Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘Fulton Road bridge’ Category

A Public Meeting for Real

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The Fulton Road Bridge is scheduled to close as of 9:00 am on Thursday, October 5th.

Councilman Cummins sent out information on the meeting and asked everyone to further distribute the info to all interested members of the community.  Since it is hard to know who will want to attend please let all of your neighbors know that this opportunity exists to ask questions.  It remains to be seen if we will get answers.

11:00 am, Saturday October 7th

Main Auditorium of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo  3900 Wildlife Way.

 Presenters and officials expected to attend include:

 the Ohio Department of Transportation     Kokosing Construction Company

 Cuyahoga County Engineers’s office    various City of Cleveland Departments

 The Ward 15 & 16 City of Cleveland Council offices.

For more information contact :

 Ward 15 Councilman Brian Cummins,  216-459-8400 and,

 Ward 16 Councilman Kevin Kelley 216-351-7077

Many thanks to those of you who called the Mayor’s Action Line and the County Engineers Office and thank you Brian, for pushing and pulling to get this public meeting.I hope to see you all there on Saturday. Rember Mayor Jackson comes to our neighborhood on October 5.  He will be addressing concerns of residents and answering questions at Estabrook Recreation Center on Fulton Road between the hours of six p.m. and eight p.m.  

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 3rd, 2006 at 9:36 am

Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Thursday, April 13th the historic Broadway Mills/Strong Cobb/Gillota building and its supporters go before the Cleveland Landmark Commission to plead its case for Historical Landmark status.  This building at the end of the Central Viaduct in the vicinity of the Western Reserve Historical Society Fire Museum stands in the way of the construction of the northern span of the “signature” innerbelt bridge.

I understand that Baker & Associates has provided the paperwork showing that the building should not be eligible for Landmark status.  This firm is the one hired by ODOT to design the innerbelt bridge.  To me, this appears to be a conflict of interest.  Would you agree?

This is not the first time that this firm has been in this position.  Baker & Associates was the firm who prepared the paperwork showing that The Fulton Road Bridge did not deserve Landmark status.  The city and the Landmarks Commission used the paper the firm produced as one of the reasons for denying Landmark status.  Baker and Associates was the firm hired by the County to design the new “signature” bridge over the zoo valley.  I have heard that ODOT was the voice behind the scenes saying that the Fulton Road Bridge needed to be destroyed and a new one constructed.

Strangely enough, ODOT Director Gordon Proctor used the “possibilty of landmark status” for the Walker Weeks building and the Juvenile Justice Center as reasons for closing the Carnegie exit in the plans for the ODOT “renovations”.  

Oddly enough, the players in this new Landmark Status case appear to be the same, ODOT, the county engineer, the City of Cleveland, and Baker and Associates.  I hear the sound of wrecking balls and heavy machinery unless we as a community stand behind the people wanting to save this landmark. 

Please attend this important Landmark Commission meeting.  They are open to the public.  If you cannot attend send your letters of support to Bob Keiser at rkeiser@city.cleveland.oh.us.  I would suggest sending a copy of your email to Ed Hauser at ed@reallinks.us or Norm Roulet at norm@reallinks.us

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 11th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

Fulton Road Bridge Project Update

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There are a few things happening on this front and I thought it was time to bring everyone up-to-date on what I know.

!.  Councilman Cummins had a meeting with the County Engineer’s office and has a drawing of the final plans for the bridge.  I am sure that it is on display in his Ward 15 Office.  He is also continuing to ask for answers from the city to the questions we have.

2.  There is a new blogspot up and running called Save Our Land.  Stop by and leave a comment or sign up to become a ocntributor.

3.  A new website www.SaveOurLAnd.net is under construction and should be up and running in a few days.  The scope of the website will be more comprehensive than the Save Our Land blogspot.

4.  Faxed letters were sent to our area Congresspeople and Senators. One contact was made by phone when asking for the fax number–Steve LaTourette’s office said please send the fax and they would look into it.  Senator DeWine’s office contacted the Save Our Land group and expressed an interest in also looking into the project.  As many of you already know, Congressman Kucinich’s staff were in our neighborhood with a survey collecting their own data concerning the project.

And those points bring me to the GREEN RIBBON BRIGADE.  You may have noticed green ribbons tied to the trees along the Fulton Road Bridge or on tree lawns or in neighbors’ front lawns.  One of our neighbors suggested that we tie green ribbons to our trees to show support of our neighbors who are in jeopardy of losing land to the project but also to let everyone know that unanswered questions remain.

Those unanswered questions include but are not limited to:

Why will public access by limited to foot and bicycle traffic? No vehicular traffic from this side of the bridge.  This also affects our neighbors on the south side of the bridge.

 Was the historic significance of the bridge and the Historic ballfield and neighborhood properly considered?  This bridge is the last of its kind in the United States.  When it is gone, it is gone forever.

