Studies Cite The Benefits of Reopening Public Sqaure to Buses

Feb 8, 2017

Two studies conclude that reopening Superior Avenue to bus traffic through Cleveland’s Public Square would reduce RTA travel time and improve safety.  But the city isn’t convinced its terrorism concerns have been fully assessed.

Buses going through Public Square on Superior Avenue would save a minute or more travel time compared to going around, according to an independent consultant’s traffic study.

Joe Calabrese, general manager for the RTA, says a separate security study found no  increased risk of a terrorist threat.

"There was no greater or less risk in terms of a terrorist event if it was open or if it was closed.  I think the one major point that’s important in that was the plan always was when there was a major event around Public Square that it would be at that point in time closed to RTA buses and secured on the perimeters." 

But the city says it hasn’t received a copy of the safety study and based on a one-page executive summary, the city is not convinced its security and mitigation concerns have been adequately addressed.

Commander Harold Pretel is Cleveland’s in-house homeland security expert. He’s scheduled to meet with RTA and the study consultants on this afternoon.

Commander Harold Pretel at the podium. To his left are Cleveland Chief of Operations Darnell Brown and Chief of Police Calvin Williams.
Credit ANNIE WU / IDEASTREAM

"It would be irresponsible to move forward and just open the square without addressing any of those potential threats and our vulnerability and without discussing any mitigation strategies."

RTA faces a $12 million federal fine for violating the terms of a grant agreement if Superior Avenue isn’t opened by Feb. 21st.