Kill The Opportunity Corridor Before It Kills You

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Bill Call
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Kill The Opportunity Corridor Before It Kills You

Postby Bill Call » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:52 am

The opportunity corridor is a planned boulevard running from E 55th to the University Circle. The proponents of the plan believe it would open up hundreds of acres of land to development. The advocates see economic synergies that would increase the number of high paying jobs in medicine, science and the technologies.

They are right.

http://www.cleveland.com/plaindealer/st ... xml&coll=2

It’s one of the few development ideas that make sense.

The project should be opposed by everyone one on the West side not because it’s a bad idea but because it would come at the cost of ending plans for lakefront development on Cleveland’s West side.

http://blog.cleveland.com/architecture/ ... n_for.html

RTA is eviscerating transportation service on the West side, is opposing efforts to restore Clifton Boulevard and is cutting service across the board to continue subsidies to the waterfront line, the Euclid Corridor and other Eastside development projects.

Government funded agencies like the Cuyahoga Arts Council are deliberately underfunding West side projects to silently and secretly and slowly but surely strangled independent art on the Westside. Some elected officials on the West side and some County officials are working behind the scenes to kill development in Lakewood. Why? Because they understand that in Northeast Ohio taxpayer funded development is a zero sum game. Billions for Euclid Avenue but not one red cent for Clifton or Bunt’s?

It’s time that our elected officials speak out against the quiet campaign, make it public and make it personal. They should actively oppose that corridor until ODOT and County officials finally start treating this region as something more than a cash cow.


Bryan Schwegler
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Postby Bryan Schwegler » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:44 pm

Bill, do you go a day without trying to create a new conspiracy? ;)


Valerie Molinski
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Postby Valerie Molinski » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:57 pm

I just don't get the US versus THEM here that I read so often on this forum. We're all in this together. We need development wherever we can get it and it will benefit the entire region of the Cleveland + area.

I just don't understand the vitriol and rampant conspiracies proposed. So they build that area out? It gets popular and people start wanting to live close in again... or those doctors who begin families move out of those townhouses and into inner ring areas like Tremont, Detroit Shoreway, Lakewood because they still want to be close but not right there anymore. People here need to wake up and not be so completely insular. It can be a win win.

And FWIW, the inner east side and down town has always been the hub of the arts in this area. I don't see a conspiracy there.


dl meckes
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Postby dl meckes » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:18 pm

What happens to people who can't afford to live in gentrified housing?

Where do they go?


“One of they key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”- 45
Tim Liston
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Postby Tim Liston » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:40 am

Valerie, it's a zero-sum game. If they win, we lose. We're not in this together.

Let me go back in time a couple years. Not sure exactly when, but I did attend a couple planning/review meetings of what was to be a wonderful revitalization of Clifton Boulevard - landscaped median, bus only lanes, calmer traffic. Now it's just being repaved and like Bill says it's pretty much just a freeway through our town, there for the convenience of Rocky River and Bay Village commuters. Why it is still called Clifton “Boulevardâ€


Bill Call
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7

Postby Bill Call » Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:56 am

dl meckes wrote:What happens to people who can't afford to live in gentrified housing?

Where do they go?


Years ago I attended a meeting where Jay Westbrook was leading a discussion about a planned development for the 110th and Detroit Street area.

The developer was not a big player but had big plans to build new townhouses, rehab old apartments and convert one large building into condominiums. The main concern of Jay Westbrook was that the project would squeeze out the poor. Another councilman was there with a different concern. He thought that the poor who were squeezed out would move into his ward.

Westbrook succeeded in reducing the foot print of the development and scaring away other potential investors.

Take a drive down that area. Was the City of Cleveland well served by killing the project?

The County and State are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to developers in the warehouse district, Euclid Avenue and the Eastside of the flats. RTA is gutting bus service to fund the Euclid Corridor and the Waterfront line. Do you think that those projects will be stopped because of concern for the poor?

I hate to start an argument :wink: but I think the last thing Lakewood has to worry about is gentrification. Think about it. Of all the issues facing the City where on the list is too many middle class families? Where on the list is too many high income (and high tax paying) families?


dl meckes
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Re: 7

Postby dl meckes » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:28 am

Bill Call wrote:Another councilman was there with a different concern. He thought that the poor who were squeezed out would move into his ward.

Bingo.


