Not So Fast on Van Aken Intersection Fix

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 18:47.

The article in the Plain Dealer this a.m. on plans to "fix" the "messy" intersection at Van Aken and Chagrin roads gives my tummy some growls.


No one doubts that the intersection could have been devised better at some point.

However, the costs being tossed around in the article for a "solution" I find rather alarming. Adding to the alarm is the fact that the Forest City crowd  wants some help with its Van Aken shopping center.


What really upsets me is the casual talk in the article about a $50 million cost to the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). When RTA talks $50 million, no one knows that the true figure might be.

I will admit that I don't know that much about how much planning has gone into this solution but my political antenna is recording shock waves.

RTA, I believe, gets into these high-spending projects (Euclid Corridor) when they don't really add much to what I would consider the main reason for public transportation - to serve transit-dependent people and to provide cheaper and more environmentally good transportation. The Euclid Avenue project is more a $200 million plus beautification project meant to improve development in downtown.

I'd also warn taxpayers about another major project that involved RTA and Forest City - at Tower City. When RTA renovated its station below Tower City, Forest City became the construction manager of the heavily-subsidized development. When the project was completed Forest City turned around and  sued RTA for $25 million. This was after RTA had built the still money-losing Waterfront Line through Tower City to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for $69 million and some $11 to $13 million for the walkway through Tower City to Gateway, all helping Tower City. Forest City got a settlement from RTA of $10 million on the $25-million law suit. RTA also  pays Forest City $780,000 per year as maintenance charges for its rapid station beneath Tower City. And it even pays utility charges for the escalators that bring rapid riders up to Tower City and for the walkway that links Tower City & The Avenue shopping center to Gateway. By the way, RTA's desire to reward downtown interests on the Waterfront Line meant it had to forego federal to get it done quickly, absorbing the entire $69 million locally.

Taxpayers ought to have a lot more information about this "fix," if that's the proper word. The PD article can be found here:

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It's the last thing we need

This "fix" and the traffic "fix" proposed for University Circle.  And, the "Opportunity Corridor Fix..."  Like we need a hole in the head.

Power people

  Back to our two-tiered society and the waste of money spent to placate the "rich" in this town...little-by-little this sense of entitlement will crumble.  I see it happening every day.  It's not happening fast enough, but it has to happen.

Regardless of skin color, language, culture, income and geography, we are all in the same boat here in Northeast Ohio.  Bottomline-- it helps to know your neighbors and it helps to streamline and simplify your life. 

I agree. Once again public

I agree. Once again public resources go where the Power people

want it to go, no matter that other needs are more crucial.

no more roads

For those of you in 2010 researching this potential boondoggle, here's the title of the article:

Plans in works to straighten out twisted Van Aken intersection

Plan tries to work out the twists and turns

Thursday, April 24, 2008 Laura Johnston Plain Dealer Reporter

When we are in a economic downturn and a foreclosure crisis and a national security crisis, it is time to polish and resole the shoes we have not buy new ones. Before you know it we'll have elastic bands keeping our shoes on and that'll be a shame because we didn't resole them or polish them when we might have. It'll be time to resurrect the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Progress Administration before we know it.

Road work - we've got it backward. In Cleveland Heights the section of Lee Road that runs from the parks to the Cedar lee Business District is being resurfaced - finally! Hopefully they will include some traffic calming measures as drivers approach and leave the area near Fairfax School. (Don't hold your breath.) Now it would have made much more sense to do this before CH taxpayers spent $11 million on a "signature bridge" to nowhere. Granted the bridge structure after a lot of ballyhoo and objecting from the 90+ architects in Cleveland Heights for the fortress like thing that was originally proposed has been realized as a lovely piece of public art. However, who uses it? Maybe Steve Wood, Library Director whose office is on the other side of the street from the library. Maybe someone from Heights Parent Center if they need a book or periodical, some kids who want to be up there looking at traffic cause it's cool, but since there is no Dobama with patrons using overflow parking during evening events, no significant activity in the old YMCA building, we have to wonder why we paid for this lovely bridge. During the arguments, we heard that because a child was killed by an automobile on Lee Road in the area, we had to have the bridge. So my argument was that that point meant that we should calm the traffic on this major speedway next to a school. (Lee Road is the highway between Cleveland and East Cleveland - I know I live right by it.) But if they had put the traffic calming in and then reassess  the need for a bridge, we might have saved $11 million. Oh well, it's too late to consider that now.

