by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, February 2017) At a January 5th meeting at Clark Recreation Center, City of Cleveland officials revealed plans for the rehabilitation of Clark Avenue from where Clark meets Lorain Avenue eastward to W. 41st Street.
Plans call for the $7.9 million project to be done in two phases. The western end of the project from Lorain to W. 65th will begin in February or March of this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. When that work is complete, work will begin on the second phase from W. 65th to W. 41st. Work is expected to be completed on that phase by the end of 2018.
The project also includes gas line improvements; replacement of waterlines with larger conduits; renovating and adding catch basins for drainage; and a variety of other infrastructure improvements – some of which are already underway. Sidewalks, curbs and driveway aprons will be repaired for trip hazards. American Disability Act compliant ramps will be placed at all intersections.
City of Cleveland Project Representative Robert Tripodi outlined plans for a bike lane on the north side of Clark from W. 65th to W. 41st with parking only allowed on the south side of Clark. City officials said they believe that when Clark School is rebuilt, the campus will stretch from W. 53rd to W. 56th and will have an indent for parking.
Tripodi said there will be parking on both sides of Clark from W. 65 to W. 85 and parking on only the south side from W. 85th to Lorain Avenue. Clark Avenue from Lorain to W. 85th will remain one way going east.
The biggest objection to the plan came from merchants with businesses along Clark Avenue from W. 65th to W. 41st. They complained about the loss of parking to the bike lane. Tripodi noted that the bike lanes are part of a citywide network. In addition to serving as bike lanes, he said pedestrians use them in winter as a place to walk when sidewalks are not shoveled.
There was also concern about a sewer problem at W. 56th and Clark. City officials said the project calls for some cleaning and repairs of catch basins. However, if the sewer problem is located from the curb to the business, it is the responsibility of the property owner.
One business owner asked about the possibility of creating parking lots behind the businesses in areas where there are currently abandoned houses or vacant lots. Adam Stalder, Managing Director of Metro West Community Development Organization, said there are funds available from the Local Parking Needs Fund at the City of Cleveland’s Economic Development Department to help create parking lots. The problem, he said, is to maintain the lots once they are built. He said if businesses are willing to maintain the lots, he is interested in working on projects with businesses on a case by case basis.
The rehabilitated Clark Avenue will have some dedicated turn lanes at intersections such as W. 41st, W. 44th, W. 65 and W. 85. During construction, traffic will be one lane eastbound only.
For problems or questions about the rehabilitation project contact Robert Tripodi, Project Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org,oh.us or 216-857-0266.