RTA Clifton Project Rejected by State
Multi-million-dollar renovation now seems officially off the table.
The Clifton Boulevard Transportation Project was rejected Tuesday by the arm of the Ohio Department of Transportation that oversees funding for such projects.
The news comes after months of back-and-forth negotiations between the city of Lakewood, RTA, ODOT and the city of Cleveland.
Lakewood finally agreed last month on a scaled-down version of the original $8 million plan that reduced the city's share to $50,000.
But the Transportation Review Advisory Council, a division of Ohio Department of Transportation, rejected the proposal.
“RTA is very disappointed with the decision and saddened to hear the news," said Mary McCahon, the spokewoman for RTA. "We will continue to move the design forward and look for alternative funding opportunities.”
Mayor Michael Summers said he is also disappointed.
"I think, in the end, the deal was a good one for Lakewood," he said. "It’s a reminder that these deals aren’t done until they are finally done.”
"I think the real question is 'What did get funded?'” Summers added.
He noted that the change of plans last month probably didn't help the cause.
Instead of the $486,000 plan that would have included a landscaped median, Lakewood has agreed to pay only $50,000 and still get several upgrades to 2.9 miles of Clifton Boulevard.
According to the new proposal, there would have been six new transit stations on the south side of Clifton Boulevard and three on the north side; traffic signal synchronization; better spacing of stops and new bicycle and pedestrian amenities.
In addition, the bus shelters would have gotten a complete overhaul with new features that include GPS arrival monitors, pedestrian safety video-phones, landscaping and public art.
Instead of going to the Lakewood-Rocky River border, the project would stop at West Clifton Avenue, according the proposal.
Summers had initially planned to put the brakes on the project when it included a tree-lined median landscape in the middle of Clifton Boulevard. Federal restrictions limited the amount of space of the median.