Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shaker Heights looking to create more walkable and urbanist business districts

Shaker Heights, just east of Cleveland is a pretty legendary and wealthy old streetcar suburb. It was high on my places to see list and we saw lots of wonderful houses and hints of urbanism.

However, when compared to a streetcar suburb like Forest Hills in NY or Pittsburgh's Mount Lebanon, the business district was dull and car oriented. (Honestly, this was a quick dive through and we should have spent more time exploring)

From Green City Blue Lake

Sometime around 1950, Shaker turned its back on the street where the Blue Line ends, and grew enamored of the post-war suburban shopping center. Dirty dumpsters and blank walls of the back of shops faced Warrensville Road, which was widened, big parking lots appeared in front of the one-story shopping center, and the rise of the car almost made a monstrous six-way intersection seem like a good idea.

Pittsburgh's Urban Design Associates is getting public input on making changes and is getting a lot of support for making denser, more connected and walkable business districts.

Please comment if you know more about this.

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