Opponents Plan Saturday Rally Against Proposed Shaker Boulevard Closure

The proposal would redirect traffic around Shaker Square. [www.thisisshsq.com]

Opponents of a proposal to permanently close Shaker Boulevard through Shaker Square are holding a rally at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Square.

The closure would be part of a larger effort to redesign the space.

Closing Shaker Boulevard would mean losing parking spaces along the road. Some business owners worry that could cause fewer people to frequent shops in Shaker Square.

“People want to get in and get out and when you don’t have that ability, they’re apt to go elsewhere,” said Brandon Chrostowski, who owns Edwins Restaurant in the Square.

Parking and traffic are already a problem in the area, said resident John Lawson, with the group Stop the Closing of Shaker Boulevard.

“People really love the charm of Shaker Square,” Lawson said. “My group doesn’t think it’s broken, they think improvements could be made, but they think it works the way it is without having to take out a major state route.”

LAND studio is managing the redesign process and plans to reach a compromise with residents and business owners before moving forward with any changes to the Square, said Tara Turner, the firm’s director of development and communications.

“It is not written in stone. It is not something that’s going to be happening any time quickly. As everybody knows, public space projects take forever. In our line of work, you know, 10 years is 10 minutes,” Turner said. “We’re totally listening to what everyone has to say, merchants, residents, and we’ll continue to do that.”

The hope with closing Shaker Boulevard as part of the redevelopment plan would be to create a transformational design for the area on Cleveland’s East Side, she said.

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