A $50 million project to fix-up Public Square could now cost a lot more and critics are calling is a classic case of misspending.
Over the past two years, bus-friendly upgrades were made, which included new lights and bus stops in what was supposed to be a bus-only zone.
But they may have only wasted the city’s time and your money.
On Tuesday Mayor Frank Jackson announced he would be appealing to the federal government to permanently close off the stretch of Superior Avenue that runs through Public Square to busses.
Jessica Whale serves on the RTA’s citizen advisory board and was stunned.
“There isn’t enough transparency, enough explanation as to what’s going into this decision,” she said.
There was also surprise that the RTA supported the decision.
“It’s probably a very complicated political situation that most of us riders don’t know or understand,” she said.
The mayor believes a greener square could attract more people and business, while commuters say the new setup makes it difficult to make their connections.
“’Cause if you miss that bus, some of them run every hour. And if you miss that hour, that’s a whole new hour,” bus rider Winifried Scott said. “It’s hard for us to get to where we got to go.”
On Wednesday the city declined to comment on the cost of undoing the work or say how the square will look.
At the same time, there are concerns at the RTA over how it could impact a $12 million grant given to them by the Federal Transit Administration with the understanding that Superior would reopen.
The government could still reject the mayor’s request, however, and there is no timetable on a response.