In a series of articles running today and next Sunday, The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com will look first at the St. Louis project and then at another big waterfront effort in Cincinnati to see what lessons they hold for Cleveland.
For decades, pedestrians trying to reach the Gateway arch and the surrounding 90-acre park from downtown had to scuttle along narrow sidewalks on streets that bridged the highway trench and crossed two busy, three-lane highway access roads.
Now the connection from downtown to the park flows so smoothly that you hardly notice that there’s an interstate highway underneath you as you cross the pedestrian bridge.
That seamless connection suddenly became deeply relevant to Cleveland in May. That’s when Jimmy and Dee Haslam, co-owners of the NFL Browns, proposed extending the downtown Mall north to the city’s lakefront over railroad tracks and the Ohio 2 Shoreway, like the pedestrian bridge in St. Louis.