Shoreway shutdown accountability - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Captain America: Shoreway shutdown accountability

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson questioned about the shoreway by Investigator Carl Monday Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson questioned about the shoreway by Investigator Carl Monday

Were you late to work today? Chances are good you were one of thousands looking for a new way to get there, with the closing of the west shoreway.

The heavily traveled highway was shut down for Captain America, but who gave it the OK?

Chief Investigator Carl Monday tracked down the man ultimately responsible for the decision, Mayor Frank Jackson.

We caught up with the mayor, just before an unrelated news conference on the east side.

We told the mayor, a lot of folks are raving mad over the shoreway shutdown. And they want answers.

"How's your commute today Mayor," asked Investigator Carl Monday.

Even for Mayor Frank Jackson, who has a paid driver, the typical seven minute trip from his home to city hall took a bit longer this morning.

"We tried to avoid downtown by looping around. I know it was easier. So I know it was easier for me than other people," answered Mayor Jackson.

A lot easier....

"What do you say to the motorists who spent more than an hour today on the shoreway," asked Monday.

"It's an inconvenience. It's an inconvenience. But its part of how we are positioning Cleveland to be a center for the film industry," answered Mayor Jackson.

But for two weeks? Pittsburgh is a movie making mecca. A spokesman there told us they never close down their major roadways for a movie, not even for Tom Cruise. And if they did, they would need permission from the state.

"Why are we doing it here," asked Carl Monday.

"You'll have to ask the movie people why they needed two weeks. Because they do the shooting and the scheduling," said Mayor Jackson.

"Couldn't other things have been done to ease the traffic. More RTA buses or stagger the work day," asked Carl Monday.

"I don't control the private sector or how they stage," said Mayor Jackson.

Driving to work was no problem for the director of the local film commission. He lives in Cleveland Heights, over six miles from the west shoreway. Good for him, he doesn't live in a suburb on the west side.

WOIO Vice President and General Manager Bill Applegate has repeatedly criticized what he calls "the movie madness." We asked the mayor about his editorial position on the subject, and his reply....

"Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion.''

Mayor Jackson still insists the millions in movie incentives for the film makers is a fair trade-off and a good investment for Cleveland.

But the mayor admits, there are no hard facts to support that claim, only feedback from hotels, restaurants and other businesses in town.

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