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Step Up Downtown Public Feedback Summary

Step Up Downtown Public Feedback Summary



An overview of public feedback gathered from Cleveland's Step Up Downtown public engagement process. The report includes summaries of the public meeting, online survey, and stakeholder focus groups ...

An overview of public feedback gathered from Cleveland's Step Up Downtown public engagement process. The report includes summaries of the public meeting, online survey, and stakeholder focus groups conducted during the first phase of the planning process.

For more information on Step Up Downtown, please visit www.downtowncleveland.com/stepupdowntown



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    Step Up Downtown Public Feedback Summary Step Up Downtown Public Feedback Summary Presentation Transcript

    • An overview of input gathered from the Step Up Downtown public meeting, online survery, and stakeholder focus groups downtowncleveland.com/stepupdowntown APRIL 16, 2014 PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY
    • PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Public Meeting March 18, 2014 Online Survey Open until April 1, 2014 Stakeholder Meetings February - April 2014 14 Stakeholder Focus Group Meetings 50+ #stepupdowntown Mentions 150 Public Meeting Attendees 1,500 Surveys Completed 3,000+ Website Views PROCESS BY THE NUMBERS       I. II. III.
    • Downtown still has some empty places. What would be the best ways to liven them up? Participants grabbed a “clicker” and listened to an interactive presentation to play matchmaker for vacant lots, surface parking, and other gaps. STATION 1 DOWNTOWN MATCHMAKER
    • VACANT STOREFRONTS In the short-term, people want to see: • façade lighting • art installations • pop up shops Most people want all of the above! Long-term, people want vacant storefronts filled with retail businesses and offices. Priority areas include the stretch of vacant storefronts on Euclid Avenue between E 9th and E 12th Street and along Huron Road between Euclid and Prospect Avenue. The gap between the Warehouse District and the Flats East Bank is another priority. Lighting the underside of the Main Avenue Bridge would help link these districts. VAST PARKING LOTS create gaps in Downtown, especially between Public Square and the Warehouse District. In the short-term, people want to see: • active edges (dog parks or other green spaces around the perimeter of existing parking lots) • short-term retail kiosks • better landscaping Long-term, most people want the surface parking lots replaced with parking structures and mixed use (residential, retail, office) development. The sooner the better. DOWNTOWN MATCHMAKER Small Box Project Historic Warehouse District STATION 1
    • Visions for improvement sometimes take a while to become real. But what can be done now? We asked participants to jot some ideas on color-coded post-it notes for things that Cleveland could execute quickly to make big changes. They were asked to try to come up with a new idea for each of the five categories. STATION 2 QUICK WINS
    • STATION 2 QUICK WINS • Create 15-min unloading zones in front of residential buildings • Bike share program • Public restrooms, near bars and by the lakefront • Activate the underside of the Detroit-Superior Bridge • Summer jobs program for teens to keep main park/ plaza spaces clean • More lights and outdoor music • Eliminate surface parking lots • Keep sidewalks and bridges clear from snow for pedestrians • Small garden installations around all RTA fixtures • Flower baskets on light poles • Replace orange construction barriers with green planters • More public rooftop patio spaces • Flower/herb window box initiative for office and apartment tenants • Surround surface parking lots with plants • Dog parks • Vertical green walls - on sides of buildings and parking garages • More food trucks • Use vacant storefronts for rotating retail • More activities in Voinovich Park - kayaking, kites, etc • Temporary restaurants on rooftops • Encourage busking on main streets, Public Square • Pop-up indoor parks in unused buildings for winter - use theater designers to make it feel like a park • Youth entrepreneurial enterprise zones • Make your own public art program - fill up planters, decorate empty storefronts • Free fitness classes - yoga, Zumba, etc • Lounges for after-work events with DJs, drinks, lighting • Fri/Sat night movie/ concert series on the Mall • RTA trolley connections between cool areas like Tremont and Ohio City • S’mores station • Winter events like an ice rink on Public Square • Family-oriented concerts like New Years Eve • Sports viewing at Gateway Plaza • Art shows along Superior loft buildings • Create a Downtown fitness trail • Kiosks with walking times between destinations • Clear public transit signage - times, locations, connectivity • Color code districts with uplighting • Point people to and through Downtown alleys, arcades, skyways • Lights in sidewalks, facade lighting along major streets • Paint artistic compass- type directions in intersections • Paint tourist routes on sidewalks
    • Everyone has their own story about Downtown Cleveland. Participants took a seat on our park bench and spent three minutes to reminisce with our videographer about their Cleveland memories and desires for the future. View all the video responses at stepupdowntown.org STATION 3 STORY STATION
