You CAN Fight City Hall, RTA

Sometimes you can fight wrong-doing and ineptitude by City Hall politicians and RTA - and win, as I recently did, simply by making an intelligent effort. On Wednesday, February 23, I e-mailed Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers and City Council to stop the unpopular, un-needed, Clifton Boulevard remodeling project by Lakewood, Cleveland and RTA because it would make Clifton worse and cost Lakewood $482,500 initially, plus unknown costs of maintaining it for many years. It would be a waste of our tax money, which would be better spent to expand Lakewood circulator bus service. In response, a day later, February 24, Mayor Summers told Cleveland Councilman Jay Westbrook (Clifton goes thru his ward) that Lakewood cannot afford to pay for this Clifton project. So now the project is apparently dead.
Riders To Bring Back The Daily Lakewood Circulator, which I founded, still wants a daily circulator back, which RTA wrongfully eliminated. The Friday afternoon circulator has less riders because it inconveniently runs only every 90 minutes, does not stop at all RTA bus stops, and stops running at 6 p.m. This schedule prevents the many Lakewood residents with day jobs from using it to go shopping, to the Lakewood Public Library, or elsewhere in Lakewood. We believe it should run until at least 8 p.m., hourly, and stop at all RTA bus stops on the route. This may require a return to the original 50 minute route, with a ten minute break for the driver, but not extended to the West 117 Giant Eagle in Cleveland, since Lakewood has a Giant Eagle and other supermarkets.

Lakewood's $10,000 annual 12 month contract with RTA for the Friday circulator expires in March, and should be renewed with these improvements, while we still strive to return a daily circulator. We recently discovered Brunswick runs and owns a daily circulator without RTA, funded by Brunswick, fares, and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

Lakewood already runs Division of Aging buses, giving the elderly door-to-door service on a limited basis,so Lakewood can run a fixed route circulator for everybody. It may pay for itself. Concerned citizens can phone former Lakewood Mayor Ed FitzGerald, now County Executive, at 216-698-2100, asking him to fire the RTA Board of Trustees for doing a poor job. Wasting big money on the Clifton project, Euclid Corridor Health Line, Flats Rapid, etc. - all not needed, while eliminating our heavily used daily circulator that originally ran every thirty minutes. Most of Lakewood City Council and the Mayor will be running for election in November. Candidates who will serve Lakewood residents better on these and other issues and anybody who is willing to work with us for a daily circulator can call me at 216-221-0228.   - Steve Gannis, Lakewood resident.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 2:20 PM, 03.08.2011