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    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Tuesday Talkback

    Just one moan I'm talking back to today.

    "Do something about the $179 tickets that they're handing out to people who drive in bus lanes. The police park in the bus lanes, the vendors park in the bus lanes. Everybody parks in the bus lanes, everybody uses the bus lanes, except the buses." - No city

    This is just another example of Cleveland making its downtown inhospitable. The perils of traveling downtown -- traffic cameras, bus lanes, Euclid all torn up -- pile on top of the normal perils of parking and panhandlers. I understand that when the Euclid Corridor Project finally opens, they will be cracking down on jaywalking over there. I have no idea and I won't have any idea, because I avoid Euclid now, and I will be avoiding Euclid in the future. I have no business over there, there is nothing to do over there, and when the bus line opens, I probably won't even know about it, because I have no reason to travel over to Euclid, let alone travel along Euclid.

    Someone I work with was complaining about the bus lanes yesterday. She drives in from the west side, and from what she tells me, traffic bottlenecks and backs up where the bus lanes begin -- while before, the traffic was much smoother and faster. It makes me wonder of what benefit are these bus lanes.

    Some urban planner somewhere probably thinks that converting car lanes to bus-only lanes, jamming up car traffic in the process, will encourage the use public transportation. But that assumes that people would rather travel downtown by any means than simply move their offices out to the suburbs where they can drive less encumbered, not to mention park for free.

    The fine of $179 is especially onerous. Especially for people who don't travel downtown very often, who will be unfamiliar with the bus lanes, and then confused by them. Nothing will discourage people from venturing downtown like getting slapped with a $179 fine for travelling in the wrong lane along Superior.

    Now, are buses not using the lanes, as this moaner states? I can't say that I've seen buses in the car lanes while the bus lanes remain open. But I haven't been watching, and I don't drive down that stretch of Superior very often. I work downtown, yes. But anymore, I get out when I'm done working. Hanging out downtown just isn't what it used to be.

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    Comments on "Tuesday Talkback"


    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:22 PM, December 18, 2007) : 

    Couldn't agree more, audient.

    -Matt A.


    Blogger Mr. Bebout said ... (8:33 AM, December 19, 2007) : 

    As I drove around downtown yesterday afternoon, I was recalling this post and swearing up a storm. What a cluster fuck they have made


    Blogger Joe said ... (10:25 AM, December 19, 2007) : 

    Cleveland goes out of its way to make downtown NOT the place to be. Unless I am going to a concert at the HOB or to an Indians game I stay away from the downtown area.


    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:03 AM, December 19, 2007) : 

    I'm sorry, but I get so tired of this "let me tell you what's wrong with downtown" rant. Um, I live and work downtown - something I wouldn't change for the world - and I get around just fine, walking or driving. But then again, I also know where I'm going, and I pay attention to which routes are going to be the most congested at certain times.

    To be perfectly honest, the biggest gripe I have involves the people who come into the city twice a year, have no idea where they are going, no idea where to park, and freak out because they can't drive in traffic or construction. If everyone deserts downtown after work the way you talk about, it will only make this problem worse in my opinion.

    - Stephanie


    Blogger Mr. Bebout said ... (3:54 PM, December 19, 2007) : 

    My problems were compounded by the out of state drivers in front of me who, in addition to not knowing where they were going, didn't know how to follow standard driving practives, like going on green.
    And, I would hope someone who lives and works downtown would be able to navigate. The problem is that most people don't live and work there and find it difficult to move around. I am sure that many of these people are dim and feel confused in general, but, why shouldn't the city be laid out so people can move around with ease? Wouldn't that make things better? Why should out-of-towners need a special decoder to make it from east to west? Confusing streets are not a benifit to the city except in the rare case of an ground force invasion.


    Blogger Audient said ... (8:24 AM, December 20, 2007) : 

    I do agree that special events that bring people downtown only make the traffic worse -- because now you have thousands of people wandering around, not sure where to drive, where to park, all seemingly unable to find their own anus with two hands and a flashlight.

    And while there is a grit I love about any downtown, there is a difference between grit and closing Euclid Avenue for a year and a half to build a busline duplicative of the previously existing busline and the red line train. The way you hear it told, you'd have thought that before the Euclid Corridor Project, the number 6 bus didn't exist, and that without this project there was no way to travel between University Circle and Public Square. The funny thing is, it is harder to travel between University Circle and Public Square, thanks to this project, because the road has been closed.


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