Were traffic patterns adequately explored?  During the time the bridge is closed, the ODOT Innerbelt bridge project will be underway, the Quigley Road Connector, the Jennings Road Project, the paving of Denison Avenue, the opening of Steelyard Commons will all take place during the three years the bridge is closed.

How will the bridge closing affect the impending loss of Ladder 42?  What will the emergency response times be for people living south of the Bridge who need the services of the 2nd District Police or EMS vehicles to reach the MetroHelath campus?

What are the economic impacts to the businesses south of the bridge that have already endured the Memphis Road Project?

So the questions that remain unanswered are many and are of a farreaching nature.  Granted, we all agree that we need to have that bridge repaired or replaced but remember folks we will be living with the outcome of this project not the ODOT officials that are driving this process.  And again was this a proper public process?

If you would like green ribbons for your trees, please let us know and we will see that you will get them or better yet, if you have access to getting your own ribbons, please do.     

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 2nd, 2006 at 7:32 pm

building community

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I have a new page, available also through the sidebar to the right. There are a number of ways we become members of a community, and one of them is by joining organizations and participating in events, or just by hanging out and talking. Some community-building opportunities we have available here in Ward 15, or near it, appear on the new page, in no special order as yet. If you think I should be including something else, let me know.

New Blog on the Block

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This weekend a new blog was born.  It’s name is Save Our Land.  Visit it here. Although it is named Save Our Land, we hope that it becomes a place of community collaboration.  The Fulton Road Bridge Project has opened an avenue for dialogue that we have not seen recently in our city.  There are so many issues to be discussed–historic preservation, eminent domain, public access to the Metroparks, stakeholder issues, environmental issues, to name just a few. Stop by: leave a comment, consider becoming a contributor.  Our “tech troll”promises to try to accommodate new contributors, but understand he is still in a learning mode.  Thankfully,  he knows a lot of  “techies” that are experts so there shouldn’t be a long delay in adding your name to the list.  Choose a topic near and dear to your heart and hop on board!

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 23rd, 2006 at 6:23 pm

Chili Cookoff at The UGLY

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On Saturday March 11 at 4:30 p.m Sherry Perry at The Ugly Broad Tavern will be hosting a fundraiser for Save Our Land. Save Our Land is a group of residents that have bonded together to raise funds to help four of our neighbors defend their loss of land to the Fulton Road Bridge Replacement Project. These neighbors must hire an attorney, obtain appraisals to counter the very small compensations offered by the County and defend themselves against the encroachment of the bridge.

Seven people have entered their Chilis for the cook off. We will continue to accept entries until Wednesday if you know anyone who has a killer chili recipe.

Here are the details:

Where: The Ugly Broad Tavern
3908 Denison Avenue
When: March 11, 2006
Time: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $5.00

Raffles, prizes, and more!

This is a great chance for all of those people who tell me that they have always intended to stop in at The Ugly Broad Tavern to do just that. See you There!

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 6th, 2006 at 12:57 pm

NOTICE OF COMMUNITY MEETING

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Saturday March 11th, a community meeting to discuss the FULTON ROAD BRIDGE PROJECT will be held at the Archwood United United Christ Church at 2800 Archwood Avenue. The meeting begins at 2:30 p.m.

The meeting is being sponsored by Brooklyn Centre Community Association, Councilman Brian Cummins and the Save Our Land coalition.

This meeting will deal with many issues facing our neighborhoods before the project begins and when the project begins. The issues to be discussed include:

1. effects of demolition blasting on surrounding houses and properties
2. changes in traffic patterns
3. access to Brookside Park
4. effects on historic-interest areas
5. land seizure
6. public process
7. facts you need

We have invited government officials to attend or send representatives, but after all, this is a Saturday.

Come ready to ask questions about the above topics and more. I am sure there may be issues that we have failed to identify and you may hold the key.

If you cannot attend the meeting, please leave your comments and/or questions at this site and I will make sure that your questions are addressed at the meeting.

We as a community have a lot of unanswered questions concerning the plans of the project. Everyone knows that we need to address the continued detrioration of the bridge, but many of us feel that the community should be in the planning loop.

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 6th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

Standing Room Only For Ladder 42 Meeting

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It was standing room only at Corpus Christi Hall Tuesday night. Councilman Kevin Kelley Ward 16 and our councilman Brian Cummins from Ward 15 led the meeting. Fire Chief Stubbs was there with three assistant chiefs; Interim Safety Marty Flask attended; former fire chief Kevin Garrity flew in for the meeting; State of Ohio Representatives Shirley Smith and Annie Keys were there. Over three hundred neighbors, businesspeople, firefighters, policemen, and EMS workers came. Mayor Frank Jackson was unable to attend due to another engagement. All of them were there to engage in a dialogue
on the safety of our neighborhoods and the city.

