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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Remove Public Square Jersey Barriers, and Other Scorching Day One Agenda Items from CPT for Justin Bibb and City Council

Posted By on Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 9:36 AM

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The grassroots organization Clevelanders for Public Transit has published a "day one agenda" for Mayor Elect Justin Bibb and City Council President Blaine Griffin that gives the new leadership at City Hall a veritable orchard of low-hanging fruit to start picking when they formally take over in January. 

Though the removal of the unsightly Jersey barriers on Public Square is perhaps the easiest and most symbolic gesture Bibb could make to assert that Cleveland is heading in a new direction, and that he's serious about mobility issues and climate change, there are a number of equally pressing concerns for the 23% of Clevelanders who do not own a car.

CPT published its Day One Agenda as part of its commitment to reverse the so-called "death spiral" of public transit locally, in which riders have been subject to cycles of increased fares and reduced service, which in turn leads to ever declining ridership.

Mayor-elect Justin Bibb made a splash on social media last week when he posted "People over cars" and a photo of his meeting with Bike Cleveland. He reiterated that commitment in a statement responding to CPT.

"I appreciate the recommendations proposed by Clevelanders for Public Transit to make our city more connected and accessible for all of our residents," he said. "As Mayor, I will prioritize people over cars and continue to advocate for more reliable, affordable, equitable public transit."

CPT's full list of day one items is available on its website, but they include the following:

  • Removing the Jersey Barriers from Public Square.
  • Decriminalizing RTA fare evasion. 
  • Establishing a cabinet-level position on transit and mobility.
  • Announcing a "transit first" citywide policy and committing to 50% of trips taken via non-auto modes by 2030.
  • "Rolling out the red carpet" for buses by painting downtown dedicated bus lanes red, installing traffic signal priority for buses on Superior Avenue and properly ticketing those who obstruct bus lanes.
  • Installing a crosswalk between the W. 25th Street – Ohio City Rapid Station to the West Side Market.
  • Installing public bathrooms throughout the city.
  • Hardly a day one item here, but pursuing comprehensive transit reform that includes the taxation of parking lot owners to fund transit; zoning changes that include the elimination of parking minimums; and transit-oriented development across Cleveland. 

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