"Sadly, no one in government or community development sought a second opinion"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 08/07/2010 - 06:56.

Ed Hauser drove community opposition to the current ODOT bridge planning disaster,
just as he drove opposition to port planning on Whiskey Island, and demolition of the Breuer -
seen here in November, 2005, videotaping Paul Alsenas describing a better vision HE lost

As Steven Litt points outs out in the Plain Dealer today, as he slams all the designs and design processes leading to the $3.5 billion boondoggle that is the Cleveland ODOT I-90 bridge replacement disaster...

Several years ago, ODOT rejected a brilliant urban design proposal by Cuyahoga County Planning Director Paul Alsenas, which called for building a single new east- and westbound span further south of the existing right-of-way.

The Alsenas concept would have opened up new land for development around Gateway and shortened the total length of the bridge, producing savings in construction and long-term maintenance.

Engineers from the firm of Burgess & Niple, then leading the project for ODOT, said the Alsenas proposal was impossible. Sadly, no one in government or community development sought a second opinion.

Cities need ways to break the design monopoly held by big government agencies such as ODOT. Failure to find the best ideas for bridges and other big pieces of infrastructure means living with mediocrity for decades. Thanks to ODOT, it appears Cleveland is headed in that direction on its new bridge.

I can confirm Litt's account, as Litt and I were at the Excellence Roundtable held in November, 2005, with Ed Hauser, whereby we had Alsenas discuss this vision for the future of this ODOT bridge replacement, now a disgrace. 

At the time, I concluded:

Current ODOT design is presented, with them having added a section of cable stay to be able to say they have provided a “signature” design – “throwing Cleveland a bone” - very poor concept and execution

When asked if ODOT can be stopped, the group belief was if the city/region really comes behind this opportunity - “takes ownership” - and Senator Voinovich gets on board, we definitely can turn this around

Question comes up of what is a signature bridge?

We have many great bridges, like the Lorain/Carnegie Bridge. So our next bridge – which will be here for the next 100 years – should be the latest technology – new icon for future of city/region

Must focus on process. ODOT is railroading process – at one time ODOT was considering the Southern plan and then suddenly this Summer said it was unacceptable – only reason they have given is it would impact the Greek Church in Tremont, which it will not.

Question comes to where ODOT stands on all this now. Feeling is they must be realizing they have problems with their plans. The Roundtable attendees planning the Southern Route believe the ODOT people in Cleveland are good people and want these right outcomes, but there are obstacles in Columbus that are political.

I spoke with many leaders in "government or community development" about this incompetent bridge planning process at that time - years ago- and was awed by their stupidity... or was it corruption?!?!

Obviously, if it was all up to Senator Voinovich we were screwed from the beginning... as Voinovich proves to be human garbage...  he wanted this garbage here... so it is no surprise he failed this community on this issue. Is that what screwed us completely... our cowardly leaders selling out to Voinovich... is there more...?

Cleveland Institute of Art BA and Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative planning Master
Joseph Stanley
had a more intelligent design for the future of Cleveland than the leaders of our community have embraced

The planning of this bridge has been so pathetic... where to begin...?!?! Name names of the failures who brought this upon us.

Start with the leadership at Gateway Development Corporation, who wanted a tight bridge line to contain development to their area... and continue along through the Midtown trench area only concerned with their off-ramps... past ugly-bridge sponsors Cleveland State University and Kent State Center for Urban Design who should challenge flawed planning... to see all who failed this community on this project, and all who must now live with harmful results.

Nobody in any planning organization in town spoke against this flawed process and they all seemed pleased to bend over to anything ODOT said... FOR YEARS!

I watched this planning process closely and will say that was the most uninspiring and cowardly experience I have seen here since everyone  in "government or community development" went along with demolishing the Breuer... and went along with moving the port to Whiskey Island - all demonstrations every planning and leadership process of any sort here is broken, and everyone in "government or community development" who has a finger or say in these decisions should be terminated.

Unreal NEO planners... this DECADE has been a disgrace - you are all disgraces. Live with it.

The last time I saw Paul Alsenas - that I even realized hs was alive - was at Ed Hauser's funeral. I didn't even say hello to him, for selling the community out on this issue.... selling out Ed... this was Ed's issue - Ed's issue, and Ed's alone, as we see by this complete community failure since he died.

So was the Breuer. So Was Whiskey Island.

Leaders in "government or community development" - just another pathetic cowardly pack of stupid sell out clowns in a cast of fools running this region.

And you shall see the results, over the next decade, of wasting billions on poor community planning here... no benefit and profit for any local businesses, except save some concrete companies and some short term construction jobs, which could be applied to well planned infrastructure just as easily as to poor design.

Another Healthline disaster from ODOT... Sherrod Brown's brother Robert Brown's ODOT... Jones Day's ODOT.

Pathetic - on this project, our leaders and community get the complete falure they deserve... and the citizens deserve to be screwed for letting their leaders be failures. I watched this closely and this is a failure of pathetic local leadership and the citizens who have sold out their communities to fools, and nothing less.