Folks, if I know one thing now that I didn’t know then, it is this–this issue is BIG! The Ladder 42 “brown out” is only the tip of the iceberg. (Really, folks, I think they need to find an alternative terminology for what it is they’re doing here, at Ladder Company 42.) Questions were asked and answers were given, but the answers given only gave rise to more questions. And on and on it went until 9 p.m. The two-thirds of the iceberg under water is the SAFETY of the WHOLE CITY.

Before we discuss the browning out of Ladder Company 42, we need to know this fact: Safety Director Marty Flask stated that Mayor Jackson wanted us to know that the “browning out” of Ladder 42 is not imminent. A full review will be conducted before the final decision is made in mid-April.

I wanted to paraphrase former Fire Chief Garrity’s remarks as well because his comments frame the issue facing Fire Chief Stubbs and his seven assistant fire chiefs. Essentially, Garrity said that the national response time standard for an engine company is FOUR minutes, and SIX minutes for a ladder company. The city is not providing the dollars that the fire chief needs to do his job.
When Chief Stubbs spoke, he first wanted everyone to know that no firefighter, including himself, wants to see a company “brown out” and that any plan that came out of his office would adhere to “1710.” (I learned later that this is how the national fire-safety standards are referred to in firefighter circles).

There are huge traffic issues that do not appear to have been taken into consideration when making the decision to “brown out” Ladder 42—the closing of the Fulton Road Bridge for two years, the resurfacing of Denison Avenue, the Jennings Road reconstruction, the impending ODOT project on I-71, and the opening of Steelyard Commons in 2007.

Since our Ladder Company 20 will be the next in line to back up Engine 42, I asked these questions: “ It is my understanding that our Ladder Company is known as a first responder what does that mean? And when ladder #20 is responding to an Old Brooklyn call, who is my backup?” No one sitting around me thought that my questions were answered adequately because our Ladder #20 covers I-71 and I-490 as well as Metro Hospital and some of downtown, so it often is out on a call and wouldn’t even be available for Old Brooklyn. The answer was a vague, noncommital “the next available ladder.” I learned later that there is NO strategic plan in place for the city of Cleveland for the deployment of fire equipment.

An Old Brooklyn resident, Norm Ezzie (www.storminnorm.com), asked what plans are in place for preventing fires, given the aging housing stock in the Old Brooklyn neighborhoods. I loved this comment of Norm’s: “I refuse to be disposable!” When you stop and think about it, his question and comment pertain to the city as a whole.

Another Old Brooklyn resident who is also a Cleveland firefighter stated that he agrees with Mayor Jackson’s vision of wanting to make Cleveland great again, but he had a few suggestions for Mayor Jackson to help him find his way. One suggestion was to focus on the established middle-class neighborhoods in the city, to enhance the services to these neighborhoods, to support the efforts of these residents of Cleveland, and to promote these neighborhoods to the outlying suburbs as good places to live, and then to build out from there rather than trying to build new neighborhoods in downtown Cleveland and ignoring the foundation of the city already in place. I have not done this man’s suggestions justice, but I agree with him wholeheartedly. I may be a bit biased because this firefighter is not bound by residency laws but CHOOSES to remain in the city. He is not alone; there are a lot of us here, and we want to stay.

It appears that the main reason for suggesting the “brown out” of Ladder 42 is a 2004 consultant’s report requested by the Cleveland Public Safety Director. I certainly don’t know much about this report because even Councilman Kelley is still waiting for a copy of it through the Freedom of Information Act. Word has it that there is a clandestine copy out on the street, but here is what I have been able to find out about the study. The consultants are from Phoenix— Kevin Roche, the assistant to the Phoenix fire chief and Charles N. Hood, deputy fire chief. They visited Cleveland for two days. During that time, they talked to the fire chief, the safety director, members of city council, and the president of city council, The Vanguards, Local 93, and all in all visited four fire stations in the city of Cleveland. One of those stations was Station 42. I understand that someone is presently working on dissecting that study. Consultant studies usually reflect the conclusion that the person or entity paying for the study wants. I am not sure that the safety of our residents should rely on such a study when there are self-studies that can be utilized by municipalities to make sure that their citizens are safe.

The way I see it the safety and welfare of Clevelanders should be the number one consideration when our mayor and our city council members sit down to make decisions. There should be 44 fire companies in the city of Cleveland. Four are already “browned out”–
Ladder 42 would be the fifth. How many of the men assigned to that “browned out” equipment have been reassigned? How many will be reassigned? The population of Cleveland has dwindled, but the geographic area of the city has not. Therefore, it still takes time to get to a fire from other stations still open in other parts of the city. Oh–and the response times I mentioned earlier those are based on 20 mi./hr on any city street chosen as a route to a fire. As I said earlier, this issue is huge, and we need to stay on top of it and get involved.

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 12th, 2006 at 1:13 pm