    • What’s your fondest memory of Downtown Cleveland? • Experience of arriving at Tower City on the rapid for the first time • Hanging out and wandering around Downtown with a group of friends from CSU • Pushing through crowded Downtown sidewalks to catch a glimpse of the holiday window displays • Travelling Downtown to shop with family for new school clothes at Higbee’s and Halle Brothers • An evening of shopping, dinner, and walking around Downtown to see the lights • High school trip to learn about manufacturing, architecture, and historic preservation • Coming Downtown for the holiday lighting event and eating roasted nuts • Opening of the Rock Hall event with tens of thousands of people from all walks of life • Seeing recent developments since moving here five years ago • Staging a long weekend to convince partner to move to Cleveland from Portland, successfully What changes would you like to see in Downtown Cleveland in the next 5 years? • Become an exciting destination for all again • Surface parking lots filled with development • More attractions for families • Bring the Rib Cook-Off back to the Malls • More large events to experience the city’s cultural diversity • See Downtown investments benefit near eastside neighborhoods • 15 min. parking spots for Downtown residents to drop-off groceries • Seamless bike connections between Downtown, Flats, and near-west side neighborhoods • Change city ordinance to allow outdoor patios to be located out of the way of pedestrians • Bike tour stations at North Coast Harbor • More pedestrian lighting, benches, and landscaping along the Lakefront Bikeway • Reach population of 20,000 residents • Balance Downtown as both “Grand Stage for the Western Reserve” and neighborhood • Easy to walk, bike and spend time out of the car 24 hrs/day, 365 days/year STATION 3 STORY STATION
    • STATION 4 FOUR SEASON CITY How could downtown Cleveland become more livable and vibrant even in winter? Participants identified places that are especially uncomfortable during inclement weather, as well as places with opportunities to become year-round assets. Color-coded push-pins were stuck onto the map board to tell us where we should focus our efforts.
    • STATION 4 FOUR SEASON CITY • Vacant storefronts and gaps in the urban fabric also translate to pedestrians feeling more unsafe and exposed to the elements. For example, storefronts along Euclid between E 9th and E 12th Streets were called out for their lack of lighting and their exposure. Filling these gaps will help not only with general perception but also will help mitigate winter exposure and lack of safety. • Residents enjoy the interior refuge spaces like the Arcades, Tower City, and even small outdoor niches like Eastman Reading Garden, but there was less understanding of other spaces of refuge, such as Cleveland’s alley network. • E 9th Street, Public Square, and the Mall were called out as feeling most exposed to wind and weather in the winter, particularly the closer one gets to the lake. • Suggestions for improving four-season livability tended to organize into two camps: winter-weather retrofits, especially heating elements, wind shields, and sheltered RTA stops; and more events (both indoor and outdoor) to celebrate cold weather. WINDY & EXPOSED POOR LIGHTING HOT SPOTS SUMMARY
    • Downtown has some wonderful green spaces, but where should we direct ongoing investments? This station asked participants to document their use of existing green spaces in Downtown and where they would like to see additional green space improvements. STATION 5 GREEN SPACES
    • While downtown has a variety of green spaces, many are spread out, difficult to access, or lack significant use. Feedback suggested improvements to existing green spaces and desired locations for new green spaces. GREEN SPACES Major Take Aways • There are too few urban neighborhood type parks and plazas • Lakefront access is still difficult • Not enough tree canopy • Not enough places to read a book or dwell outside • Monumental green spaces are great, but lack good activity • Recreation spaces are varied and confusing STATION 5 EXISTING USE DESIRED INVESTMENT eat my lunch wait for transit walk or run play sports with friends walk/run my dog people watch enjoy a performance/event relax in the sun other PUBLIC SQUARE THE MALL PERK PARK What are your most-frequent activities for these downtown parks?
    • Where do you want to go in Downtown Cleveland? How would you get there? And lastly, how would you get to the waterfront? We asked participants to grab a blank map and draw your most common routes. Bonus points were awarded for bike, bus, and pedestrian routes. STATION 6 CONNECT THE DOTS
    • Throughout the event, as attendees gave their input on their actual and aspirational routes through downtown, results were recorded and layered to discern the most popular routes. Most frequented paths cover the core of downtown, with aspirational routes extending primarily to the lakefront and riverfront. STATION 6 CONNECT THE DOTS Major Take Aways • Respondents were primarily concerned with the current lack of connectivity to the lakefront, mostly along E 9th Street • Very few people frequent the lakefront, but a number of current routes touch the riverfront at Settlers Landing park • Superior Avenue, Prospect Avenue, and Euclid Avenue appear to be the most heavily utilized streets, but only Euclid Avenue has a significant number of routes which extend past E 9th Street • Public Square is a major hub of movement between current paths and desired paths Current path Desired path Desired destination
    • We invited attendees of the public meeting to share what they think of Downtown Cleveland through a series of survey questions. The survey was also available online, enabling us to collect a total of 1,500 completed surveys! ONLINE SURVEYII.
