(Plain Press, November 2014) Traffic on Scranton Road north of Clark was once again a major topic of discussion at the Lincoln Heights Block Club’s October 20th meeting. Block Club Chairperson Henry Senyak said he has seen no evidence that traffic studies have been underway as City of Cleveland Commissioner of Traffic Engineering and Streets Rob Mavec promised at the December 2013 meeting of the block club. Senyak said there are still issues of speeding traffic. With two public schools, and a CMHA senior building along the corridor, there are many people out walking and crossing the street safely has become a challenge.
Several residents and business owners testified that once vehicles cross Clark, Scranton becomes a racetrack from Clark Avenue north to the towpath trail. Many of the block club’s suggestions to Commissioner Mavec for Scranton from Clark to the towpath trail were shot down, said Senyak. Mavec told the block club their idea to double the length of the 20 miles per hour school zones violated state code that only allows a school zone on the block where the school is located.
Block club members suggested Scranton be a single lane in each direction with dedicated turn lanes. Traffic turning at the corner of Scranton and Kenilworth was cited as being particularly troublesome. Another person mentioned truck traffic heading to Steelyard via Scranton and Clark.
Some residents felt that the traffic calming (the use of various means to slow down traffic) on W. 14th led to more traffic on Scranton. They also expressed concern of additional traffic moving to Scranton because of the repaving of W. 25th Street and the closure of the Columbus Road Bridge. A concern was also expressed that with more bicycles now coming down Scranton to go to the new towpath trail the situation calls for traffic calming before someone gets seriously hurt.
Another argument for the need for traffic calming on Scranton was that the offices and apartments in the Sustainable Community Associates’ Fairmont Creamery at W. 17th and Willey would soon be open adding additional people and local traffic to the area. Another development proposed by the Sustainable Community Associates at the Ohio Awning Building on Scranton, if implemented, would mean more local residents in the area.
Rose Zitiello, a property owner on the street, suggested bringing the concerns about traffic calming on Scranton to the attention of City Council at a Monday night meeting.
Ohio Awning President Andrew Morse said that the city of Cleveland’s decision to eliminate parking on Scranton in front of Ohio Awning has exasperated the problem of speeding. “The parking on the street used to slow people down because there was only one lane. Now with two lanes of traffic we have a race track,” he said.
Tremont West Development Corporation Executive Director Cory Riordan said the argument made by residents that additional traffic is being diverted to Scranton because of the repaving of W. 25th along with the long term impact proposed bike lanes and parking lanes on W. 25. would have on Scranton grabbed his attention. He believed those arguments would help him make a case to the city as to why it is important to meet with those along the Scranton corridor about doing a traffic study.
Block Club Chair Henry Senyak asked that the meeting be set up with City of Cleveland Director of Public Works Michael Cox, Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman and Commissioner Mavec. Block Club member Georgiann Franko suggested that the meeting, even if it was just a meeting with a committee from the block club, should take place before the holidays.
In an email to Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman the day after the block club meeting Senyak requested the meeting on traffic calming along the Scranton corridor be held in a venue large enough to hold 50 to 100 people. Cimperman responded by email saying, “We will reach out to traffic engineering and schedule a meeting.”