June 3, 2021: “Bold Visions: Should Browns Stadium Be Part of the Harbor?”

There are a great many people in Cleveland who believe the stadium should not have been rebuilt on the lakefront, and the footprint could have been better utilized with development that enhanced the area around the Science Center and Rock Hall, and provide the downtown community with dramatically increased green space and access to the lake.

The Green Ribbon Coalition envisions an accessible, connected ribbon of neighborhood, community and regional parks, trails, and nature preserves along the Lake Erie waterfront that inspires all stakeholders to protect, enjoy, and value this natural asset as an essential element of the region’s economic success, ecological health, civic vitality, and overall quality of life.

With this vision in mind, aren’t there better uses for 55 acres of prime lakefront land with direct access to downtown residents via an extended Mall bridging the railroad and Shoreway, the landbridge concept championed by GRC?


Register here…


  • What is the highest and best use for the Stadium-North waterfront?
  • Is the Browns Lakefront Proposal the best approach?
  • Fifty-five (55) acres is a significant amount of undeveloped space within the urban core – imagine the possibilities: 6 Public Squares, 50 Westside Markets, 1.5 Navy Piers.
  • Besides Voinovich Park, where do we have public lakefront access in downtown Cleveland?
  • How can this space support increased programming associated with neighboring institutions at the Harbor?
  • What percentage of the Stadium-North footprint could and should be retained as open-green space – 50%, 75%, 100%?


Christian (Chris) Lynn, PLA, ASLA / Host, GRC Design Collaborative Team, Associate Principal, Planning & Landscape Architecture Practice Lead, AECOM

Allison Lukacsy-Love, AIA, AICP / Moderator, GRC Design Collaborative Team, Director of Planning and Development, City of Euclid

Linda Sternheimer / Panelist, Director of Urban Planning and Development, Port of Cleveland

Lillian Kuri / Panelist, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Cleveland Foundation

Mary Cierebiej / Panelist, Executive Director, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission


  • Alternative Site Downtown for Browns Stadium
  • Formation / Lakefront Development Authority
  • Gordon Park Landbridge

We invite you to attend this dynamic session on the future of Cleveland’s lakefront June 3, 2021 from noon to 1 p.m. This event is on Zoom; make your reservation now. Admission is free, donations welcome

POSSIBILITIES: Re-imagining Cleveland’s Lakefront Dialogue Series


Call for Public Comment on Long Range Transportation Plan

noacaFrom “NOACA invites public comment on draft update of Long Range Transportation Plan, which strives for equity” by Steven Litt on Cleveland.com:

Northeast Ohio’s leading transportation planning agency wants to spend roughly $13.4 billion in predicted federal, state, and local revenues over 30 years to maintain road networks and improve transit systems while expanding options for bicyclists and improving safety for pedestrians.

The agency is inviting public comments through May via email and its website, noaca.org

Continue reading article…

May 8, 2021: Riversweep!

Spring Cleaning of the Cuyahoga River Valley Returns May 8 at RiverSweep!

Registration for RiverSweep, the annual clean-up of parks, trails and spaces in the Cuyahoga River Valley is now open!

RiversweepFor three decades over 20,000 volunteers have helped extract and recycle 24,747 illegally discarded tires and picked up for disposal 713 tons of trash.

RiverSweep on Saturday, May 8, 2021 is from 9 am – 11 am. COVID safety protocols will be in place so registration is required. For clean-up site locations and registration, please visit our website.

As a thank you for helping us at RiverSweep, join us afterwards at Forest City Brewery for our Towpath Tappening on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 11 am – 1 pm. Thor Platter Trio will provide live music and as a token of appreciation, Sainato’s pizza and your first drink is compliments of Canalway Partners!

Registration is required and COVID safety protocols will be followed. When you register for RiverSweep, look for a confirmation e-mail that will include the link to register for the Towpath Tappening.

