Lee Road Action Plan

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On March 27, 2023, City Council adopted the Lee Road Action Plan, a community-driven plan that creates a vision to comprehensively transform the area south of Van Aken Boulevard into a thriving corridor and commercial district that is attractive, walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. The final plan includes strategies for transportation, urban design, land use, and economic development. The plan documents may be accessed below:

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Project Overview

This visionary reinvestment plan recommends improved connections along Lee Road from the northern residential neighborhoods through the southern civic and commercial areas. The Lee Road Action Plan builds on the recommendations of the Economic Development Strategy/Strategic Investment Plan Update and Lee Road Traffic Study & Corridor Plan, focuses on the area south of Van Aken Boulevard and several blocks into the City of Cleveland, and creates the vision to comprehensively transform the area south of Chagrin Boulevard into a thriving corridor and commercial district that is attractive, walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. It is a community-driven plan that, through robust community engagement, provides detailed recommendations to address the longstanding need for transportation enhancements and corridor redevelopment, and focuses on transportation, economic development, urban design, and land use.

Action Plan takeaways

Existing Conditions and Background

Lee Road is a NOACA-designated priority bike route with connections to the Green and Blue Line rapid transit and the #40 and #14 RTA bus routes. Lee Road is a busy four-lane road that is absent of bicycle infrastructure and provides minimal connection with adjacent residential neighborhoods, bike routes, and parks. There is excess motor vehicle capacity, too much asphalt, no landscaping, inadequate pedestrian areas, and access challenges.

To the north, Lee Road connects to Cleveland Heights where there are three drive lanes and bike shoulders. To the south, the road connects to Cleveland at Scottsdale where it includes small, underutilized commercial buildings and lots, each with its own front-facing parking lot. The half-mile between Chagrin and Scottsdale has high commercial vacancies, tax delinquencies, and 45 driveway curb cuts. Underinvestment and disjointedness in the commercial district contrast with the strong sense of community in the nearby single- and two-family residential neighborhoods. 

In 2010, the City created the Economic Development Strategy/Strategic Investment Plan Update to enhance business activity and build a strong and sustainable economic future through policies that correct market imbalances and provide strong returns on investment.

In 2012, the City undertook the Lee Road Traffic Study & Corridor Plan to improve transportation access and circulation for all modes along Lee Road and improve the character of the commercial district south of Chagrin Road through streetscape enhancements.  This plan recommended lane reconfiguration along the entire Lee Road corridor from four lanes to two through lanes with a center turn lane, bike infrastructure along the entire corridor (north-bike shoulders, middle-sharrows, south-dedicated bike lanes), traffic signal improvements, targeted intersection reconfiguration, and pedestrian improvements. The plan also recommended further study to create a vision for the Lee Road corridor south of Chagrin Boulevard, including access management, shared parking, redevelopment strategies, marketing strategy, and improved neighborhood connections.

Project Phases

Learn more about the three phases of the Lee Road Action Plan by clicking on the tabs below.

 

  1. FINAL PLAN
  2. Phase 3
  3. Phase 2
  4. Phase 1

In February 2023, the plan was presented to a joint work session of City Council and the City Planning Commission and was adopted by City Council on March 27, 2023.

Scroll down to learn more about what happens next. 

Schedule & Public Meetings


TIMEFRAMEDETAILS
June 2021City issued a Request for Proposals seeking qualified planning and urban design consultant teams to undertake the Lee Road Action Plan
July-August 2021Proposal review, interviews, consultant selection, City approval and legislation
September 2021Contracting with WSP USA to undertake Lee Road Action Plan. Cuyahoga County undertakes Lee Road Crash Analysis
October-December 2021WSP USA and City collect background data and begin economic analysis
January 2022Public engagement process begins
February 24, 2022 6:30-8 pmPublic meeting #1. View the presentation (PDF) | View the Q&A (PDF)
June 15, 2022Public Meeting #2. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the presentation (YouTube) 
June 22, 2022Public Meeting #2 (Virtual). View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the presentation (YouTube) 
October 4, 2022City Council Work Session: Update on Lee Road Action Plan. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording
November 8, 2022Stakeholder meeting. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording (YouTube)
November 10, 2022Open house. View the boards (PDF)
February 13, 2023City Council/City Planning Commission Work Session: Presentation of Lee Road Action Plan. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording
March 7, 2023City Planning Commission Meeting. View the agenda | View the presentation slidedeck (PDF)
March 27, 2023Plan adoption at City Council.  View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording
September 11, 2023Update to City Council on implementing the Lee Road Action Plan. View agenda | Watch the recording


What Comes After the Plan is Completed?

While the Lee Road Action Plan focuses on the area south of Van Aken Boulevard, the 2027 implementation will improve Lee Road border-to-border, resurfacing the entire street and narrowing Lee Road from four lanes to three and adding bike infrastructure, improving the safety of the entire corridor.  Thus far, the City has received more than $16.3 million in grant funding for Lee Road. This includes $12.4 million from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) for border-to-border street improvements and road diet, $1.8 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation for border-to-border pedestrian safety upgrades, $1 million from County ARPA funds, $605,000 from NOACA to improve traffic signalization, and $500,000 NOACA streetscape funding.

Recognition

The Lee Road Action Plan was recognized with two awards in 2023:  The American Planning Association Ohio Chapter awarded the plan with the Best Practice Award for the Community Engagement that was undertaken in creating the plan.  The Northeast Ohio Chapter of WTS International (Women’s Transportation Seminar) awarded the plan the Innovative Transportation Solution due to the multimodal nature of the proposed transportation improvements.

Documents

News

Staff Contacts

Email Kara Hamley O'Donnell in the Planning Department or call 216-491-1436.