Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Opportunity Cost, or Opportunity Lost

Opportunity Cost (from Wikipedia): the cost of something in terms of an opportunity foregone (and the benefits that could be received from that opportunity), or the most valuable foregone alternative.

No, the birthday was not so crazy that I just recovered. I just needed to take a break from thinking for a little while.

I have something to help fill this space – I am going to start publishing the generalities of what the City Planning Commission has adopted or not adopted. You would think this would be made more public by those who profess to “Believe”; however, I only see the really big things that occasionally appear in local papers by the likes of Breckenridge, Gill and Prendergast. I know there a few others, but that is not the point. There should be news on all of the happenings in the city in regards to what is being developed. (This applies to decisions made by the County Planning Commission as well.) This first attempt of reporting will not be a very detailed one since I really did not decide to start doing this until two days ago and I do not have sufficient notes.

Moving on (in order) –

There were four zoning changes made. The most significant (by significant, I mean the one that will affect people the most) was the creation of the Clark Metro Business Revitalization District. The district encompasses West 25th Street from I-71 to I-90 and Clark Avenue from Fulton Road to Scranton Avenue. This is a good move by the CDC of the densest places in the city. They will be able to create positive sense of place along this corridor as soon as they do something with the adult establishments near the heart of the district. APPROVED

Design Review:

Park Lane Villa Rehabilitation
This is a vacant building in University Circle and next to the beautiful Judson Manor. Previously this was an apartment building that was eventually converted to over 150 units of senior housing; most of the apartments were efficiency type spaces. The rehabilitated building will have 93 modern apartments and a new 8-unit condominium next to it, as well as a parking garage. The building will use historic tax credits for part of its funding and when complete, will be a nice addition to the area. APPROVED

Star Research Building (conceptual approval)
This new 5-story building will be located on near East 100th Street and Cedar Avenue. This will be the first new construction on the south side of Cedar in many years. The proposed research center will not be a project of the Cleveland Clinic but may be used by some of the Clinic’s researchers. The building is being designed by Westlake, Reed & Leskowsky. APPROVED

Innerbelt Bridge Presentation
The Director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, Paul Alsenas, gave a presentation on the Innerbelt Bridge Design and Location Alternatives. I believe anybody who is reading this already knows what is on the table, so I will not bother with what was said by Paul. He did add, however, a new element into to the fold – at least new to me. This new concept was the reworking of University Road in Tremont from the barely two lane-lane road it is now into a fully functional road that would allow better access and great views to and of the Towpath Trail.

I want to report more on the comments that were made by those in attendance.

The affected CDC’s mostly said what has already been reported; here are some additional comments made to the Commission.

From the Quadrangle: They have hired there own traffic consultant to further research the potential access losses; It is time for the city to step and take a stand on the issues raised

From Tremont: Concerned about impact on church, West 14th street and any potential home loss (ed. obviously, very uninformed).

From Gateway: Access is paramount. They think that having land that is more developable will hurt their neighborhood

Comments from the players to the Commission:

Bob Brown: Reported on a letter from Craig Hebebrand – ODOT is in the process of reviewing constructionability and management of traffic with national experts to see if the southern alignment is feasible.

Debbie Berry: Concerned with potential freeway closures and vehicle access to downtown. Wonders if the ‘new’ developable land that would appear if the southern alignment were chosen will actually have to be used for new ramp placement.

Linda Henrichson: Says that closure to traffic is bad. The ramps to city streets will work out if the southern alignment is chosen. Concerned with bike and pedestrian right of ways.

Comments from the Commission:

Curry: ODOT has not shown what will be gotten by each action it takes. This should be about Strategy in addition to safety.

Tom Breckenridge of the PD was present and reported on a portion of what was said by those present; however, I saw him leave early, so he missed some important comments. Scott Carpenter from the soon-to-be-open Fire Department Museum gave a brief and heartfelt comment against the northern alignment, as did friend John McGovern. As I prepared for my own comment, there was at least two other residents who spoke against the northern alignment.

My comment (paraphrased):

Assuming the engineering for the southern alignment proves feasible, the commission and ODOT must realize there are many residents among us who feel a year of potential awkward traffic management due to a freeway closure is worth the wait.
There are numerous ways to connections to downtown from all directions that will work as a temporary traffic solution, including I-490. This may even help bolster GCRTA ridership. This is not about your inconvenience. Stop thinking about it that way and think about how it will affect our children