I have to applaud Studio Techne and the architect (Dru McKeown) who had the brilliant idea for this beautiful structure for stepping into a pile of %#@t a mile high deep and wide and coming out smelling like a rose, but first things first. First slow the traffic then build a bridge if you can prove that it is required.

Let's fix the potholes and give those folk in University Circle a map before we build anymore "fixes". I can't believ that these highly paid physicians whom we trust with our helahcare can't find a way to get from the airport to University Circle or the Clinc (duh - take the train to Tower City and the Euclid Corridor to the Clinic or CWRU - what else - grab a cab).

Let's get the RTA to ride the wind and support a wifi corridor to bridge the digital divide. Let's see more Transit Oriented Development from them before we make more nonsense in the suburbs. There are good ideas in the heads of visionaries in NEO. Why aren't we listening?



The Beautiful Parking Garage

But who would park in the five story parking garage being built at the clinic, susan?  If the doctors and employees took public transit, would there be empty spaces in the parking garage?  Ride public transportation.  You must be joking.  We are not a cosmopoliton city where ALL people ride public transit.  Our overpriced transit system growing more expensive each day is only for the poor and downtrodden.  Does anyone else question the latest ads on the buses which refer to our #1  status in the nation and the tag line is "no, really".  What is up with that?  Even the transit system doesn't believe they should be rated #1. !?!  What is it with Cleveland and this constant put down of ourselves.  If you got the number 1 rating in the nation, wear it and wear it proudly.  Enough with the put downs already.


What bright PR firm came up with that ad campaign?  I wonder.  I've got some ideas but no real information.

Last comment becomes first comment

Okay, Susan.  Here it is.  an example.  I clicked reply to your comment, and my comment comes out before yours.  How do I avoid this happening?  I am never the last comment on any post that I leave a comment on.  At times, I have even taken the place of the original post.


I don't like jumping line like that and therefore, always hesitate and most times do not comment at all on this site.

check your settings

Just under the original post, you'll see "comment viewing options". There are three dropdown boxes. It seems to me that you may have yours set to view "date - newest first". Try changing this to oldest first so it looks more like the blogs you may be accustomed to reading.

Underneath the dropdown option boxes in that box it says, "Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes." Try that and see if it works for you. If it works, I'll look forward to seeing more comments from you here. I'll even walk you through posting your own stuff here if you like. I’m no expert, but I’m sure we could trade some IT tricks learned by the seats of our pants. Thanks for helping me find this little quirk/option in realneo, Gloria.

default comment display order

What do you all think (do we need a poll?) of changing REALNEO's default comment display order to oldest-first?

I think most people are used to this fashion in forums, comments, emails...

default to oldest first

Yes, let's make it as simple as possible for the way folks are accustomed to reading these discussions. I do like the 50 comments per page and the threaded list expanded. When GCBL went to collapsing the comments, I about went nuts having to click back and forth. They returned the option of seeing the comment list expanded.

Re: default to oldest first

Changed: comments will now default to oldest first.

There's still the option to choose your own, personal setting...

Crazy quilt

I like the crazy quilt approach.  As I will readily admit, my thoughts are scattered, so this random format works for me.  Expect the unexpected and all.

The only thing I miss with REALNEO is a sitemap.  That's not a Drupal feature is it?

site map

There is a drupal Site Map module, but I'd like to hold off with new module installations until I can get some issues sorted out with upgrading the drupal system this site runs on.

I think that's a great idea for when that happens, though.