Transportation News

Data-rich and deep analytical information about Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio transportation news

City reveals its lakefront vision

A preliminary design for downtown lakefront improvements was unveiled yesterday by the city and its consulting team at the Great Lakes Science Center to advance the project development process. The process would then move into final design, fundraising and environmental permitting so construction could begin possibly in the next two years. But there are some notable differences in the city’s lakefront vision when compared to one commissioned and released two years ago by the owners of the Cleveland Browns football team, The Haslam Group.

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City considers re-legalizing the city again

The city of Cleveland’s Board of Zoning Appeals’ docket regularly sees cases like this. On Monday, Sally Banks LLC will ask the board to allow it add a 1,100-square-foot addition to its popular Treehouse pub, 820 College Ave. in Tremont, without adding off-street parking spaces. It’s the second time the pub is expanding and it’s the second time it has had to go through the process of getting a variance to ignore the city’s zoning laws. Those zoning laws say the pub has to add an off-street parking space for every 100 square feet of new business space. The average cost per parking space to build a surface parking lot is $5,000, city data shows.

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city-owned land is proposed for parking lot

Lakefront vision to be unveiled July 27

Although the downtown lakefront plans to released publicly on July 27 will be preliminary, they will give more insight into the direction city officials received from prior public input sessions on developing the city’s “front porch” as officials call the lakefront. And since these plans are still preliminary and conceptual, city officials said they want more public input on them before refining them and adding more design details to them.

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Port Board OK’s $60M Irishtown Bend stabilization

Today the Cleveland port authority’s board of directors approved the hiring of an Ohio construction company for nearly $60 million to stabilize and rehabilitate the Irishtown Bend hillside, a project that is being done foremost to maintain the Cuyahoga River shipping channel. But the work also must be done before any construction can start on the 23-acre Irishtown Bend Park in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.

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Downtown Lakefront projects flow

Several large-scale projects along downtown Cleveland’s lakefront are moving forward thanks to developments in recent days. In addition to multi-million-dollar grants being awarded for lakefront projects, the City Planning Commission approved plans for the $100 million expansion of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Also, a national nonprofit that promotes racial equity revealed it is partnering with the city on designing an inclusive lakefront. And plans for converting the Shoreway highway into a boulevard are crystalizing but may complicate Amtrak’s passenger rail expansion plans.

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Did city derail scenic railroad extension?

While helping Bedrock Real Estate acquire land for its downtown riverfront development, the city of Cleveland may have also “significantly harmed” nascent efforts to extend Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) passenger trains north to downtown. That harm was the apparent result of the city releasing itself from a lien on current and former railroad rights of way along the Cuyahoga River from below Tower City Center south to near Interstate 490.

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Eagle Avenue lift bridge to be demolished

According to public records, the city of Cleveland is seeking to demolish the Eagle Avenue lift bridge over the Cuyahoga River as early as next year. There are no plans to replace the city-owned bridge which links a rapidly developing Scranton Peninsula in the Flats with downtown’s Gateway District and its venues for the Cleveland Guardians and Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Bedrock riverfront offices draw tenants

Because of their cost and complexity, Downtown Cleveland megaprojects don’t usually have a strong track record of becoming a reality. But Bedrock Real Estate’s vision for the downtown riverfront between Tower City Center and the Cuyahoga River appears to be coming together more quickly as time goes on. And, in recent weeks, NEOtrans has learned that several large tenants are in the works for the major development.

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Getting Tower City on track

When you have an opportunity to expend the same or similar effort and money that would achieve the better of two outcomes, why not pursue the better outcome? That’s the decision Greater Cleveland has yet to make when looking at a transportation ingredient to two major waterfront development masterplans. One is the downtown lakefront development led by the Haslam Sports Group. The other is the Tower City Riverfront development led by Bedrock Real Estate. Both are supported by civic organizations and all levels of government.

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Greater Cleveland: poverty amid plenty

Amid the good news in Ohio and especially in Greater Cleveland that unemployment has fallen to pre-pandemic lows is the harsh reality that inner-city joblessness remains high. This is despite thousands of jobs made available by economic growth and retiring Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, three-fourths of all available jobs are beyond the reach of public transportation or, where public transportation is fast and frequent, there are many jobs but few quality housing options.

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