Proof That Green Ribbon Advocacy Works

Land bridgeCLEVELAND, Ohio — In a nod to nostalgia, the City of Cleveland is proposing to recreate, at least in part, a pedestrian bridge that connected the downtown Malls to the Lake Erie lakefront during the 1936-37 Great Lakes Exposition.

The city has applied to the State of Ohio for $6.5 million to design the “land bridge” from Mall C to North Coast Harbor on the waterfront, spanning the Ohio 2 Shoreway and lakefront railroad lines.

Continue reading on Cleveland.com…

Cleveland.com: “Should Burke Lakefront Airport Close? Coalition Keeps Important Question Alive”

proposed plan for burke by matt busa

Proposed Land Use Plan in Matt Busa’s Presentation for Burke Lakefront Airport Repurposing

Thanks to the PD for covering the July 30 panel discussion on Burke in this August 11, 2019 article by Steve Litt, who regularly covers the architecture beat. “15 years after it finished the biggest lakefront plan in a half century, Cleveland is still far behind waterfront cities including Chicago and Toronto and playing catch-up,” writes Litt.

The panel discussion featured a proposal by Cleveland landscape architect Matt Busa, who developed a concept illustrating how the airport can be turned into a large park with a dense, transit-oriented neighborhood at its western edge. Other panelists discussed the logistics of developing the concept, including critical issues of concern, such as the large cost of the project and serving the flight operations that are still coming into Burke.

Lit concludes the article with a call to explore options to make the most of Cleveland’s lakefront treasure.

Early 2018 List of Projects & Map

Cleveland Lakefront/Flats Projects

Canal Basin Connector – from Canal Basin Park to Lake Link Trail using Center St Bridge

Canal Basin Park – 20 acres, northern terminus of old Ohio & Erie Canal

City of Euclid “Breakwall” – Extend a public trail ¾ of a mile east from Sims Park (23131            Lakeshore), reconstruct shoreline, control erosion, add wildlife habitat

Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail – “Lake Link Trail” from Columbus Rd to the bridge over Old River Channel to Wendy Park, portion from under the Detroit-Superior bridge area to the Wendy Park Bridge uses an old railroad right of way and is done. Portion from Columbus Rd to under the Detroit-Superior Bridge is part of the Irishtown Bend project and listed as “proposed.”

Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway Connector – From W 25th/Detroit to Lake Link Trail

Gordon Park/I-90 relocation between E 55th and MLK per GRC/ Bob Gardin – Move I-90 south towards railroad tracks using now vacated First Energy Site. This would add about 50 acres and make this Metropark as big as Edgewater. Use of First Energy site will be decided in 2018 or 2019 at the latest.

Inner Harbor Bridge – Rosales design to close loop of Inner Harbor

Irishtown Bend – 17-acres west side of Cuyahoga River between Detroit and Columbus Roads, emphasizing shoreline stabilization as first stage, add Lake Link Trail, reworking of Franklin Ave and W 25th St, rework greenspace.

Lakefront Greenway- various facets between E 9th and MLK along I-90, continuous loop along N and S Marginal Rd, connections from neighborhoods, I-90 underpasses at E 55th, E 72nd and MLK.

Main Ave- W 9th to Old River Rd, creative lighting of this area to counter gloomy aura cast by the Main Ave Bridge, from a design competition.


Mall C Land Bridge – GRC/Bob Gardin’s design alternative to Rosales’ Bridge


Mall C Pedestrian Bridge – Rosales’ design of cable stayed bridge to connect Mall C with Rock Hall/ Great Lakes Science Center


Old Coast Guard Station Renovation/Metroparks – Burning River Foundation Partnership


Red Line Greenway – pedestrian and bikeway along RTA tracks from Columbus Rd/Lorain Ave to W 54th. No plans for extension to downtown using RTA Bridge.


Scranton Peninsula – Commercial project- 70 acres- environmental remediation


Summit Ave- Group Plan Commission, from E 9th to W 9th, designed to capitalize on great views of North Coast Harbor and Lake (at Mall C and behind City Hall and the Country Courthouse, as well as great views of Port, mouth of Cuyahoga River, and Lake at an overlook between W 3rd and W 9th.)


