RENOVATED PUBLIC SQUARE A.K.A. JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE – A BOGUS PROJECT!

Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Mon, 07/25/2016 - 22:54.

 

 

 
The following comments were posted on Craig’s Cleveland Business on July 25, 2016 in response to the article:


“Every intended use' for Public Square has been on display during RNC” by Kevin Kleps.


START OF COMMENTS:
 
RENOVATED PUBLIC SQUARE A.K.A. JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE – A BOGUS PROJECT!
 
The renovated Public Square is a bogus project built for the rich and powerful who are expected to benefit from a rise in real estate values while the rest of us will get screwed. With billions invested downtown – the poverty rate in the 10-year period (2001-2010) climbed from 31 to 37%.
 
It has been built with cheap materials and is being subsidized by cash-strapped RTA whose riders include poor people, students, senior citizens, handicapped people, and people without cars -- who in the coming years will have to live with continuing reduction in services and rising fares because of an increase in operating costs due to delays resulting from re-routing of traffic caused by a change in the geometric configuration of the renovated Square. .
 
There was nothing wrong with the historic 218-year old Public Square (opened in 1796 and that under went a senseless destruction starting in March 2015) that a little rehabilitation could not fix. There was no shortage of grass, flowers, elegant trees, granite benches, a fountain, a waterfall, and also a splash pool.
 
The historic Square was much more than a transit hub. It was a real vibrant public space that not only brought together commuters but also visitors, lunch-time crowd, kids playing in the lawn or the splash pool, musicians (performing on granite benches as shown with the grassy lawn in the background), protesters, bicyclists, skateboarders, Segway riders, the homeless, and many others. In addition to the annual Fourth of July concerts by the Cleveland Orchestra – the historic Square had no problem hosting Marine Week in June 2012 that was attended by thousands.

 

 
The new Square has been touted as a new Civic Center that was needed to host 50,000 visitors in connection with RNC 2016. However, Cleveland had no problem displaying a collective civic pride, with over 1 million fans, in the adjoining Malls during the June 22nd celebration of the Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship.
Despite all the hype of the renovated Square being an extensive green space – except for an artificial grassy hill on the north side and a few flower beds (called gardens) – majority of the new Square is paved all over with hard materials -- concrete and stone masonry -- a sharp contrast to the grassy and elegant adjoining Malls.
 
The endlessly repeated figure of $50 million as the cost of the renovation is not correct. It does not include the Traffic Consultant’s estimated $3.5 million in Additional Annual Operating Costs to the RTA for delays caused by total closure of Ontario Street and Superior Avenue during the 16-month construction period – prorated from an annual cost of $2.6 million.
 
Despite the official opening of the renovated Square on June 30, 2016, Superior Avenue with four lanes and eight bus shelters has not yet opened to RTA bus traffic. Operators of the Square plan to close Superior Avenue for major events.
For every day – Superior Avenue remains closed –– and with Ontario permanently closed -- it will cost the cash-strapped RTA an estimated $2.6 million annually or $7,123 per day.
 
For every day – Superior Avenue is open –– and with Ontario permanently closed -- it will cost the cash-strapped RTA an estimated $1 million annually or $2,740 per day.
 
I actively opposed the renovation with my LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE signs. The renovated Public Square has been nicknamed the Jimmy Dimora Public Square because of corruption involved in the process. In March 2015 -- there was a 10-day long hunger strike to protest the corruption. Demonstrations continue with WELCOME JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE signs.
 
So far, since August 2014, there have been over 700 hours of demonstrations which is the equivalent of walking over 2,100 miles carrying a sign.
 
The demonstrations continue unabated with the goal of educating the public about corruption in Cuyahoga County.
 
During RNC 2016 – I demonstrated for nearly 30-hours from Friday July 16 to the last day – July 21 when the Square was packed with nearly 2,000 people (my estimate). I also carried the WELCOME REPUBLICANS sign. As a left-leaning liberal, I have very little in common with our Republican friends -- but nevertheless I welcomed them as guests to our fabulous Cleveland.
 
 
Both signs (WELCOME REPUBLICANS 2016 & WELCOME JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE as shown here with a cutout of Donald J. Trump) were seen by thousands.

 

 
I also demonstrated on the day after (Friday, July 22) with only one sign – when there were less than 50 people (as shown) -- compared with nearly 2,000 the day before.
 
 
On July 22 -- when I was the only protester in the Square -- two Clevelanders who agreed with my campaign also posed with the sign (as shown).

 
Every time I have demonstrated in the renovated Square – after it officially opened on June 30 – I have never counted more than a hundred people.
 
The WELCOME JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE signs are recognized all over Cleveland. The term Jimmy Dimora Public Square has become part of Cleveland’s lexicon.
 
References:
*2012 Traffic Consultant’s Study as reported on cleveland.com: https://www.google.com/url?sa=...
*Post on “Senseless Destruction of 218-year old Public Square a.k.a. Jimmy Dimora Square in Cleveland, Ohio”:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=...
 
*Youtube Videos with the titles: Leave Public Square Alone, Protesting Corruption in the Public Square Project, Welcome Jimmy Dimora Public Square (2 parts), and RNC and Jimmy Dimora Public Square 4.


END OF COMMENTS


LINK to Craig’s Cleveland Business article:

 

 

“Every intended use' for Public Square has been on display during RNC”
by Kevin Kleps. 




ADDITIONAL SLIDES:
 
WELCOME JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE!
 
 
WELCOME $50 MILLION JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE – A PRODUCT OF CLEVELAND’S CORRUPT SYSTEM!
 

 
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