From West 65th Street all the way to downtown, there's an unused railroad right-of-way that runs parallel to the RTA's Red Line operations. For over thirty years, the Rotary Club has volunteered to maintain it, by mowing, adding new gravel, and cleaning trash from the site. For the same period of time, Rotary has sought to turn this unique space into a greenway--a walking and biking trail whose magnificence would rival -- perhaps exceed -- the novelty and beauty of New York's High Line public park.
In the past, the RTA has put up a fight to preserve its lines for future expansion, which is no doubt the desire of optimistic public transit enthusiasts. RTA's manager Joe Calabrese says he is now at the table because Cleveland Metroparks has expressed interest in maintaining the greenway. If the Metroparks' recent successes with the lakefront parks is any indication, anyone could expect them to do a phenomenal job turning the greenway into a world-class attraction worthy of any New Yorker's attention and respect.
This path will fly over the industrial Flats and the Cuyahoga River on the Red Line bridge, which spans over five-eighths of a mile and connects Ohio City with downtown. It will afford unrivaled views of the downtown area, Lake Erie, and the tangle of historic bridges on the city's west side.
Rotarians say the park will cost $13 million, and 20% of the money can be raised privately.
This is a project that has been in the works for a long time--but now it appears that it might become a reality.
Read the proposal presented to the RTA Board on June 10, 2014, here.