Cleveland Public Square debate should have happened before, not after $50M updates (editorial)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - If you were at the lighting ceremony on Public Square, you had to love the look of the renovated space fresh off of a $50 million facelift. What's not as beautiful is the infighting between the city, the square and the Regional Transit Authority.

As you know by now, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has decided Public Square should be off limits to RTA buses. Some Cleveland City Council members aren't so sure, though.

So now there are meetings, rallies and maybe even lawsuits planned and a lot of discussion. Discussions that should have happened before they built a roadway through the square – a roadway dedicated to bus travel.

The RTA claims the closure will cost the transit system millions and put an unnecessary burden on its passengers. And if the square does go pedestrian-only, who is going to pay for those changes? We also might hear from the Federal Transit Authority, which now has to decide if the bus ban violates the terms of its agreement which bankrolled the Health Line on Euclid Avenue.

This editorial video lasts about a minute – which is about a minute longer than the time spent getting public input on a situation that impacts a lot of people and so the questions will just keep coming.

Around here, we're about getting answers. This time maybe everyone should have been getting answers before signing a $50 million check.

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