Downtown growing pains cost delivery drivers

Downtown growing pains cost delivery drivers

It's a good problem to have. Downtown Cleveland is growing so fast with new businesses and new residents, but one group of men and women say they're paying the price.

"Give me your frustration level? Where are you?" asked 19 Action News Reporter Dan DeRoos.

"It's high," said Greg Lawrence, a delivery driver for one of Cleveland's largest beer distributors, House of LaRose. "We just want to be able to park somewhere safe, be able to deliver and not feel like I'm going to come out to the truck and have to pay a ticket."

The men and women who drive those trucks bringing produce, meat, beer and supplies to all the new restaurants, bars and grocery stores say they're being targeted and ticketed while trying to do their jobs.

That money comes straight out of their pockets because drivers have to pay the ticket, not their companies.

Just as we were conducting our interviews, one driver approached DeRoos with a fresh ticket.

"Just got it, trying to make my deliveries she gave me a parking ticket, double parking. There's nowhere to park on Euclid," said Cavalier Distributing driver Michael Jackson.

These drivers say there aren't enough truck or delivery zones. In one zone that is designated for deliveries on Prospect Avenue we found that someone has parked a dumpster in it for construction.

In front of Constantino's Market on West 9th Street there is a legal truck zone, but there is a fire hydrant in the middle of it, making it too small for any kind of truck to park without risking a ticket.

The drivers say they just want answers. They say that sometimes it's okay to double park, but sometimes it's not.

"It's kind of a game of cat and mouse. Especially on Euclid Avenue," said Dave McCuan, a driver for Superior Distributing. "There is no parking there and one cop will drive by and won't say a word to you and you come back out and you have a ticket."

In emails from the city, officials have given some generic responses, such as, "it's our goal to have it be business as usual" during construction projects like Public Square. But like the drivers who have asked before us, we have gotten no answers as to how it's supposed to be business as usual when business is booming.

We did find out one of the busiest ticket writers is the RTA Transit Police, especially on Euclid. RTA officials say that since the beginning of the Public Square project they have started giving out tickets to anyone stopped on Euclid to keep the bus lane free.

And as RTA reminds us, those people are breaking the law.

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