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Rest in Peace,
Will the Plain Dealer ask the right questions?
Submitted by Lee Batdorff on Tue, 05/04/2010 - 12:37.
The following was sent as a an email message to many editors and reporters at the Plain Dealer and public relations executives at the American Public Transportation Association. You can find a list of recipients at the end of the this article.
The American Public Transportation Association is holding a national conference in Cleveland at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel through May 5th. Attendees at this conference will be touring the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's new Health Line.
Cleveland's Health Line is one of the few, if only, Bus Rapid Transit lines in the United States. This innovative transit line affords travel by public transit that is faster than automobile between downtown Cleveland and University Circle. This new $200 million facility affords much opportunity for Transit Oriented Design.
Tremendous potential for E. 56th Street RTA Health Line station poised to be squandered
There may be no area along the Health Line better posed for Transit Oriented Design than the 16-or-so shovel-ready acres around the E. 56th Street Health Line station platforms. Instead of waiting for commercial interests to develop this land, (it is a short ride on the Health Line to the medical research juggernauts Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), in the summer of 2009 the City of Cleveland chose to place a regional state psychiatric hospital to the north of the E. 56th Street Station.
Later in 2009 the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority sold land it owned during the construction of the Health Line to the City of Cleveland. For what? According to the first Cleveland Plain Dealer story linked below, a parking lot to service the proposed hospital across the street. The intended destination of the people parking here is not the Health Line. Use of land in this locale as a parking lot goes against the principles of Transit Oriented Design by removing a potential destination for transit riders.
The questions to ask: Is this appropriate Transit Oriented Design being proposed through installing a parking lot to service a building on centrally located prime development land on Cleveland's new BRT line? What can $200 million in tax paid transit infrastructure can afford us in Midtown Cleveland? What is good Transit Oriented Design that could occur at this location that would best benefit the people of the City of Cleveland and the metropolitan area?
Three Plain Dealer stories spell out the situation:
Cleveland buying Euclid Avenue land from RTA for state psychiatric hospital project
Noted land use expert calls the alarm over the psychiatric hospital:
Euclid Ave. was primed for economic growth -- until City Hall got involved
More Plain Dealer coverage of the proposed psychiatric hospital proposal:
Dueling views on Cleveland City Hall's support of the proposed Midtown psychiatric hospital
American Public Transit Association
The Plain Dealer