    • Who took the survey? The data below only reflect individuals that completed the survey. The public meeting and focus groups provided more opportunities to engage directly with a diverse range of Downtown stakeholders. ONLINE SURVEY Age 50 to 64 35 to 49 25 to 34 Over 65 18 to 24 Under 18 541 350 323 153 80 7 37% 24% 22% 11% 6% 0% Gender Male Female 729 705 51% 49% Which of the following BEST characterizes your primary interest(s) in Downtown Cleveland? Downtown employee Live in Greater Cleveland Downtown commercial property owner Downtown business owner Downtown resident Downtown student Downtown visitor 0 142 284 486 568 710 Race/Ethnicity White African American Other Hispanic/Latino Asian/Pacific Islander American Indian 1096 193 55 19 16 4 79% 14% 4% 1% 1% 0% Income $50,000 - $99,999 $100,000 - $199,999 $25,000 - $49,999 More than $200,000 Less than $24,999 500 349 249 98 92 39% 27% 19% 8% 7%
    • Question 3 asked respondents to do the following, “Looking into the future, please offer three words that best capture your vision for the future of Downtown Cleveland by the year 2020.” When all the responses to this question were counted, three words clearly emerged as the most common: safe, clean, and vibrant. ONLINE SURVEY
    • After removing the three most common terms, the remaining mix of words presents a broader vision of the future. The next most frequently used words are: fun, walkable, exciting, friendly, accessible, sustainable, and diverse. ONLINE SURVEY
    • Q 1. Over the past five years, which factors have been important in improving Downtown Cleveland? (Very Important, Important, Somewhat Important, Not Important) Q 2. In the next five years, which improvements are important to enhance Downtown Cleveland? Q 5. To achieve your vision for Downtown Cleveland, which actions will be most important? TOP 5 EACH RECEIVED OVER 850 VOTES AS “VERY IMPORTANT” TOP 5 EACH RECEIVED OVER 940 VOTES AS “VERY IMPORTANT” ONLINE SURVEY Downtown housing Clean and safe services More shopping options Cleaner & more beautiful DowntownImproved transportation More jobs and businesses Improved safetyTransit improvementsRestaurants New businesses and jobs 18% Recruit and incubate new businesses 17% Activate the lakefront 10% Reduce homelessness and panhandling 7% Support more transit and alternatives to cars 6% Create additional retail and shopping options
    • A broad spectrum of stakeholders were engaged through 14 focus group sessions. The following are top ranked responses to the question, “What changes would you like to see Downtown in the next five years?” STAKEHOLDER FOCUS GROUPS OFFICE TENANTS PLAYHOUSE SQUARE CAMPUS DISTRICT RETAIL / RESTAURANTEURS GATEWAY DISTRICT • Develop the lakefront • More events/vitality after hours • More green space • More housing • Improved streets • Improve Public Square • More retail/restaurants • More jobs • Improve short-term parking • Improve Public Square • Lighting and streetscape • Develop the lakefront • Attract a major employer • Become a Destination City • Attract more immigrants • Develop the lakefront • More green space • Better pedestrian infrastructure • Consider inclusionary policy
    • A broad spectrum of stakeholders were engaged through 14 focus group sessions. The following are top ranked responses to the question, “What changes would you like to see Downtown in the next five years?” STAKEHOLDER FOCUS GROUPS ENTREPRENEURS TRI-C HOMELESS CONGRESS SUCCESS TECH H.S. CSU • Model lease for start-ups • Do something noteworthy • More bike amenities • International student housing • Improvements along E. 30th • Active public green space • More variety of places to eat • More jobs for young people • Welcoming spaces for teens • Workforce development locations Downtown • 24 hour amenities • More public indoor spaces • Develop the lakefront • Renovate vacant buildings • Improve Public Square
    • A broad spectrum of stakeholders were engaged through 14 focus group sessions. The following are top ranked responses to the question, “What changes would you like to see Downtown in the next five years?” STAKEHOLDER FOCUS GROUPS SENIORS DOWNTOWN RESIDENTS FLATS HISTORIC WAREHOUSE • Improved safety • Snow cleared sidewalks • Affordable entertainment • Improve Public Square • Better lighting • More retail and services • Rooftop/waterfront dining • Investment in basic infrastructure • Improve Public Square • Increase number of people (residents, employees, visitors) • More housing • Investment in basic infrastructure • Improve access to both waterfronts
    • indicates desired improvment received at least one vote during focus group. While each stakeholder group shared distinct desires for Downtown in the next five years, several common threads emerged across the various focus group sessions. Each focus group generated a list of desired improvements, then each attendee voted for three top choices. The chart shows the most popular desired improvements across all 14 groups, in order from top to bottom. STAKEHOLDER FOCUS GROUPS DESIRED IMPROVEMENTS IN NEXT 5 YEARS Desired Improvement Office Tenants Campus District Gateway District Playhouse Square Retail and Restauranteurs Success Tech Tri-C CSU Entrepreneurs Homeless Congress Seniors Flats Historic Warehouse Downtown Residents More communal green spaces Improve basic road infrastructure Improve waterfront access Improve Public Square Better bike lane connectivity Better lighting More 24 hour activity / amenities More retail / services Workforce development / jobs Improve bus shelters in winter More regular events Better pedestrian infrastructure Bike stations Less surface parking More support for start-ups More bike racks Vendor stalls on Public Square Public restrooms Affordable housing Reduce congestion Welcoming indoor public spaces Activate vacant storefronts More housing options Larger variety of places to eat Attract more immigrants Downtown school (K-12) Improved public safety Fill surface parking lot gaps Expand trolley services
    • An overview of input gathered from the Step Up Downtown public meeting, online survery, and stakeholder focus groups. downtowncleveland.com/stepupdowntown PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY