YouTube screenshot / Clevelanders for Public Transit
Just one of the hazards that await pedestrians as they walk from the Rapid to the toxic site where Cuyahoga County Council wants to build a new $750 million jail.
Last week, both Cuyahoga County Executive candidates Chris Ronayne and Lee Weingart wrote letters to Cuyahoga County Council opposing the proposed $750 million county jail project at 2700 Transport Road. Ronayne noted among his laundry list of objections that the toxic site was not sufficiently accessible via public transit.
To test Ronayne's claim, three members of the grassroots advocacy group Clevelanders for Public Transit tried walking to the site from the nearest Rapid Station at Tri-C this weekend. It was not, strictly speaking, a pleasant jaunt.
"The walk is mostly downhill," CPT wrote in a statement accompanying a video of the journey, "but it still took three reasonably fit and able-bodied men in their 30s over a half hour to complete. At times there was no sidewalk at all to walk on. Most of the way, the sidewalk was poorly maintained. Walking mainly along Broadway Avenue, the three were occasionally forced to step onto the busy truck route because of overgrowth blocking the path."
CPT said that in inclement weather, particularly during Cleveland's snowy and icy winters, the walk would be "downright treacherous" and virtually impossible for anyone with mobility impairments.
The nearest bus stop, at Broadway and E. 37th, is closer than the Rapid station but still a twenty minute walk, and is only served by two bus lines. The current jail downtown, says CPT, is served by 20 bus lines within a quarter mile.
CPT urged the Justice Center Steering Committee, which meets Tuesday morning to consider the Transport Road site, to disqualify the site due to its limited transit accessibility.
You can watch the timelapse video of the walk here.
Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...