Action Alert: Franklin Blvd
The City of Cleveland is seeking feedback for Franklin Blvd (from W. 25th to W. 85th) ahead of construction in April 2022. The project will include the following components:
- Complete asphalt resurfacing, including full and partial depth pavement repairs where needed.
- Realignment of West 85th Street intersection adding ADA-compliant curb ramps
- Mini roundabouts at several locations as part of traffic calming measures.
- Improved pedestrian crossings including installation of rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at select crosswalks.
- Signing and pavement marking upgrades, including sharrows along corridor.
The project incorporates some elements from the Franklin Traffic Calming Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) plan, most notably mini roundabouts to calm traffic, but excludes other traffic calming elements from the plan like:
- Raised crosswalks
- Physical curb extensions and bump-outs
Ohio City Inc. noted these missing elements in a recent tweet about the Franklin Blvd project:
There are two changes to note between the original recommendations and what is proposed for construction here: https://t.co/XWicDWYjr3
1. The design of the concrete islands versus the neighborhood traffic circles
2. The raised crosswalks are not included in the current proposal pic.twitter.com/Dxi57pHmkd
— Ohio City (@ohiocitytweets) April 28, 2021
While we are in favor of roundabouts along the corridor to provide traffic calming, one important detail that remains unknown is: what exactly will the design of the roundabouts be?
The proposed plan removes all traffic signals along Franklin, save for the intersection at W65th Street. It relies heavily on eight new mini roundabouts to provide traffic calming, and to keep motor vehicle speeds in check on a neighborhood street that is frequently used as an East-West connector.
As currently presented, the City’s plan does not clearly describe what these mini roundabouts are comprised of. They are simply referred to as “pavement striping and a transversable concrete island.” There are many ways to implement these roundabouts (as evidenced in the video on WestFranklinCLE.com/project-features) so we feel that it would be best if the public knew exactly what is planned. This way, they could provide contextual feedback on this critical component of the street redesign.
Our concern lies with the mini roundabouts as the primary source of traffic calming. If they are only paint and a low-profile concrete island, will they keep the speed of drivers of large trucks and SUVs at or below the speed limit? Or will they be able to easily “traverse” or otherwise defeat them? Without any vertical elements (such as signage, planters, delineator posts, etc. as noted in the original Franklin TLCI plan) will these mini roundabouts be effective at slowing down traffic?
For the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and residents along Franklin Avenue we ask that if you share these concerns, that you add them to your comments at WestFranklinCLE.com/contact.