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West Side’s Franklin Boulevard slated for new design, traffic circles to calm traffic

Posted at 11:02 AM, May 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-01 11:04:34-04

CLEVELAND — Driving Franklin Boulevard from West 25th Street to West 85th Street could look different in the fall of 2022 once a planned resurfacing project is expected to be finished.

The Changes

The new road surface will tie into the existing traffic circle at Fulton Road and Franklin Boulevard, in front of the newly constructed The Dexter Apartments.

A large traffic circle has already been installed on Franklin Boulevard as part of The Dexter Apartments construction.

Traffic lights are proposed to be removed at Franklin Boulevard and West 32nd, West 38th, West 44th, West 45th, West 48th, West 54th, West 58th, and West 74th streets.

New Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons could be installed just west of West 25th, West 57th, and West 69th streets and high-visibility crosswalks will be installed at various locations along the boulevard.

The traffic light at this intersection could be removed and replaced with a traffic circle.

Traffic circles are proposed for West 38th, West 45h, West 50th, West 54th, West 58th, and West 74th streets.

At West 85th Street, the wide intersection is supposed to remove the “slip lane” that allows traffic to quickly turn east onto Franklin at a high speed.

This intersection at West 85th Street and Franklin could shrink, making cars travel through it at a lower speed.

The City of Cleveland is looking for your feedback on the proposed changes. You can review them here and can submit your feedback here until May 20.

The project design is supposed to be finished in August 2021, with construction slated to start in April 2022. The project could be finished in the fall of 2022.

The resurfacing project would also include clearly painted space for parking and sharrows for cyclists.

The estimated project cost is $3,286,800 with $2,629,440 coming from federal funds. $657,360 is covered through City Road and Bridge Bonds.

The project would follow a resurfacing project happening right now along West 65th Street with an expected end date in Spring 2022.

Frustration is nothing new

High speeds, crashes, and close calls on that stretch of road a block south of Detroit Avenue, linking Ohio City and Detroit-Shoreway have long caught residents' ire.

A resident takes a picture of City of Cleveland crews installing traffic calming measures during a 2018 traffic study.

Many residents agree the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit is too fast. Then-City Councilmember Matt Zone told News 5 in 2018 that the process to change that speed limit was getting caught up in the bureaucracy. The speed limit is challenging because state law says Franklin's speed limit is already the lowest allowed for a road as long as it is.

The 2018 traffic study tried to remove some traffic from Franklin to force more cars onto streets designed for more use. Those closures allowed cyclists to still use the street and were largely unpopular.

In 2018, the City of Cleveland, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the neighborhoods in Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway used traffic cones and barriers to mimic extended curbs, or even re-direct traffic off Franklin Boulevard entirely and onto roads better built to handle more cars.

The 2018 traffic study tried out the proposed permanent changes to the intersection of West 85th and Franklin Boulevard.

After that study was over, feedback at Q & A sessions, a phone line, and through survey participation showed that 75% of the more than 500 respondents said they were "not at all" interested in the traffic diverters becoming permanent at West 54th Street and Franklin Boulevard. 74 percent felt the same way about diverters at 65th and Franklin, and 69 percent were not interested in diverters at Franklin and West 85th Street, according to the city's results.

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