Train Avenue/Walworth Run UPDATE

Submitted by johnmcgovern on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 20:21.

The following story appears in the Summer 06 issue of Ohio Canal Corridor's newsletter .

Walworth Run – The Next Branch for the Towpath Trail?

It was back in 1996 when Ohio Canal Corridor led a planning charette in the ClarkMetro neighborhood that looked for a new vision for Train Avenue.  The daylong event was one of a half-dozen plans that were hatched throughout the city.  Others included a new park in Tremont where West 7 Street and West 10 Street merge along Railway Avenue and a park honoring surveyors in the Warehouse District between West 6 Street and West 9 Street/ just south of the Shoreway Ramp.  The exercises culminated in a booklet titled:  Green Spaces/People Places and was a component of the Lila Wallace/ Reader’s Digest funded park initiative under the direction of ParkWorks.

Ohio Canal Corridor immediately afterwards included Train Avenue in its annual RiverSweep program with the intent that this idea of a trail connection to the Towpath would not be lost, but rather that the neighborhood, through its represented Community Development Corporation, would awake to its potential. Thankfully, Clark-Metro has done just that. Last year, they teamed with a number of adjoining CDCs to submit a request to NOACA for funding under its Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) . Though they were unsuccessful, they regrouped and resubmitted again this year and were awarded $64,000 towards a $80,000 study that would explore a trail alignment and provide some estimated construction costs, identify benefits and spin-off development opportunities, and list potential funding sources. NPI contributed $12,000 towards the project and Ohio Canal Corridor (OECA) along with a number of stakeholder CDCs (Clark-Metro, Stockyards Development and Tremont West) have each added $1,000. As it stands, the planning will begin in 2007 and conclude in 2008.  Public input will be required and sought.  If you are interested in this project, please contact Abe Bruckman at Clark-Metro: 216-741-9500.

Additional ideas for Train Ave / Walworth Run can be found at
CSU's Levin College of Urban Affairs

Master of Urban Planning, Design, and Development (MUPDD)
PDD 611 Planning Capstone, Spring 2004
Train Avenue/Walworth Run Corridor

The Course Description contains the following information about Train Ave / Walworth Run

The corridor runs approximately two miles from W. 65th St. eastward to the Cuyahoga River. In the western end, the corridor is located directly to the south of the I-90 interstate; in its eastern third, the corridor study site turns northward toward the Cuyahoga River. Train Ave. is so-named for its proximity to several rail lines that run in the corridor. These railways were placed in the area in the late 19th and early 20th century as the west side neighborhoods of Cleveland developed. The trains were located in a natural ravine, which contained Walworth Run, a small tributary stream that emptied into the Cuyahoga River. Walworth Run was a valley riparian corridor containing several ponds, and drew early settlers, livestock businesses and slaughterhouses. The stream was gradually culverted and eventually buried underground, becoming part of the city's growing sewer system during the early 20th century.

Today scant evidence of the existence of a vibrant stream remains, although the topography of the area reveals its former location. The Train Ave. /Walworth Run corridor is a "forgotten landscape" except for the business located in its boundaries, and the neighborhoods directly adjacent to its south. The road is in need of repair, the area is subject to frequent litter and dumping, and is used as a "cut through" to Cleveland's downtown from the west side neighborhoods.

The study site corridor is a challenging exercise for a planning studio. Students were asked to generate ideas for the regeneration of the Train Ave./Walworth Run Corridor and develop suggestions for actions that can be used to restore its social and economic vitality, its connections to the surrounding neighborhoods, and its aesthetic and natural beauty. The project was carried out in conjunction with a steering committee of clients: the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, the City of Cleveland, and three community-based redevelopment organizations: Stockyards, Clark-Metro and Tremont.

Planning & Development is getting very interesting in Cleveland as connections between neighborhoods and nature begin to!

Fascinating area I don't know at all: Train Avenue

Very interesting John. I don't know this area off the beaten path at all - thanks for sharing on this. This brings my thinking back to a really powerful open GIS project to map all the existing greenspaces, industrial, commercial and residential and then to be able to see the impact of various enhancements - and what the full towpath plan looks like when complete, with all the new housing planned, vacant turned into reuse... even with all the visuals you post here, it is hard to get the big picture. Any idaes how to enhance the overview? Sudhir and others are working on ideas for enhanced mapping - can this go anywhere?

Disrupt IT