Architecture Firm Hopes to Find Fix for Cement Barriers in Public Square

The landscape architecture firm that oversaw the redesign of Cleveland’s Public Square is working on a plan to get rid of the long concrete barriers that have lined Superior Avenue since March. They’re trying to devise a permanent solution: one that keeps pedestrians safe, but is also less of an eyesore.

The barriers were put up after buses began driving through the middle of the square and because of homeland security concerns. Officials were afraid a weaponized car could drive up over the curb and wreak havoc in the square.

Tony Coyne is the chair of the Group Plan Commission, the city-county organization that oversees improving downtown public spaces. Coyne said security concerns about weaponized vehicles were not raised until after the renovation was completed.

"I don't think this community or any community should design something out of fear," Coyne said, "but in the interim, there have been several awful incidents of cars or vehicles driving into crowds. So we have to figure out as a community how to remedy what's there."

Coyne did not provide details on the plan but estimated it'll cost between one and two million dollars. He spoke on ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas."

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