Our NewsChannel 5 investigation into a broken roads system in Cleveland has sparked many viewers to speak out about their own streets. Legitimate concerns are pouring into our newsroom from our online feedback form with this story.
“We try to keep it up,” said Booker Brown. “You see the flowers…and so forth,” he added pointing to his home on E.139th Street. Booker and his wife Myrtice moved into the neighborhood in 1966. They’ve never stopping trying to have a great home. “I figure if I’m going to live here, I want to have something nice for my family and to help the neighborhood,” said Booker.
However, just feet from their home is a bumpy, patchy street. They live in Councilman Ken Johnson’s ward, the chairman of the committee that oversees street repaving. Book told us he spoke to Johnson last year. “Called and talked with him. He says, ‘We’ll get you next year.’ Well, next year is here and still nothing.”
Johnson admitted to us the system needs a combination of fixes to make the roads better. After decades of doing roads, he promises this year, “We will sit down…and map out a plan with the engineers that actually do the critiquing of the streets,” said Johnson.
Their son Gary Brown moved back in with his parents after living in Memphis for 13 years. He has expectations for his street. “At least reasonably…reasonably taken care of. And this is not. This is far less than reasonable,” he told us.
The bumps, bruises, and cuts the street has endured have been piling up since it was paved 25-30 years ago. “You pay taxes. You keep up your end of the bargain. You would think that the city would do the same,” said Gary.
When hearing that only one in 16 streets in Cleveland has been paved since a 2009 study of the roads came out through 2015 and with 17 wards in the city, that means statistically speaking one, maybe two council members would have a newer paved road. However, 4 council members plus the mayor have newer roads. “If we look at the numbers we can see this is black and white. If we look at the numbers we can see that this is inequitable. Something is not right,” said Gary.
He filled out a feedback form through our Broken roads, broken system page. Booker told us his feedback for the city is that there’s not much return for the many taxes he’s paid during the last 5 decades. “They never stop and say, ‘Hey, you don’t have to pay now because you are having a hard time.’ They don’t do anything like that.”