“One of they key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”- 45
Ahmie Yeung
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Postby Ahmie Yeung » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:58 pm

I really think you folks are taking the zero-sum idea a bit too far. I do believe that the corridor would help Lakewood, and I say this as a CWRU alumna who has a special place in my heart for UC. As a parent and a professional, I would NEVER chose to live anywhere near the proposed Opportunity Corridor. I don't foresee Cleveland Schools meeting my family's needs anytime soon (my husband teaches for that district), and I wouldn't chose one of the further east inner-ring suburbs because they will still suck when it comes to freeway access even after the corridor is in place. Lakewood shines for families like ours because of the school system, culture opportunities, fantastic library, public transit access, eco-minded/liberal mindset, freeway access, and on and on and on - tons of things that Cleveland Hts/Shaker can never offer (though my husband does prefer the architectural style of their housing stock). And the Route 2 "boulevardification" would have really sucked for many families that commute to work on northern sides of the city from Lakewood. I'm sorry for the people who bought into the promises of developers that were unkeepable, but that's a risk you take when you trust a developer/realtor at their word, if they'd been really concerned about the access then they should have double-checked that the project was fully approved and funded before committing to purchase. Otherise, quitcherbitchn.

I would love to see more alternative modes of transportation open up, and a bike trail sounds like a great idea - if there's somewhere I can sign a petition then point the way. However, pairing that with slowing down traffic on 2/Clifton and adding stop lights to increase the time cars spend idling is NOT a grand idea as it would drastically increase the low-level air pollution in the vacinity since you can't rely on all the cars currently using that route to chose a different one instead, and turning I-90 into a parking lot for a few hours in the mornings and evenings during rush hours wouldn't help matters either. Destroying existing infrastructure is generally not a good idea.


Ahmie


Bill Call
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g

Postby Bill Call » Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:11 pm

Ahmie Yeung wrote:I really think you folks are taking the zero-sum idea a bit too far. I do believe that the corridor would help Lakewood, and I say this as a CWRU alumna who has a special place in my heart for UC.


Zero sum in this context refers to the fact that the population of this area has been declining and will contintue to decline. In that demographic environment government sponsored development in one area subtracts from development in another.

If it is not a zero sum game why do the powers that be feel it necessary to kill development and renewal all along Clifton and the shoreway? If it is not a zero sum game why not build both? What about all of that talk about how important Lakefront development is to the community? Never mind.

Do you believe it when they say they don't have $25 million for Clifton but that they do have $250 million for opportunity corridor? It's not about the money. It's about the zero sum game.

Ahmie Yeung wrote: And the Route 2 "boulevardification" would have really sucked for many families that commute to work on northern sides of the city from Lakewood.


Great word, boulevardification.

Slowing traffic too 35 mph would add 10 minutes to commuting time.

What would you gain?

Less pollution.
More public transit
New housing all along Clifton and the shoreway

that would lead to a
more vibrant downtown,

Lakefront access for thousand, new marinas,
restraunts, shops, hotels, offices

and a reversal of the Westward migration,

migration that increases pollution, traffic congestion, paving over of farmland and the hollowing out Lakewood.

All of this for ten minutes of your time.

It can still happen.

We just need a Westside politician willing to

wave the bloody shirt


Ed Dickson
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Postby Ed Dickson » Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:18 pm

If the 250 mil will have an ROI that's where the money will go. Doing what you are suggesting to Clifton has no potential to bring in more money. Right or wrong, it's how it works.


Bill Call
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Postby Bill Call » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:40 am

Ed Dickson wrote:If the 250 mil will have an ROI that's where the money will go. Doing what you are suggesting to Clifton has no potential to bring in more money. Right or wrong, it's how it works.



That's a curious statement.

How will return on investment be measured?

According to the Plain Dealer running buses down the middle of the street generated $5 billion in new construction along Euclidian Avenue. If it works for an area where nobody lives why wouldn't it work for an area where 100,000 people live?

I guess the thing that intrigues me the most is that the Lakefront no longer matters. For as long as I can remember the powers that be insisted that Lakefront development was the path to glory. Now the Lakefront is unimportant. What happened?

http://www.vintage-vocabulary.com/bloodyshirt.html


c. dawson
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Postby c. dawson » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:03 pm

well, one key aspect to the Opportunity Corridor is that it opens up more access to University Circle, which like it or not is THE economic engine of Cleveland. Not the steel mills, not the car factories ... it's University Circle. It's the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and CWRU. The Clinic and UH are the two biggest employers in Cleveland, and both are in the midst of expansion. So that's a big reason why there's a desire for the Opportunity Corridor, and that's likely the big reason RTA is doing the Euclid Corridor. Much like the past, when a factory was built, and the powers-that-were would make sure that freeways were built to the factory, rail lines were run to the factory, and all sorts of other transportation infrastructure was created to benefit that factory.

Well, meet the new boss, and it's not the same as the old boss ... the "factories" powering Cleveland today are in the University Circle region, so having more access to that area, especially from the west side, is a benefit, and it's the same thing as building freeways to run by steel mills and car factories, as was done in the past.

Though yes, I'm sure there's a secret cabal or star chamber behind it, and they're aware that Bill's watching them very closely ... and they could care less.

