Critiquing Plans for Cleveland's New 'Opportunity Corridor'

As local officials claim that all is ready for work to begin on Cleveland's $330 million "Opportunity Corridor" road construction project, one writer critiques the plan's remaining shortcomings.

2 minute read

March 5, 2015, 1:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Writing for Rust Wire, Angie Schmitt pens a scathing critique of the Opportunity Corridor road construction project in Cleveland.

According to Schmitt, "everything’s speeding ahead and more or less final as far as the people with power over the situation are concerned as with the $331 million road project. I’m sort of disturbed about this because the $331 million road project still had a lot of pretty glaring issues it seems just aren’t going to get addressed."

Schmitt notes that the plan for the road has improved over the last year, including 19 fewer dead end streets created by the road, guaranteed construction contracts for minority and local contractors, a pedestrian bridge proximate to the East 55th rapid station, and reduced lane widths from 12 feet to 11.

Schmitt's argument, however, is that those improvements don't address the outstanding issues that make the project a questionable investment for the city. Schmitt details inadequate planning for bike infrastructure, transit riders, pedestrians, and the East 55th "jughandle."

To sum, Schmitt describes the project as a failure of planning: "This is a project that more than $30 million was spent 'planning.' And this is the end result?  It’s disappointing, especially given how high-flying the rhetoric around this project has been. Those of us who have been making these kinds of points are more or less shouting into the wilderness, however, at this point. I’m not very optimistic that anything will improve and we will have blown an opportunity to create something that would be a real asset for urban neighborhoods."

Thursday, March 5, 2015 in Rust Wire

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