By BRIAN GRAVES
New sidewalks along 17th and 20th streets were the subject of the latest community meeting held by the city of Cleveland concerning infrastructure improvements.The pedestrian improvement project for …
New sidewalks along 17th and 20th streets were the subject of the latest community meeting held by the city of Cleveland concerning infrastructure improvements.
The pedestrian improvement project for the two streets was the focus of Tuesday night’s meeting at Mayfield Elementary School and was attended by more than 40 residents.
The plans as presented involve the construction of sidewalks and other improvements generally on 17th between Keith streets and Harle Avenue, 17th between Harle Avenue and Ocoee Street, 20th between Harle Avenue and Parker Street, and 20th between Baugh Street and Neely Circle.
“Tonight we have a little information, and then some of our experts are here that will stay around as long as you are here if you have any questions,” said City Manager Joe Fivas.
“Our goal is to introduce this project to you. Some of you may not have seen any this,” he said. “You made have heard there might be a sidewalk. Tonight is the very start of the conversation.”
Fivas said there would be some who might be impacted in a small way and some may have larger impacts.
“Our goal is to work with each and every property owner or person that has questions or concerns,” he said. “We think this an extremely important project for the city and for the residents in these neighborhoods.”
Fivas noted the project is 80 percent funded by federal and state funds.
Planning Director Greg Thomas explained the process now underway.
“The reason we are doing the project is we have had a lot of demand for connectivity and walkability in our downtown,” Thomas said. “We are going to connect a couple of schools. We’re going to connect a park. We’re going to connect people to the Greenway. All of those are really major goals for pedestrian connectivity.”
“I know it’s been a long time coming and a lot of people have been asking, ‘When are you going to put the shovel in the ground?’ he said. “All of this kind of gets us up to that point — making sure that we follow the process we have to follow to get that 80 percent of the funding.”
Thomas said the city now has to talk to the property owners along those two corridors about rights of way that are needed.
He explained those could either be donated, or property owners can be compensated.
Forms were available at the meeting for property owners who may have already made their decision to proceed with the choice they have made.
Both Thomas and Fivas emphasized that all property owners would be contacted in someway before the process could be completed.
Fivas added should anyone prefer an individual meeting, they were encouraged to call City Hall and officials would be happy to make those arrangements.
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