CLEVELAND — A bit of fireworks happened Monday between some Cleveland City Council members and the mayor’s administration. It was all during a heated debate about city streets.
There are new details now about money for street resurfacing and what needs to be done. But we also found there’s a glaring difference in which side of Cleveland has gotten the most assets so far.
We asked Jamarae Garner what it’s like for him to drive Cleveland streets.
“Oh, horrible! Just horrible,” he said.
He lives on Laisy Avenue on Cleveland’s east side. It’s an area that’s gotten little attention according to a map presented today during the meeting.
It shows blue, yellow, and red sections of streets all across the city. The blue ones are the good streets. Yellows and reds are rated D and F, respectively. The west side of Cleveland has a ton of blues but there are big pockets on the East Side with the failing colors.
“I was just totally dismayed by what I saw,” said Councilman Mike Polensek. His ward is on the East Side. He feels like his ward has been mistreated by the funding for streets. “I have to tell people to make sure that they have their false teeth glued in good (when they’re driving in the ward),” said Polensek during the meeting.
Cleveland's Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown laid out that each ward this year will get a minimum of $400,000 then anything above that will be based on worst streets first.
Councilman Blaine Griffin agreed with the plan and the study of road conditions done by Baker International. "It’s not a slip-shot, storefront company,” said Griffin. “This is actually a company that has a record of doing quality work across the country."
Council President Kevin Kelly said data should drive the conversation.
However, as part of our on-going investigation "Broken Roads, Broken System," 5 On Your Side Investigators have debunked many claims in the study that is helping to guide council.
Plus, a report presented today showed Raymond and Marah Avenues are rated an F, but when we checked them in person, they were perfectly fine looking like they had been repaved recently.
Garner had a message to City Hall about the rough streets he drives. “Get them done faster. Don't drag your feet. Just get it done."
The city said it’s upped the average Pavement Condition Rating for streets in Cleveland from a 67 to a 70. It's shooting for 75 for all streets in a 20-year time frame. They are currently in the fourth year of that plan.