHIO!
 
10-31-14: BEATING THE RAIN IN PUBLIC SQUARE ON A DRIZZLY HALLOWEEN AFTERNOON!
 
10-30-14: PUBLIC SQUARE IN DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND ROCKS WITH CAVS’ FANS DURING A COOL BUT PLEASANT THURSDAY 10-30-14 AFTERNOON/EVENING!
 
10-26-14: TALK OF THE TOWN – I: The LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE Campaign Rocks Cleveland, Ohio!
 
09-06-14: TRANSIT POLICE QUESTION ACTIVIST WAVING “LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE” SIGN IN DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OHIO 
 
08-17-14: LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE: DON’T CLOSE ONTARIO STREET, DON’T NARROW SUPERIOR AVENUE, & DON’T MESS UP THE TRAFFIC 
 
AttachmentSize
Slide1.JPG88.61 KB
Slide2.JPG50.93 KB
Slide3.JPG64.57 KB
Slide4.JPG70.99 KB
Slide6.JPG69.51 KB
Slide7.JPG63.14 KB
Slide8.JPG68.45 KB
Slide9.JPG70.63 KB
Slide10.JPG78.25 KB
Slide11.JPG74.16 KB
Slide12.JPG77.56 KB
Slide13.JPG85.31 KB
Slide14.JPG78.05 KB
Slide15.JPG94.77 KB
Slide16.JPG103.15 KB
Slide17.JPG88.79 KB
Slide18.JPG50.93 KB
Slide5.JPG61.94 KB
( categories: )