Plain Press, December 2015 Over 40 people attended the Lincoln Heights Block Club meeting on November 9th at Pilgrim Church in Tremont, to offer input into what they hope will be a comprehensive, infrastructure master plan for their service area (east from the freeways I-90/I71 to the west at W.25th; and north from Fairfield and Train Avenue to the south at Wade Avenue). Although funding for the infrastructure improvement residents would like to see has not yet been allocated, the block club invited city officials to their meeting to help assure their views would be heard prior to any planning.
Noting that Scranton Road is included in the Cleveland Bikeway Master Plan, residents and stakeholders showed unity in requesting that the City of Cleveland continue to allow on street parking rather than creating a dedicated bike lane when Scranton Road is reconstructed in their block club area.
Residents, business owners, representatives of non profit organizations all testified as to their preference to have cyclists and cars share a lane and continue to have on-street parking. Even residents who regularly cycle said that was their preferred option because of the shortage of parking spaces in the neighborhood. City of Cleveland officials in attendance to hear residents concerns included Commissioner of Traffic Engineering Rob Mavec; Robert Chappelle, Capital Projects; Martin Cader, City Planning and Richard Switalski, Engineering and Construction.
An owner of a commercial/residential building along Scranton noted that a number of the mixed-use buildings on Scranton had no off street parking for customers and residents. A representative of the Litmus Theatre on Scranton noted that elderly patrons of the theatre needed to park close to the theatre. The owner of the Tap House also testified as to the need for on street parking.
Residents and stakeholders also expressed concern about City of Cleveland plans to only repave part of Willey Road prior to starting on reconstruction of Scranton Road north of Fairfield to Carter Road. The construction is expected to start in February or March of 2016 and continue until August of 2017. During construction plans call for Scranton traffic to be one-way north in the area under construction. Residents said they would like to see all of Willey from Scranton to Columbus repaved prior to the start of construction, as it is a more likely detour route than the one proposed by the City that only includes part of Willey. Residents also asked the city officials to enforce rules requiring property owners along Willey to put in sidewalks. They said currently residents are walking in the street, due to the overgrowth and lack of sidewalks.
Another concern brought up to city officials was the condition of Barber Avenue from Scranton to W. 19th in front of Scranton School. After completing a project, the Water Department paved the South Side of the street where they had been working. The North side of the street remains unpaved. Block Club Chairperson Henry Senyak noted that this creates a hazard as motorists travel west on Barber on the wrong side of the street to avoid the bumpy pavement on the north side of the street. Senyak noted this creates unsafe conditions for school children and motorists. He asked that the street be repaved.
An Ohio Department of Transportation official offered an update on lighting, painting and paving planned in their work areas around W. 14th, Fairfield, Kennilworth and Starkweather. Residents also asked ODOT to clear a drainage ditch on Starkweather just east of W. 15th that was blocked with cement.
In other matters, residents voiced their approval of plans for a new development at Willey and Scranton called the Lincoln. Plans call for a six-story development with 25 apartment units and 46 parking spaces.
The manager of the South Branch Library offered an update on plans to move the library back to the historic Carnegie South building on Scranton at Clark Avenue. He said in July the Library Board of Trustees approved the move back to the building and discussed the possibility of creating an addition on the back to help address some issues such as meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for access to the building. He said in September the board discussed hiring architects with expertise in historic restoration to work on the building. He said the library is working with Tremont West Development Corporation to explore securing parking places.