Saturday, July 21, 2007

from our Ingenuity Festival experience: things we'd like to see

We're having a good experience with the Ingenuity Festival, but it brings to the fore things we'd like to see around Cleveland.

First of all, the bus service has not been very good. Thursday, the first day of the festival, Gloria and I took the 79 in at different times of the afternoon. Each of us had to walk from Public Square out to Playhouse Square. The 6 and the E-Line did not accommodate us at any time in our 15-block trek. That means, to me, that they're running too infrequently to be useful, unless you have all the time in the world and can hang out around a bus stop until something shows up.

In the evenings, we've had to cut short our time at Ingenuity to catch the last bus home. They should run all night. They should be something you can count on.

They run way too infrequently. We have had far too many hour-long waits. They should run at quarter-hour to half-hour intervals. The routes should interconnect, on a timed basis, and you should be able to leapfrog your way across town in any number of combinations. For this to happen, I would think the routes have to be shorter.

Specific to the Ingenuity Festival, it seems the buses don't come near it. We found we had to walk from East 14th Street down to East Ninth Street before we had access to the E-Line. It should be routed onto 14th Street for the Festival, to bring people in and take people out of the area. This is a major happening, and it deserves better public-transit support.

Another thing we'd like to see are more restaurants and coffee shops in the downtown area that are open later at night. The Town Fryer is not open for late food any more. There are no 24-hour places until you get to West 117th Street, or Memphis, and I don't really count the Rapid Stop on East 55th as a place where anyone would want to hang out.

This is still sort of a little hick town where they roll up the streets and shut down the buses before midnight; this is not anything that could be termed "cosmopolitan." I would hope this can change. You can build all the convention centers and the merchandise marts you want, but if you don't have the amenities of a big city, nothing flies.

You have to build traffic and usage first. People have to feel safe, they have to have mobility options, and they have to have round-the-clock havens and destinations.


  1. Tim,

    I was nice running into you guys at Ingenuity. Sorry I couldn't stay and chat, but wanted to get good seats for Troika Ranch. By the time started, it was close to being standing room only.

  2. We're noticing this is a great event for everybody, but the kids are especially transported. Levin & Co. are getting good at this.

  3. This is my first attendance at an ingenuity festival, but I took all three kids down. They really enjoyed it.

  4. I wish I could have chatted a little more, but so much to see and do with the kids... A 24 hour downtown, well baby steps first, I'm just trying to make a little community between 6am and 6pm.