DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An extensive study, requested by Mayor Frank Jackson regarding bus traffic through Public Square is in, and it backs up RTA's contention that reopening Superior to bus traffic will not impact safety on the Square and will save money.
"The study said Public Square, from a safety perspective, is safer with buses going through Public Square than going around Public Square," said Joe Calabrese, RTA General Manager.
Safety was just one concern. Another was cost, and a second study found moving traffic through the square will save about $800,000 a year. Part of the money will come from eliminating the loop around the square.
Three scenario's were analyzed: leaving Superior closed; leaving it closed but with better signal operations at 16 intersections; and opening Superior
to buses. The latter is what appeared to be the most cost effective.
Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed has been a critic of the closing and of Mayor Frank Jackson, who wants it kept closed. He would like to put the issue
"The mayor said point blank that he needed to see the study. The traffic study is in and says the square should be open," Reed said.
Calabrese acknowledges concerns remain.
"The safety study suggests a bus 20 mph speed limit, better striping, and signage," he said. "Will the city go along?"
He hopes for an end to the city/RTA divide on the issue.
"We're really hoping for a resolution at this point. I don't want to say much more about it than that," added Calabrese.
City officials said Tuesday they're still assessing safety concerns.
A decision has to be made soon. The Federal Transit Agency has given RTA until Feb. 21 to pay its $12 million back.