Show me any local leaders who asked for things to go any differently than this end result - you brought this shit on yourselves... and your children will be receiving this postcard from you after they move the hell out of the shithole town you have brought upon them....

I always told Ed he was way too nice.

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"another pathetic cowardly pack of stupid sell out clowns"


I think one could also describe it as an "urban planning" cluster fuck.

I don't think the planners of this bridge will find peace

Northeast Ohio is the "urban planning" cluster fuck of all time and this is one of our leaders' more pathetic fuck-ups of all time... among so many

And, they are building this NEW bridge directly over an historic graveyard site, where many people died in an historic bridge disaster...

I don't think the planners of this bridge will find peace in eternity...

The CENTRAL VIADUCT STREETCAR ACCIDENT occurred on the dark, foggy night of 16 Nov. 1895. Cleveland City Railway streetcar No. 642, on the Cedar-Jennings route, plunged through the open draw of the Central Viaduct into the Cuyahoga River, over 100' below. The mishap resulted in 17 deaths, making it the worst traction accident in the U.S. at that time and the worst such disaster in Cleveland's history. It was the second trip that evening for motorman August Rogers and conductor Edward Hoffman. There were 21 people aboard, many of them women and children who had boarded the car downtown. Visibility was poor as the car approached the derailer switch. Hoffman went ahead, threw the switch, and motioned the car forward, jumping aboard the rear platform as the car passed. Unknown to either man, the draw was open, permitting the passage of a tug towing 2 vessels, and the power cutoff had not operated for some time.

Peering through the mist, Rogers thought he saw that the draw was open over the tracks, but since there was still current, he dismissed the idea. As he increased the throttle, the mist cleared, revealing the open draw. Slamming the transmission into reverse, Rogers and 3 passengers leaped to safety. Crashing through the warning fence, the streetcar plunged downward, striking a support piling and rebounding into 18' of water. Only 1 passenger survived the fall, but he later succumbed to injuries.

if we'd named Cleveland Poisonovichville

This says it all - if we'd named Cleveland Poisonovichville he would have given us a nice bridge... instead, the real bridge design effort goes to Jones Day's Voinovich Park... on Jones  Days lakefront, where we've wasted most of the region's development funding and effort for two decades and plan to waste most of our future wealth for no good plans...

Take the Poll... get clusterfucked

Disrupt IT

Post Hauser Issue #3: The Process Is Broken

Post Hauser Issue #3: The Process Is Broken

Frank Giglio was (prematurely - still needs a lawyer and housing, I believe?) removed as post-hauser issue #2, featured on REALNEO, and we never assigned a post-hauser issue #3.

I suggest we go to the root of Ed's beliefs - "The Process is Broken" - and focus on and look at the broken processes in the region that are causing citizens harm - including what Ed was especially concerned with, and others - in pursuit of better outcomes for the community and region.

Broken processes of great concern to Ed included:

  • the broken-from-conception MedCon Processes, which have resulted in more critically broken processes, now breaking apart downtown
  • the ODOT Opportunity Corridor and Innerbelt Bridge and Tench planning processes, which are as broken as any processes may become, short of the Innerbelt bridge actually collapsing
  • the broken Port Authority and Port of Cleveland processes, now in complete, dysfunctional meltdown
  • the broken Flats, Superior Viaduct, Huletts, Coast Guard Station and other historic asset preservation processes, the patheticness of which is best represented by Frank Giglio, who lost his home shortly after Ed died.

From Susan Miller's posting, here are other things Ed Hauser was working on...

And, here is Ed's list of active projects, at the time of his death, showing how many processes he saw broken, and all he did to fix that.

Ed Hauser project list, at time of death

Other broken processes beyonf Ed's list include how we decide what schools remain open and where school dollars are invested, how we decide what communities we invest Federal stimulus dollars in renewing, how we handle missing persons and police reports and investigations, and how we are planning development of our local foods economy... from a long list...

Feel free to add other broken processes to this list, and share your thoughts on making this Post-Hauser Issue #3.

Disrupt IT

Is it too late?!?!

Is it too late?!?!

I don't think so. I have found deep rooted issues with ODOT planning at the Federal level that suggest we deserve and in fact must have a complete change of leadership at ODOT Ohio, and renewed Federal attention to our needs, and a REDO on all planning for this bridge - this time with legitimate citizen involvement.

I am going to push for this REDO - and to make certain Terri Hamilton Brown and her friends fail to grow their power in this region in pursuit of next slamming THEIR OPPORTUNITY CORRIDOR down our throats -  you all do what you like.

Disrupt IT

Back of napkin sketch of new I-90 Bridge

Cleveland Institute of Art BA and Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative planning Master
Joseph Stanley
had a more intelligent design for the future of Cleveland than the leaders of our community have embraced

Back of napkin sketch of new I-90 Bridge... blending of visioning with Ed Hauser, Joe Stanley and Ken Prendergast...

See the vision unfold here...