Though many may see Shaker Square as being in Shaker Heights,
that's only partly true. We are in the Shaker Heights City
School District, under an arrangement that dates back to the
incorporation of Shaker Heights in 1912. But we are also
in the City of Cleveland.
Now we must
all recognize the enormous help that Cleveland gave in the
remodeling of the Square in 1999 and 2000. (I'll be reporting
soon on how Cleveland, Shaker Heights and Cuyahoga County
supported that project.)
multi-million dollar undertaking was done for sound economic
increase property values (and thus tax valuations and tax
receipts for the city of Cleveland and the Shaker schools)
increase employment in those enterprises (and thus collect
more payroll taxes).
And a new
reason: shopping locally instead of driving to some distant
shopping mall saves energy.
Parking on and
near the Square can be hard to find. You can see the problem in
the VALET PARKING services offered by many restaurants. You can
hear the problem in the voices of merchants complaining that
restaurant patrons often take all the nearby parking spaces.
Cleveland can help the Square
by using two
neighborhood-friendly tools long employed by Shaker Heights.
1) Free Short-Term Metered
parking meters from the Square would harm the businesses there. Without meters, the spaces
would be taken all day long by Rapid Transit riders and
But the meters
could offer free short-term parking. The 64 meters around the Square
already do. See
Push the Button.) They
owned by the Coral Company which made this improvement early in
2007. Merchants tell us how helpful this has been.
However 30 parking meters on the Square are on Shaker Boulevard.
They are Cleveland meters and they do not offer free short-term parking.
In March 2007 we asked
our Cleveland City Councilman Kenneth
Johnson to look into having them changed to give free short-term
parking. Six months later, at SHAD's
annual meeting in September, we asked him again. No progress.
Now, another eight months have passed with no signs of progress.
We look forward to hearing from him soon.
To see the difference between the two cities,
take a short walk along the Larchmere Boulevard business district, north of
the Square. On the north (Shaker Heights) side of
Larchmere, the meters offer free short-term parking.
Just turn the handle for 30 minutes of free parking.
Not a lot of time. But enough to visit an antique
shop, drop off Fido at the groomer's or pick up some
sign in Coventry Village mini-lot
But on Larchmere's south (Cleveland) side, the meters lack
Our recent call to
Cleveland City Hall revealed that no
Cleveland meters give free short-term parking. Shaker Square
doesn't warrant special treatment. Surely other Cleveland neighborhoods
with dining, shopping and cultural venues, would
also benefit from this
Cleveland Codified Ordinances on parking are online.
2) Small Parking Lots
small Shaker Heights parking lot near the Square, on the north
side of Larchmere
Road at the corner of Grinell (East 126th Street).
The lot has only 17 spaces, each with a meter that
offers 30 minutes of free parking. Now 17 spaces may not seem
like much help. But, net, after driveways and
fire hydrants, each side of a block on Larchmere
provides curb parking for only five or
six cars. This small lot provides as many spaces as
three blocks of curb parking!
The City of Cleveland, to
the best of my knowledge, has no parking lots outside of
Cuyahoga County should start to address the need for more parking near Shaker Square. We can't expect the Coral Company to take on the
parking challenge by itself.
Free short-term parking and
small parking lots would be a good start.
|What about Cleveland Heights?
realizes the importance of parking and does even more
to help businesses and residents than Shaker Heights. It uses
short-term parking (Coventry
Village), mini-lots (Coventry Village, Cedar Hill,
Lee Road) and parking structures (Coventry Village
and Lee Road behind the Cedar-Lee Theater).
|Councilman Kenneth Johnson's
Councilman Johnson did
not reply to our
for his views on this
in a phone call he expressed interest but said that
the city ordinances would have to be changed.
|AN UPDATE: September
Shaker Heights has
removed the meters along the north side of Larchmere
Boulevard and in the parking lot. The reason: the
cost to maintain them exceeded their receipts.
Will store and
restaurant employees and valet parking attendants
take all the spaces, making it hard for shoppers and
diners to park? Or will it work out well. Time will
tell. The Larchmere Merchants Association
is following this change.
Arnie Berger, webkeeper posted June 30, 2008