CLEVELAND — The area of Bridge Avenue and West 58 Street has been home to so many people over the years.
“A century ago, that was really the heart of one of many immigrant communities that settled the neighborhood,” said Jenny Spencer, Ward 15 councilmember.
It is still a neighborhood that has residents from all different walks of life.
“On Bridge Avenue, there’s some new housing, there's some legacy housing, there are townhomes, there are apartments there, single-family homes,” said Spencer.
But some residents are upset you can see exactly where those lives are walking, literally, on their sidewalks that are uneven, unattractive, and hazardous.
“People are putting so much money into redoing the houses around here so you would think you want the sidewalks to reflect the up-and-coming nature of the neighborhood,” said Corrine Sackett, a resident of the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.
Anndrea Crews said walkability is what attracts people to the neighborhood.
“This neighborhood a lot of people jog, a lot of people run, a lot of people walk, a lot of people do a lot of things outside because there’s a lot of different places around here,” she said. “I honestly think the sidewalks and streets are very important.”
Peter McDermott has lived in the area his entire life. He said this winter, the sidewalks were impassable.
“For older people, or people with strollers, or people in wheelchairs, I mean, you couldn’t get around,” he said.
The stretches of sidewalk are a result of a partnership between Dominion Gas and the city of Cleveland. Months ago, Dominion was replacing old gas lines, but didn’t finish before the colder weather set in. Dominion workers poured temporary concrete over top and decided to wait it out until warmer months, but people in the neighborhood said there was no sign warning them the temporary concrete was wet.
“They didn’t put barriers, so people rode their bikes through them, dogs walked through them,” said McDermott. “There was snow on the ground all winter so you couldn’t really tell where the holes were or where they weren’t.”
Spencer said residents have called her office for months asking about the sidewalks.
“We were really very, very unhappy with it and we made our feelings known to Dominion and they were receptive to that feedback because we do have people who use our sidewalks who are mobility impaired,” said Spencer.
She wants neighbors to know that Dominion will be back out, repaving with permanent concrete as soon as the weather permits.
“Dominion has committed to a much better process for the permanent, just to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Spencer.
Residents hope it’s a smoother process this time around.
“There’s obviously a lot of people who are working really hard to turn this neighborhood around,” said Sackett. “I’m glad it will be done, hopefully, before summer kicks off.”