Nonprofits look to improve lakefront; Cleveland increases street-paving budget; Ohio senators extend statute of limitations for rape cases

Cleveland Catch-Up

We boil down what happened in Cleveland this week.

Nonprofits look to improve lakefront

A new lakefront planning effort, the Lakefront Greenway and Downtown Connector Study, is looking to improve four miles of property, from downtown east to Gordon Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The proposal was put forth by nonprofits the Campus District Inc., the St. Clair Superior Development Corp. and the Historic Warehouse District & Gateway District.

Since 2004 Cleveland has been working on improving this area by building a new marina at North Coast Harbor, as well as a landfill. They have plans to build a development with offices, apartments and a hotel.

The Lakefront Greenway and Downtown Connector Study wants to establish a “greenway corridor,” which would be a park that would run along the shoreline. This would require removing some I-90 ramps, adding a pedestrian bridge over I-90, adding a lakefront bike path and making intersections more pedestrian friendly.

The final version of the plan is supposed to be finished by June. Then the nonprofits need to find someone to help pay for it.

Cleveland increases street-paving budget

Cleveland’s street-paving budget has more than doubled from $4.4 million to as much as $10 million a year, according to Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. Kelley’s goal is to resurface every residential street at least once every 20 years, prioritizing the ones that need it the most each year.

Kelley hopes to get more data-oriented when determining which roads need to be resurfaced by conducting a pavement management study that will rate each road. The goal is to have this finished by 2016. People would also be able to give input on which roads they think are the most in need. Then the worst five percent of roads in each district would be resurfaced each year.

The increase means that planned improvements to other parts of the city will be pushed off, and Cleveland will also have less money to match road resurfacing grants.

Not everyone was happy with the plan, with some council members nervous that it would result in less money to their district and others nervous about relying on the city of Cleveland’s administration to do the road ratings.

“This pavement management study will not be a situation in which we’ll be sitting here next year, and it won’t be done,” Kelly told

Ohio senators extend statute of limitations for rape cases

The Ohio Senate passed a bill 32-1 which extends the statute of limitations in rape cases with DNA evidence.

Ohio recently began testing its backlog of rape kits, which has led to a number of culprits being caught. However the 20-year statute of limitations still applied. The new bill gives prosecutors five years to file rape charges if DNA evidence is found that points to the culprit, regardless of when the crime occurred.