Towpath Trail – connect Cuyahoga National Park to Canal Basin Park (about 5 miles) in various stages, completion date of 2020.


Wendy Park Bridge – from Flats West Bank to Wendy Park over railroad tracks uses Lake Link Trail to connect to Towpath Trail.


West Shoreway – funded / final stages of completion


Whiskey Island Connector – uses Ed Hauser Way- rework connection between Edgewater and Wendy Park, adds a dedicated bike/pedestrian path

Bridges Connecting Northcoast Harbor

Northcoast Harbor

There have been two bridge proposals in the North Coast Harbor area. Both are tantalizingly close to being realized but still face hurdles. Both bridges have been designed by Miguel Rosales of the firm, Rosales and Partners. Other examples of Mr. Rosales’ work can be seen at www.rosalespartners.com.

The North Coast Harbor bridge is needed to close a loop around the Inner Harbor. The span to close the loop is about 90 feet. A federal grant for about 3/4 of the estimated $5 million was awarded in 2005. The original design was not accepted due to its high percentage of foreign components and costs that were approaching $10 million. A clam shell design has been submitted and approved. Steve Litt of the PD characterizes the support for this design as “underwhelming.”

The Lakefront Pedestrian Bridge is designed to connect the northeast corner of Mall C with the Rock Hall and Great Lakes Science Center. The bridge would be 900 feet long and 14 feet wide. A 170 foot high V shaped tower would anchor an array of cables to hold up the bridge. The array of cables would be “strung like harp strings.” The sides of the bridge appear to have continuous rails and posts that support a chain link like fence on the sides and overhead clear panels that would partially shield against the elements. The bridge is not straight. It would curve gently between its start and end.

Cost and Funding: Total cost is estimated at $33 million. 10 million would come from the City, 10 million from the County, and 5 million from the State. We would note that an application for a Federal grant for $17.6 million in 2013 was rejected. This was the
3rd time Federal agencies had rejected an application for this this project. Hence the need for mostly local funding.

History: Bridges/connectors over the the railroad tracks in this area have been a goal of Cleveland planning since the railroads appeared in the late 1850’s. At that time, the shoreline was very close to where the tracks are. The Memorial Shoreway (Rt 2) was constructed in the late 30’s. The area north of the freeway (Rock Hall, Stadium, Burke Airport) was constructed with infill. We have bridges at W 3rd and E 9th Streets. The old connector bridge over the tracks that leads to 1st Energy Stadium has been closed as traffic patterns changed.Lack of wheelchair accessibility is also a problem. This 1940’s connector could still function if reworked. The cost would be considerably less than the Rosales bridge. It could be a complement to the Rosales bridge as it could handle more adverse weather.

Exposure to the elements: Previous visions for connecting the Mall to the Rock Hall emphasized protection against the elements (wind, rain, snow.) The current proposal is quite exposed to the elements over the course of its 900 foot expanse.

Local funding: We have noted the lack of federal funding for this project. We doubt that $20 million has been spent on any waterfront project (or two) other than the Rock Hall. We hope that there are local funds for other areas of the waterfront if this project goes thru. We would hate to think that this project would “tap us out” for a period of 5 to 10 years. We are reminded of the RTA Waterfront Line which did not apply for federal funding and relied on internal RTA financing. The Waterfront Line has had ridership problems and been a drag on the RTA’s finances.

As of April 13, 2016, the State is ready to approve $3.5 of the $8.5 million dollars that was requested by the Greater Cleveland Partnership. The $5 million balance remains to be financed.

Conclusion: We don’t doubt the cosmetic appeal of this project. We wish it offered more protection against the elements. We hope it is an example of our commitment to a connected waterfront. Connecting the waterfront with itself (east-west) and the city (north-south) is necessary for a great waterfront. We find it hard to imagine starting over with another design. Steve Litt of the PD wrote a column in January 2017 where he said that an intermodal (think Greyhound, Amtrak, RTA) transit hub in the area of the Amtrak station is being planned. He thinks the bridge should take the hub into account. In other words, wait for a plan for the hub. It is hard to argue with that.

