Inman Street lane reduction is opposed

Posted 5/19/19

To The Editor:I am writing to agree with Jake Saiger who wrote a letter published on April 28, concerning his opposition to narrowing Inman Street from four lanes to two lanes. I was Cleveland's city …

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Inman Street lane reduction is opposed

Posted

To The Editor:

I am writing to agree with Jake Saiger who wrote a letter published on April 28, concerning his opposition to narrowing Inman Street from four lanes to two lanes. I was Cleveland's city engineer from December 1996 through May 2004, and I fought against that proposal during my employment.

A former employee of Cleveland has been behind this proposal for years, but that person has no experience as a traffic engineer. His purpose in the proposal is to revitalize the shops located on Inman Street between the railroad underpass and Church Street by increasing parking on that segment of Inman Street, and reducing through-traffic volumes.

Such a change may, or may not, be successful in attracting more customers to that area, but even if successful it would benefit only a handful of people, and would inconvenience thousands.

The former employee's proposal is based on his belief that people using Inman Street don't really need it as traffic artery. They could just as well use APD 40 to get to their destinations. That is ridiculous.

Anyone whose destination from east Bradley County to downtown Cleveland or beyond would have to go miles out of their way, and in most cases use less efficient streets — such as Benton Pike or Wildwood Avenue — to get to their destinations, thereby increasing traffic on those streets.

Before becoming city engineer, I had over 20 years of experience as a consulting engineer, much of which was as a traffic engineer. I was involved in several TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety) projects during that time, including the cities of New Orleans, Chattanooga and Birmingham.

It is my opinion that much better options exist to increase visits to the downtown area than to reduce the capacity of one of the main access streets to the area.

Two of those options are to replace the Moore building with a parking lot — as recommended by a very intelligent individual, Ben Moore, who has done a lot for the city of Cleveland — or, more expensively, to widen Inman Street to provide six lanes, to include four through lanes and two parking lanes ... plus wider, more attractive sidewalks.

— Ronald M. Osment

Cleveland

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