CLE parking issue a concern at Justice Center

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-30 11:32:46-05

Judges and employees at Cleveland's Justice Center are concerned about a parking shortage they believe will be a major issue when the new Convention Center Hotel opens this summer.

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown sits next to the Justice Center, but according to Cleveland Housing Judge Charles Patton, the hotel is being allowed to open without having to build any additional parking.

Judge Patton told he's already been given a preview of what is to come when the hotel opens, reporting big delays to his docket after a convention center event last week.

Patton believes when the hotel takes hundreds of spots in the Huntington Park Garage across the street, it will create major parking problems.

"There were delays in my courtroom because people couldn't find a place to park," said Patton.

"A 600 room hotel, but provided no parking for the hotel. It was inadequate before the hotel was built.  I don't know why they didn't anticipate this problem."

Cleveland Housing Court Judge Ray Pianka believes the anticipated parking shortage will not only make it hard on Justice Center employees, but on many who have a legal obligation to be in court.

"There needs to be access to justice," said Pianka. "The attorney's weren't there, defendants weren't there, prosecutors were unable to get in.  Witnesses, court watchers, there were many delays."

Pianka said there is also real concern over big rate hikes for parking at the Huntington Garage.

Chief Housing Bailiff Matthew Capadona told, setting up additional shuttles to and from the municipal lot would help.

"I've been told there is a possibility of moving some of the disabled spots from the Huntington, moving them someplace else," said Capadona. "I've been told that employees are going to have to move their cars."

"At least have some type of shuttle service, a regular shuttle service in the morning, and a regular shuttle service in the afternoon.  Especially employees, if they have to park at the municipal lot, take them back and forth in the morning."

Cleveland Councilman Tony Brancatelli told he'll look into the possibility of establishing additional shuttle services to the municipal lot.

Meanwhile Judge Patton said the Huntington Garage could be as many as 200 spaces short when the hotel finally opens for the Republican National Convention this summer.