Chagrin Boulevard, in Cleveland, Ohio’s Woodmere Village, was once this suburb’s small town “Main Street.” It had traffic so daunting that people would drive to get across the street. Driveways serving standalone parking lots proliferated, walking and bicycling was hazardous and public transit and school bus stops were all but inaccessible.
Working with local community development consultants Clint/Donnelly and traffic engineer Frank Spielberg of SG Associates, PPS developed a master plan to ensure Chagrin Boulevard’s economic viability and attractiveness as a unique “place,” through an on-going process of residential and retail stakeholder surveys, a community- visioning meeting, and interviews with property owners and local officials. The concept that evolved included tree-lined medians flanking both sides of the Boulevard, dividing pedestrian-friendly frontage roads on either side from through-traffic lanes in the middle; new walkable sidewalks, new crosswalks at signalized intersections, and a better definition of the Boulevard through lane elimination, protected turn lanes and additional signals to accommodate access from residential side streets. These changes set the stage for changes to zoning and land-use regulations, including introducing build-to requirements along both sides of Chagrin, and reducing current parking ratios to lessen the amount of land mandated for parking.
Transit is a component, but by no means the extent, of your experience at a station that is a place. Memorable and enjoyable stations and stops that create value for neighborhoods are perfectly attainable. In fact, a transit station or stop can serve much more than a transportation function; it can be a setting for community interaction, a place that fosters a diversity of activities.