'Fast 8' slows down Cleveland

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 18:45:22-04
Fast cars are slowing down the streets of Cleveland.
Crews have begun filming stunt scenes for “Fast & The Furious 8” in downtown Cleveland. On day one, filming tied up morning traffic, but proponents say the long term benefits outweigh the disruption.
Superior Avenue between Public Square and East 9th Street was closed on Wednesday, which will continue until Friday. Some nearby streets are also experiencing intermittent detours. Those closures and detours will continue through June 10 throughout downtown.
On Wednesday, Vaidehi Patel said her commute to work from the west side took an extra 15 minutes.
“Even on 90, it was unusually heavy and then West 25, taking the memorial bridge over,” she said.
But Greater Cleveland Film Commission President Ivan Schwarz said Clevelanders should welcome the disruption.
“This isn’t a vanity effort,” Schwarz said. "This is about jobs and economic development, period.”
He pointed to a 2015 Cleveland State University study that showed Ohio’s film incentive created more than 1,700 jobs between 2011 and 2015 and brought in a 2-1 return on investment.
Schwarz wants those controversial incentives expanded.
“If we can create five to seven thousand jobs in this sector, then we’ll be competitive,” Schwarz said, “And we’ll be part of the renaissance of what’s happening already in this city.”
Critics, like Policy Matters Ohio, said those tax breaks are not regularly reviewed for their effectiveness. They said the state should switch to a grant system instead.



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