Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Possible Changes in Flats Traffic Patterns - and Other Flats News

From the Flats Oxbow Newsletter:

Patrol Officer John Hategan of the 2nd District presented a traffic plan for the West Bank. (Sergeant James O’Malley wrote the plan but could not be in attendance today.)

During recent West Bank of the Flats details, heavy traffic led us to determine that the current traffic patterns may be outdated and in need of review. Gridlock is a common occurrence during busy weekends and special events and with the increase of residential properties in the area, we feel that if changes were made, emergency services could respond in an efficient, safe manner without the constant monitoring and street closing by law enforcement at key intersections. It is our opinion that some or all of the below changes could be effective:


1. Make Center and Main a four way stop intersection. This would assist in traffic flow and create a safe option for entering Main Ave. Several obstructions from parked cars and hills lead to a traffic hazard.
2. Place stop signs at Main & Elm, creating a three way stop intersection to assist in traffic flow.
3. Make Elm St. one way North from Elm to River St.
4. Make Center St. one way south from River to Main Ave.
5. Make Hemlock one-way East from Mulberry to Elm St.
6. Make Spruce one-way West from Elm St.

The addition of one-way streets would allow law enforcement to maintain a safe flow of traffic and would assist if street closures are needed.

Essentially, it’s easier to close and secure a one-way street than a two way street. Less officers and cars are needed. This allows other officers to enforce traffic laws and maintain police visibility in the area.

(NOTE: This type of closure is often utilized when traffic backs up so that emergency services can proceed to an assignment without undue interruption.)

Special Issues / Considerations

1. Parking on these streets would need to be reviewed. Permitting curb parking in areas previously restricted may be necessary.

2. The width of Elm and Center streets would need to be considered. They are basically wide streets when the curbs are clear. We would not want to create an opportunity for drag racing or illegal passing. Painting solid lines or lane markings to force “one lane” may resolve this issue.

River Street would need to remain a two way street due to the mines. NO OUTLET signs at Center and River may be needed.

These recommendations come after several years of maintaining traffic in these areas during heavy traffic times and would assist law enforcement in effectively maintaining a safe traffic flow for public safety and emergency response.

There were questions on how long it would take to implement the plan.

Commissioner Rob Mavec (City of Cleveland – Traffic Engineering) had a suggestion to limit the times to only late evening early morning. The majority of people in attendance agreed that it should be 24/7. Commissioner Mavec said he would meet with Sergeant O’Malley. This could possibly be in place by next weekend.
There was a request for speed limit signs on the viaduct.

Rhona Allen requested a Handicap sign for in front of her shop on Old River Rd. There will be a meeting at the Imrov on August 2, 2006 at 9am regarding the W. 28th/W. 25th/Washington/Division area by ODOT.
In other Flats news:

The Design Review Committee passed the fa├žade & signage for Larry Flint’s Hustler Club @ 1041 Old River Road as originally presented on June 20, 2006 and approved it on July 5, 2006 when the applicant presented the additional information the Committee sought. The Design Review Committee further advised the applicant that any changes to the buildings on Front Street would be considered new submissions to Design.
Scott Wolstein’s Flats East Bank project has a new partner. The redevelopment team will be working with Building Cleveland by Design to explore ways to incorporate art, park design, and sustainability into the $230 million project. Building Cleveland by Design, managed by ParkWorks and Cleveland Public Art, has been awarded a two-year, $440,000 grant from the George Gund Foundation to provide resources and expertise in these areas to regional development projects.