Enhanced Security Coming to West Side Market Parking Lots

Armed security will be deployed to protect the Market's parking lots (PHOTO: Brian Bull)

by David C. Barnett

Cleveland city council approved a boost in security at the historic West Side Market, last night.  It's the first step in a plan to reshape the Market to meet modern needs.

Up until now, the West Side Market's parking lot has been patrolled by unarmed guards.  The new ordinance increases that to armed security watching the lot.  Ward 3 councilman Joe Cimperman said the change was needed.

"The West Side Market gets more visitors than the Rock Hall and the Great Lakes Science Center combined. It's a city asset and times are changing.  Have we had problems with violence in the parking lot?  No, but we've had an increase in smash-and-grabs. I'm happy for this legislation, but I just want to tell my colleagues that it's going to get more intense before it gets not as intense."

That's a reference to plans by Cimperman to introduce a number of other changes in the operation of the century-old institution, including a charge for parking and new shopping hours --- two proposals not popular with Market vendors.  The cost for the enhanced security is estimated to be $86,000.  Ward 11 councilman Michael Polensek expressed the hope that the vendors wouldn't be stuck with a rent hike to pay that bill.

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