Cleveland (Euclid Corridor)

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Euclid Corridor Improvements

Cleveland, Ohio

(November 1996)

Description

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) is proposing the Euclid Corridor Project, formerly referred to as the Dual Hub Corridor Project. The Euclid Corridor Project will include exclusive bus lanes and related capital improvements on 5.6 miles of Euclid Avenue from Public Square in downtown to University Circle. In addition, five stations along the existing Red Line will be relocated in order to spur economic development and improve access between the stations, surrounding neighborhoods and employment centers. The right-of-way on East 17th/East 18th Streets from the Inner Belt to Lakeside Avenue will be reconfigured to facilitate traffic movement and increase accessibility to employment and retail centers in the Central Business District (CBD). The downtown area bounded by Superior Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, West 3rd Street, and East 18th Street will be designated a "Transit Zone" to provide expanded and more visible bus operations and allow for convenient transfer between cross-town bus routes. New community-oriented bus services will also be implemented to serve the adjacent Empowerment Zone.

Status

Section 3035(t) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement for development of the Dual Hub Corridor, originally considered as a rail link between downtown and University Circle. Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $6.52 million for the project (another $4.7 million was rescinded or reprogrammed by Congress in 1995 and 1996).

In November 1995, the GCRTA Board of Trustees selected the Euclid Corridor Improvement Project as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). The LPA is the Transportation System Management (TSM) alternative and focuses on various bus system improvements and selected rail elements. In December 1995, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, adopted a resolution supporting the Euclid Corridor Improvement Project. (With the selection of the LPA, the Dual Hub Corridor Project was renamed.)


In September 1996, FTA approved a grant for the remaining $4.02 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. Of these funds, $2.82 million is to initiate preliminary engineering on the Euclid Corridor Project and $1.20 million is for a Major Investment Study (Berea Rapid Transit Extension) to provide a link between Hopkins Airport, the I-X Center and Berea on the Red line. The FY 1997 Appropriations Act recognized the refocused project (Section 337 or P. L. 104-205).


During preliminary engineering, design and plans for the operation of the Euclid Avenue bus lanes will be refined, environmental issues will be addressed and the financing plan will be finalized. The final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is scheduled for completion in August 1997. The Euclid Corridor Improvement Project is expected to improve access to Greater Cleveland's two largest employment centers: the CBD and University Circle. This project along with the Waterfront Line, now under construction using 100 percent local funds, will provide comprehensive coverage of the CBD.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The LPA would increase transit travel by 3,800 trips over the No Build Alternative. This represents a 2.5 percent increase in total daily systemwide passenger trips. No significant change in travel time under the LPA was reported.


Cost Effectiveness - The selection of the LPA was based on expected ridership increases, affordability, availability of funding and providing needed service to existing and proposed developments along the Euclid Avenue corridor. The cost-effectiveness index was not available to FTA.


Environmental Benefits - The Euclid Corridor Improvement Project is located within the eight county Cleveland Air Quality Control Region (AQCR). Ambient air quality standards for six pollutants have been established by the State of Ohio and the Federal government for ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, particulates and sulfur dioxide. Hydrocarbon emission reductions would vary between alternatives but would not be regionally significant. The LPA would produce a reduction of about six tons compared to the Null Alternative. Carbon monoxide reduction would not be significant for any one alternative. Nitrogen oxides generated would increase (40 tons) with implementation of the LPA.


Operating Efficiencies - Operating and Maintenance (O&M) cost per transit boarding equals $3.07 for the Null Alternative and $3.26 for the LPA.

Local
Financial
Commitment

The total cost of the LPA alternative including the rail elements is estimated at $210 million. The total cost for the major components has been estimated as follows: Euclid Avenue ($93.9 million), Red Line station relocation ($24.9 million), E.17 & E.18 One Way Pair ($13.1 million), St. Clair/Superior Transit Zone ($11.2 million), railroad bridge renovation, signalization improvements ($18.2 million) and utilities ($33.6 million). The GCRTA has proposed Section 5309 New Start funds as the source for 80 percent ($168.00 million) of the total project cost. The local share is proposed to be divided between the State (10 percent), City of Cleveland (5 percent) and GCRTA (5 percent).

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Appropriations to Date
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start $168.00 $6.52 million appropriated through FY 1997
State:
Unspecified $21.00 N/A
City of Cleveland $10.50 N/A
GCRTA $10.50 N/A
Total: $210.00

Note: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

Euclid Corridor Map. The Euclid Corridor Project will include exclusive bus lanes and related capital improvements on 5.6 miles of Euclid Avenue from Public Square in downtown to University Circle. In addition, five stations along the existing Red Line will be relocated in order to spur economic development and improve access between the stations, surrounding neighborhoods and employment centers. The right-of-way on East 17th/East 18th Streets from the Inner Belt to Lakeside Avenue will be reconfigured to facilitate traffic movement and increase accessibility to employment and retail centers in the Central Business District (CBD). The downtown area bounded by Superior Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, West 3rd Street, and East 18th Street will be designated a Transit Zone to provide expanded and more visible bus operations and allow for convenient transfer between cross-town bus routes.