In Cleveland, US 20, called Euclid Avenue, is getting a much needed facelift. It isn’t just a simple repaving of the street and new sidewalks. The project will mean the addition of a BRT – Bus Rapid Transit – with dedicated lanes. These new vehicles will have exclusive lanes with a traffic control system, and the vehicles themselves will be environmentally friendly, using clean-burning fuels and batteries. There will be new methods for collecting fares that will make boarding much more efficient, and all platforms will be level and be ADA accessible. The surrounding “streetscape” will be completely redone, with beautiful sidewalks, landscaping, and passenger stations.
Even more important than the new look of Euclid Avenue will be the ability to move people through this traditionally busy area. The Euclid Corridor Project web site says, “The Rapid Transit System will connect the central business district (the region's largest employment center) with the University Circle area (the second largest employment center) and major cultural, medical and educational districts. The idea of the Rapid Transit System is to provide the quality of rail transit, while benefiting from the flexibility of buses.”
I was at Cleveland's Public Square in November and took a walk out to look at the work being done on US 20 right near the square. Construction was still going on. I’d have to say that it was a mess and quite difficult to navigate on foot, and looked even more impossible by car. However, I could see some of the materials set out for the new sidewalk area and I think it will be beautiful when it’s completed. I can understand, though, that many businesses have been hurt badly by this project while work goes on. But in the long run, this will be a huge improvement for the city and will make traveling down Euclid Avenue much easier. This should translate to improved business conditions, better than before construction began. By the way, this project was funded by tax dollars – federal, state, and city.
The Euclid Corridor Project web site has project news and updates, several pictures of the progress, and a video download of the project overview. Since the video is available for direct download, I’ve embedded it below for your viewing. If you want to download the video directly to your computer, you can find it the Euclid Corridor Project web site,here.
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