The Ohio Department of Transportation said it will clean up a popular, scenic overlook in Tremont after NewsChannel 5 first noticed it had been vandalized.
"It’s a shame, really," said Rick Westfall, a Tremont resident who walks by the Abbey Avenue overlook often. "We look at all of the new construction here and every detail that’s going in to making our city more beautiful, and it’s a shame.”
The overlook's railing is covered in graffiti and so is part of the sidewalk. The area, which includes benches and a grassy area, offers great views of downtown Cleveland.
"It just kind of makes it ugly," added Westfall. "It makes this beautification process a bit ugly."
ODOT built the Abbey Avenue overlook two years ago as part of the Innerbelt Bridge project. The agency said it was unaware that the area had been vandalized.
“It’s in a unique place where we, ODOT, are not there a lot," said Amanda McFarland, an ODOT spokeswoman. "We'll get out there and get it taken care of as soon as possible."
ODOT said it has designated crews to remove graffiti in the area, and they are working hard to clean off unwanted paint ahead of the convention. That includes the new Innerbelt Bridge, which was also tagged but already removed.
Westfall, who often walks to work, knows first-hand that that is a big job.
"This can be found all over the city, in Ohio City, to some degree Tremont," he added.
Cory Riordan, the executive director of the Tremont West Development Corporation, sent the following statement about graffiti at the overlook:
"Tremont West takes graffiti seriously and views graffiti in our public areas and on private property as a quality of life issue that detracts from the great strides the neighborhood has made over the years. Tremont is known for its restaurants, the current housing boom, and the wonderful events we host such as Taste of Tremont (held on July 10th!). Graffiti detracts from this. Although I am unaware of this specific incident we will work with our partners to ensure that it is removed in a timely fashion."
The city of Cleveland did not respond to our requests for information on how often they remove graffiti and enforce vandalism laws. Cleveland police did not respond with information either.