– John Veres

Main Ave. Design Competition 2016

Main Avenue Connector design proposalThe Downtown Cleveland Alliance sponsored a design competition to make the Main Avenue connector from Old River Road to West 9th more attractive. Main Avenue is a critical connector from the Warehouse District to the Flats East Bank. It also lines up with the Metropark’s Water Taxi service to the west bank of the Flats. Getting from the North Coast Harbor/Rock Hall area to the Flats East Bank and West Bank should be a priority if our waterfront is going to be well connected. The area of Main Avenue near West 9th St has long had a dark, shadowy aura cast on it from the  bridge overhead and buildings nearby.

It is possible to get from West 9th to West 3rd by using Lakeside. There are spectacular vistas of the port, lake, and stadium in this area that are not highlighted from Lakeside. The vistas are on the north of Lakeside and are currently a collection of parking lots and a freeway entrance that may not be needed. The West 9th to West 3rd connection could use a design competition.  The Main Avenue connector  project holds promise for also upgrading this portion of the connection between the Flats East Bank and North Coast Harbor.

So, back to the winning design to upgrade Main Avenue.  PORT Urbanism of Chicago won the design competition and unveiled their design in April 2016. Their design was estimated to cost between  $800,000  and $1.6 million, depending on how much of the plan was implemented.

The six components of their program are:

  • Horizontal light bars on the building on the south side of Main Avenue near West 9th.  This area is dark and unwelcoming.   The shadow of the Main Avenue bridge  increases as you go up the hill to West 9th.
  • Graphics/signs  on W 9th to connect the East Bank and Warehouse District.
  • SW corner of West 9th and Main Avenue would get steps and a terrace to  soften this corner, this is the site of the Old Lighthouse that is referenced.
  • Better  lighting on the north side of the Main Avenue sidewalk using light boxes around the base of the bridge piers.
  • Painting the bridge piers (abutments) at Main and Old River Road to resemble a Triumphal Arch.
  • Creating a meeting point landscape at the SW side of the traffic circle at Old River Road and Main using decks and low benches.
  • Cleveland has a long history of innovation in the field of lighting and these proposals use lighting to spectacular effect.  It is important to have a connected lakefront trail and this project upgrades a  critical portion.

– John Veres

First Energy Lakeshore Plant Demolition And Re-Use

GRC Vision for Gordon Park

GRC Vision for Gordon Park

The Cleveland Planning Commission has voted to allow First Energy to tear down its Lakeshore power plant at East 70th and South Marginal Road. The coal burning plant operated from 1911 to April of 2015. In 2008, the plant was the second largest point source of air pollution in the Greater Cleveland area. First Energy determined that it was not worthwhile to upgrade the pollution control equipment for compliance with new clean air standards.

Thirteen of the 57 total acres will continue to house high-voltage transmission equipment.  These 13 acres are south of the main plant. The other structures will be demolished. After demolition, First Energy will spend $15 million on the initial cleanup of the site plus an unspecified amount later that would make the site clean enough for housing or a park. The level of remediation depends on the final use. Remediation currently scheduled includes removing and replacing the top two feet of topsoil. The property will also be graded so it drains to its former wastewater treatment ponds. Grass will be planted to ready the site for sale or reuse. The City of Cleveland felt that if the go ahead for demolition was delayed, the money for remediation might be spent on other coal fired plants that are closing.

Remediation projects often take a long time so we think the City was right to move quickly. Click here see an aerial map of the site and photos of the site. Note the twin water intake canals that go under I-90 and are in front of the main building. This is a very unique feature that could be creatively utilized in the future. The site is directly east of Gordon Park and divided from it by E 72nd St, which is a sparsely used road. Cleveland Metroparks are on the other side of I-90. The greenspace/parks usage seems obvious for most, if not all, of the site. Read about our proposal for a Gordon Park Expansion/East Shoreway Relocation project here.

– John Veres