Marc Lefkowitz | 06/24/09 @ 3:40pm
The Downtown Cleveland Alliance wants to hear from you about improving downtown Cleveland. Below are a few ideas to get you started thinking about a greener, more livable and attractive downtown.
Green the convention center Med Mart: Just as important as setting 'green' building and historic preservation goals, how will the convention center and Medical Mart stretch its arms out to the city and invite locals to use it in between shows?
Enforce regulations such as:
- Cleveland Codified Ordinance 349.14 which reads in part: "(1) Temporary Parking Lots. If the City Planning Commission or Landmarks Commission, as applicable, has approved demolition of a building within the designated district(s) and has approved, in accordance with the regulations of Sections 341.04 and 341.05 or Section 161.05, as applicable, plans for a new building or other non-parking use to replace such building, the subject property may be used as a surface parking lot for a maximum period of one (1) year following the demolition of the building. If all necessary redevelopment permits have not been obtained within one year of the commencement of surface parking use, the property shall be landscaped as open space or shall be converted to another appropriate non-parking use in accordance with a site plan approved by the Commission."
- Recent "temporary" lots which appear to have exceeded this requirement (and possible 1-year extension) include one on Prospect Ave. between the May Company Building and Flannery's (used for very permanent looking House of Blues parking, see street view map) and
- the old Peterson Nuts building on Carnegie Avenue, which was torn down for a parking lot. Street view map.
- What other "temporary" lots have been created since this legislation was passed in 1997? Why isn't this being enforced?
- Cleveland Codified Ordinance 457.10, passed in June 2008, requires Cleveland parking lots and garages to install bike parking facilities. See original GCBL post. Where does that stand?
Insist that part of the $1.5 billion Innerbelt Project is used to improve city streets, connections and the overall look and feel of the city. Read more about how Cleveland can turn the Innerbelt into a positive force for change here.
Promote the new downtown Cleveland bike parking station as an alternative to driving for E 4th Street patrons and sports fans, and establish a valet bike service.
Insist on good urban design standards for the Waterfront District on Cleveland's Lakefront with the primary goal of a beautiful, walkable neighborhood with mixed-use shops and residences.
Remake Public Square into a large, functional green space by removing the cross streets. Follow through on the recommendations of Cuyahoga County residents who see this investment as necessary to the health of the region.
Pilot green infrastructure on downtown streets: Advocate for a stormwater authority that helps Cleveland raise more funds to extend the reach of its plans to install natural stormwater retention cells like those from Lansing, Michigan.
Allow street performers to liven up downtown spaces.
At intersections with a lot of foot traffic, add pedestrian-priority crosswalks like the ones on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights.
Improve the waiting environments at major bus stops with better shelters and other amenities.
Allow the proposed food carts to cook freshly prepared food items while streamlining the health code.
Become a world-class example of historic preservation by creating a skyscraper preservation district downtown to identify and plan for the preservation of modern buildings, from the Marcel Breuer designed Ameritrust Tower to the I.M. Pei designed Galleria complex.