Cleveland plans to keep Public Square closed to bus traffic permanently.
The city originally had planned to reopen the transformed public plaza to buses traveling east and west on Superior Avenue after the Republican National Convention this summer. But the reopening stalled. And today (Tuesday), Mayor Frank Jackson announced the the Greater Cleveland RTA had agreed to give up the route and to work with the city on alternatives and to “mitigate any operations impacts” of the decision.
Jackson says the city and RTA are asking federal transportation planners to OK the plan. About a thousand buses a day travel through the area of downtown, and RTA has maintained that other routes will be costly in terms of fuel and congestion.
Cleveland spent about $50 million in public and private money to transform the plaza into a largely green public space fountains performance spaces and outdoor activities. The plan originally called for the city to shut down the north-south Ontario traffic to vehicles, and to allow only buses to go east and west.