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The Sound of Ideas

Access For Everyone

Posted Friday, January 29, 2010

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Access For Everyone The Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge is one of the most traveled in Ohio. Unfortunately, it needs a lot of work and after numerous years of study, things are about to start trucking forward. The idea is to improve safety, reduce congestion and modernize interstate travel along I-71, I-77 and I-90 through Downtown Cleveland. It's one of the largest Ohio transportation projects ever undertaken. Three design firms will be selected in March to draft proposals for the bridge section. Some critics say the initial design outlines don't do enough to advance the region and meet the surrounding communities' needs. Join host Regina Brett for an update on the Inner Belt Plan, Friday morning at 9 on 90.3. *Photo courtesy

Photo Gallery

Innerbelt Bridge Plan Eastern Touchdown Point Innerbelt Bridge Plan Western Touchdown Point


Other, Transportation


Bonnie Teeuwen, Director, ODOT District 12
Paul Alsenas, Director, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
Robert Brown, Director, Cleveland City Planning Commission
Steven Litt, Art/Architecture Critic, The Plain Dealer

Additional Information

Cleveland Inner Belt Plan, The Ohio Department of Transportation
Green City, Blue Lake's ideas for the Innerbelt bridge
See ODOT Distric 12 Director, Bonnie Teeuwen, on Feagler & Friends, 1/22/09
Check out Ted Zoli's pedestrian bridges on What Works on NBC Nightly News

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.

Ann M. Klein 5:28 PM 1/28/10

I take the Innerbelt bridge twice a day, going to and coming from work.  I recently noticied semis back on the bridge.  Have the restrictions been lifted on large trucks?  If yes, why?

Thank you.

Emelio DiSabato 8:36 AM 1/29/10

As a Tremont resident who depends on my bicycle for transportation, I have keen interest in bike and pedestrian access to the new Innerbelt bridge. My fellow advocates have surely made progress in recent weeks—we truly feel that ODOT has an opportunity to emerge as a hero here. This project is about vision: synthesizing the movements around the world, the nation and this city to develop sustainable alternatives to cars. Two days ago, Fast Track Cycling announced plans to build the country’s third indoor velodrome in Slavic Village. The Towpath Trail nears completion. Cleveland has the opportunity to be thrust into the national spotlight with this project—we’re all counting on them.

Another thought: there is a real social justice aspect to Access to Everyone. Cleveland Planning Commission chair Anthony Coyne, commenting on the Commission’s resolution to encourage ODOT to add bike lanes as an alternate for bidders, passionately spoke about Interstate highways in general and their adverse effects on urban neighborhoods. This is both an historic and current problem—and can be seen nowhere else so clearly as in Tremont. Holy Ghost Byzantine’s closing has been attributed, in part, to I-90 cutting through our community. Opening the bridge to Tremont walkers and bikers is a just form of repayment.

Thank you.

Dennis Fehrenbach 10:34 AM 1/29/10

Was there ever consideration given to the concept of a multi layer bridge to reduce the footprint of the bridge by providing traffic patterns in both directions?

John, Ohio City 10:36 AM 1/29/10

After 10 years ODOT has a conceptional drawing. Assuming that ground is broken next year it will be 17 years. How Bonnie is able to sit and speak in these terms at this point is indicative of ODOT’s failures. It is time there is leadership in this State. At this juncture, individuals need fired and competent people brought in. Politics will impede this and as always Ohio will wallow it it’s own dysfunctional messes.

Ryan McKenzie 10:37 AM 1/29/10

A significant percentage of city residents do not have access to a car, and cannot be served at all by the existing bridge.

Many highway bridges around the country are being built to provide access not just to cars, but also to community members who travel on foot and by bike.

People have asked for this since the beginning 10 years ago. What is the current thinking of your guests?

Mike Harris 10:38 AM 1/29/10

I hope the State of Ohio does not waste money on over-paying for the cold-storage building (the one with the large billboards).

I read in the Plain Dealer how the appraisals were about a 1/5th of what the property owner wants.  Now it’s my understanding it’s become a political frenzy.

The owner needs to know that ODOT is in no way related to the Ohio Lottery.  This is a project for the greater good the owners should settle for what multiple appraisers have deemed market value.

Jaime 10:38 AM 1/29/10

One question: will this project end up being Cleveland’s version of Boston’s Big Dig? Will it ever happen, and will it get done?

Gene 10:39 AM 1/29/10

Revised plans MUST include focus on better access to the lake (not a ribbon-wall of high speed road where the lake is mostly, only, a high speed blur) , and good flow in and out of a reasonable number of neighborhoods… maybe not ALL of the current exits but more than offering now.

AND Whatever else, given its prominence, geographical situation and emotional connection to the City, the design of the bridge over the river MUST be inspirational and design & architecturally distinctive. There are many good examples of the latter, including Toledo’s 280 bridge. Litt knows of many others.

Don’t sell Cleveland short. Don’t give us merely functional.

Rich DeColibus 10:48 AM 1/29/10

A fascinating program.  Best I’ve heard in weeks.  Congratulations to all participants for stating clearly and explicitly their concerns.  This is what public radio is all about!

John in Cleveland 10:50 AM 1/29/10

I’m starting a small business.  When it comes time for me to build and expand, I was looking toward the Midtown cooridor.
However with the designs for the Interbelt cutting through and closing ramps to Midtown cooridor, I’m starting to rethink this idea and relocate to a suburb.

Susan Miller 5:55 PM 1/29/10

Well, it sure is refreshing to FINALLY hear Paul Alsenas and Steve Litt coming out and speaking the truth. In addition to the dismay I feel that we are still saddled with an incompetent ODOT staff, I am even more saddened that Ed Hauser could not be alive today to hear this. It is about time to hear from Alsenas - someone who has equity planning in his portfolio.

This topic needs to be the subject of much more discussion. There are too many people who just roll over (I will not list them here). Look at what it gets you in Cleveland - it is too bad that “other voices” cannot be heard in this region.

We MUST reopen the southern alignment! We CAN have bike and pedestrian lanes!

If ODOT wanted a public process they would put up a blog so that all could better understand the issues and concerns of their neighbors. The maps, the drawings, the “public comment” in these processes are not up to 21st century technology. ODOT is a black hole sucking in good ideas and burying them. Fire them all - we need a fresh ODOT District 12.


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