Cleveland leaders, residents, business owners tour city, looking to make list of improvements

Cleveland looking to make upgrades before RNC

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Planning Commission and the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association led a group of city leaders on a tour of Cleveland's warehouse district, looking for issues that are in dire need of improvement.

The tour was was designed to create a list that will be submitted to city leaders in an effort to make the downtown area more appealing and safer prior to the arrival of the Republican National Convention and other national spotlight events.

Ashley Shaw, Project Manager with the Historic Gateway Neighborhood told the tour is an effort to improve both small and big picture items.

"We'll be looking for cracked sidewalks, broken curbs, trees that need to be trimmed, overgrown brush, broken parking meters and broken traffic signals," said Shaw.

"We're also going to be looking at how it feels to walk down the street. Does it feel safe? Does it feel clean? Do you feel as a pedestrian your safe when you're in the crosswalks, are cars yielding to you? So we're also going to look at the big picture."

The idea for the city tour came from Joseph Giuliano, President of the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association.

"The RNC is going to be coming and all the other events down here," said Giuliano. "They've done a great job with the big items, but he smaller items are just as important because it effects the quality of life not only for residents but also for visitors."

Association leader Rebecca Slifer believes now is the time to make critical upgrades, as Cleveland continues to grab more and more of the national spotlight with the arrival of Lebron James and John Manziel.

"People have said a lot of positive things about Cleveland, we want to continue that momentum," said Slifer. "If someone wants to open a business, or relocate here, they want to relocate into a place that has a lot to offer from amenities and quality of life."

Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman told there will other city tours, and is hoping it will create significant downtown improvements over the next four months.

"I'm hoping that whatever we're doing to today is something we can turn into a spreadsheet," explained Cimperman. "That by Thanksgiving we will have a good portion of those things done, once we report them to the city."

Residents who would like to report downtown issues can contact the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association via its website, or by calling at 216-202-0969.

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