It appears that the may not be off the table in Lakewood after all.
Lakewood officials met recently with the representatives from RTA, the city of Cleveland and the ODOT to discuss the $8 million project further.
Lakewood was made an offer it couldn’t refuse, said Mayor Michael Summers.
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.
Summers said it’s a value of $950,000.
According to the new proposal, there will be six new transit stations on the south side of Clifton Blvd. and three on the north side; traffic signal synchronization; better spacing of stops and new bicycle and pedestrian amenities.
In addition, the bus shelters will get 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.
“Upon review of Lakewood’s position, they offered a much-more scaled down opportunity for us to participate,” Summers said. “We were sincere in our position (to oppose the project), but it turned out to work for us.”
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.
“It wasn’t at all clear what the benefits we’d get for our $486,000 and this project, other than a few new bus stops,” he said last week.
Summers said in order to pay for the new proposal, the cash-strapped city will need to make some changes, including cutting the shopper shuttle that takes seniors to pickup groceries. But he added the city is eyeing a more cost-effective alternative to that program.
RTA spokeswoman Mary McCahon said the project still needs final approval from The Transportation Review Advisory Council, a division of Ohio Department of Transportation.
The final OK is expected by June, but no timetable for construction has been set.
McCahon said that included in the project proposal are TRAC’s request for $5,390,000; RTA’s $1,735,000 contribution; and Cleveland’s contribution of $722,500.
“The groundwork has been done — pun intended — and the design has been approved,” she said recently.