CLEVELAND — As Cleveland looks to upgrade Public Square, the city has secured funding.
On Tuesday, the city announced that the Group Plan Commission -- the civic non-profit that programs, maintains, and operates Public Square -- has reached a $3.5 million project fundraising goal with support from the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Greater Cleveland RTA, KeyBank, The Sherwin-Williams Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, Bedrock, Cavaliers, Rocket Mortgage, and JACK Entertainment.
“We are one step closer to the Public Square that Clevelanders deserve,” Mayor Justin M. Bibb said in a statement. “We are grateful to all the partners who are committed to getting this done. Thank you for your ongoing support and collaboration.”
Added Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish: “Cuyahoga County is pleased to support these improvements to Public Square and Superior Avenue. It benefits all of us when the heart of Downtown Cleveland is safe, attractive, and accessible.”
The project, which will focus on the Superior Avenue crossing and the removal of the jersey barriers, will move forward in 2023. As for the next step, the project team will share a detailed conceptual design with the Downtown Flats Design Review Advisory Committee and the City Planning Commission in early January.
According to a release, the updated concept under development "reserves two lanes for buses and creates permanent curb extensions in the center of Public Square," while narrowing the middle portion of the roadway to one lane in each direction and increasing pedestrian safety. Additionally, "the jersey barriers will be replaced by new security bollards that are aligned with the curb extensions to increase pedestrian space, delineate the roadway from the park, and restrict unauthorized vehicular access.:
The release also notes that there will be a new raised “tabletop” crosswalk in the center of the block, which will facilitate safe and intuitive pedestrian flow between the northern and southern portions of Public Square. Additionally, shared lane markings for bicyclists on Superior will be reintroduced for cyclists that are comfortable riding in traffic.
"The Greater Cleveland RTA is proud to serve as a partner in redefining the city's mobility options through and around Public Square,” GCRTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, India L. Birdsong Terry said. "Financial contribution opportunities such as these underscore the importance of public transportation to our region, and the subsequent improved safety and access for our customers."