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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

UPDATE: East Cleveland Traffic Light Repaired With ODOT Aid

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 2:01 PM

click to enlarge Protesters form a line on Euclid Ave. last month to protest Mayor Norton's inaction. - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Protesters form a line on Euclid Ave. last month to protest Mayor Norton's inaction.
A service crew from the Ohio Department of Transportation assisted in the repair of a traffic signal at Euclid Ave. and Forest Hills Boulevard in East Cleveland which has been broken and blinking red for weeks. The light is now operating normally.

Critics have said that Mayor Gary Norton was purposefully refusing to repair the light to generate income from moving violations.

Norton himself, in a council meeting last week, said the repair costs were simply too high. 

"It costs about $30,000 to fix," Norton said. "We're searching for a revenue source that would allow us to fix that traffic signal. Certainly we'd rather have a full-functioning traffic signal than a non-functioning traffic signal." 

Check out the video below (from at ~0:50 for Norton's relevant remarks. 

But it's unclear how much Tuesday's repairs actually cost the city. 

It's true that Norton's $30,000 estimate, though high, wouldn't be that far off the mark if the city were buying brand new equipment. Some of the controllers and cabinets suggested by the United States Department of Transportation run as high as $23,886.

That's not 30K, but it's in the ballpark.

But a spokesperson in ODOT's Cleveland office, who confirmed that a crew was out in East Cleveland Tuesday, said the city already had the necessary equipment on hand.

"They needed labor from us, not the cabinet," the spokesperson said.

No one was picking up the phones at East Cleveland City Hall, so they weren't able to provide us info on where the cabinet was hiding, or why they didn't ask ODOT to come help them install it immediately after it broke.  

UPDATE: Councilman Nathaniel Martin confirmed that ODOT's signal crew repaired the light Monday afternoon, but said that the traffic cabinet the city had in stock was in disrepair. 

"They brought in a brand new cabinet," he said. "Brand new." (He wasn't sure how much it cost). 

Martin added that East Cleveland needs a lot of help, "and we're open to it."  

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