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Plans for Madison Avenue Overhaul Postponed

City officials were hoping to get started on repaving of all of Madison Avenue in the summer of 2013, as well as a traffic signalization project. A streetscape effort was also part of the plans. They will all have to wait.

Clarification: Public works director Joe Beno said the county is still committed to paying 10 percent of the cost of the paving project. But the city will likely wait a year to see if it can get some funding assistance.

Officials at Lakewood City Hall would like to repave the entire length of Madison Avenue.

There are also plans for a traffic signalization project — not unlike the Detroit Avenue project this summer — which could include some streetscape-style enhancements.

But all those plans are now on hold, until at least 2014.

City officials were hoping to get started on the $2.5 million repaving of all of Madison Avenue in the summer of 2013, but the plan for additional funding assistance from Cuyahoga County fell through.

However, the county is still committed to paying 10 percent.

“It’s not going to happen in 2013 at all,” said Joe Beno, the city’s director of public works.

He said that, originally, the city had worked out a plan to match 45 percent of the cost with the Ohio Public Works Commission, and the county would pick up the remaining 10 percent. 

Then, the county announced a program that would pay more than its typical share for county roads, which included Madison Avenue.

The city is still additional money to help pay for the Madison repaving project.

Lakewood will now wait, Beno said, to try to get more of the project funded.

The city could move forward with the repaving proposal, he added, but then it wouldn't be able to afford any other paving projects in 2013.

“If it saves the city a million, by backing it up by one year, it will be worth it,” Beno said. “I just hope it’s only backed up one year.” 

Madison Avenue last got fresh pavement in 1990. 

“You driven down Madison Avenue,” he said. “It’s in bad shape. It needs to get repaved.” 

Traffic signalization proposal

Beno said that the estimated $2.5 million project to upgrade the traffic signals on Madison Avenue — a project not unlike this summer’s Detroit Avenue project — will likely begin in 2014.

Of the 20 traffic signals on the commercial corridor, four of them are “unwarranted,” according to a traffic study, but exactly which ones haven’t been decided yet.

“That’s the discussion,” Beno said. “Should the city pay to keep them? Or should we do something different, like mid-block pedestrian crosswalks?”

It’s likely, he said, that the project wouldn’t even go out for bids until early 2014. 

At the earliest.

Beno is meeting with officials from Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, the Regional Transit Authority and the county next Thursday to try to figure out if some enhancements can be included in the plans.

Making Madison Avenue look a little nicer 

NOACA is the organization that last year paid $50,000 for an 83-page Birdtown study, that examined ways to improve the eastern Madison Avenue neighborhood. 

Some of the ideas included bird-shaped brick pavers at intersections, large art installations in the shape of birdcages and a tree-lined boulevard. 

Some of the more practical elements of the study, Beno said, include “sharows” for bicyclists, upgraded bus stops and enhanced signage. 

Officials are expect to discuss how the projects could be coordinated to include some of the enhancements.

Madison Avenue effort part of economic development effort

Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, recently told Lakewood Patch that the Madison Avenue will see more investment “in the next two to three years,” that will coincide with the paving and signalization projects.

“Madison Avenue is kind of a new frontier in Lakewood,” he said. “It’s a competitive location, you still have all the benefits of living in an accessible and walkable community and it has a different building stock that is interesting and presents a very big opportunity for more investment.”

See more on Lakewood Patch: 

Paul Grimm September 28, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Why does City Hall hate Madison Avenue?
MrTwotimes September 28, 2012 at 06:53 PM
..and the Eastern side of Lakewood
Steve September 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM
They are too busy spending OUR money on fast cars and suv's, for a city that's what, 3.5 miles long??? Oh, and spending money on chasing invisible pit bulls on the east side, when all they do is cross w 117th. and they can't be touched. Please spend MY money wisely!!! Go buy a Hummer for the Mayor.
Rick Uldricks September 29, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Very disappointing.
Zach Nader September 29, 2012 at 06:09 AM
I cannot believe how run down Lakewood has become. I live in Lakewood, and grew up in Lakewood. The city is full of human garbage covered in Tattoos.
Allison Smalley September 29, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Really? Run down? I am not blind but I just do not see that. You know what I see?... a gorgeous new library.. and have you seen that sculpture in front?? Breath taking...not blight. I also see buildings being rehabbed and developed in true Lakewood styles. Have you seen the schools?! They are certainly not run down.. and those tattoo covered people.... like Matt Fish (Melt) who has help put Lakewood on a nation food map with his creativity. Read the article people... The COUNTY cut funding.

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