Imagining a Dream Rapid for Cleveland

By Christoper Lohr

In March, The Atlantic Cities featured a map by Baltimore resident Chris Nelson that showed every Subway Restaurant as an actual subway stop arrayed nicely into a transit network that extended throughout greater Baltimore. Skip ahead to a few days ago and Business Insider wrote an article on the NYC Subway system plan from the 1970’s that never ended up being built.

These articles inspired me to create what I called the Dream Rapid. Rather than base it on existing Subway Restaurants or plans from decades ago, I instead set out to base in on plausible rail and interstate corridors that could accommodate transit.
A few days ago, I posted the initial Dream Rapid map to Facebook and got a good response. Much of the feedback asked for an even more ambitious map. The next day I posted Dream Rapid 2.0 featuring a beltway line that traced the path of I-480 and I-271 as well as extension of the lines further afield. Recognizing the limitations of a static schematic map, I worked to transition the schematic over to a street map that can be zoomed and panned.

Image: Christoper Lohr

Dream Rapid provokes two simple questions:
  1. Why doesn’t this exist already?
  2. Why aren’t we talking about making this a reality?
In a time when the Cleveland and the state of Ohio are spending upwards of a

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billion dollars on mega-projects for cars (Innerbelt Bridge #1, Innerbelt Bridge #2, Opportunity Corridor) and wasting millions on unnecessarily repaving I-90 on the west side, I think we deserve to at least have a debate on how best to use our transportation dollars. Hopefully Dream Rapid can start that conversation.

Blue Line – Avon Lake to Willoughby via Downtown serving Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River, Lakewood, Detroit Shoreway, Ohio City, Asiatown, Hough, Collinwood, and Euclid. Also has commuter rail connections to Ashtabula and Lorain.

Red Line – North Ridgeville to Willoughby/Collinwood via Downtown serving Berea, Euclid, and existing Red line route. Also has commuter rail connections to Ashtabula and Elyria. 

Green Line – North Ridgeville/Euclid to Downtown serving I-271 and I-480 corridors and existing Green Line through Shaker Heights. Also has commuter rail connections to Elyria.

Orange Line – Berea to Aurora via Downtown serving Stockyards, Slavic Village, Solon.

Yellow Line – Strongsville to Macedonia/Twinsburg via Downtown serving Middleburg Heights, “The Brooklyns”, Tremont, Central, Slavic Village, Garfield Heights, and Bedford. Also has commuter rail connections to Medina.

Purple Line – Brecksville to Orange/Warrensville Heights via Downtown serving Independence, Tremont, Beachwood, and existing Blue Line route. Also has commuter rail connections to Akron.

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