Frankly, as someone who works over there, I'd love to have that Corridor, because it'd make my commute much better. But I think that overall, anything that benefits accessibility to the Circle benefits Cleveland, and I'm also enough of an oddity to think that whatever benefits Cleveland benefits the region ... and Lakewood is not an island, but an integral part of the region, so whatever benefits Cleveland and the region benefits Lakewood ... especially since so many of us who work in the Circle live in Lakewood.


Bill Call
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Postby Bill Call » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:11 am

c. dawson wrote:well, one key aspect to the Opportunity Corridor is that it opens up more access to University Circle, which like it or not is THE economic engine of Cleveland. .


The Clinic is not the economic engine of Cleveland.

Asian and Middleastern countries are now spending the hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth generated by their trade surpluses. Much of that money is being spent on medical research, education and medical infrastructure. Over the years they have built a medical industry that rivals that of the United States in general and of the Cleveland Clinic in particular.

The foreign medical industry is only going to get better. The brilliant Indian or Chinese medical professional that use to work at the Clinic is now staying home.

To the extent that the Clinic treats people from out of state or out of country it creates new wealth and economic growth. To the extent that it treats people that were once treated by a local doctor or independent hospital the Clinic is just moving money from one pocket to another.

The Clinics old economic model is failing. It's new economic model is best described as 21st century canabalism.

Think of the Clinic as the General Motors of the medical industry.

c. dawson wrote:......Though yes, I'm sure there's a secret cabal or star chamber behind it, and they're aware that Bill's watching them very closely ... and they could care less..


Whatever the Clinic wants it will get. It wants what it wants to serve its own needs and not the needs of Lakewood or Fairview Park. If killing Lakewood Hospital makes economic sense for the Clinic then that is what they will do.

c. dawson wrote:........ benefits Cleveland benefits the region ... and Lakewood is not an island, but an integral part of the region, so whatever benefits Cleveland and the region benefits Lakewood ... especially since so many of us who work in the Circle live in Lakewood.


If Toyota built a factory in Bruswick it would help the region. If Microsoft moved its headquarters to Cleveland it would help the region. When taxpayer funded development is used to move jobs from Lakewood to Westlake or from Cleveland to Solon it does not help the region.

That type of development is a zero sum game. The Clinic knows it and acts upon that knowledge. Why do I think that? Because someone thought it necessary to kill development along Clifton and the shoreway to make room for the opportunity cooridor. They think we can't have both.


Ed Dickson
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Postby Ed Dickson » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:35 am

Bill,

Again I ask, what kind of money will Clifton generate once it's done the way you think it should be?

Second, just because it may not be the best economic engine in your eyes doesn't say that the clinic isn't THE economic engine in Cleveland. I ask you, what's bigger at the moment?

Third, I have to say I resent you constantly slamming Lakewood hospital by saying talented staff is being moved to other cities. My wife had a baby at Lakewood 15 weeks ago and eight weeks after having a baby had to have her appendix out at the same hospital. The staff, the doctors, the nurses, the cleanliness, etc, etc. Nothing but top rate. Quite frankly, better than any other hospital I've had to deal with. Bill, as a Lakewood resident and someone who seems to care about the city, please find another way to get the point across because talking bad about the good things in this city is getting old.

My two cents,
Ed


Bill Call
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f

Postby Bill Call » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:21 am

Ed Dickson wrote:Bill,

Again I ask, what kind of money will Clifton generate once it's done the way you think it should be? Ed


For decades we were told that lakefront development was the key to re-populating Cleveland, encouraging economic development and reinventing the City. see:

http://www.ecocitycleveland.org/ecologi ... ousing.pdf

Now we are told that Lakefront development no longer means anything.

I don't buy it.

A reconfigured Clifton Avenue and West Shoreway would lead to new housing and new residents and new business for Cleveland and Lakewood. A vibrant Lakefront community could do much to improve Cleveland's brand and much more to make it an attractive place to live or locate a business.

Ed Dickson wrote:Second, just because it may not be the best economic engine in your eyes doesn't say that the clinic isn't THE economic engine in Cleveland. I ask you, what's bigger at the moment?Ed


The Clinic isn't the engine it's the caboose.

Ed Dickson wrote:
Third, I have to say I resent you constantly slamming Lakewood hospital by saying talented staff is being moved to other cities........the good things in this city is getting old.
Ed


I am not slamming the people who work at Lakewood Hospital I am slamming the Clinic's management of the hospital. They are using their $10 million annual rent subsidy to build facilities elsewhere. When they build their new facilities in Avon they will transfer even more doctors and services out of Lakewood. The Clinic just rents space in Lakewood. When they have squeezed the hospital dry they will simply walk away.



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