Street Closure, Park Experiment Hits a Snag in Cleveland

In July, a local nonprofit closed down an entire street in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland for a placemaking experiment that had to be partially dismantled before the three-month duration of the program was complete.

August 14, 2019, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Cleveland, Ohio

Market Avenue in the Cleveland neighborhood of Ohio City was closed to vehicle traffic in July. Street furniture added to the street has since raised safety concerns. | Google Streetview

"The city may be having second thoughts about the temporary closure of Market Avenue in Ohio City, which has enabled the one-block street to function over the past month as a popular, tree-shaded park filled with colorful café tables and chairs," reports Steven Litt.

Safety concerns, however, led the city to remove the street furniture earlier this month. The nonprofit Ohio City Inc. had been granted a permit to close the street for three months. Apparently however, some city officials say that the street furniture was not part of the permit. "The city has asked Ohio City to present a safety plan showing how the furniture would be handled in case of an emergency," according to Litt.

"Ohio City pursued the street closure as a way to provide a new outdoor amenity for a rapidly growing neighborhood attracting new residents around bustling restaurants and shops near the West Side Market, the area’s traditional anchor," explains Litt, who also references a similar effort in the nearby city of Euclid, launched in 2018.

Monday, August 5, 2019 in The Plain Dealer

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