Investigator: Euclid Ave. sidewalks create commuter nightmare

6:58 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND - The government spent more than $23 million four years ago to redo downtown Euclid Avenue, but Channel 3 News found the sidewalks along the historic street are buckling and putting pedestrians in danger.

Polly Zastawnic was leaving work near Euclid and East 9th Street when the uneven brick pavers caught her heel.

"My knee took most of the fall," said Zastawnic. "'I ended up having to be on crutches for a couple of weeks and I had to have surgery. They had to go in and remove the torn cartilage..." in her knee.

A year later, no one has repaired the brick-paver sidewalk that thousands of people step over every day, even though Zastawnic said she alerted City Hall to the problem. 

In fact, Channel 3 News found the span between Public Square and East 9th Street pockmarked with dangerous areas.

One large section is torn up, with a single orange cone in the middle warning walkers. There are also loose bricks, long stretches of uneven sidewalk and sunken areas.

Then there's the "OK Corral." That's what a group of commuters call a large section of the pavement that was cordoned off two years ago with a picket fence to keep people from falling into 10-foot hole.  

"Why is there not anything done 2 years after that," said Patti Yanoviz, who recently tripped over a rough patch outside the Cleveland Arcade and hurt her arthritic knees. "They put all this money into revitalizing Euclid Avenue. I'm sure they have money to fix what's broken."   

Nancy Koch said that she and her friends stare at the sidewalk when walking down Euclid to avoid problem spots. 

"It's dangerous," Koch said. "The fact that it hasn't been repaired or addressed is totally unacceptable."

RTA and Cleveland officials told the Investigator Tom Meyer that they are aware of the issue and are working together to determine the exact cause of the sinking sidewalks.

"This should have been taken care of by now, so I agree with you, this is an urgent matter," said Ken Silliman, chief of staff for Mayor Frank Jackson. "I can assure you and your viewers that this will be a top priority for both the City of Cleveland and RTA."

Silliman said they want a permanent solution, not a quick fix. And they're trying to figure out if the contractor is responsible.

Clevelanders say enough talk -- do something.

"There is no time or price you can put on the safety of people," said Koch.


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